****** Warning: This is for servants of the LORD only.*******
If you love this life; if you are governed by the idol of your will, and are thus deathly allergic to the truth, get out. Now. Return to your delusion, where *you* call the shots, where *you* make the choices, where your will holds dominion, where *you* are captain of ship and master of soul. This message is not for you and you are not equipped to receive it.
You have two paragraphs to reach minimum safe distance.
Navigate to another page. Eat, drink, be merry, and await the moment in which the truth shall fall upon you and grind you and your will to powder beneath it.
If, however, you are given grace of the LORD to belong to Him and are therefore slave to the truth, I invite you to read on, and prepare yourself. Have the Helm of Salvation strapped to your skull. Check the bindings on the Breastplate of Righteousness and Belt of Truth and be sure they are snug. Steel the muscles of the arm to which the Shield of Faith is strapped and set your shoulder behind it. Take up then the Sword of the Spirit in your hand, and be prepared to have your will, your very self, slain upon it.
Yes, you read that correctly.
THE ENEMY IS OUR WILL, AND IT THEREFORE MUST DIE.
The thing screaming in your ears right now at the above statement... exhorting you to ignore it... telling you that it has every right... no, that *you* have every right to live as you please... that's your will. It is being insistent because it does not want to die without *you*. You have been a most gracious host, and no parasite wishes to be severed from the host which grants it sustenance.
It will, in fact, fight you for that self-proclaimed right to the very death, even though it means that it has to *end* you with it.
That is what your *good* will, and mine, looks like with its kindly, smiling mask removed and its true face exposed.
Your will is destined for eternal death, you see. It's fate is that of the devil and his angels, and does not want to go to meet it without you.
Brethren, the Fight To The Death is deeper than the struggle between us and the one who Accuses us before the Throne of God day and night; it is between our will, and what shall be the completed good work which Christ has begun in all whom He saved by His good pleasure.
You begin to see what this means, don't you.
The Sword of the Spirit within our hands; the Word of God, must claim our lives. Our will must be impaled upon it and die. The life of our will must be snuffed out by its diamond-cutting edges. Our pride must be run through by it and gutted. Our dreams and desires and wants must be put to the Sword before our nature tells us they have *as much right to exist as the finished work does*.
They lie, and they lie damnably. They have *no* such right. By transitive property, *we* do not have that right. A bought, paid for, ransomed slave has no right to do whatever it pleases. The clay has no right to tell the Potter what He *should* have made it into. The iron has no right to complain that the fire and pressure and additional elements it must endure in order to become steel are too much, too painfully inconvenient, and do not fit just now in the plan it laid out for its life because it changes what it is into something else it can not see.
Our will is, in the end, irrelevant.
The first time I was ever exposed to this fact came from hearing the words of my brother in Christ, Cyril Jermin. I heard this man say on blogtalk radio the following words regarding the Son of God when He walked on the earth, and what following Him means:
"He loved the truth. He loved His Father. He valued obedience to His Father before anything else. *Why don't we?* Why don't we understand that He said if we were going to be His disciples, that we have to pick up our cross? "Deny yourself, take up your cross, and follow". What did that mean? Die. *Die.* Die to *self*. Die to your self opinions. Die to your carefully crafted image. Die to your reputation. Because the truth is more important than your reputation."
He went on to say something that knocked me over where I stood:
"This is not a popularity contest. Being a follower of Jesus is not a popularity contest. It is a death sentence, and we need to understand that, but too few of us do."
The man even went on to find use for the content of my post entitled "Destroy Your Pride", and said this:
"It is a fight to the death. And that means two things. It is a fight. It is a struggle. it is a war to the death, which means something has to die. *We* think it is the Enemy, but *Jesus* said it's us."
May it please the LORD that we each accept this and bow before it in submission, beloved sister... dear brother. We can no longer afford to look away from our selves when seeking the enemy that needs to have the Word of God brought to bear against it. When *we* think one way, and the *LORD* says the other, we are in trouble of the worst kind.
It is we who must die. It is our will that must die. It is our pride that must die. All that we place as idol before God must die by the Sword.
No, there is no third alternative. There are only two:
1) Know your place as ransomed slave, bow before the Living God, surrender your will and die to your self while your heart beats, and dwell by His loving sacrifice, in His presence, when it stops beating, in life everlasting.
2) Be your own master, believe in *your* power to choose your path while your heart beats, stick out your chest before the golden calf of your pride and will and bask in its glow, until the day in which your soul is required of you, and exist in the judgment of the Living God, outside of His presence forever, where the worm which consumes flesh does not die, and the fire which burns is never quenched.
That is all. There is no easy grace; to live the one is to both utterly reject and be at eternal enmity with the other. One contains permanent death of the will and rejection of the world, the other everlasting torment of the soul with the majority of the world.
We must pray that it would please the LORD that we each be formed into that which serves and obeys Him at the cost of our will. We must seek His mercy from our knees and from upon our faces, our hearts contrite before Him--seeing our abject need for Him and utter helplessness without Him.
The Son of God spoke of the upside to living His way, and acknowledged what we would have to endure, while cutting through the lack of comprehension which His disciples expressed when He did so. He simultaneously removed any notion that there are other alternatives beyond those which He laid out.
"Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. And where I go you know, and the way you know."
Thomas said to Him, "Lord, we do not know where You are going, and how can we know the way?"
Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me."If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; and from now on you know Him and have seen Him." John 14:1-7
Many mansions. Ultimate security in that the LORD Himself prepares them for us. But one path. One. One way. One truth. One life.
Your will by now, as mine did, is asking what the point is of hoping for what you can not see, when you can instead spend your energies having everything right here and now. Plenty of church-going folk believe that.
Really? This crude, temporary matter? These "riches" which avail us nothing once the heart stops, or become broken flotsam once the tornado destroys, or the flood waters recede, or the earthquake shatters, or the fire consumes? Do you really want treasures stored here, where moths eat, and thieves steal?
No lie is too big for your will to whisper into your ear. For this it must die.
Thanks be to God, that when we are too slow to get the details, He is patient, and loves us enough to show us clearly what must be known and accepted.
"Philip said to Him, "Lord, show us the Father, and it is sufficient for us."
Jesus said to him, "Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, 'Show us the Father'? Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works. Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me, or else believe Me for the sake of the works themselves.
"Most assuredly I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father. And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.
"If you love Me, keep My commandments. And I will pray to the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever--the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you." John 14:8-18
Here are the conditions people don't talk about in steepled buildings. All the blessings, all the promises, all the security of abiding with the LORD forever, have the condition to love Jesus. To love Him, by His own definition and not our own; to KEEP HIS COMMANDMENTS. Not as best we can. Not in our own way.
The best way we can love Him is insufficient. Our own way of loving Him comes up like life; too short, and there is no "e" for efforts granted for any who are in disobedience to the Word of God.
If Jesus' definition of loving Him is to keep His commandments, then *our* own way of fitting Him in is failure to love Him at all, and therefore rebellion--by *His* definition, not our own. May it please the LORD that I bow in submission to this, which can never be unseen once seen.
"A little while longer and the world will see Me no more, but you will see Me. Because I live, you will live also. At that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you. He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him." John 14:19-21
THIS is seeing the Father; having and keeping His commandments is OBEYING them. He reiterates the definition of loving Him, and says that by the act of loving Him, that of having and keeping His commandments, we are loved by the Father, and the LORD will love and manifest Himself to us. We then live forever; not through an act of our own, but because He lives in us.
That can not happen with our will in the way.
"You want to see Me? You want fellowship with me?" He asks us. "Show that you love Me by obeying Me." He then goes on to tell us that such obedience, and the revelation that comes with it, is not for the world, but for the one who obeys. He lays it out while speaking in no uncertain terms of the difference between those who follow Him and those who do not.
"Judas (not Iscariot) said to Him, "Lord, how is it that You will manifest Yourself to us, and not to the world?"
"Jesus answered and said to him, "If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine but the Father's who sent Me.
"These things I have spoken to you while being present with you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you. Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. You have heard Me say to you, 'I am going away and coming back to you.' If you loved Me, you would rejoice because I said, 'I am going to the Father,' for My Father is greater than I.
"And now I have told you before it comes, that when it does come to pass, you may believe. I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming, and he has nothing in Me. But that the world may know that I love the Father, and the Father gave Me commandment, so I do. Arise, let us go from here." John 14:22-29.
Jesus told us that so long as we love Him and keep His Word, He will live with us. His Holy Spirit would come and teach us all things, and remind us of what the LORD said. If we don't obey Him, we do not love Him.
Our will can not have this; do not take its silence for acquiesence. ALL of this means our will is dead with our sins, and it will sooner cajole you into thinking your will, which is subject to your flesh and your pride, can coexist with the will of the LORD than be revealed as your mortal enemy. So long as you buy it long enough for your heart to stop beating.
Just as our LORD had to die, so must we.
And no, *I* did not say it. *He* did.
In the 9th Chapter of Luke, Jesus *first* tells them that *He* must die.
"And he said, “The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.” Luke 9:22
*Next*, and I mean RIGHT AFTER He says this, He tells them that all who follow Him, who are no greater than He is, must do the same.
"Then he said to them all: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it." Luke 9:23-24.
*Lastly*, He speaks on precisely what I've mentioned regarding the world and its treasures.
"For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and is himself destroyed or lost?"
Not only does your will lie to you, it adheres to no logic. We are ALL going to die. Every single one of us will pass away. It makes no sense therefore to preserve the earthly life of sin and pride and will on this earth, only to lose it all at an hour completely unknown to us.
We are provided by our LORD and Saviour the perfect illustration of the completely illogical lie of our will in the 12th Chapter of Luke.
"Then He spoke a parable to them, saying: "The ground of a certain rich man yielded plentifully. And he thought to himself, saying, 'What shall I do, since I have no room to store my crops?' So he said, 'I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build greater, and there I will store all my crops and my goods. And I will say to my soul, "Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink, and be merry." ' But God said to him, 'Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?'
"So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God." Luke 12:16-21
All arguments of our will are therefore empty, pitifully temporal, and self serving. The lies it deploys on its own behalf, seeking pleasure to the pride-infused flesh that worships it as an idol, consider the truth of its inevitable death as nothing, and will blind you with pleasure long enough for it to be too late.
It is Public Enemy Number One to the follower of the Christ.
Our task, as soldiers of the Truth War on the side of the LORD, is to hunt down our will and kill it with the Sword we are given by the LORD. The will is wanted dead. Not alive; Dead. When it begs for it's life, we must silence the pleadings immediately with the edge of the Sword. It must not be allowed to escape, or it will return and sink a knife into us when we are not prepared. If it tries to be clever and run to the altar and grab it by the horns, we are to spill its blood right where it is.
By the grace of the LORD Almighty. Amen.