”Hunger to desperation,” prayed Joel Munoz at the 10:00 service. May it be so LORD, for us as individuals and as a church family.
Pastor Josiah preached along the same lines as he continued in the Beloved series with this sermon entitled “Beloved-Declare War.” Beloved and declaring war seem to be opposites; yet as pastor shared his insights on David and Saul, the title made sense.
Saul was jealous of David who killed ten thousand whereas Saul killed thousand according to the women who sang a tribute to both men. In 1 Samuel 19, Saul urged his son Jonathon and his servants to assassinate David. However, Jonathon reminded Saul about David’s faithfulness to Saul and Israel in killing Goliath. Saul flipped his decision to kill David, and in 1 Samuel 19:6 declared, ”As surely as the LORD lives, David will not be put to death.” (NIV) Just three verses later, Saul with a tormenting spirit in him tried to pin David to the wall with his spear though David had been playing the harp to calm Saul’s tormented soul. David’s harp playing used to appease Saul, but it did not anymore. Pastor Josiah stated,
“Insecurity says: ’If I can’t be like you, then I’ll view you like me.’
Security (Beloved Identity) says: ’You can be like me if you‘ll view
you like Him.'”
That is what happened with Saul who was insecure. His spirit was in an upheaval whereas David’s was rooted in the love of the LORD.
“But one day when Saul was sitting at home with, spear in hand…” 1 Samuel 19:9 (NIV) What was Saul doing handling his spear? He was “fiddling with temptation.” We have to make choices to protect ourselves where we know we are weak.” Let’s not be like Saul who was fiddling with temptation. If your weakness is gambling, then avoid the casinos where you get a discount meal and the gambling machines are readily available. If your weakness is alcohol, avoid bars and friends who go to bars. “Declare war against your temptations!” emphasized Pastor Josiah. We cannot be married to sin and Christ. We must refuse to compromise with sin concerning our faith. Spoonfuls of compromise in six months will have you way off base. Satan’s goal is to get you away from the LORD. Romans 12:2 states
“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed
by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is
that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” (NKJV)
Instead of cohabitating with temptations, we can recognize our Beloved Identity. As we acknowledge that we are so beloved of God, we can-instead of changing the behavior that is sinful, such as lust, workaholism, self-centeredness- remember whose we are and what He did for us. Jesus came to Earth to live, die, and rise from the dead because He loves you. That incredible fact is almost incomprehensible but true. The LORD tells us in His Word how much He loves each of us. He held back nothing to redeem each of us. That is LOVE! As a Beloved of the LORD, I do not need to listen to the voices that say, ”You are not enough!” Instead I can “have the mind of Christ.”
1 Corinthians 2:16 (NKJV)
I can try harder to be a better Christian and to fight my temptations but just working on changing behaviors is not enough. We need to go to the deep place of repentance. Just like when you garden, if you only cut the top of the weeds, they pop up later. If you dig out the roots, those weeds are not as likely to return. Going to the deep places of repentance means ”a change of mind; to change the way one thinks.” Recognizing more fully that you are beloved, the daughter of the King, the son of the King, will affect your workaholic patterns, your pornography habit. These are symptoms of your identity issues. We need to wage war on the heart concerns. Whose are you? Are you the world’s or are you His?
Steward your relationship with Jesus the Son of God. What does that mean? It means to “manage" or “it is a person who administers the property, house, and finances” usually of another. (https://dictionary.com (https://dictionary.com/)) Have you spent time evaluating, fine tuning your relationship with the LORD? Is it where you want it to be or is it lacking? Do you realize you are His beloved? You can rest in that fact when it is truly part of your working identity. How have you managed your time with Him? Have you read His Word to see how much He loves you? Do you spend more time watching tv and commercials than you do reading His love letter to you? Have you spent more time scrolling to see how many likes you have on Meta instead of being still and knowing He is the LORD? Where is He on your true priority list not just your Sunday list? What place does the Master of the Universe yet the Lover of your Soul have in your life?
Jesus is the “way, the truth, and the life.” John 14:6 Let Truth reign in your life. And when you let your ego, your need for attention, your fears take precedence over Who loves you, remember that “Perfect love drives out fear.” 1 John 4:18 (NIV) “God is love.” 1 John 4:8 The day of cohabitation with dysfunction is over. Let nothing hinder your walk with the LORD. Declare war on the thing that has your attention, that has you! Starve your temptation! Don’t settle for fruitlessness. “Consistently bearing no fruit yet calling it faithfulness is unwise at best. Worse yet it’s poor stewardship.”
“Declare war against a fruitless way of thinking." Actions reflect how and what you think. By knowing and remembering that you are the LORD’s Beloved, you can be salt and light in this troubled, deceived world.
9/29-600pm-Men’s CORE meeting
10/31-Trunk or Treat-Have you signed up to decorate your car yet?
Larry and Annette Linthicum