Discipleship – The Cost of Discipleship (Part3 of 3)

Introduction

This post is partially extracted from the video link – https://youtu.be/lpiQdRd9DSc and blended with personal insights. The video is about Getting into Word to produce disciples of Christ, Part 1. This post, The Cost of Discipleship, is part 3 of 3. The other two parts defined and described what is spiritual maturity and what is spiritual apathy.

Spiritual maturity is the goal, but the poison of spiritual apathy runs deep. What is the antidote for the heart poisoned by deception, discouragement, and distraction? Without this antidote, the goal of being a disciple of the Lord Jesus is jeopardized. Unfortunately, the video does not offer solutions; these “solutions” are my thoughts.

The following antidotes to the 3 heart conditions foster spiritual maturity. It paves the way and is part of the cost of discipleship, which involves the carrying of their cross (Luke14:27), forsaking self (Mat16:24), forsaking earthly relationships for the Lord (Luke14:26), and submitting to God’s will (Mat10:24).

 

The Cost of Discipleship

 

Antidote for the Deceived Heart

The deceived heart does not subject Himself to God. It is closely related to the distracted heart. The deceived heart is poisoned by pride that rebels against God. This pride is their heart’s treasure. It is a form of self-idolatry. Mat10:24 says, “The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord.” But the deceived heart desires to be above its master.

Solving the challenge of the deceived heart requires one to reduce, manage and eliminate their pride in themselves and towards life (1Jhn2:16).

Scripture offers the following guidance to reduce pride

  1. To love the unlovable and the undesirable, even one’s enemies. (Luke6:32-35)
  2. To esteem others better than oneself (Phil2:3)
  3. This love and esteem are not mere words or state of mind but to look after the interest of others ahead of oneself (Phil2:4) and to serve (Jhn12:26, Mat20:26-27).

In this way, the prideful, deceived heart is subjugated by the cleansing experience of meekness and sincere love towards God and man. The flesh will resist with all its might against this cleansing.

Be mindful that this spiritual war of Eph6 with the deceived heart takes place in the minds of man as explained in Rom12:2, 2Co10:3-5, and Phil4:7. It is a war with two dimensions – internal with one’s carnal flesh and external with the evil spirit. This post focuses on the internal battle.

See the posts about Spiritual Warfare against the external spirit –  https://sincerelawrence.com/2022/08/23/spiritual-warfare/

Watch and pray to draw divine strength that fortifies the willing spirit to guard against human weakness in the flesh. By watching and praying, the soul has the resources to win the battle in the mind. Watching and praying is Lord Jesus’, the Lord Yahusha’s advice to His sleeping disciples in the garden of Gethsemane before His arrest and subsequent crucifixion.

 

Antidote for the Discouraged Heart

The discouraged heart is poisoned by brokenness and grief (Mat5:3-4). Often life circumstances are the source of brokenness and grief. One’s allotted lot in life is designed by God’s purpose and will. The 4-part post-series about the Will of God helps one make sense of suffering and pain. See part 1, The Will of God – Nature of God’s Will, via this link – https://sincerelawrence.com/2022/09/15/gods-will-nature-part-1-of-4/

 

The antidote to the discouraged heart is God’s comfort, as mentioned in Mat5:4. What does it mean to be comforted by God?

 

God, Abba Yahuah, comfort the discouraged heart in the following ways.

  1. The comfort comes from the inestimable value of the resurrection hope of 1Pet1:3 that Paul said one might earn, by inference as a disciple by suffering and death, in Phil3:10-11 and to earn the eternal rewards of good works mentioned in 1Co3.

 

  1. The comfort is derived from the significance of being broken-hearted and mourning, which is the eternal value of emulating the Lord Jesus as the salt of the earth and the light of the world that pleases Father God (Mat5:3-16). This value is grounded in an intimate and empathetic relationship with God.

Earthly temporal suffering is also meaningful as payment for the significant eternal rewards. Therefore, it imbues senseless earthly suffering with eternal purpose. With eternal meaning, significance, and purpose, one can endure with patience for things outside control and preserve in areas within control.

There is a fierce struggle to let go of the familiar brokenness and grief. While they are poison, familiarity can be more comforting than submitting to an uncertain future-hope rooted in faith in the Faithfulness of God. The soul’s and body’s cries for swift earthly justice can be overwhelming for some.

In such cases, the heart is poisoned by both discouragement and deception. The deception is the pride of being a victim. Having lost so much, the heart hangs on to the dignity and identity of victimhood. The pride of victimhood, dignity, and identity poison the heart.

 

The antidote must draw from points raised for the deceived heart and, simultaneously, from the points raised for the discouraged heart. There is one significant factor that needs addressing. It is the issue of forgiveness.

The thorns and briars of unforgiveness growing from the fertile grounds of bitterness-hate are the strong men to the heart poisoned by deception and discouragement.

The topic of unforgiveness is a deep and broad topic that deserves its posts. Due to the need to limit the scope of this post and prayer, which I have not done, I will leave this elephant in the room as a reminder that to win the battle is not a simple wave of a wand.

 

Antidote for the Distracted Heart

The world’s distractions draw their power from the treasures in the heart that is not God. The Lord Jesus said in Mat6:21 –“ For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” This describes the issue of struggling to serve two or more masters.

The distracted heart is poisoned by the reign of another master that is not God.

 

I would go on a limb to say that all humans suffer from the poison of the distracted heart. By the time one becomes aware of God, the call of spiritual maturity, and the dangers of spiritual apathy, the contamination of the world would have taken place to vary degrees.

This awareness and admission are critical to the journey of a pure heart towards God and man. See this link about the pure heart toward God – https://sincerelawrence.com/2022/08/31/sincere-love-and-sincere-faith/.

If this awareness is dim and admission a struggle, the heart is also poisoned by deception. But the guardians of this deception are not the simple matter of one’s sense of pride that plagues the deceived heart. These pride guardians are empowered by their masters (evil spirits) of the heart’s treasures and co-conspirators of the carnal flesh that loves the world (lust of the eye, lusts of the flesh, and the pride of life of 1Jhn2:16).

 

Dethrone the False kings

Therefore, it should be apparent to dethrone these false sovereigns of the heart is no easy matter. I would claim that this war against these faux sovereigns is waged till one draws their last breath.

To wage this war, one needs awareness of which category these pretender sovereigns fall into-

  1. The lust of the flesh.
  2. The lust of the eye.
  3. The pride of life.

 

After identifying their realms (categories- there are usually many of them existing in all the 3 categories), one needs to wage a spiritual war of attrition with them (the evil spirits). For thoughts about this, see the post about Spiritual Warfare. Perseverance in watching and praying is key to winning this spiritual war.

Then one needs to examine the areas these evil spirits continue to take advantage of to perpetuate their reign. The soul and flesh are tempted to sin in these areas. The obvious solution is to avoid these areas; flee youthful lust, as advised in 2Tim2:22. This fleeing may involve quitting one’s career, moving homes, and surrendering some free will to others with their interests at heart. These areas qualify for the act of perseverance, to make that crucial life-changing decision to remove themselves from the dangers of these temptations.

But where life circumstances compel one to remain tempted, e.g., in a marriage, in a family setting, immobilized, then, on-top of perseverance, one needs to be patient, looking away from these temptations and focusing on the points raised in the discouraged heart.

Because of proximity to the temptations, the person naturally will struggle with their sins. But do not give up hope. Repentance for most is a long process, and some are short. There is no meaning to comparing; let each season present itself as another opportunity to pass the test of discipleship. Celebrate the failures in the confession-forgiveness of 1Jhn1:9 and restoration of the full assurance of faith of Heb10:22 and confession-empowerment of Jam5:16.

See the link for the benefits and power of confession to God and man to support the challenges of being close to temptations – https://sincerelawrence.com/2022/09/12/benefits-of-confessing-to-god-and-confessing-to-man/.

Gradually, over time, these harmful desires will lose their stranglehold on the soul; by the willing spirit and cooperative soul, and going thru the cycles of forgiveness-restoration-confession, the new man’s divine immunity will mature, being led more consistently by the Holy Spirit of Yah.

Celebrate success in meekness and sober-mindedness. Whether in failure or success, offer both with thanksgiving and praise to the whole counsel of God; Abba Yahuah, His Son, Yahusha, and His Holy Spirit.

 

Enthrone the King of Kings

The cost of discipleship concerning the distractions of the heart requires the sincere believer to remove any treasure from the heart that is not God Himself, which is the personal relationship with Him.

In this way, the distractions that stem from the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of richness will not sway the heart. Practicing this solution requires one to honor God’s will with your wealth and submit to His will with a Submissive heart to melt the cares of the world and the lure of riches. It is not easy to overcome this struggle, the rich man of Mat19 failed to pay the cost of discipleship.

Honoring God with one’s wealth has been controversial, mainly due to the prosperity gospel, which I am not in favor of. In my observation and experience, the prosperity gospel magnifies the distractions of the heart.

The wealth stewardship I favor is based on a personal relationship vs. an impersonal institutional relationship, one that is based on mutual trust and respect for each other vs. an unequal relationship between patron and recipient. Wealth stewardship is a means to support the eternal goals of soul salvation vs. pursuing the earthly pursuit of social justice to alleviate suffering.

The topic is too broad for this post—a ten post-series, Christian and the Money Series, attempt to describe this topic. The first post of this 10-part series can be found at this link – https://sincerelawrence.com/2020/11/11/christians-and-money-reality/.

 

Conclusion

The perspective of the 3 heart conditions helps to identify the aliment, but in practice, the heart is plagued by all the 3 aliments of deception, discouragement, and distraction. It will be challenging to anybody as it presents the imagery of being besieged by surrounding enemies.

Wisdom from the leading of the Holy Spirit of Yah is indispensable to navigating the treacherous terrain poisoned by deception, discouragement, and distraction. At this point, it may seem that the battle, much less the war, is impossible to win. These thoughts are flawed. It is God that wins the battle, for it belongs to Him.

The person needs a willing spirit that sincerely seeks God in their troubles. Posts such as these are meaningless without this desire to seek God. Even it is God that supplies the specifics of the navigating. Having knowledge of the heart conditions that draw from His word and revelations that puts them into practice, it is hubris to call the proposals written here antidotes. God, Himself is the true antidote. Abba God Yahuah was the one that has paid the greatest cost of man’s right to discipleship by the crucifixion of His Son, Yahusha.

Will of God – Confirming God’s Will (Part 3 of 4)

Introduction

Before confirming God’s will, which is the focus of this post, it is helpful to recall that post 1 of 4 covers the nature of God’s will. From post 1, God associates suffering as the measure of doing His will.

The nature of God’s will spans between perfect on one end and acceptable on the other end, with the good will of God in between them. Christ’s suffering and death on the cross are God’s measure of His perfect will. The acceptable will of God would have the least suffering.

 

While most will not need, God willing, to answer the call of Abba Yahuah’s perfect will of martyrdom, the experience of suffering is unavoidable. But why is suffering inevitable in this relationship with God?

Heb12 offers clues to this question.

Heb12:6 – “For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.”

Abba Yahuah shows His paternal love by chastening and scourging. Blue Letter Bible Greek Lexicon describes chastening and scouring as a form of child training with afflictions thru life circumstances. This theme of life circumstances will be elaborated on later in this post.

Abba Yahuah does not chasten for His gratification. Heb12:10-11 reveals the reason for the chastening  –

“For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but He (Yahuah) for our profit, that we might be partakers of His holiness.

Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.”

 

Yahuah knows chastening is painful and brings sorrow to life. He deems this temporal suffering on earth as payment for doing His will, so He is just to embrace His children being one with His holiness and nature.

Abba Yahuah wants His children to be like Him by emulating His Son by suffering as they do His will on earth, even as His Son, the Lord Yahusha, has suffered. Imitating Christ is a strong theme that the apostles, Peter, Paul, and John, impressed upon their brethren in 1Peter2:21,4:1, Phil2:3-8, 1Co11:1, and 1Jhn2:6.

 

Concerning emulating the Lord Yahusa, the Lord Himself has this to say in Jhn13:34 –

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.”

This 3rd post explores the process of confirming God’s will and builds on the foundations of the previous 2 posts. 

God is perfect, but man and their life circumstances are imperfect. How would man know whether or not their choices abide by God’s will? This post seeks to answer this question.

This post assumes the person seeking to do God’s will is sincere and a mature son of God is paying attention to how God communicates His will.

 

Confirming God’s Will?

The Holy Spirit is indispensable to communicating God’s will but is invisible. Naturally, there are issues of clarity and doubt in this communication.

Rom12:2 offers these instructions.

-“And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”

Rom12:2 is a verse rich with many truths. This post draws attention to the words “may prove.” These words mean to examine closely with scrutiny when testing to confirm the genuine will of God as revealed in His Word, in the life circumstances, and in the Spirit-led choices made.

 

The scrutiny will involve the following.

  1. Carefully observing the life circumstances. 

Look for patterns and evidence of carnally motivated behavior in oneself and others. Seek forgiveness of 1Jhn1:9 and the restoration of Heb10:22 to increase the mind’s and heart’s clarity.

 

  1. Seek God in prayer and wise counsel. 

After prayer, read the Word. Sometimes certain scriptures come to mind, or a particular understanding pops up. By reading them, God has the opportunity to speak to life circumstances.

Sometimes, wise counsel (solicited or unsolicited) will appear. Filter this counsel thru prayer and scriptures.

 

  1. Patience and Perseverance.

These two mindsets are crucial to producing favorable outcomes of the “may prove” experience to confirm God’s will.

 

They are patient and perseverant. For a detailed exposition of these two subjects, Derek Prince has a 5 part podcast. See link – https://youtu.be/EGFuq_G3_eA.

In a nutshell, perseverance is the active part of “may prove.” It is doing good works according to God’s will to serve Him.

Patience is the passive part of “may prove,” for matters outside control and the scope of doing. This waiting is waiting with the faith-hope of Lord Yahusha’s return and our resurrection.

With patience and perseverance, one pursues to prove, by trial and error, the good, acceptable, and perfect will of God.

The sense of the decision being right, which the Word confirms, a sense of peace that comes from deep within the soul despite the outward circumstances, and a sense of joy unspeakable of the soul. All of these will emerge in varying intensities and clarity to confirm how close one is to doing the will of God.  These elements of righteousness, peace, and joy confirm that one is walking in the will of God’s kingdom. Rom14:17 says this –

“For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.”

 

Conclusion

Confirming God’s will is an iterative process. It will likely be a bumpy ride. This post presented one perspective of this process. Other views may also produce a similar outcome. Nevertheless, focusing on prayer, His Word, and awareness of one’s life circumstances would likely be critical elements.

The proper mindset and familiarity with the process are necessary to confirm God’s will by trial and error.

Will of God – Manifestation of God’s Will (Part 2 of 4)

Introduction

The previous post clarified that God’s will has some flexibility and is presented as a continuum. It ranges from perfect to acceptable, with good straddling in between.

This post explores the manifestation of God’s will. It is about how God communicates His will.

 

Manifestation of God’s Will

God Manifests His will by His Word

2Tim3:16 and Psalm119:105 shed light on the purpose of His Word.

His Word also can mean Scripture as per 2Tim3:16 reveals that – “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.”

While Psalm119:105 says, “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.”

The Word, the will of Yahuah, is to give clarity to the immediate situation (lamp unto my feet) and guidance for moving forward in life (light unto my path) for doctrine, reproof, correction, and instruction in righteousness.

However, the Word is generic; there are about 780,000 words in the English Bible. Only some of the 780,000 words are relevant for any one circumstance.

How would one know which of His words are relevant?

The answer to this question has two parts.

a. Part of the answer lies in life circumstances and the leading of the Holy Spirit.

b. The remaining part of the answer lies in how one confirms God’s will, which is the focus of the 3rd post.

 

God Manifests His Will by Life Circumstances

Jam4:14 describes man’s life: “Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.”

James describes man’s life as insignificant and enduring as vapor. 

James then says this in Jam4:15 –

“For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.”

James is implying that God’s will and life circumstances are intertwined.

The Lord Jesus (Yahusha) affirms Jam4:15 in Jhn5:19 – “Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He seeth the Father do: for what things soever He doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.”

The part in Jhn5:19 that says, “what He seeth the Father do” is what this post interprets as life circumstances. Abba Yahusha expresses His will in the form of life circumstances. 

It is helpful to realize that one’s lifespan comprises the sum of all life circumstances over that lifespan.

It is also important to realize how one observes and interprets their life circumstances affect how they can or cannot see God at work.

 

The Carnal Mind and The Spiritual Mind

Broadly, there are two ways for one to interpret their life circumstances

  1. By carnal means, to love the world, seeking after the lust of the eye, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life mentioned in 1Jhn2:16. 

Such a person would indulge in the idolatry of Col3:5; of sexual immorality, extravagant excessive lifestyles, depraved unrestrained passions-cravings that God forbids, and the insatiable desire to have more.

Rom8:7 says such a person hates God’s will. The root cause of the carnal mind is the carnal-earthly treasures that reign in the heart (Mat6:21). The common carnal-earthly treasures are self-worship (pride), earthly possession, and earthly relationships. 

A carnal mind cannot see God in their life circumstances as their carnality consumes them.

2. By the leading of the Holy Spirit. This person has a spiritual mind that prioritizes the will of God. This subject is elaborated as the 3rd category of the manifestation of God’s will.

 

God Manifests His Will by the Leading of His Holy Spirit

This leading of the Holy Spirit can take place as follows.

a. In the reading of the Word.

The Holy Spirit is also known as the Spirit of wisdom and revelation in Eph1:17. Eph1 says that the Holy Spirit reveals precise knowledge (in His Word) about Abba Yahuah and His resurrection power that raised the Lord Yahusha from the dead.

The Holy Spirit can offer comfort, instruction, and help in the Word (Jhn 14:26, 15:26). 

 

b. In life circumstances.

The Holy Spirit can assist one to speak God’s will, and help and comfort in trials and tribulations according to God’s will.

Spirit-led Speech as per Mat10:18-20 

“And ye shall be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles.

But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak.

For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you.”

 

Spirit-led Trials and Tribulations as per Mat4:1

“Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.”

In trials and tribulations, the Holy Spirit can be a source of comfort (to bring to the remembrance of the hope of the resurrection and eternal rewards) and help (usually to endure to do God’s will) in life circumstances as per Jhn14:26 and Jhn15:26.

The help of the Holy Spirit can involve sensing where to go or not go (Acts21:4, 21:11).

1Co12 about the gifts of the Spirit will not be covered in this post as God decides what gifts to give as it pleases Him (1Co12:18).

 

Conclusion

The Holy Spirit leads only mature sons of God according to Rom8:14. Mature sons eat meat truths of the Word, discerning to do good and avoiding evil according to Heb5:14.

The Spirit-led mature sons of God can see God’s will in their life circumstances. Such will not be carnal (Gal5:16) and will produce the fruit of the Spirit of Gal5.

The Spirit-led man prizes God, His will, and eternal goals as their heart treasures. 

 

Will of God – Nature of God’s Will (Part 1 of 4)

Introduction

What is the nature of God’s will?
The capacity (innate) and ability (permitted by circumstances) to express one’s will is sacrosanct. God the Creator first revealed His will by the act of creation recorded in Genesis.
When God created Adam and Eve, He gave them the freedom to choose and exercise their free will. God embodied the great significance of their free will in the only rule in Eden, which is not to partake from the Tree of knowledge of good and evil.
As the story goes, Adam and Eve chose poorly, deceived by the snake and their pride.
For those that have the heart to be part of God’s family (Mat12:50) and have set their minds set heavenward (Heb11, 1Pet2) seek to do the will of Abba Yahuah (God the Father).
This post seeks to explore from the scriptures concerning the following –

  1. the nature of God’s will.
  1. The manifestation of God’s will.
  1. How does one confirm if it is God’s will?
  1. What is the underlying reason that determines how one confirms they are doing God’s will?

This post will explore the nature of God’s will. There will be another 3 posts to cover the rest.

Nature of God’s Will

God’s will exists within a continuum. Rom12:2 tells us there are 3 categories of God’s will.

  1. The Perfect will of God.

Lord Yahusha has perfectly fulfilled God’s will in suffering, and death, especially His crucifixion.

Heb2:10 says it this way –

“For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.”

Paul realizing the truth of God’s perfect will, pursued this goal. He states this goal in Phil3:10-11.

“That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;

If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.”

This goal’s reward (not a gift) is the 1st resurrection of Rev20:6, described as the “resurrection of the dead” in Phil3:11.

  1. The Good will of God.
  1. The Acceptable will of God.

It stands to reason that the good and acceptable category has reduced suffering according to God’s will compared with the perfect will of God. Note, the suffering reduces, not eliminated, with the perfect will of God involving martyrdom and the acceptable will of God with the least suffering.
These 3 categories may correspond with the 3 levels of rewards of 100-60-30 fold (Mark10:30, Mat13:23, Mat19:29) and gold-silver-precious stones mentioned in 1Co3.

Conclusion

God offers man the choice to choose within the continuum of His will.
There is also the choice to disobey Him by falling outside God’s will. The following post will explore how God communicates His will to man. It will also explore falling outside God’s will.

Benefits of Confessing to God and Confessing to Man

Introduction

A confession is an act of meekness and, to some, humiliation. It often entails revealing what we would rather conceal and forget. What are matters that would motivate the desire to hide and forget?
 
These matters often cast the person in a negative light. It potentially exposes anything from embarrassing and stigmatizing shortcomings to acts of evil. 
 
The latter may also carry elements of punishment, as confession is self-recriminating. It is no surprise to deem it inappropriate for one to say they are confessing their achievement.
 
The New Testament reveals the will of God concerning confession in 1Jhn1:9 and Jam5:16. 
 
1Jhn1:9 is the confession of sins to God.
 
Jam5:16 is the confession of moral faults and sins to man. This man hearing the confession is not necessary the aggrieved party of the confessed sins. This post will demonstrate that confession to man is NOT to seek forgiveness as only God can forgive sins, and the reason to confess to man is very important.
 
 

The Purpose and Significance of Confessing Sins to God

1Jhn1:9 – “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
 

If we confess our sins, Abba Yahuah is faithful and just to forgive us and cleanse us of all unrighteousness, according to 1Jhn1:9.

 
His faithfulness is operative by the faith that our confession is made possible only by His Son, the Lord Jesus, crucifixion, death, and atoning blood.
 
Therefore our confession of sins honors the finished work of Christ.
 
By this confession, we TAKE up the shield of faith, in Christ’s finished work, of Eph6, to STAND against the spiritual enemies, recruiting the heavenly host to defend our souls in this spiritual warfare.
 
In summary,  the confession of 1Jhn1:9 has the following purpose, meaning, and significance.
 
1. Honors the finished work of Christ – the Lord Jesus’ crucifixion, death, and atoning blood.
 
2. It channels one’s faith in the Lord Jesus’ finished work to seek forgiveness from Abba Yahuah.
 
3. It channels one’s faith by the Lord Jesus’ finished work to fight the spiritual warfare of Eph6 by weaponizing the shield of faith into the hands of the heavenly hosts.
 
 

The Purpose and Significance of Confessing Sins to Man

Jam5:16 – “Confess your faults (in Greek, it means moral faults and sins) one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”
 
The prayer of faith of 1Jhn1:9 is supercharged when combined with the confession to man of Jam5:16.
 
 There is much benefit to being vulnerable to confess moral faults and sins to one another. According to Jam5:16, the benefits are –
 
1. There is physical healing in confessing moral faults and sins to man.
 
The subject of prayer and healing flowed from Jam5:14, the prayer of elders, and Jam5:15, the prayer of faith, in the Lord, of both the person needing the healing and the elder praying.
 
The person to whom the sin is confessed has the opportunity to save the confessor’s soul from death, as revealed in Jam5:20.
 
Jam5:20 – “Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner (this sinner is a believer in error from the truth mentioned in Jam5:19) from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.”
 
This death is the death arising from Rom8:6 – “For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.”
 
It is an honor to support the confessing brethren in their journey to return to the will of God (the truth of being spiritually minded). 
 
Because it involves spiritual repentance, this support offered must be led by the Spirit. 
 
 
2. There are answered prayers in confessing to man. But why is that the case?
 
Could it be that God considers confessing moral faults and sins to man as a righteous act?
 
The righteousness in Jam5:16 is not a noun. Meaning it is not the same as the imputation (by Grace) of the righteousness (this word is a noun), e.g., in Rom4:22.
 
According to Blue Letter Bible (BLB) Greek Lexicon, the righteousness of Jam5:16 is an adjective that describes the acts of righteousness.
 
It would appear that Jam5:16 implies that God deems the act of confessing moral faults and sins to man as a righteous act!
 
And this righteous act of confessing moral faults and sins has the benefit of answered prayers!
 
This last point of answered prayers by confessing is where the compounding positive feedback loop effect with the prayer of 1Jhn1:9 and Eph6 occurs.
 
 

Imagine this Scenario

One comes to Abba Yahuah to confess, according to 1Jhn1:9, the sin of unbelief and worship of money due to suffering a significant financial setback.
 
After that, this same person relates the 1Jhn1:9 confession to the spouse (spousal confession is highly recommended as there are the added benefits of honoring the marriage). God deems this confession as a righteous act that supports answered prayers, especially for bodily healing.
 
Then this person who made the 2 confessions of 1Jhn1:9 to God and Jam5:16 to the spouse has to deal with the consequences of the financial loss. It remains stressful to deal with the consequences.
 
There is an additional step before waging the spiritual warfare of Eph6 that recruits God’s resources. This person needs to experience the restoration of Heb10:22 –
 
“Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.”
 
 
Heb10:22’s restoration involves
 
1. Restoration of the assurance of the faith in Abba Yahuah by the mediating role of the Lord Jesus. This faith is clarified as follows 
 
– in Heb10:35-38 as the reward that comes by the promise of His (Jesus) return in the 1000-year rule and 
 
– the heavenly citizenship mentioned in Heb11:13-16.
 
Man can be assured as He (Jesus) suffered as a human, empathizing with compassion for the sinner as revealed in Heb2.
 
 
2. Restoration from an evil conscience. BLB renders evil as wickedness and resentment towards God and man due to injustices in life.
 
This restoration also includes the body being cleansed.
 
Remember that this restoration is made possible by the assuring faith of Jesus’ return and eternal life in God’s kingdom as revealed in the word of God, which is the pure water spoken of in Heb10:22.
 
 

Conclusion

 
The spiritual battle of faith of Eph6 can now take place with the following advantages –
 
1. This person has a cleansed (forgiven) conscience of all unrighteousness of 1Jhn1:9.
 
2. This person is honored as righteous with prayers that avail much of Jam5:16.
 
3. This person’s conscience and body receive cleansing restoration in the faith-power of the HOPE of His return and eternal life of Heb10:22.
 
For details about the spiritual battle of Eph6, see the link below.
 
 
 

Present Day Davids and Goliaths

Introduction

The Goliath that David faced was a SINGULAR event. Goliath was an overwhelming force of evil that stood against David. By God’s mercies, most of us do NOT have to contend with such insurmountable problems.

David’s response was to confront Goliath in mortal combat. The stakes were high. David staked his life. David slew Goliath with a sling and stone, and about a decade later, overcoming similarly mortal challenges of being pursued by Saul, he became Israel’s second king.

David’s victory over Goliath creates a strong impression on Christians. They may develop expectations of David’s earthly outcomes when they face life challenges. 

This expectation reinforces the belief that equates favorable earthly outcomes as God’s blessings and UNFAVOURABLE earthly outcomes as a displeased God teaching the person a lesson or a punishment.

The latter is true; when that person is in disobedience. This person sows into their carnal flesh, reaping death in their lives to fulfill Rom8:6, to be carnally minded is death, and where God is not mocked of Gal6:7-8.

 

The New Testament Davids and their Weapons

This post offers the perspective that earthly outcomes will likely be unfavorable when one is led by the Spirit of Rom8:15 and fulfilling the Law of Christ of Gal6:2.

In the New Testament, Christians throughout the ages have also confronted their Goliaths; Martyrs are the present-day Davids. 

This view stems from the observation that martyrs emulate the GREATER David, who is Jesus Christ. God the Father defeated Satan, the GREATER Goliath, by the Lord Jesus’ crucifixion, death, and resurrection. The Lord Jesus is the ROCK of all ages (Isa26:4), and the CROSS was the weapon delivery system (God’s sling) to secure man’s salvation.

The Lord Jesus’ suffering on the cross, Him crucified, and death was His weapons that secured His victory for God the Father,  even as David’s weapons were sling and stone that defeated Goliath.

Martyrs are most Christ-like in emulating the Lord Jesus, partaking in His suffering and death (1Pet4:12, Phil3:10). In this way, martyrs also wield the same weapons of suffering and death for their eternal victory. 

God does not call for all Christians to be Martyrs, for the burden of martyrdom usually exceeds more than one can bear. However, the 5th seal of Rev6:9-11 paints the picture of many Christians facing martyrdom in the end times.

How does one prepare for martyrdom? This question is for another post, and deep down in my soul, I do not feel qualified to explore this subject. So, I will reflect on this question as exploratory as possible and guard against being conceited.

For 1Co10:13 says, “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” 

 

Conclusion 

Christians must value their weapons, the same weapons wielded by martyrs, of suffering and death-like, by denying the body to fulfill its carnal lusts—the eternal rewards of ruling with Christ as kings-priest awaits as spoils of war.