Scripture Passage: Hebrews 11:17-19
Throughout life, we will experience two kinds of tests: those that cause us to stumble, and those that cause us to stand. The devil will tempt us to do evil, while God tests us to do good and make our faith strong and pure.
But God may ask us to do something that surprises us, and our response will reveal our true faith. In Hebrews 11, we are reminded of when Abraham’s faith was tested.
“By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, of whom it was said, ‘In Isaac your seed shall be called,’ concluding that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead, from which he also received him in a figurative sense” (Hebrews 11:17-19).
When we face trials and temptations, there are three questions we should ask ourselves to pass the test of our faith.
Can I trust God with the possessions He has given to me?
God tested Abraham’s faith by asking him to give back his only beloved son, Isaac. God wanted to know if Abraham loved Him more than he loved Isaac. God does not want a place in our lives; He desires, deserves, and demands preeminence in our lives. We need to consider if there is anything we would not give back to God if He asked for it.
Can I trust God with the purpose He has for me?
Adrian Rogers says, “Faith is not primarily believing God in spite of the evidence; it is obeying God in spite of the consequences, not having to know why.” Obedience is the proof of our trust in God. We must be informed, intentional and impassioned about seeking the will of God for our lives.
Can I trust God with the promises He has made to me?
God had already miraculously fulfilled His promises to Abraham before. Though he did not know how He’d do it, Abraham knew God would keep His promises again; and He did. God provided a ram to take Isaac’s place on the altar and gave Abraham back his son.
Adrian Rogers says, “We don’t live by explanation; we live by promises.”
Apply it to your life
Is your faith being tested right now? Remember: the trials that come from God are tailor-made. He knows where you are and He knows your circumstances. Have faith in Him.
I hope you’ve been following the study on addictions versus strongholds because it is so important today to know what the bible teaches on this whole matter of uh drinking uh wine, alcohol, drugs, partying all of this, which the world sees like, wow, this is their life. You know, addictions, whether it could be gambling, it could be food, it could be whatever by buying things using credit cards, can’t stop. You’re addicted. What is it that causes us to be controlled by something other than common sense? You know, what’s right and best for us? We’re going to talk about that in this session on spiritual strongholds that in in spiritual warfare that we have in Second Corinthians chapter 10 3 through five with Vicki and me come and join the bible study. Well, there is another program that we’re doing here on addictions versus strongholds and Vicki and I are just gonna take the scripture. What I think is one of the most pertinent that exposes this whole concept where the enemy, the devil and the demonic world are controlling people and they use drugs, they use alcohol, they use philosophies, they use all kinds of ways in order to get to our mind our thoughts and God wants us to allow him to influence our thoughts. So, we’ve named this whole series that we’ve done addictions versus strongholds because addictions on the most part deal with the physical world. Uh, you know, addicted to pornography, addicted to television, addicted to alcohol addicted to drugs, but there’s uh there’s another dimension behind the addiction, which I believe is the demonic satanic world where he is using that as a front to influence our mind. So, Vicki, what is your perspective on that? I totally agree with you, but I I know that the spiritual aspect is something that the addiction doesn’t really express, it, just it’s talking about an emotion, a feeling, a desire. But the stronghold to me is a spiritual conflict that’s going on within our very about our very soul, about our very being. And that is we can’t get that from a medical doctor or just a philosopher, the only one who can really heal our inner being, our soul, our whole person. And we are more than just this physical body. We are a living spirit within us. You know, and I believe that this scripture right here, that we’re gonna go into deals with so many areas of this destruction of fortresses that we need to develop. Yes, So why don’t you go ahead and read it, It’s so powerful. So let’s just go to second Corinthians chapter 10 3 through five. And Corinth was uh really messed up place to Corinthian eyes, Someone was to really make him an immoral person. It became synonymous with like Sodom To sodomize Corinthian eyes the same thing only in the first century. And so now this passage, this scripture is written to the Corinthians. So to the Saints that are living in Corinth and Paul is exposing to them what the real battle is, the battle is in your mind, the battle is in your soul. So pick up the scripture and see what he says for though we walk in the flesh. We do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of christ. There’s a lot there. I mean just he’s saying, we’re in a physical body and we’re in the flesh, we’re walking in the flesh were, you know, moving around and peripatetic, how we’re moving around in this world. But we do not fight. The war is not in this flesh stratum. This war is not there because it’s not according to the flesh, for the weapons. A plan of this warfare, this strata, strategy, strategy losses is a soldier strategy. Otis, General uh strategia strategia is the actual warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful now that that is amazing, feroz. The power two being a victorious over the battles that we’re fighting in the physical world. They come from God Almighty Thoreau’s is the word God and Vietnamese dynamite. Physical ability. God says he’s gonna give us for what look what it says there for the destruction of fortresses or Hiroshima are are these strongholds, these fortresses and we’re gonna see in a minute. Some of the fortresses in Corinth where this was written, the destruction we are destroying that word is Katherine basis speculations, Louise, moose these these ideas, these thoughts that we have now allowed to come into our minds and to begin to credit their power in our mind as if they were our own. We did not originate them. The devil. The demons have put those there and have credited that to us. The word destroying here. Vicky is talking about two absolutely raised to the foundation. Just everything take it. God does not want anything left standing and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God. And we are taking every thought. You know, every single thought we are supposed to bring to obey a hippo and and this is which is which is two under to listen and to put myself under that. That is to christ that is what obedience means. Let’s move on. You pick it up from here, um start to foam a war properly contend fighting as a soldier in war figuratively to engage in spiritual warfare and Copeland are the weapons to wage war is always in the plural, it’s a monopoly on the full armor of God. All these weapons that we have, we can’t just take, you know, one part of this, there’s a whole process of getting ready for battle. Well, if you take all the weapons and don’t have a sword, you’re in trouble. You know if you have a sword, but don’t have a, you know, a shield or helmet or you’re in trouble. So you have to take the full panoply. A Ephesians 6, 10 and 13 says the same thing uh in the Book of Ephesians talking about, you know, standing and taking on these weapons properly. A complete set of defensive and offensive armor, weapons and everything needed to wage uh war successfully to wage a successful warfare. Full resources from the Lord to believers so they can wage spiritual warfare, not fighting for victory but from victory because he won the war on the cross. When he said it is finished, it is finished. Now these are the actual, these strongholds were up on top of the acro Corinth when the Apostle paul wrote to them, they understood what he was talking about or hear aroma from the root or hero fortify a fortified military stronghold. A strong walled fortress used only in Second Corinthians 10 4 or Hero. My heavily fortified containment is used figuratively of a false argument in which a person seeks shelter, a safe place to escape reality. Now these are some of these, these pictures of the mountains literally if you go to corn today, this is what you will see that have been there a dozen times and then the next thing I want you to read. Vicky is not that it also means a jail. Oh he doma is also used for a prison in antiquity. The word is not common in classical greek. It also conveys the warning not to fall into self made fortifications, which also keep the Lord away. When we stray from the Lord, the mind automatically builds carnal strongholds that satan builds with his lies. Yes, satan does that. He comes to our mind. He speaks to our mind. Has that ever happened to you? You listen, you’re listening to something on television, you’re reading a book, someone’s talking to you and you know, you have to be very careful. You have to know God’s word so well that you can, you can frisk what people are saying, whether it’s true or not and you can do that when you know the truth, it’ll set you free. So you’re able to understand what’s going on. We’ve been focusing on, you know, substance abuse and all of these other things, but it’s the same thing with fear or anxiety or whatever. Our weaknesses in our personality. That not everybody struggles of course with drugs and substance abuse. But you know, we have to know scripture For me when I would become anxious. I would have portions of scripture and I would put them on a card and I would take take one verse a day and say it for 30 days until I knew that verse where it was all the time and it was a part of my armor that I was ready to say, no. that’s not what the bible says. Yes, because we we don’t remember sometimes what God says. That’s why you have to memorize it. You have to first hear it, you have to read it, you have to meditate on it. Then you have to memorize it. Then you have to teach it because when you teach it then you have learned it, you you begin to really put it into action and in in your life apply it to your life. It’s so important. Now get this work of terraces from Qatar Ao from kata down and Cheromei to choose to make one’s own properly. Take down for oneself forcibly yanked down, destroy or demolish, leaving nothing standing cast down demolition, taking down apart to destroy and leave nothing standard. This is amazing. God says he commands us to do this. Casting down these imaginations, every lofty thing that brings itself before the Lord. You know the knowledge of God. And this is a speculations, lawyers, most, every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God. And we are taking every thought captive to obey christ lawyers. Moss to reckon or to compute or to take into account to credit or to calculate to consider to dwell, to think. All of these are translated in the scriptures in those different words, but there’s only one word louise, most in Orlando is um the battleground is our mind in our thoughts what we choose to credit as truth or what we choose to to reject as a lie. That is so important because then you can have the ability to get rid of that addiction in your life. It the battle is not when you’re standing before a bottle or when you’re looking at a marijuana joint or you go to a party and you know, you’re you’re looking around and should I take it, should I not know? The battle is in the heart of the battle? Is in the mind. The battle is the emotions intellect and will, it’s the will that I choose not to do something or I choose to do something so important. Okay, and then the speculation take that we have credited in our minds satan’s negative thoughts, temptations and lies as the truth, but through the gospel and the word of God, we have been set free and now destroy these false speculations and imagination. So, you know, this word is the the whole idea of salvation in the Book of Romans, chapter four. So you have sin in chapters 12 and three, uh The sin of the of the of the gentiles. The sin of the jews all have sinned in chapter three, but chapter four we have this word used 10 times in regard to Abraham, in regard to David, that God did not credit into David’s account, his his adultery and his murder And he and then he in the end of the Chapter Romans Chapter four, he says. Now that was not just written for them. It was also written for us who believe that Jesus died and was buried and rose again. So now we credit Christ righteousness in our life. We credit our sinfulness on the cross. And that’s called a great exchange in 2nd Corinthians 5 21. And this is so important for salvation, but not just for salvation. It’s also important for freeing ourselves from the addictions that we have had in our life. Because we are told here in Second Corinthians chapter 10 verse 34 and five, that we are supposed to cast down these imagination, these things that have gripped us and built these fortresses and castles in our minds to control us. God says tear them down. Don’t let satan credit that in your life. Which is it doesn’t belong there anymore. So let’s go to the next one here, Vicky, tearing down strongholds, meets throwing away false premises, mistaken assumptions. Used to justify many faulty conclusions. The only via the active use of the mind. So these are some strongholds listed. The lust of the flesh, pornography, substance abuse and drugs, the lust of the eyes, alcohol gambling, bitterness and anger and the pride of life lying and just a proud heart itself is the doorway to terrible destruction because we’re not humble and without humility, we can’t hear God’s voice. So how about how about a confession here? Okay, you know, to to the to the people that are listening tom and Vicky, that’s me and that’s my wife, we were still sinners. We’re not perfect. We’re not telly. Mhm. God is not finished with us yet. He’s still working on us, you know? And so we can tell you that every single day we have to put on the armor every single day. You can’t just say, well, you know what man? I I gotta take a break. Even when we go down uh you know, to florida, we’re gonna get on a beach and hang out. We still have to realize there’s a battle going on all around us. There’s a battle going on inside of us. There’s a battle going on in the mind and we’ve got to let the holy spirit of God fill us because it’s the only way we’re gonna be victorious. We’ve got to let the word of God totally overflow from us. We’re not just take it in, but give it out to people all around us and then we’ve got to also be obedient and bring every thought paco under what jesus christ says for us to do. So Vicki, how do you apply this on a practical level in your personal life? You’re a sinner. I’m a sinner. And every day you’ve got the same challenges that everybody else has the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, the boastful pride of life. Well, when I sat on the board of women at risk war international, I traveled with them and I was, it was an organization that protected girls from sex trafficking. And um, we went to Bangkok. I went to Bangkok without you at that time with the women. And we called ourselves, I mean those women, I prayed with them all the time. Even if it was over the phone, we called ourselves warrior women. And we were fighting for the lives of people because in our past, God had taught us how to be warriors in our own hearts and lives and put that armor on daily. And these women, I could tell them anything. They would pray for me. And we had a relationship like that. So I think you need another person in your life too. If you’re alone, then you need a friend that you can confide in this is a struggle for me. Would you pray with me about this? Then get verses that you can write down and you can memorize and every day, you know, can you imagine if you didn’t have any water For 30 days? You know, people close their bibles for 30 days and then, Oh, it’s Sunday, maybe I’ll pick it up. I’ll read something. You’ll never win the battle in your life. You’ll never have the joy and the fruitfulness and you won’t be able to help other people in life. The greatest reward is being able not just to think about yourself but to invest in other people’s lives serving others serving the Lord. It’s food, It’s bread, it’s water. It’s honey. It’s, you know, you like to eat nuts. It’s nuts. It’s figs. It’s the best part of life is the word of God. That will strengthen, strengthen us to be able to be victorious in the spiritual battles that we have to fight. Thank you so much Vicki for those words and we just want you to know. Yes, there are, there’s a demonic world. We’re not fighting a physical battle. There’s a spiritual warfare that’s going on. We need to take on all of the armor of God. We need to cast down the imaginations. These strongholds, whether it’s because of marijuana or opium, a hash or cocaine or alcohol, whatever that stronghold is, maybe it’s gambling, You just tied you up. Maybe it’s some other stronghold in your life, pornography. Uh, you know, just being illicit sex, having all kinds of illegitimate sex. Maybe it’s adultery. You’re seeing somebody, you must repent. You can’t you have to tear it down from your life. Cry out to God. You say no, I like it. I don’t want to change. That’s the problem. It’s a matter of the will because God says that you have to willingly cast down these things and then you have to willingly bring every thought. Yeah, to obey jesus christ that you’re gonna think he created us. He deserves to have our thoughts, he needs to put his software in us and not to let satan put his software in us so that we are going to behave the wrong way. This image back here is here because we put the right software in the computer so we can play it well, Satan wants you to see the images that he wants. But God wants to put the software and the images that he wants. You have to make choices in life. You choose the narrow way that leads to life or you choose the broad road that leads to destruction. Everyone’s getting high, everyone’s getting drunk, everyone smokes, everyone lies, Everyone cheats. Yes, but you’re different because jesus christ is in you because he died on the cross. He was buried here. Rose again. So this is part of our series against addictions versus strongholds. We just want you to understand that it’s not just a physical deal fighting a cigarette or fighting a marijuana joint or a pill or heroin or some bottles, Some some alcohol. It is or or candy or ice cream, things that seem to be actually good food. No, it’s a spiritual war that’s going on for the control of our mind. Our thoughts, our life tom and Vicky Until next time we’ll see you when it’s all greek to me. So in the coin, a greek it’s meth isco and in the modern greek it’s meth is so pretty close. But here in Ephesians five and verse 18 it says do not get drunk with wine for that is dissipation. That is a sathiah literally without. And so so to save that a person is like not saved or living like he’s not saved. But the contrast be filled with the spirit that is the spirit of God. You know this is such an incredible insight for how to overcome drugs, drug addiction, alcohol drunkenness. Because God’s solution is not a sorry to say now, it could help, it could help, but the real solution is in being transformed, formed from the inside with your mind, your heart, your life to cry out to jesus christ who died on the cross was buried, Rose again from the dead and he paid for for the drunkard. Let me let me tell you drunkenness, it says the drunkard shall not inherit the kingdom of God. You just can’t just say, well, you know uh I have this problem. If you have this problem of being a drunk today, then you need to get saved. You must be born again, you must come to christ, you must repent and then you must let the spirit of God. The moment that happens, it says in Ephesians chapter one in verse 13. In Him, you also after listening to the message of the truth, the gospel of your salvation, that’s the message of truth that jesus died was buried and Rose again. Having believed that you’re sealed with the Holy Spirit of Promise. You see when the Holy Spirit of God comes into your life now you have the power to be filled with the Spirit and to and to overcome drunkenness, drugging drug addiction, all of that uh immorality. The Spirit of God will convict us of sin and righteousness and judgment. The Spirit of God will lead us. The Spirit of God will will crucify the deeds of the flesh he’s in us and the Spirit of God will give us wisdom and insights and direct us and provide for us. The Spirit of God who is with us gives us the power to overcome. Now notice what it says here, do not get drunk with wine. That that’s a prohibition, not because the government said it, but because God said it, do not get drunk with wine for that is dissipation asso tia that is living the life of an unsafe person. You’re unsafe basically saying, but be filled, be filled, complete, all overflowing with the Holy Spirit. Notice some things about this versus scripture, number one, it’s commanded. This isn’t up for discussion. You know, it’s, it’s a it’s an imperative command from God Almighty don’t get drunk with wine because that’s dissipation. That doesn’t mean if you’re a believer, you can’t get drunk with wine or you can get drunk with wine and you’ll be convicted. God may take your life or you may lose your life because you do stupid things, you you you go against a red light and and you get into an accident, you die listen, you don’t you don’t lose your salvation because you get drunk or because you commit some sin. But the christian, the child of God is not going to live that way. He just doesn’t live that way. That’s not his ethos, that’s not his habit in his life. It doesn’t work like that. So first it’s commanded. It’s in the imperative mood. Second, it’s corporate, it’s not just you, but it says for all christians, this is in the plural in the grammar. So there are some things to learn from the grammar that are very important one. It’s imperative, it’s commanded number two, it’s in the plural, it’s for every christian, you can’t be an elite uh subclass of christians that says, well, you know, that’s for you, but not for me because this is God’s command for his Children for all believers everywhere. Oh yeah, but in our culture, every once in a while we do this. Yeah, but God Almighty speaks from heaven and in his culture, you’re not supposed to do that in your culture, It’s just the word of God. And then the third thing he says in the present, Active and that means it’s continual, this is supposed to be obeyed. Not just now, but a minute from now and a minute from that minute and continually nonstop, I’m supposed to obey God and not get drunk with wine because that would be dissipation or asso tia or to live like I’m not a believer, I’m unsaved because the very word. So so is in there a sathiah. So so without salvation, it’s saying this is how people without salvation live. And then not only is this continual, but it’s also in the passive, it’s it’s it’s to be acted upon and God’s spirit is acting upon us to fill us now. You don’t make this happen, you don’t make something happen because you’re gonna carry long in the, in the altar or because you’re gonna uh you know, get into some uh super duper uh uh activity by repeating something with your mouth or repeating some prayer or repeating some chant doesn’t happen that way. This is done to us. We don’t make this happen, it’s done to us and this is very important in the passive and it’s, it’s acted upon God acts upon us to do this. So so let me stop you right here about this whole subject of alcoholism, addictions with alcohol, drunkenness, addictions with drugs getting high every day, marijuana, opium, hash, coke, LSD heroin, crack cocaine now, fentaNYL, which is killing people everywhere addictions like food addictions or gambling addictions or pornography addictions, you may not be able to control it, you’re just like, oh man, I’m just all over the place, I want to be a christian, I want to read the bible, but I just can’t do it. You have to cry out to God for his power. This is what this is all about here. It says, don’t get drunk with this, Don’t get drunk with wine. That’s dissipation. That’s like living like you’re unsafe. Don’t get high with heroin, don’t get high with marijuana and opium and don’t let demons come into your life that way. But be filled the the contrast with God’s spirit. So God’s spirit will satisfy your deepest longings more than drugs more than alcohol. God’s spirit will satisfy and give you the power you’re looking for. But you have to trust him. You have to cry out to him and you have to repent of your sin in order for that to happen. It’s just not gonna happen. You know, because you know it’s a good idea, You have to come to the end of yourself, Cry out to God, Oh God be merciful to me. A sinner! Cry out to God like, like it’s a life or death because it is life or death. And and just pray a simple prayer. Father God, thank you for loving me, Jesus, thank you for dying on the cross for me. I believe you rose again from the dead. Please forgive me! Come into my heart. Take this drugs, take this alcohol, take my lying, take my stealing, it could be murder, it could be raped, whatever it is. Oh God be merciful to me, A sinner. I repent. I change my mind and I’m asking you to come into my life and save me in jesus name. Amen. And if you did that, then get into the bible. Start reading it. Start with the gospel of johN and find a good Gospel preaching Evangelical Church that you can join and go there and listen and grow. God bless you. Until next time. It’s all greek to me with me and my wife, Vicki, Tom and Vicky. God bless you.