A B.U.D. FAMILY SPECIAL SELF DELIVERANCE PROGRAMME
TAGGED: WAR AGAINST ADDICTIONS (WAA2018)
THEME DAY TWO: THE FAINTING WARRIOR
Its the second day of the War Against Addictions Programme.
How have you been?
I am talking about your spirit, your soul, your mind.
Are you making efforts at all or are you waiting and expecting some miracles?
Hmmmmm…Take your destiny in your hands sisters!…You have your part and He has His part to play too!
When we talk about addiction, it is a force that presses you down under its heavy weight. You struggle and struggle but you can’t rise up. Why? Its heavier than you!
Sin is heavier than you!
Ah! Daughter of Zion!
Where is the fulfilment of the Scriptures that says ‘…sin shall not have dominion over you…” in your life?
Why are you fainting now? don’t you know about the verse of the Scripture that says if you faint in the days of adversity, your strength is small?
If you faint in the hands of addictions to food, sleep, porn, phone, drugs, alcohol and substances, your strength is small!
Will you continue that way?
When you give the devil an inch, do you not know he is going to take the whole yard from you?
Do you think you can serve God and Mammon? Lailai!
It is time to take some strengthening dose!
It is time to wake up!
It is time to buckle up!
It is time to start running!
Bye bye to fainting in the Name of Jesus!
(As you will later find out, I have decided not to give any prayer point today so you can pray to God yourself. Jot down, open the Bible, praise God, study this write up and pray your way to victory beloved! Something is going to happen to you!- Something big!)
Could you turn with me please to the passage of Gods word as we read together? Romans 7:24-25
24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? 25 I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.
Some humble Christians look up to certain advanced saints and able ministers, and they say,
“Surely, such men as these do not suffer as I do; they do not contend with the same evil passions as those which vex and trouble me.”
Ah! if they knew the heart of those men, if they could read their inward conflicts, they would soon discover that the nearer a man lives to God, the more intensely has he to mourn over his own evil heart, and the more his Master honors him in his service,the more also doth the evil of the flesh vex and tease him day by day.
We have been in the habit of saying, Saint Paul, and Saint John, as if they were more saints than any other of the children of God.
Well, they were all saints whom God has called by his grace, and sanctified by his Spirit; but somehow we very foolishly put the apostles and the early saints into another list, and do not venture to look on them as common mortals.
And now we shall notice today four important subjects.
-First,the two natures
-Second their constant battle
-Third, we shall step aside and look at the weary warrior, and hear him cry, “O wretched man that I am;”
-And then we shall turn our eye in another direction, and see that fainting warrior girding up his loins to the conflict, and becoming an expectant victor,while he shouts, “I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
THE TWO NATURES
A merely natural man may be honest, upright, kind, and generous, he may have noble and generous thoughts, and may attain unto a true and manly speech; but when we come to matters of true religion, spiritual matters that concern God and eternity, the natural man can do nothing!
The carnal mind, who ever it may be is fallen, and is at enmity to God, does not know the things of God,nor can it ever know them.
Now, when a man becomes a Christian, he becomes so through the infusion of a new nature. He is naturally “dead in trespasses and sins,””without God and without hope.”The Holy Spirit enters into him, and implants in him a new principle, a new nature, a new life.
In our text the apostle calls the old nature “the body of this death.”Why does he call it “the body of this death?”Some suppose he means these dying bodies; but I do not think so.
Oh! it is not a bone, or a rag which is left; it is the whole body of sin that is there—the whole of it, “from the crown of the head to the sole of the foot.”Grace does not maim this body and cut away its members; it leaves it entire, although blessed be God, it crucifies it, nailing it to the cross of Christ.
And again, I think he calls it a body because it is something tangible. We all know that we have a body; it is a thing we can feel, we know it is there. The new nature is a spirit subtle, and not easy to detect, I sometimes have to question myself as to whether it is there at all.
But as for my old nature, that is a body, I can never find it difficult to recognize its existence, it is as apparent as flesh and bones. As I never doubt that I am in flesh and blood, so I never doubt but that I have sin within me. It is a body—a thing which I can see and feel, and which, to my pain, is ever present with me.”
But why does he call it a body of death?
Let me use this illustration:
It was the custom of ancient tyrants, when they wished to put men to the most fearful punishments, to tie a dead body to them, placing the two back to back; and there was the living man, with a dead body closely strapped to him, rotting, putrid, corrupting, and this he must drag with him wherever he went.
Now, this is just what the Christian has to do.
He has within him the new life; he has a living and undying principle, which the Holy Spirit has put within him, but he feels that every day he has to drag about with him this dead body, this body of death, a thing as loathsome, as hideous, as abominable to his new life, as a dead stinking carcass would be to a living man.
See, the old Adam-nature cannot be improved;it cannot be made better;it is hopeless to attempt it. You may do what you please with it, you may educate it, you may instruct it, and thus you may give it more instruments for rebellion, but you cannot make the rebel into the friend, you cannot turn the darkness into light; it is an enemy to God, and an enemy to God it ever must be!!!
On the contrary, the new life which God has given us cannot sin. That is the meaning of a passage in John, where it is said, “The child of God sinneth not; he cannot sin, because he is born of God.”
The old nature is evil only evil, and that continually, the new nature is wholly good; it knows nothing of sin, except to hate it. So, when that new nature in us comes in contact with sin, it feels pain and misery, and it cries out, “Woe is me that I dwell in Meshech, that I tabernacle in the tents of Kedar.”
Have you felt that way before?
Let me again remind you that these two natures are essentially unchangeable. You cannot make the new nature which God has given you less divine; the old nature you cannot make less impure and earthly.
Old Adam is a condemned thing!
You may sweep the house, and the evil spirit may seem to go out of it, but he will come back again and bring with him seven other devils more wicked than himself.
It is a leper’s house, and the leprosy is in every stone from the foundation to the roof; there is no part sound. It is a garment spotted by the flesh; you may wash, and wash, and wash, but you shall never wash it clean; it were foolish to attempt it.
Whilst on the other hand the new nature can never be tainted—spotless, holy and pure, it dwells in our hearts; it rules and reigns there expecting the day when it shall cast out its enemy, and without a rival it shall be monarch in the heart of man for ever.
II. I have thus described the two combatants; we shall now come in the next place to THEIR BATTLE.
They are always at enmity wherever they are; they were never friends, and never can be. The evil must hate the good, and the good must hate the evil.
The one cannot endure the other, it must endeavor to thrust it forth.
It is not my being corrupt that proves me a Christian, nor knowing I am corrupt, but that I hate my corruption.
It is my agonizing death struggle with my corruptions that proves me to be a living child of God.
These two natures will never cease to struggle so long as we are in this world.The old nature will never give up; it will never cry truce, it will never ask for a treaty to be made between the two. It will always strike as often as it can.
When it lies still it will only be preparing for some future battle. The battle of Christian with Apollyon lasted three hours; but the battle of Christian with himself lasted all the way from the Wicket-gate to the River Jordan.
The enemy within can never be driven out while we are here. Satan may sometimes be absent from us, and get such a defeat that he is glad to go howling back to his den, but old Adam abideth with us from the first even to the last. He was with us when we first believed in Jesus, and long ere that, and he will be with us till that moment when we shall leave our bones in the grave, our fears in the Jordan, and our sins in oblivion.
Are you fighting with the enemy to-day, my dear Christian sisters? Are Satan, the flesh, and the world—that hellish trinity—all against you?
Remember, there is a divine trinity for you. Fight on, though like Valiant-for-Truth, your blood runs from your hand and glues your sword to your arm. Fight on!for with you are the legions of heaven; God himself is with you; Jehovah Nissi is your banner, and Jehovah Rophi is the healer of your wounds. You shall overcome; for who can defeat Omnipotence, or trample divinity beneath his foot?
III. We come now to notice THE WEARY COMBATANT. He lifts up his voice, and weeping he cries, “O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?”
It is the cry of a panting warrior. He has fought so long that he has lost his breath, and he draws it in again; he takes breath by prayer. “O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?”
He will not give up the conflict; he knows he cannot, and he dare not.That thought does not enter into his mind; but the conflict is so sore, the battle so furious, that he is almost defeated; he sits down to refresh himself, and thus he sighs out his soul; like the panting hart, longing for the water brook, he says, “O wretched man that I am.”
Nay, it is more than that.
It is the cry of one who is fainting.
He has fought till all his strength is spent, and he falls back into the arms of his Redeemer with this fainting gasp, “O wretched man that I am!”His strength has failed him; he is sorely beaten in the battle, he feels that without the help of God he is so totally defeated that he commences his own wail of defeat, “O wretched man that I am.”
And then he asks this question, “Who shall deliver me?”
And there comes a voice from the Law: “I cannot and I will not.”
There comes a voice from Conscience: “I can make thee see the battle, but I cannot help thee in it.”
And then there comes a cry from old Human Nature: and that says, “Ah! none can deliver thee, I shall yet destroy thee; thou shalt fall by the hand of thine enemy; the house of David shall be destroyed, and Saul shall live and reign for ever.”
And the poor fainting soldier cries again, “Who shall deliver me?”It seems a hopeless case, and I believe that sometimes the true Christian may think himself hopelessly given over to the power of sin.
These two things are enough to make any man miserable—to know that he is responsible for his sinful nature, and yet to know that he cannot get rid of it—to know that he ought to keep it down, and yet to feel he cannot—to know that it is his business to keep God’s law perfectly, and walk in the commandments of the law blameless, and yet to know by sad experience that he is as unable to do so as he is to reverse the motion of the globe, or dash the sun from the center of the spheres. How will not these two things drive any man to desperation?
NOW, DONT FEEL TOO HOPELESS SISTER!
This man is fainting; but he will be restored by-and-bye. Think not that he is hopelessly defeated because he falls to rise, he faints but to be revived afresh.
I know a magic, which can awaken his sleeping hopes and shoot a thrill along the freezing current of his blood.
Let us sound the promise in his ear, see how soon he revives.
Let us put the cordial to his lips; see how he starts up and plays the man again. “I have been almost defeated”says he, “almost driven to despair. Rejoice not over me, O mine enemy; though I fall, yet shall I rise again.”And he lets fly against him once more, shouting, “I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord.”So on he goes again, more than a conqueror, through him that has loved him.
IV. This brings me to this last point, that THE CHRISTIAN IS TO BE A CONQUEROR AT LAST.
Do you think that we are for ever to be the drudges and the slaves of sin? Am I for ever to be the galley-slave of my own nature, to tug for freedom and never to escape?
Am I always to have this dead man chained to my back, and sniff the pestiferous exhalations of his putrid body?
No, no, no, that which is within my heart, is like a caged eagle; and I know that soon the bars which confine me shall be broken; the door of my cage shall be opened, and I shall mount with my eye upon the sun of glory, soaring upward, true to the line, moving neither to the right hand nor to the left, flying till I reach my eyrie in the everlasting rocks of God’s eternal love.
The day is coming when we shall rise and shake ourselves from the dust, and put on our beautiful garments.
It is true we are now like Israel in Canaan. Canaan is full of enemies; but the Canaanites shall and must be driven out. Amalek shall be slain, Agag shall be hewn in pieces; our enemies shall, every one of them, be dispersed, and the whole land from Dan to Beersheba shall be the Lords.
Christians, rejoice! You are soon to be perfect, you are soon to be free from sin, totally free from it, without one wrong inclination, one evil desire. You are soon to be as pure as the angels in light; nay, more, with your Master’s garments on you are to be “holy as the holy one.”
Can you think of that? Is not that the very sum of heaven, the rapture of bliss, the sonnet of the hill-tops of glory—that you are to be perfect? No temptation can reach you from eye, or ear, or hand; nor if the temptation could reach you would you be hurt by it; for there will be nothing in you that could in any way foster sin.
It would be as when a spark falls upon an ocean, your holiness would quench it in a moment. Yes, washed in the blood of Jesus, afresh baptized with the Holy Spirit, you are soon to walk the golden streets, white-robed and white-hearted too, and perfect as your Maker, you are to stand before his throne, and sing his praises to eternity.
Now, soldiers of Christ, to arms again! Once more rush into the fight, you cannot be defeated; you must overcome. Though you faint a little, yet take courage; you shall conquer through the blood of the Lamb.
And now, turning aside for a minute, I shall conclude by making an observation or two to many now reading.
There are some here who say,”I am never disturbed in that fashion.”
Then I am sorry for you. I will tell you the reason of your false peace sister mie- You have not the grace of God in your hearts.
If you had you would surely find this conflict within you. Do not despise the Christian because he is in the conflict, despise yourself because you are out of it.
The reason why the devil lets you alone is, that he knows you are his.
He does not need to trouble you much now; he will have time enough to give you your wages as the last.
He troubles the Christian because he is afraid of losing him; he thinks that if he does not tease him here, he shall never have the chance to do it in eternity, so he will bite him, and bark at him while he may.
That is why the Christian is vexed more then you are.
As for you, you may well be without any pain, for dead men feel no blows.
You may well be without pricking of conscience; for men that are corrupt are not likely to feel wounds, though you stab them from head to foot.
I pity your condition, for the worm that dieth not is preparing to feed upon you; the eternal vulture of remorse shall soon wet his horrid beak with the blood of your soul.
Tremble; for the fires of hell are hot and unquenchable, and the place of perdition is hideous beyond a madman’s dream. Oh that you would think of your last end. The Christian may have an evil present, but he has a glorious future; but your future is the blackness of darkness for ever.
I adjure you by the living God, you that fear not Christ, consider your ways. You and I must give an account for this spiritual break called out for us.
You are warned, sisters; you are warned.
Take heed to yourselves, that ye think not this life to be everything. There is a world to come; there is “after death the judgment.”If you fear not the Lord, there is after judgment eternal wrath and everlasting misery.
And now a word to those who are seeking Christ.
Someone once said:
Ah, I have sought Christ, but I feel worse than I ever was in my life. Before I had any thoughts about Christ I felt myself to be good, but now I feel myself to be evil.”
It is all right, my friend; I am glad to hear you say so. When surgeons heal a patient’s wound, they always take care to cut away the proud flesh, because the cure can never be radical while the proud flesh remains. The Lord is getting rid of your self-confidence and self-righteousness.
He is just now revealing to your soul the deadly cancer which is festering within you. You are on the sure road to healing, if you are on the way to wounding.
God wounds before he heals; he strikes a man dead in his own esteem before he makes him alive.
“Ah,”cries one, “but can I hope that I ever shall be delivered?”
Yes, my sister, if you now look to Christ. I care not what your sin nor what your despair of heart; if you will only turn your eye to him who bled upon the tree, there is not only hope for you, but there is a certainty of salvation.
I myself, while thinking over this subject, felt a horror of great darkness rush over my spirit, as I thought what danger I was in lest I should be defeated, and I could not get a glimpse of light into my burdened spirit, until I turned my eye, and saw my Master hanging on the tree.
I saw the blood still flowing; faith laid hold upon the sacrifice, and I said, “This cross is the instrument of Jesus’s victory, and shall be the means of mine.”
I looked to his blood; I remembered that I was triumphant in that blood, and I rose from my meditations, humbled, but yet rejoicing; cast down, but not in despair; looking for the victory. Do likewise.
“Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners: believe that. You are an awakened, conscious and penitent sinner; therefore, he came to save you. Believe his word; trust him. Do nothing for your own salvation of yourself, but trust him to do it. Cast yourself simply and only on him; and, as this Bible is true, you shall not find the promise fail you—”He that seeketh findeth; to him that knocketh it shall be opened.”
May God help you, by giving you this new life within! May he help you to look to Jesus, and though long and hard be the conflict, sweet shall be the victory!
FIGHT ON OH COMRADE!
SIN HAS NO DOMINION OVER YOU AGAIN, FIGHT ON!
ADDICTION CAN BE TOTALLY SUBDUED, ONLY FIGHT ON!
(THE FAINTING WARRIOR is a sermon delivered by Rev. C.H. Spurgeon January 23rd 1859. It’s been edited and adapted for easier reading by Lizzy Oyebola Oyekunle)