Picture this. You’re sleeping comfortably in your bed and are awaken by a rattling at your window. You quietly get out of bed and notice that someone is trying to break into your home.
Or, You’re relaxing watching television and you’re shocked out of your show as your burglar alarm suddenly goes off.
In either situation do you go and let them into your house?
Of course not! You…
Call for help… you dial 911 if available.
You prepare to defend yourself with your weapons if available.
Our bodies are temples for the LORD to live inside of us, and it’s our responsiblity to protect them…
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (NKJV)
19 Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? 20 For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body [a]and in your spirit, which are God’s.
John 14:23 (NKJV)
Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, He will keep my word, and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.
In as much as God desires to live inside us, so does the enemy. The fact is that demons are real. Those fallen angels/unclean spirits are always looking for opportunities to come and try to occupy your spiritual house…
Matthew 12:43-45 (NKJV)
43 “When an unclean spirit goes out of a man, he goes through dry places, seeking rest, and finds none. 44 Then he says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ And when he comes, he finds it empty, swept, and put in order. 45 Then he goes and takes with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter and dwell there; and the last state of that man is worse than the first. So shall it also be with this wicked generation.”
God’s presence, His Spirits is what makes those unclean spirits leave us.
It’s our responsibility to protect our spiritual houses. But, how does the devil get in? We make our ‘temple’s a comfortable dwelling place’ for unclean spirits through sin. Not just sin, but complacency towards sin. Giving in to sin is what allows them to return, get comfortable and invite more…
Revelation 18:2 (NKJV)
2 And he cried [a]mightily with a loud voice, saying, “Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and has become a dwelling place of demons, a prison for every foul spirit, and a cage for every unclean and hated bird!
Sin makes our bodies and spirits comfortable places for demons. So, what keeps them out? What makes us comfortable dwelling places for God?
Being obedient to God’s word (1 Corinthians 6:20), being obedient to His word, and walking in His Spirit…
Galatians 5:16-23 (NKJV)
16 I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. 17 For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
19 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: [a]adultery, [b]fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21 envy, [c]murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 [d]gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.
But, here’s the good news! God never allows us to be taken by surprise. He has given us a built-in security system to let us know when the enemy is trying to get into our house through sin. It’s called TEMPTATION.
James 1:13-14 (NKJV)
13 Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. 14 But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed.
Giving in to temptation is letting the enemy into our spiritual house.
Don’t ignore your alarm! God lets us know that the enemy is trying to enter us through temptation. Not just sexual temptation. I mean the temptation to hate, or harm someone. The temptation to speak evil of someone behind their backs. The temptation to complain… Think about it. You can always tell when the enemy is trying to ‘draw you away’ and convince you to sin.
But, God will not allow the enemy to do so without giving you the strength to withstand him…
1 Corinthians 10:13 (NKJV)
13 No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to [a]bear it.
Now there are many who now try to say that we weren’t strong enough to bear it, that’s why we gave in. But, I contend that we were strong enough, and we just gave up. That doesn’t mean the strength wasn’t avaialable.
So, the next time that you feel yourself tempted, stop and be reminded that’s the devil rattling on the windows of your spiritual house trying to get in. That’s your spiritual alarm system letting you know to, just as if someone were breaking into your physical house…
Call for help…Pray for a fresh anointing of His Holy Spirit and for protection from the enemy.
Defend your house….reject those evil thoughts and walk in the Spirit.
2 Corinthians 10:4 (NKJV)
4 For the weapons of our warfare are not [a]carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds,
Remember, temptation lets you know that the devil is trying to get inside of your house!. Don’t ignore your alarm!
What do you hope for? Think about it for a moment. Both big and small, what do you hope for in life? For yourself? For your family? For the world?
Please don’t ever take hope for granted. Hope gives us a reason to get up each morning. Hope gives us a reason to live. Hope gives us anticipation beyond this life.
Hope is a blessing from God…
Romans 15:13 (NKJV)
Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Romans 5:1-5 (NKJV)
Therefore, having been justified by faith, [a]we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 3 And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces [b]perseverance; 4 and perseverance, [c]character; and character, hope. 5 Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
As much as faith is evidence of what we can’t see, hope is the expectation and desire of what we can’t and can see. Faith is the belief that we can actually have what we hope for…that it can and will happen.
Faith is hope’s fruit…
Hebrews 11:1 (NKJV)
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
The reason so many rich people are unhappy is because their ability to hope has been challenged.
A life of having everything you want when you want it is a life with literally, no hope!
Those who can put their hands on everything they want can find themselves unhappy and unfulfilled because God wants our hope to be in Him…
Psalm 39:6-8 (NKJV)
6 Surely every man walks about like a shadow; Surely they [a]busy themselves in vain; He heaps up riches, And does not know who will gather them.
7 “And now, Lord, what do I wait for? My hope is in You. 8 Deliver me from all my transgressions; Do not make me the reproach of the foolish.
Take a moment to thank God for the ability to hope, and ask Him that your hope always be in Him.
If false hope gives someone a reason to keep on living…is it really false?
Think about this…
I in no way mean any disrespect to anyone dealing with the pain of a loved one suffering from any form of dementia. However, God does have a reason for everything He does. This true story showed me how what we sometimes think of as a ‘curse’ can be the blessing of hope in disguise for some.
Years ago I used to do nursing home ministry. I would visit two nursing homes, once each month. As I walked down through the halls I would see the same faces. There were some residents who had regular visits from family and friends, but unfortunately, there too many who never got a visitor…ever.
There were also varying levels of mental health. I would hear one lady in particular at one of the nursing homes say the same thing every time I visited. She would sit in her wheelchair in the entrance to her room as I walked by…she would smile and say,
“I’m going home today”.
No, she wasn’t going home. She was one of the residents who never had visitors, and her family had moved on with their lives. At first I felt sorry for her because her situation seemed so hopeless…but then God gave me an awesome revelation.
In her hopeless situation…her dementia gave her hope!
Was her hope false? Yes!
But, it allowed her to wake up every morning WITH hope.
God gave her a reason to smile EVERY DAY.
God gave her something to look forward to EVERY DAY.
God gave her HOPE in a HOPELESS situation.
She spent her last days with HOPE.
What many may think of as a CURSE, was actually a BLESSING to her.
God’s wisdom is amazing!
He can can pull HOPE out of HOPEless…
FORTUNE our of unFORTUNATE…
Of course there are times when false hope is harmful, but there’s other situations when it can give someone a reason to keep living.
Romans 5:5-7 (NKJV)
5 Now hope does not disappoint, (B)because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
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