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#5.6 THE ACTION REQUIRED TO OVERCOME TEMPTATION

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#5.6 THE ACTION REQUIRED TO OVERCOME TEMPTATION

Introduction 5.6

Whenever we come to forsake sin the first step is to learn what to do, pray for God's help, and then we must put into action what the scripture teaches. No action equals no deliverance, therefore this bible study explains the action required to overcome temptation to sin.

#5.602 THE LAW OF THE SPIRIT OF LIFE IN CHRIST JESUS

ROMANS 8:1-2
1 There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.
2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.

Note: There are two spiritual laws which can operate in the lives of people. The first is the law of sin and death which operates in almost everybody, and the second is the law of the Spirit of life which operates in those who are fully in Jesus Christ. In most Christians, both laws operate to some degree, but the aim should be to destroy the law of sin and death completely, and operate only in the law of the spirit of life. When a man (or woman) does this he can walk free from sin. The law of sin and death operates when a person has learned the knowledge of evil. The knowledge of evil gives him evil desires (Proverbs 21:10), so that he thinks evil (Genesis 6:5; Proverbs 15:26), and he speaks evil (Proverbs 6:12). Despite any good intentions that he may have, he almost always ends up doing evil (Romans 7:15; 7:19). Such a person will find it almost impossible to do right (Jeremiah 4:22), "because the carnal mind is enmity against God; it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be." (Romans 8:7). The law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus operates when a man has learned God's word, and his heart full of God's word, which is an attribute of a righteous man (Psalm 37:30-31; Isaiah 51:7). He thinks right (Proverbs 12:5), he has good desires (Proverbs 11:23), and he speaks good (Psalm 71:24; Proverbs 10:11). Because his thoughts and desires are only to do good, it is easy for him to do good, and he does right things (1 John 2:29; 3:7). Jesus is an example of this. His thinking was always right (John 5:30), his desires were right (John 13:1), he spoke words of life (John 6:63), and he did good (Acts 10:38). When his spirit fully dwells in us, and we let him control us (Galatians 4:6), we will not sin.
The aim of every Christian ought to be to refuse to see or hear the knowledge of evil, and to have his mind and heart transformed by renewing it with the word of God (Romans 12:2; Ephesians 4:23).

#5.604 SUBMIT OURSELVES TO GOD

JAMES 4:7
7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

Note 1: Trying to resist the Devil without first submitting to God is a waste of time and effort. Jesus said, "The Son can do nothing of himself," (John 5:19), "I can of my own self do nothing:" (John 5:30), and "I do nothing of myself;" (John 8:28). How much less can any of us resist the Devil without God's help, when Jesus himself said, "without me you can do nothing." (John 15:5). Essentially it means submitting our will to his will, and is the same as #5.412, when God becomes our shield (Psalm 3:3; 28:7; 33:20; 84:9-11; 115:9-11, 119:114; Proverbs 30:5) of faith, with which we can resist the Devil (Ephesians 6:16).

Note 2: One of my greatest errors in trying to defeat my own gluttonous habit was not first submitting myself to God. I used will power, self reliance, and my own determination, because I had such a zeal to serve God and please him. I saw this as an opportunity to prove myself. What followed was about five years of dismal failure and misery, during which time the more I tried the more I failed. My weight continually went up and down like a yo-yo, and many times I "gave up", but only for a short while, then I would try again. Eventually I got to the place where I just refused to try any more; I argued with God, I confessed that I could never get myself out of it, and I refused to make any more effort. This was exactly where God wanted me to get to. He doesn't want any of us to do anything for him of our own ability, he just wants us to die to self so that we can call on him, and he can deliver us by faith. If I had managed to escape this my own way, I would have taken the glory wouldn't I? God will never let us do that, he wants us to surrender to him, so that he can manifest his power through us. Although he can do things infinitely better than we can, he does not override our free will; we have to surrender it to him. If you recognize the problem in your own life, then you need to sit down and meditate in the scriptures, and let God deliver you by faith.

#5.606 RESIST THE DEVIL STEADFAST IN THE FAITH

EPHESIANS 4:27 (Paul)
27 Nor give place to the devil.

EPHESIANS 6:16 (Paul)
16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, with which you shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.

JAMES 4:7
7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

1 PETER 5:8-9
8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walks about seeking whom he may devour:
9 Whom resist steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren who are in the world.

Note: If our deliverance is immediately manifested when we pray, then we will not have to walk it out by faith. However, many of us may have no physical evidence of deliverance after we have prayed; we may still have the cravings, the hunger pains, severe temptations, and still be lusting after the thing that the Devil is using to tempt us. This is when we have to rely on our faith, and believe that we are delivered even though we cannot see it; "faith is ... the evidence of things not seen." (Hebrews 11:1). We have to believe that God has answered our prayer, that the delay in it's manifestation is only temporary (Daniel 10:12-13), and if we resist "steadfast in the faith," (1 Peter 5:9), then the Devil will have to flee from us (James 4:7). Until he does we will have to fight some spiritual warfare (See #5.608 Note 2), and resist the fiery darts which the Devil may throw at us, such as thoughts, circumstances, pain, persecution, silence from heaven, negative feelings, guilt etc..

#5.608 RESIST THE DEVIL WITH THE NAME OF JESUS

MATTHEW 10:1 (Jesus) (RPT)
1 And when he had called his twelve disciples to him, he gave them authority1 over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every sickness and every disease.

MARK 16:17 (Jesus)
17 And these signs shall follow those who believe; In my name shall they cast out demons; they shall speak with new tongues;

LUKE 9:1 (Jesus) (RPT)
1 Then he called his twelve disciples together, and gave them power2 and authority1 over all demons, and to heal sicknesses.

LUKE 10:19 (Jesus) (RPT)
19 Behold, I give to you the authority1 to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power2 of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you, certainly not.

PHILIPPIANS 2:9-11 (Paul)
9 Therefore God also has highly exalted him, and given him a name that is above every name:
10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;
11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Note 1: The word here translated authority1 (Gr. ἐξουσία, Gtr. exousia) comes from the impersonal verb ἔξεστι, (Gtr. exesti) which means "it is lawful", and has the basic meaning of "lawful right", or "authority", to exercise power. It is sometimes incorrectly translated "power" in the KJV (Matthew 10:1; Luke 10:9). and is distinct from the word translated power2 (Gr. δύναμις, Gtr. dunamis), which is like our English word "dynamite". When Jesus gave authority over all demons to his disciples (Matthew 10:1; Mark 16:17; Luke 9:1), and over all of their power (Luke 10:19), he effectively gave it to every disciple of his who is willing to receive it. He gave it to Judas Iscariot who was one of the twelve (Matthew 10:1), and also his betrayer (Mark 14:43-45; Luke 22:47; John 18:2-3). He gave it to Simon Peter who later denied him three times (Matthew 26:69-75; Mark 14:66-72; Luke 22:54-62; John 18:15-27), and to the other disciples who fled for their lives and left him when he was arrested (Matthew 26:31: Mark 14:27). He also gave it to seventy other disciples (Luke 10:1; 10:17-19) who later deserted him when his words became too strong for them (John 6:60-66). So we can dispense with any idea that we have to be perfect before we can be given this authority. It has already been given to us, although we do need to recognize that it must be exercised in faith (Matthew 17:20), and using the name of Jesus; because "at the name of Jesus, every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;" (Philippians 2:10). When the disciples cast out demons in Jesus" authority, they used his name (Mark 9:38; 16:17; Luke 9:49; 10:17), and when they healed the sick, they used his name (Acts 3:6; 4:10). So when we stand to resist the Devil and his temptations against us, we ought to use the name of Jesus also.

Note 2: There are some good reasons why people fail to exercise their God given authority over the Devil:

(1) They do not realize that they first have to take the authority. Look at an example:

(Joshua 1:3) "Every place that the soul of your foot shall tread upon, that have I given to you, as I said to Moses."

God had given Israel the promised land, but they still had to believe God, and go and fight for it by faith. He gave them everywhere that they were prepared to tread on. If they refused to fight, would they have received the land? Obviously not. So it is with the authority that God has given us. It is our rightful possession, given to us by God through his word (Matthew 10:1; Luke 9:1; 10:19), but we still have to fight to take what belongs to us. There are three ways in which we walk spiritually, which we need to recognize. The first is that we walk spiritually with our thoughts:

(Deuteronomy 29:19) "he blesses himself in his heart, saying, I shall have peace, though I walk in the imagination of my heart,"
(Jeremiah 13:10)
"This evil people, who refuse to hear my words, who walk in the imagination of their heart, and walk after other gods, to serve them,"
(Ephesians 4:17) "that you from now on do not walk as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind,"

The second is that we walk spiritually with our mouths, through what we speak:

(Genesis 3:8) "And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day:"
(Psalm 73:9) "their tongue walks through the earth."
(Proverbs 6:12) "a wicked man, walks with a perverse mouth."
(Jeremiah 23:14) "the prophets of Jerusalem ... walk in lies:"

So we need to speak the word of God, which is "the sword of the Spirit," (Ephesians 6:17), and use it against the enemy. The third is that we walk spiritually according to our deeds:

(Deuteronomy 10:12) "what does the LORD your God require of you, but to fear the LORD your God, and to walk in all his ways,"
(1 Kings 15:3) "And he walked in all the sins of his father,"
(2 Chronicles 7:17) "if you will walk before me, as David your father walked, and do according to all that I have commanded you,"
(Mark 7:5)
"Why do your disciples not walk according to the tradition of the elders?"

Therefore, to walk in a spiritual way, we need to have our minds renewed with the word of God (Romans 12:2; Ephesians 4:23; Titus 3:5), so that our thoughts, words, and deeds can all be right. Then we can exercise this total authority over the Devil.

(2) We need to realize the importance of our words, and if we expect the Devil to submit to our words, then we should be submitting to our own words ourselves. If I say to a friend, "I will be there tomorrow at 8 p.m.", and then I fail to turn up, or arrive late, then I have not kept my word. In fact I have lied. If I fail to obey my own word, then how can I expect the Devil to obey it? Can you see the Devil arguing his case before God? that our words do not have authority because we do not submit to them ourselves? Keeping our own words should be a habitual way of life, and is necessary to prove that they have authority. When we get this right in our own lives can we expect the Devil to submit to our authority.

(3) If we are using God's word against the Devil, which is our spiritual sword (Ephesians 6:17; Hebrews 4:12), and we expect the Devil to recognize its authority, then we need to show that it has authority in our own lives, by submitting to it, and obeying it. If we do not do this, the Devil's argument will be that we do not believe that God's word has authority, because we do not submit to it in our own lives. This obedience is required for us to have the ultimate authority that we need to do God's work, otherwise we can fail:

(Hosea 14:9) "the ways of the LORD are right, and the just shall walk in them: but the transgressors shall fall in them."
(Proverbs 22:12) "the LORD ... he overthrows the words of the transgressor."

These two scripture highlight why some people can speak faith, act on their faith, and still not receive from God; because we cannot walk by faith while we are walking in sin. God overthrows our words!

#5.610 RESIST THE DEVIL WITH THE WORD OF GOD

MATTHEW 4:1-4
1 Then Jesus was led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.
2 And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterwards hungry.
3 And when the tempter came to him, he said, If you are the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.
4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.

LUKE 4:1-4
1 And Jesus being full of the Holy Spirit returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness,
2 Being forty days tempted of the devil. And in those days he ate nothing: and when they were ended, he afterward hungered.
3 And the devil said to him, If you are the Son of God, command this stone that it be made bread.
4 And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.

Note: The word of God is one of our offensive spiritual weapons. It is "the sword of the Spirit," (Ephesians 6:17), "quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword," (Hebrews 4:12), and as it is the weapon Jesus chose to use against the Devil, then we should use it too. However, there needs to be some power or force behind this weapon when we use it, and that power is our faith. When the disciples failed to cast out a demon (Matthew 17:16), Jesus said it was because of their unbelief (Matthew 17:20). Even though they had been given the authority (Matthew 10:1; Luke 9:1; 10:19), had cast out many demons before (Mark 6:13), and probably said the right words this time also, they still needed more faith behind their words on this occasion; more power behind the sword. There is no truth in the Devil (John 8:44), "he is a king over all the children of pride." (Job 41:34), and it must be very painful for him when we continually contradict him by quoting the word of God at him in faith. What should we quote at him when he attacks us with the temptation? Here are a few examples that I obtained from God's word for my own temptations with food:

(1) When tempted to eat too much

(a) It is written, "abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul." (1 Peter 2:11).
(b) It is written, "the glutton shall come to poverty: and drowsiness shall clothe a man with rags." (Proverbs 23:21).
(c) It is written, "if you live according to the flesh, you shall die:" (Romans 8:13).
(d) It is written, "Whoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up the cross, and follow me." (Mark 10:21).

(2) When tempted with dainty food

(a) It is written, "Do not desire his dainties: for they are deceitful meat." (Proverbs 23:3).
(b) It is written, "he who sows to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption;" (Galatians 6:8).
(c) It is written, "do not make provision for the flesh, to fulfil its lusts." (Romans 13:14).
(d) It is written, "those who are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts." (Galatians 5:24).

(3) When tempted to go to feasts or parties

(a) It is written, "Do not be among winebibbers; among riotous eaters of flesh." (Proverbs 23:20).
(b) It is written, "the house of feasting ... is the end of all men; and the living will lay it to his heart." (Ecclesiastes 7:2).
(c) It is written, "a companion of fools shall be destroyed." (Proverbs 13:20).
(d) It is written, "she who lives in pleasure is dead while she lives." (1 Timothy 5:6).

(4) When tempted to break a fast

(a) It is written, "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God." (Matthew 4:4).
(b) It is written, "My food is to do the will of him who sent me, and to finish his work." (John 4:34).
(c) It is written, "those who are in the flesh cannot please God." (Romans 8:8).

Whatever your temptation may be, you can find scriptures in God's word that will be effective against it.
In order that the quotations we choose may be used effectively, in faith, they need to be in our heart. So we need to meditate on them (See #5.414 Note; #5.622), do not let them depart from our eyes (See #5.624), keep hearing them (See #5.626), and keep speaking them (See #5.628).

#5.611 PRAY IN TONGUES

1 CORINTHIANS 14:2 (Paul)
2 For he who speaks in an unknown tongue speaks not to men, but to God; for no man understands him; however in the spirit he speaks mysteries.

1 CORINTHIANS 14:4 (Paul)
4 He who speaks in an unknown tongue edifies himself; but he who prophesies edifies the church.

1 CORINTHIANS 14:14 (Paul)
14 For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prays, but my understanding is unfruitful.

EPHESIANS 6:18 (Paul)
18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching in this same thing with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

JUDE 1:20
20 But you, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit.

Note 1: The first time that we see the gift of tongues manifested in the New Testament, is when the disciples received it in the upper room on the day of Pentecost, as they were baptized in the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:1-4). They spoke with what is referred to as "various kinds of tongues" (1 Corinthians 12:10), or "diversities of tongues." (1 Corinthians 12:28), which is a gift to minister to foreign people in their own language (Acts 2:8-11). All do not have this gift (1 Corinthians 12:30), but all those who are baptized in the Holy Spirit do have the ability to speak with what Paul called "tongues ... of angels," (1 Corinthians 13:1), or "the unknown tongue" (1 Corinthians 14:2; 14:4; 14:14). This is a promise for every believer (Mark 16:17; Acts 2:38-39), and has several purposes:

(1) To pray and communicate with God (1 Corinthians 14:2; 14:14),
(2) To edify the believer and build up his faith (1 Corinthians 14:4; Jude 1:20),
(3) To give thanks to God (1 Corinthians 14:17),
(4) To enable the believer to intercede for others, according to God's perfect will, when he does not know what to pray for according to his knowledge (Romans 8:26; Ephesians 6:18).

Note 2: There are some who believe that they cannot speak in tongues unless they get "an unction" or "an anointing" from God, and indeed they cannot, because it is "According to your faith be it to you." (Matthew 9:29). However, Jesus said, "all things are possible to him who believes." (Mark 9:23), and speaking in tongues is no exception to this. The scripture teaches that we already "have an unction" (1 John 2:20 KJV), and that "the anointing" abides in us (1 John 2:27), which is the Holy Spirit. So any believer, who has been baptized in the Holy Spirit, can pray in tongues any time he is prepared to lift up his voice in faith and speak. However, it needs to be exercised in faith to get results, just as praying in English does. This is really a humble way to pray. It has to be done trusting God, because we do not know what we are praying for, and it has the advantage that we can never pray a wrong word, because the Spirit of God gives us the utterance (Acts 2:4). Nevertheless, as it builds up our faith (1 Corinthians 14:4; Jude 1:20), it will help us with any problem, and we need to set time aside daily to do it in private.

#5.612 PRAISE GOD

EXODUS 17:9-13
9 And Moses said to Joshua, Choose us out men, and go out, fight with Amalek: tomorrow I will stand on top of the hill with the rod of God in my hand.
10 So Joshua did as Moses had said to him, and fought with Amalek: and Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill.
11 And it came to pass, when Moses held up his hand, that Israel prevailed: and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed.
12 But Moses hands were heavy; and they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat on it; and Aaron and Hur held up his hands, the one on the one side, and the other on the other side; and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun.
13 And Joshua defeated Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword.

PSALMS 18:3 (David)
3 I will call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from my enemies.

PSALMS 67:5-7
5 Let the people praise you, O God; let all the people praise you.
6 then shall the earth yield her increase; and God, even our own God shall bless us.
7 God shall bless us; and all the ends of the earth shall fear him.

PSALMS 106:47
47 Save us, O LORD our God, and gather us from among the heathen, to give thanks to your holy name, and to triumph in your praise.

Note 1: Praise is one of the weapons of our spiritual warfare. After Paul had cast a spirit of divination out of a woman who followed them at Philippi (Acts 16:16-18), both Paul and Silas were beaten with many stripes (Acts 16:22), thrust into prison, and fastened in the stocks (Acts 16:24). Then, "at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises to God:" (Acts 16:25). The result of this was a great earthquake, which opened the prison doors, set all the prisoners free from their bands (Acts 16:26), and led to the salvation of the jailer with all his house (Acts 16:32-34). This complete turnaround of their situation demonstrates the power of praise. Also the holding up of Moses" hands, which is symbolic of praise, caused his people to prevail over their enemies, but when he didn't do it Israel's enemies prevailed over them (Exodus 17:11). When we praise God we will be saved from our enemy (the Devil) (Psalm 18:3) and God will bless us (Psalm 67:5-7); he is the same God that blessed Paul and Silas, and he has not changed (Malachi 3:6; James 1:17). No wonder David said, "his praise shall continually be in my mouth." (Psalm 34:1).

Note 2: There is a difference between a triumph and a victory. By definition, a victory is "success in a battle, a contest, or a game, when one opponent, team or army defeats another". By contrast, a triumph is "joy at a success", or "the processional entry of a victorious general into ancient Rome". This was when a Roman general had won a great victory over his opponents, and came to parade through the streets of Rome, with all the people cheering and praising him. It was a time of rejoicing and celebration for the victory which had already been won. The general would ride in a specially decorated chariot, and behind him in chains would be the kings and the army chiefs whom he had conquered. For the general it was a time of exultation, but for the enemy it was a time of great humiliation. In New Testament times this last description would be in the mind of the writers, and this is what Jesus did after he had won the victory over the Devil on the cross.

(Colossians 2:13-15) "And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, has made alive together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;
14 Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;
15 And having plundered principalities and powers, he made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it."

The word "plundered" in this last verse means that Jesus "took the power off the principalities and powers", so that he now has all authority over them:

(Matthew 28:18) "And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, All authority was given to me in heaven and in earth."
(Colossians 2:10)
"And you are complete in him, who is the head of all principality and power:"
(Ephesians 1:19-22) "And what is the exceeding greatness of his power towards us who believe, according to the working of his mighty power,
20 Which he worked in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places,
21 Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age, but also in that which is to come:
22 And has put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church,"
(Philippians 2:8-10)
"And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient to death, even the death of the cross.
Therefore God also has highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:
That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;"

If Jesus is triumphant over the Devil and his demons, the he must symbolically be in the chariot where the Roman general would be in a natural triumph, and the Devil and his demons would be in chains behind him. So where is the church in this picture? You see, by faith we have been given authority over the Devil and his demons:

(Luke 9:1) "Then he called his twelve disciples together, and gave them power and authority over all demons, and to cure diseases."
(Luke 10:19 RPT) "Behold, I give to you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall hurt you, certainly not."

And by faith therefore we also have the victory:

(1 John 5:4) "For whatever is born of God overcomes the world: and this is the victory that overcomes the world, even our faith."

Because we have the victory, by faith we are also seated with Christ:

(Ephesians 2:4-6) "But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,
Even when we were dead in sins, has quickened us together with Christ, (by grace you are saved;)
And has raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:"

As Jesus is the head of the church, and the church is his body (Ephesians 1:22-23; Colossians 1:18; 1:24), then as the body goes where the head goes, we must be figuratively in the chariot with Christ. In fact we should be triumphing:

(2 Corinthians 2:14) "Now thanks be to God, who always causes us to triumph in Christ, and makes manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place."

How do we triumph? By praising God (Psalm 106:47). The classic example of this is when the apostle Paul and Silas were flogged, and put in the stocks in a Philippian jail (Acts 16:23-24). They sang praises to God (v25), which means they were triumphing, and God was so pleased with this, that he sent an earthquake and set all the prisoners free (v26). This is the way to obtain deliverance from sin. By faith we have the victory, so we can triumph in praising God.

#5.613 CAST DOWN IMAGINATIONS, TAKE EVERY THOUGHT CAPTIVE TO THE OBEDIENCE OF CHRIST

2 CORINTHIANS 10:3-5 (Paul)
3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh:
4 [For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds;]
5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.

Note 1: Why cast down imaginations? Because they are usually evil (Genesis 6:5; 8:21; Deuteronomy 29:19-20; Proverbs 12:20; Jeremiah 7:24; 11:8; 13:10; 16:12; 18:12; Nahum 1:11; Zechariah 7:10; 8:17); deceitful (Psalm 10:2; 38:12; Jeremiah 23:16-19), and vain (Psalm 2:1; Acts 4:25; Romans 1:21). They are an attribute of the proud (Psalm 10:2; Luke 1:51); God hates them (Proverbs 6:16-18; Zech 8:17); and we are told to cast them down (2 Corinthians 10:5). Their source must be obvious. From the day that we are born, the Devil and God both have an earnest desire to win our heart for themselves, because our heart determines our purpose (Daniel 1:8; Acts 11:23;  2 Corinthians 9:7), it devises our way (Proverbs 16:9; Isaiah 57:17), our words come from our heart (Proverbs 16:23; Matthew 12:34-35; 15:18-19; Mark 7:21-22; Luke 6:45), our deeds come from our heart (Proverbs 4:23; Matthew 15:19; Mark 7:21-22; Romans 2:14-15), and ultimately the state of our heart will decide our eternal destiny. Thus whoever we permit to gain control of our heart, effectively has control of us; but in order to gain that control, both God and the Devil have to follow the same law that God has ordained from the beginning of the world; "plant seed, water it, it will grow":

(Galatians 6:7) "whatever a man sows, that shall he also reap."

The place that they have to plant the seed is in our heart (Matthew 13:19; Luke 8:15), but before this it has to pass through our mind, which is the conscious part of our heart, and effectively the doorway to our heart. The thoughts of our mind are stimulated by our five senses: touch, taste, smell, sight, and hearing; but primarily the latter two, what we see, and what we hear. The battlefield for spiritual warfare is in our mind, and when we attempt to forsake a sin, we are attempting to recapture for God, part of our heart that is under the Devil's control, being possessed by a lust. It is his spirit, called "the prince of the power of the air" (Ephesians 2:2), that works in all those who are disobedient to the word of God. His first line of defence is usually to try to blind our minds to the truth (2 Corinthians 4:4), and to sear our consciences (1 Timothy 4:2), in order to keep us from knowing that we are in sin. Once we have been enlightened by the word of God (Psalm 119:105, 130; Romans 3:20), and our consciences have become un-seared, he will try to twist the scripture in order to hide the consequences of our sin from us. He did this with Eve in the garden of Eden when he said, "You shall surely not die:" (Genesis 3:4). Having failed in both of these areas, the Devil will next seek to defeat us through the flesh, which is his last line of defence. As we abstain our sin, he may attack us with cravings, hunger pains, physical weakness, shaking, fainting, headaches, or in other ways, in an attempt to deter us from forsaking the sin. But if we first submit ourselves to God (James 4:7), and resist the Devil steadfast in the faith, he will surely flee from us (See #5.606).
During this trial, we need to cast down imaginations to prevent the Devil sowing more seeds in our heart, and to prevent him from watering those that he has sown previously. It may help us if we keep in mind what the scripture teaches, that sin will condemn any of us unless we forsake it (Ezekiel 3:20; 18:20; 18:24-26; 33:12-13; 33:18; Romans 6:23).

Note 2: During the early days of my trial I found resisting thoughts impossible to cope with. They were very persistent, nagging, and not knowing how to resist them, I would eventually give in to them. Thoughts are spirit. They come from our heart (Genesis 6:5; Matthew 15:19; Mark 7:21), and we use them to make decisions (Proverbs 16:9; Daniel 1:8; Romans 2:14-15;  2 Corinthians 9:7); but it also seems clear that the Devil can put them in if we let him (John 13:2; Acts 5:3). When our thoughts are going wrong we are under a spiritual attack of the enemy, who is invariably trying to get us to sin. I eventually found that the most effective way to resist thoughts was to speak to them, command them in the name of Jesus, and quote scripture at them. It was then that I began to fight back, with some success at first, but not always. The secret is to know that we have the authority over these things through Jesus (See #5.608), and when I began to believe that, I enjoyed prolonged periods of success. If thoughts are allowed to escape without resistance, they will invariably come again, but if every time they come we give them a good thrashing with the "sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:" (Ephesians 6:17), they will always be defeated, and eventually cease to be a problem. (See also #5.620).

#5.614 DO THE WILL OF GOD

JOHN 4:31-34
31 In the mean while his disciples prayed him, saying, Master, eat.
32 But he said to them, I have food to eat that you do not know of.
33 Therefore his disciples said one to another, Has any man brought him anything to eat?
34 Jesus says to them, My food is to do the will of him who sent me, and to finish his work.

Note: Jesus attitude always was that spiritual food (the word of God) was more important than physical food. When he was tempted by the Devil after fasting forty days and nights in the wilderness (See #5.610), he quoted at him:

(Matthew 4:4) "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God."
(Luke 4:4) "man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God."

He taught his disciples also, that if they took care of the spiritual things, God would take care of their physical needs:

(Luke 12:22-23; Matthew 6:25) "And he said to his disciples, Therefore I say to you, Take no thought for your life, what you shall eat; neither for the body, what you shall put on.
The life is more than meat, and the body is more than clothes."
(Luke 12:29-31; Matthew 6:31-33) "And do not seek you what you shall eat, or what you shall drink, neither be of doubtful mind.
For all these things do the nations of the world seek after: and your Father knows that you have need of these things.
But rather you seek the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added to you."
(John 6:27) "Do not labour for the meat which perishes, but for that meat which endures to everlasting life,"
Paul supported this teaching:
(Philippians 4:19) "But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus."

When we do the will of God, and set our mind on spiritual things, daily food will cease to be a problem to us. None of us can say that we are walking in the will of God while we are in sin, because it is a total failure to be like Jesus (See #5.112).

#5.616 WALK IN THE SPIRIT

GALATIANS 5:16 (Paul)
16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.

Note 1: Walking in the Spirit (Galatians 5:16) is essentially the same as walking in God's truth (Psalm 86:11; 3 John 4), walking after his commandments (2 John 6), walking in good works (Ephesians 2:10), walking uprightly (Psalm 84:11), walking as Jesus walked (1 John 2:6), walking by faith (2 Corinthians 5:7), walking in the light (1 John 1:7-9), walking honestly (Romans 13:13; 1 Thessalonians 4:12), walking in the law of the Lord (Psalm 119:1-3), walking worthy of God (1 Thessalonians 2:12), walking worthy of the Lord (Colossians 1:10), walking in God's ways (Psalm 119:3), walking in wisdom (Colossians 4:5), walking circumspectly (Ephesians 5:15), walking in love (Ephesians 5:2), walking as children of light (Ephesians 5:8), walking after the spirit (Romans 8:1-4), and really means walking in full obedience to God in all things. If we do this, it will be impossible to fulfil any lust of the flesh (Galatians 5:16), but much study of God's word will be required for us to obtain that position (See #5.608 Note 2).

Note 2: I found that there was one obvious thing, which I needed to avoid during my trial with food, and that was weighing myself often. The temptation was to keep on weighing myself to see how much weight I had lost when I had kept a few good days, but this was not a good thing. If my weight loss was going to encourage me, then I was not walking according to the Spirit, but according to the flesh, "For those who are according to the flesh do mind the things of the flesh;" (Romans 8:5). As soon as my weight did not fall, or even went up slightly, then I would become discouraged. This happened to me often at first; I found that sometimes my weight fell quite quickly, then it would stop falling for several days, or even go up sometimes, and because I was discouraged, I would sometimes give up. When we walk by faith, "we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen:" (2 Corinthians 4:18), which in this case is not our weight, but the complete manifestation of our deliverance. As the Devil often tries use physical circumstances to discourage us, if we stop looking at the things of the flesh, then we have taken one of his devices away from him. Before my complete deliverance came, I stopped weighing myself altogether.

#5.618 CALL ON THE LORD

2 SAMUEL 22:4-7, 18-20 (David) (Also Psalm 18:3-6, 17-19)
4 I will call on the LORD, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from my enemies.
5 When the waves of death surrounded me, the floods of ungodly men made me afraid;
6 The sorrows of hell are round about me; the snares of death confront me;
7 In my distress I called upon the LORD, and cried to my God: and he heard my voice out of his temple, and my cry entered into his ears.
18 He delivered me from my strong enemy, and from those who hated me: for they were too strong for me.
19 They confronted me in the day of my calamity: but the LORD was my stay.
20 He brought me forth into a large place: he delivered me, because he delighted in me.

PSALMS 50:15
15 And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver you and you shall glorify me.

PSALMS 118:5
5 I called upon the the LORD in distress: the Lord answered me, and set me in a large place.

Note: One way of interpreting calling on God, is simply praying and asking for his help (Psalm 55:16-17; 86:5-7), or his intervention in some matter (1 Samuel 12:17). If we need deliverance for any reason then we should call upon God (Psalm 50:15; 118:05), and if we do it in faith (Matthew 21:22; James 1:6), then he will answer us (Psalm 4:3; 50:15; 86:7; 118:5; Jeremiah 33:3). He will come near to us (Psalm 145:18), be rich towards us (Romans 10:12), be merciful towards us (Psalm 86:5), and save us from our enemies (2 Samuel 22:4; Psalm 18:3; 55:16). By doing it we can obtain forgiveness of sins (Psalm 86:5; Acts 22:16), and deliverance (2 Samuel 22:7,18-20; Psalm 50:15; 118:5), providing that we do it while he is near (Isaiah 55:6). The time is coming when it will be too late to call upon God (Proverbs 1:28).

#5.620 TAKE NO THOUGHT FOR TOMORROW

MATTHEW 6:34 (Jesus)
34 Take therefore no thought for tomorrow: for tomorrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient to the day is the evil of it.

Note: From personal experience, one of the demons tactics during a trial will be to say something like, "Even if you survive today, you won't survive tomorrow," or "You won't be able to keep this up all next week, will you?". This can be very disheartening if we are going though a crisis period when we are struggling to last out the next hour, or even the next few minutes. Nevertheless, the Devil "is a liar, and the father of it." (John 8:44), and he knows no more about tomorrow than we do, which is very little (Proverbs 27:1; James 4:14). So if we take no thought for tomorrow as we are instructed by Jesus, we can be free from any long term concern, and life will be far more tolerable. Taking one day at a time makes life so much easier.

#5.622 MEDITATE IN GOD'S WORD

JOSHUA 1:8
8 This book of the law shall not depart out of your mouth; but you shall meditate1 in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it: for then you shall make your way prosperous, and then you shall have good success.

PSALMS 1:1-3
1 Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful.
2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law does he meditate1 day and night.
3 And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper.

PSALMS 119:15
15 I will meditate2 in your precepts, and have respect to your ways.

PSALMS 119:92
92 Unless your law had been my delight, I should have perished in my affliction.

1 TIMOTHY 4:15-16 (Paul)
15 Meditate3 upon these things; give yourself wholly to them; that your profiting may appear to all.
16 Take heed to yourself, and to the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this you shall both save yourself, and those who hear you.

Note: The meanings of the Hebrew and Greek words, translated "meditate", has been discussed earlier (See #5.414). As this meditation is one of the ways to get the word of God into our heart and increase our faith, it is therefore an essential activity during any trial for deliverance or healing. Apart from being the spiritual bread, "which strengthens man's heart." (Psalm 104:15), the word of God leaves little room for the Devil's doubts and fears, when we keep it in our mind. So how often should we do it? The word of God says "day and night," (Joshua 1:8; Psalm 1:2), so certainly as much as possible. The point is that our thoughts, confession, and actions must all agree together for us to act in complete faith, so this meditating on the word of God is very important.

#5.624 KEEP ON SEEING GOD'S WORD

DEUTERONOMY 6:6-9
6 And these words, which I command you this day, shall be in your heart:
7 And you shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise up.
8 And you shall bind them for a sign upon your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes.
9 And you shall write them upon the posts of your house, and on your gates.

DEUTERONOMY 11:18-20
18 Therefore shall you lay up these my words in your heart and in your soul, and bind them for a sign upon your hand, that they may be as frontlets between your eyes.
19 And you shall teach them your children, speaking of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.
20 And you shall write them upon the door posts of your house, and upon your gates:

PROVERBS 4:20-23 (Solomon)
20 My son, attend to my words; incline your ear to my sayings.
21 Do not let them depart from your eyes; keep them in the midst of your heart.
22 For they are life to those who find them, and health to all their flesh.
23 Keep your heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.

PROVERBS 23:26 (Solomon)
26 My son, give me your heart, and let your eyes observe my ways.

Note: Jesus is the word of God (John 1:1; 1:14; Revelation 19:13), and though we read the written word, it becomes the "living Word", which is Jesus, when it enters into our heart. Thus there are many admonitions to keep the word of God before our eyes, which are effectively one of our spiritual mouths, and as these scriptures show, this is one of the ways that we get it into our hearts. If we are obedient, and keep the word of God before our eyes, then we will be strengthened (Psalm 104:15). We will be "transformed" (Romans 12:2), because "we all with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory," (2 Corinthians 3:18), as the word of God is "written ... with the Spirit of the living God ... in the fleshy tables of the heart." (2 Corinthians 3:3). Job said, "I made a covenant with my eyes;" (Job 31:1), and one way that we can do this today, is to keep the word of God before our eyes. Keep on looking at the promises of deliverance, and searching for any error in our lives that may be the cause of our problem.

#5.626 KEEP ON HEARING GOD'S WORD

PROVERBS 18:15 (Solomon)
15 The heart of the prudent gets knowledge, and the ear of the wise seeks knowledge.

PROVERBS 23:12 (Solomon)
12 Apply your heart to instruction, and your ears to the words of knowledge.

PROVERBS 23:19 (Solomon)
19 Hear my son and be wise, and guide your heart in the way.

EZEKIEL 3:10
10 Furthermore he said to me, Son of man, all my words that I shall speak to you receive in your heart, and receive with your ears.

Note: All of these scriptures link what we hear with what we retain in our heart, and Elihu indicated that our ears are effectively another of our spiritual mouths when he said, "the ear tries words as the mouth tastes meat." (Job 34:3). There are other scriptures also which indicate that what we hear goes into our heart:

(Matthew 13:19) "one hears the word of the kingdom ... that which was sown in his heart."
(Mark 4:15) "when they have heard ... the word that was sown in their hearts."
(Luke 8:12) "those who hear; then comes the devil, and takes away the word out of their hearts,"
(Luke 8:15) "which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it,"

The knowledge that we gain through getting God's word into our heart will multiply God's grace to us (2 Peter 1:2), renew our "new man" each day (Colossians 3:10), enable us to "pertain to life and godliness," (2 Peter 2:3), escape the sin that we are in (2 Peter 2:20), and do the good that we cannot do otherwise:

(Jeremiah 4:23) "they are wise to do evil, but to do good they have no knowledge."

If we keep on hearing the word of God, it can also establish our heart in God's promises of deliverance, and build up our faith:

(Romans 10:17) "faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God."

If we fail to do this the consequences are clear:

(Proverbs 28:9) "He who turns away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer shall be abomination."

#5.628 KEEP ON CONFESSING OUR DELIVERANCE

PROVERBS 10:11 (Solomon)
11 The mouth of a righteous man is a well of life: but violence covers the mouth of the wicked.

PROVERBS 12:6 (Solomon)
6 The words of the wicked are to lie in wait for blood: but the mouth of the upright shall deliver them.

PROVERBS 12:14 (Solomon)
14 A man shall be satisfied with good by the fruit of his mouth: and the recompense of a man's hands shall be rendered to him.

PROVERBS 12:18 (Solomon)
18 There is who speaks like the piercings of a sword: but the tongue of the wise is health.

PROVERBS 13:2 (Solomon)
2 A man shall eat good by the fruit of his mouth: but the soul of transgressors shall eat violence.

PROVERBS 14:3 (Solomon)
3 In the mouth of the foolish is a rod of pride: but the lips of the wise shall preserve them.

PROVERBS 15:4 (Solomon)
4 A wholesome tongue is a tree of life: but perverseness in it is a breach in the spirit.

PROVERBS 16:24 (Solomon)
24 Pleasant words are as a honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones.

PROVERBS 18:20-21 (Solomon)
20 A man's belly shall be satisfied with the fruit of his mouth; and with the increase of his lips he shall be filled.
21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and those who love it shall eat its fruit.

MARK 11:23 (Jesus)
23 For amen I say to you, That whoever shall say to this mountain, Be you removed, and be you cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he says come to pass; he shall have whatever he says.

HEBREWS 10:23
23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering [for he is faithful who promised],

ISAIAH 57:19 (God)
19 I create the fruit of the lips; Peace, peace to him who is far off, and to him who is near, says the LORD; and I will heal him.

Note 1: Once we have claimed deliverance, and confessed that we have received it, we need to retain that confession no matter what happens, because:

(Proverbs 12:6) "the mouth of the upright shall deliver them."
(Proverbs 12:14) "A man shall be satisfied with good by the fruit of his mouth:"
(Proverbs 13:2) "A man shall eat good by the fruit of his mouth:"
(Proverbs 14:3) "the lips of the wise shall preserve them."
(Proverbs 18:21) "Death and life are in the power of the tongue:"
(Mark 11:23) "he shall have whatever he says."

God creates the fruit of the lips (Isaiah 57:19), and if we keep on speaking the right things, then providing that we believe it, he will bring it to pass. There is a spiritual principle in the word of God, "with the heart man believes to ... and with the mouth confession is made to ..." (Romans 10:10), and this not only applies to salvation, but also to receiving any of the promises of God. So we need to keep our confession right; if we say the wrong thing the same rule applies, but in reverse:

(Proverbs 6:2) "You are snared with the words of your mouth, you are taken with the words of your mouth."
(Proverbs 12:13) "The wicked is snared by the transgression of his lips:"
(Proverbs 18:7) "A fool's mouth is his destruction, and his lips are the snare of his soul."
(Jeremiah 23:36) "every man's word shall be his burden:"

Note 2: At one point in time, I believed these scriptures and saw them as my way to deliverance. I had a key to the local church and went up there every day for almost a fortnight. I walked up and down confessing the promises, deliverance, and healing, at the end of which I became so hungry one day that I yielded to temptation, overate considerably, and stopped doing it. This was one of my efforts to deliver myself, and that was the reason why it failed. Instead of believing that I was delivered, and confessing what I believed, I tried confessing in order to get delivered, and this was not faith. Even so, I did get some relief for one of the long term illnesses that I was seeking healing for, and I noticed that as time went on I was doing less confessing, and more praising of God, which indicated to me that my faith was increasing. As "faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." (Romans 10:17), and I was hearing it as I spoke it, I believe that if I had continued longer, then I would have eventually believed and been delivered by faith. However, without being prepared to change my life at that time, if I had received, it would probably only have been temporary, as on other occasions (See #5.512 Note 2). When I eventually did get delivered, I was confessing exactly the same, but this time from a believing heart, and I did not find it anywhere near as difficult as these two weeks.

#5.630 ABSTAIN FROM FLESHLY LUSTS

MATTHEW 16:24
24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny1 himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.

MARK 8:34 (Jesus)
34 And when he had called the people to him with his disciples also, he said to them, Whoever will come after me, let him deny1 himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.

LUKE 9:23 (Jesus)
23 And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny1 himself, and take up the cross daily, and follow me.

ROMANS 6:12-14 (Paul)
12 Do not let sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts.
13 Neither yield your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin: but yield yourselves to God, as those who are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.
14 For sin shall not have dominion over you: for you are not under the law, but under grace.

1 PETER 2:11 (Peter)
11 Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul.

TITUS 2:11-12 (Paul)
11 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men.
12 Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;

Note: The word translated let him deny1 (Gr. ἀπαρνησάσθω Gtr. aparnesastho) (Matthew 16:24; Mark 8:34; Luke 9:23) is the imperative form of the verb "aparneomai" which means "utterly deny", and it should be obvious to most people that this self denial is an essential part of forsaking sin. If we could just keep this one instruction, "abstain from fleshly lusts," (1 Peter 2:11), we would eventually be delivered. Many worldly people, without faith in God, have obtained deliverance from lusts such as smoking, drinking, drugs etc. just by abstaining from them. Although they do this by trusting in their own power, which is self righteousness, we are called to do it by faith in God, trusting him to deliver us and keep us through the trial, rather than in our own ability. According to scripture, one of the criteria which God uses to continually refashion our heart is our deeds (Psalm 33:13-15; 62:10-12; Proverbs 1:30-31; 7:1-3; 14:14; Ecclesiastes 7:2; 8:11; Jeremiah 17:9-10; 32:19), therefore, as we abstain, God is refashioning our heart accordingly and eventually the lust will disappear. The process can be considerably quickened by applying the instructions in God's word, to avoid looking (See #5.402), repent (See #5.418; #5.6401), meditate in God's word (See #5.414; #5.622), and confess our deliverance (See #5.628), all of which God considers when he refashions our heart.

#5.632 THERE'S A TIME TO EAT - DON'T EAT EARLY

ECCLESIASTES 3:1-8 (Solomon)
1 To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven:
2 A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
3 A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
4 A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
5 A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
6 A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
7 A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
8 A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace;

Note 1: This scripture indicates a principle, that there is a time for everything, "a time to every purpose under heaven:" (Ecclesiastes 3:1). It applies particularly to gluttony, so we can say, "there is a time to eat, and a time not to eat". The time to eat is at regular meal times, and the time not to eat is in between meals, or before a regular meal time by bringing the meal time forward. The Devil is a subtle deceiver (Genesis 3:1; Revelation 12:9), and if he can manipulate us in small things, it will not be long before he begins to manipulate us in bigger things. To bring a meal time forward may not seem much of an error, but the deception is that when we keep on bringing them forward, we will end up eating extra meals. If we cannot wait until the proper time to eat, then the Devil has demonstrated that he has power over us, and we should recognize it, even if we refuse to confess it, "for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage." (2 Peter 2:19). Getting us to eat between meals is another tactic of the Devil, and another demonstration of his power over us. "In between meal foods" are a common temptation that the Devil uses to get us to eat too much, they are usually in addition to meals, usually the "wrong" types of food (See #5.420), and they are not necessary. This is something that we should strictly avoid if we mean to bring the flesh into subjection.

Note 2: During my trial I set specific times to eat, and almost every single time that I ate early, I overate during that day. The Devil was very subtle, my thought was that it did not matter if I ate early, I could still resist for the rest of the day, but I found that once I had yielded, my resistance disappeared, being convicted that I had done wrong. This was because I was trying to deliver myself (See #5.520 Note 2; #5.628 Note 2), and as my confidence was partly in my performance, once I failed, the Devil condemned me (See #5.6402). Setting a rule like this gives us a yardstick to show us whether we are operating under "law" or under "grace". Under law it is almost impossible to keep the times, but under grace it becomes easy. Such rules as this are no substitute for putting our heart right with God, but they should be kept as a matter of personal discipline. That is not to say that we should keep it legalistically, when it causes offence to others, or is just too inconvenient because of other priorities. Nevertheless, if we discard it, then we are giving place to the Devil, which we are told not to do (Ephesians 4:27), and may find that God ceases to protect us. If this happens we will fall again.

#5.634 GIVE THANKS TO GOD FOR THE VICTORY

PSALMS 50:14-15
14 Offer to God thanksgiving; and pay your vows to the most High:
15 And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver you and you shall glorify me.

PSALMS 95:1-2
1 O come, let us sing to the LORD: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation.
2 Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise to him with psalms.

PSALMS 100:4
4 Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful to him, and bless his name.

PSALMS 107:21-22
21 Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!
22 And let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving, and declare his works with rejoicing.

PSALMS 116:17
17 I will offer to you the sacrifice of thanksgiving, and will call upon the name of the LORD.

1 CORINTHIANS 15:57 (Paul)
57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

2 CORINTHIANS 2:14 (Paul)
14 Now thanks be to God, who always causes us to triumph in Christ, and makes manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place.

EPHESIANS 1:15-16 (Paul)
15 Therefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love to all the saints,
16 Do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers;

EPHESIANS 5:3-4 (Paul)
3 But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becomes saints;
4 Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks.

PHILIPPIANS 4:6 (Paul)
6 Be anxious for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

1 THESSALONIANS 1:2 (Paul)
2 We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers;

1 THESSALONIANS 5:18 (Paul)
18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

1 TIMOTHY 2:1 (Paul)
1 I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;

Note: Here again, if we have set our hearts right before God, and prayed in faith for deliverance, believing that we receive when we pray (Mark 11:24), then thanksgiving ought to flow from us naturally, without effort. The reason why we are always expected to pray with thanksgiving (Philippians 4:6; 1 Thessalonians 5:18), is because we are expected to pray in faith, and it is a natural response for us to want to thank God when we believe that he has just granted us deliverance. If we could deliver ourselves, then we wouldn't need to thank God for it. But just as Jesus could do nothing by himself (John 5:19; 5:30; 8:28), we also need God's help in everything, which was why Paul said, "In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you." (1 Thessalonians 5:18).

#5.636 PRAY FOR OTHERS IN THE SAME POSITION

JOB 42:10
10 And the LORD turned the captivity of Job, when he prayed for his friends: also the LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before.

PSALMS 18:25-26 (David)
25 With the merciful you will show yourself merciful; with an upright man you will show yourself upright;
26 With the pure you will show yourself pure; and with the crooked you will appear perverse.

MATTHEW 5:7 (Jesus)
7 Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.

MATTHEW 7:12 (Jesus)
12 Therefore all things whatever you would that men should do to you, do you even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.

LUKE 6:38 (Jesus)
38 Give, and it shall be given to you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that you measure it shall be measured to you again.

GALATIANS 6:7 (Paul)
7 Do not be deceived; God is not mocked: for whatever a man sows, that shall he also reap.

Note: These scriptures show that God treats us the way we treat others. If we are merciful to others, then God will surely be merciful to us (Psalm 18:25; Matthew 5:7) and deliver us. If we do good to others, then he will do good to us (Matthew 7:12), and if we give to others then he will also give to us (Luke 6:38). Therefore, if we are having difficulty believing for our deliverance, we should examine our lives to see where we have been falling short in the past, and repent (See #5.418; #5.6401). If we have the means to help others, and refuse to do it, how then will God help us? "whatever a man sows, that shall he also reap." (Galatians 6:7). Nevertheless, having something to put right in the past should not keep us from receiving deliverance if our heart is set to make amends; Jesus" attitude was to heal first, and then say "sin no more," (John 5:14), and he is "the same yesterday, and today, and for ever." (Hebrews 13:8). God turned Job's captivity when he prayed for his friends (Job 42:10), so why not pray for someone that you know needs God's help?

#5.638 SEEK GOD

PSALMS 34:4 (David)
4 I sought the LORD, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.

MATTHEW 7:7-8 (Jesus)
7 Ask, and it shall be given you; seek and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you:
8 For every one who asks receives; and he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks it shall be opened.

Note: Before we seek God we need to prepare our hearts (2 Chronicles 12:14; 19:3; 30:19; Ezra 7:10; Job 11:13) with the godly sorrow of repentance (See #5.418; #5.6401 link above). How then should we seek him?

(1) By seeking his ordinances (1 Chronicles 28:8), his law (Ezra 7:10), and his precepts (Psalm 119:45; 119:94); in other words by diligently studying the word of God,
(2) With fasting (2 Chronicles 20:3; Ezra 8:21; Daniel 9:3),
(3) By prayer (Daniel 9:3),
(4) With weeping (Ezra 10:1; Daniel 10:2),
(5) Seek "early", that is, earnestly (Psalm 63:1; 78:34; Proverbs 8:17; Isaiah 26:9; Hosea 5:15),
(6) In due order, that is, the way God wants it done (1 Chronicles 15:13),
(7) By separating ourselves from evil (Ezra 6:21),
(8) With our whole desire (2 Chronicles 15:15),
(9) And with all of our hearts (Deuteronomy 4:29; 2 Chronicles 15:12-13; 31:21; Psalm 119:2; 119:10). If we do this, and keep on doing it (1 Chronicles 16:11; Psalm 105:4), then his promise is that he will be found (Deuteronomy 4:29; 1 Chronicles 28:9; 2 Chronicles 15:2-4; 15:15; Isaiah 45:19 Jeremiah 29:13;  Matthew 7:7-8;  Luke 11:8-9), and when we find him, we will surely be delivered.

#5.640 WHAT TO DO WHEN WE FAIL

#5.6401 Repent

2 CORINTHIANS 7:9-11
9 Now I rejoice, not that you were made sorry, but that you sorrowed to repentance: for you were made sorry after a godly manner, that you might receive damage by us in nothing.
10 For godly sorrow works repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world works death.
11 For behold this selfsame thing, that you sorrowed after a godly sort, what carefulness it worked in you, yes, what clearing of yourselves, yes, what indignation, yes, what fear, yes, what vehement desire, yes, what zeal, yes, what revenge! In all things you have approved yourselves to be clear in this matter.

ECCLESIASTES 7:3 (Solomon)
3 Sorrow is better than laughter: for by sadness of the countenance the heart is made better.

Note: We have already seen what constitutes repentance (See #5.418 Note), but this is not something that we can do of our own selves. It is the goodness of God which leads us to repentance (Romans 2:4), so we need to ask him for it in faith, because these scripture show that the effect on the heart, which is really the cause of our problems, is most beneficial. What should we repent of? We could start with whatever sin we are fighting against, couldn't we? and then go on to anything else that the Lord may show us.

#5.6402 Don't be condemned

JOHN 3:17 (Jesus)
17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

JOHN 8:10-11
10 When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said to her, Woman, where are those who accuse you? has no man condemned you?
11 She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said to her, Neither do I condemn you: go, and sin no more.

ROMANS 8:1 (Paul)
1 There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.

Note: During my trial, whenever I failed, the Devil would come and condemn me. He would say things like, "you're useless", "you're a total failure", "you're nothing", "you will never make it". I found it so easy to agree with him, not knowing at the time that the Devil was behind it, because all circumstances pointed to it being true. I became downcast, upset, and in need of comfort I would invariably seek it by eating more food. I did not feel worthy to even talk to God, and there were times when I didn't pray much, or seek God's help, for long periods of time. One day when considering the scripture, "by their fruits you shall know them." (Matthew 7:20), I considered that the fruit of this condemnation was always more sin, and realised that it was the Devil who was behind it, as the scripture confirms (1 Timothy 3:6). It couldn't be God or Jesus, could it? God didn't send Jesus to condemn (John 3:17; 8:11; Romans 8:1)), and neither of them has changed (Malachi 3:6; Hebrews 13:8; James 1:17). If we have been condemned, then we need to understand that "the flesh" (Galatians 5:16-17), or "the old man", which is really "self", is still alive in us, and we have allowed the Devil access through this. The Devil cannot condemn the spirit of Jesus within us, so if "our old man" was crucified with Christ, in a manifested sense (Romans 6:6; Galatians 2:20), then he would have no access here either. The word of God says, "Neither give place to the devil." (Ephesians 4:27), so refuse to be condemned.

#5.6403 Correct past errors and start again

If we have failed, then we need to understand the reasons why we have failed, and seek God to change us. Failure is caused by several factors:
(1) We were not operating in faith. This must be so because faith can move mountains (Matthew 17:20; Mark 11:23;  1 Corinthians 13:2), and will "quench all the fiery darts of the wicked." (Ephesians 6:16), one of which must have temporarily stopped us. There are several ways to increase faith:

(a) Repent of any known sin (Psalm 66:18; Isaiah 59:2; Jeremiah 5:25; See #5.418, #5.6401),
(b) Meditate in God's word (See #5.414, #5.622),
(c) Keep on seeing God's word (See #5.624),
(d) Keep on hearing God's word (See #5.626),
(e) Keep on confessing God's word (See #5.33, #5.628).
It is essential that we spend time doing the previous four points before we do this one, so that we can believe what we confess.
(f) Keep on doing God's word (See #5.34, #5.412, #5.630),
(g) Pray in tongues (1 Corinthians 14:4; Jude 1:20),
(h) Pray and fast (Matthew 17:19-21; Mark 9:28-29; See #5.416),
(i) Exercise our faith through trials in other areas (Job 23:10; Jeremiah 12:5; James 1:2-4;  1:12;  1 Peter 1:7; Revelation 3:18),
(j) Love others (1 Corinthians 8:1; 13:7; Galatians 5:6),
(k) Seek honor from God, not men (Matthew 6:1-6; John 5:44).

(2) We were not operating in love. This must be so because love thinks no evil, bears all things, believes all things, endures all things, never fails (1 Corinthians 13:5-8), and it makes faith work (Galatians 5:6). There are several things that we can do to correct this:

(a) Commit our works to God (Proverbs 16:3),
(b) Seek to do God's will rather than our own (John 5:30), which is essentially the same as submitting ourselves to God (See #5.604),
(c) Seek to help others instead of ourselves (1 Corinthians 13:5), this will also get our thoughts off our own problem, which must be good. If the Devil cannot get us to think wrongly first, he cannot draw us away to do wrong.
(d) Pray for God's love to be manifested in us (Matthew 7:7-8;  John 14:13-14;  2 Corinthians 1:20).

(3) Check through the study to see if we have made any obvious error, and determine not to repeat it.

(4) Ask for help and support from others if we need it (See #5.312; #5.313), and then carry on. If we trust in God we cannot be beaten.

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