Jesus was questioned by the local religious leaders on the issue of being clean when it came to food and His response as always was quite cut-throat because He responded by saying the things that are unclean are found in the heart and on the tongue of a person. Proverbs tells us that life and death is in the power of the tongue, and we are also told in the gospels that if we ask for something from God in the name of Jesus (according to His will) He will grant it. Make no mistake here, what you say will have an impact on you life and in the lives of people that you come across.
If you are a believer who struggles with jealousy, coveting, evil thoughts and you allow them to hit your tongue on a regular basis then you cannot be considered a disciple. This seems harsh, and it is because leaders are measured differently to believers even though the call for everyone is to be a disciple. Everyone struggles with something, but it is the fruit of the struggle which counts. You either deal with the struggle or it deals with you and if you find yourself verbalising inner thoughts that are impure then you are most certainly speaking death over yourself and the people that are in your life.
There is no question that in pursuit of discipleship there are going to be many mistakes, and some doubt but the difference between a disciple and a believer is confession. Peter tells us in Acts that confessing sins brings salvation, and I don’t mean the type of confession you see in churches today. Confession means to be open to God and to deal with the impurity that is within you and Apostle Paul was the perfect example of that. He was struggling with a satanic issue and confessed this to God which allowed The Lord Jesus to bring a solution; “My grace is sufficient for you”. Jesus wanted to strengthen Paul in his weakness, thus through confession, Paul was saved from sin and judgment.
So you see yourself giving in? You may ask yourself why. Below are a few reasons why do you allow inner negativity to become outward realities:
You are unaware of your worth in Christ
You are selfish
You are unhappy with God’s promises
Christianity is not a lifestyle but habit
Giving up is easy, it is what everyone else does so, therefore, fighting against these temptations and feelings are unnatural, but a disciple never looks at the natural. The disciple gains a spiritual understanding of what the reasons for impurity are. They dig deep in prayer, worship and reading God’s Word to search out the matter, find the reason and deal with it. We must compare spiritual things with spiritual things, and every thought is a seed, and those seeds need discerning before it turns you or someone’s life into death.
Choose life, because Jesus came to give it in abundance and be totally aware that evil seeds are contrary to God’s Kingdom. There is every chance if you don’t make it into discipleship, then you will not inherit His Kingdom. You have the chance to make a choice today, and that decision means hard work and not accepting anything less than God’s best.
Disciples will die before they allow themselves to be defiled.
Jesus was quoting the Old Testament when speaking to the disciples about the “shepherd being struck” so the sheep would scatter and He referred the scripture (Matthew/Zachariah) to himself and the believers. I have read many articles and heard many sermons using this scripture out of context to suit agendas, and it’s time to put the record straight.
Church leaders believe that it is an enemy attack that causes sheep to scatter from their pews, but it is God himself who does it. The scripture in context is God himself striking The Shepherd (Jesus), and His disciples who were told they would fall are the ones who scattered. If God is striking the shepherd, there is a good cause for it because He wants to test the hearts and minds of disciples, as His ways are much higher than our ways. The devil gets too much credit for leaders falling and that removes leaders from responsibility hence issues always tend to repeat themselves.
So why do the sheep scatter?
Weak in relationship with Christ – People look for an emotional buzz; they move from church to church
Attitude of a follower rather than Disciple – People need to be spoon fed everything
The Shepherd can no longer provide protection – Either the pastor behaves fleshy, or His assignment has changed in your life
It’s time for the Church and its leaders to step up and realise the devil isn’t the root problem, but it is the flesh that is weak. Jesus said to the disciples in the garden of Gethsemane that the spirit is ready (to the disciples), but the flesh is weak indicating that anointing won’t stop leaders from falling, but a lack of authority and the exercising of it, is the real issue here. If you do not use your authority the devil will use your flesh.
There are many circumstances beyond our control, especially when it is demonic but the root and fruits are very different, and that is the key thing to remember. Demonic activity is divine discipline, and if you are being struck then the question is, “what discipline are you encountering?” Let’s humble ourselves and look deep within; it is easy to blame others and the enemy, but it’s high time to look within.
A people of compromise are people that God will scatter.