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Sermon 30 – The PAIN of FAITH

23 Apr

The highest calling of a Christian is to suffer for the name of Christ, 1 Peter 2:18-24. The western church teaches the nice love of Christ, but it fails to teach

and lead its followers into the real life of suffering for the name of Christ. It’s a subject that’s uncomfortable and unpopular and thus is conveniently avoided; it doesn’t gain numbers and money. It prefers to teach ‘be nice to people’ and avoid issues of confrontation like adultery, homosexuality, abortion, gambling, divorce, women priests, heathen religions and mosques, witchcraft and disrespect for authority; any issue that would inflame reactions against the church.

In the western world, the church is not opposed by the community; it’s formed a comfortable and convenient union with the world. Thus the main form of suffering for a Christian is emotional. If you are under the genuine influence of the Holy Spirit you will operate at a completely different spirit level than those around you and you’ll be misjudged, blamed and isolated. To a false spirit, agape love is rude and insensitive.

Jesus suffered on the cross the deep grief of the grievance of His created people against him. It literally broke His heart. Everyone who follows Christ will suffer at some level the grief of unjust grievance against you, knowing that the ones who hold the grievance are really the arrogant ones, whilst they blame you for being arrogant.

If you’re in Holy Spirit you will suffer the same misjudgement against you as Jesus did; this is the package of a man of faith. People will automatically hold grievances against you because they will not understand where you’re coming from and it will hurt and you’ll feel grieved. You’ll find it difficult to understand why people call you rude, insensitive, uncompassionate, inconsiderate, short and blunt. On the other hand, you’ll know that if you are in Holy Spirit every false spirit will hate you and seek to discredit you.

If you are in a false spirit you will hear voices against a person who walks by faith; that’s just the price of faith. No one thinks they’re arrogant; they always think the other person who has hurt their feelings is the arrogant one. The problem is if a person is walking by Holy Spirit they will eventually offend a person who is walking in a false spirit because the false spirit is in opposition to the Holy Spirit. The false spirit evaluates everything through how they feel and what you say to them and the tone and delivery of what you say will affect their feelings and they will diagnose you based on this information. If you’re nice and courteous to them they will feel good with you and if you’re not they will call you ‘rude’. But what if the problem isn’t in the deliverer but in the receiver?

The levels of voices

A lying spirit will only let you hear the voice of feelings from people upsetting you; it blocks the real truth from you by blocking your deeper feelings so it feels like you’re the nice guy and they’re being nasty to you. A man of faith will hear the real voice you are hearing at least 2 spirit levels below the surface voice of your false spirit. For example, a level 1 false spirit voice after being corrected might sound like … “I’ll go away and try harder”. A level 2 voice which the false spirit will let you hear might sound like …” I’m dumped. I’m no good. I feel stupid. It’s not fair”. But the real truth starts on level 3 and it’s targeted at the corrector or authority… “You’re rude for not considering my feelings.” This is what the person is really saying in their heart, but a lying spirit lives in denial. You can’t get free until you own the truth and face the denial.

A man of faith is called to free you if you’ll listen and take the blunt correction; but rarely will arrogance listen, therefore the challenge from the man of faith turns into a judgment against you; that’s why he’s unpopular. A man of faith will know he’s been accused of rudeness, but the fact is he’s addressing your spirit at the real spirit level, but to the person with the false spirit it will come across as an offense. The occupied person will diagnose the man of faith as arrogant when in fact they are testifying of their own arrogance; their spirit will really be objecting to the challenge and be defensively saying that “no one is going to tell me what to do and what to think, thank you very much! I have the right to my own opinion”, and that’s the whole truth there, at level 4. The real truth is, the false spirit is the arrogant offender, and the man of faith is just upsetting it.

False followers of Christ

Most people who worship Christ actually operate out of a false spirit. Like the followers in John 6:26 who were chasing Jesus so they could get more bread, they’ve really come to Christ just to get the freebies; to get the benefits of family, value, purpose, spiritual knowledge, ranking, social community, clubs, or friendship. To their mind they are following Jesus for all the right reasons, but they can’t see the truth; their hearts are hardened to their value and rights and their judgment is fixed by their feelings and experiences.

Someone who walks by faith knows this. Faith doesn’t do things based on the feeling level and the status level, it reacts to a false spirit on a spirit level; thus it is often addressing that false spirit in a blunt or stern and heavy-handed tone because it’s up against a false spirit of resistance. On the surface, somebody who has this spirit doesn’t know that they are occupied, and are easily offended by a man of faith.

The man of faith has to suffer the rudeness, disrespect and arrogance of a false spirit from a person who thinks you are the rude and arrogant one.

Everyone on the planet is born with an inherent desire to be of value. Thus they learn to avoid bad feelings and learn where their strengths lie so they can elevate themselves and have good feelings. While ever you concentrate on having good feelings you can’t walk by faith; instead you’ll walk under the influence of a false spirit, and obviously you’ll conflict with a man of faith. A man of faith doesn’t walk by his feelings; he walks by the spirit and uses his feelings to sense what spirit is conflicting with him.

In John 6:26 the people were corrected by Jesus for chasing Him for the freebies and not for the spirit. When people who walk by a false spirit are corrected they don’t feel good; they feel rejected, and this starts a grievance against the corrector. So, the people asked Jesus, “ok, then what are we supposed to do to make it right?” Jesus simply said “believe“; you don’t have to do anything except believe. The problem is, if you are under a false spirit you can’t believe, you can only pretend to believe, and lie to yourself that you are saved and good, and when a man of faith challenges this fact about you, you get offended, confirming you are under a false spirit.

Why couldn’t they believe?

Jesus said in John 5:44 that you can’t believe when you are looking for honour from men; which is why Jesus refused to go that way, v.41.This is the reason why there are so few real believers; false believers worship Jesus and seek the value of men at the same time. Do you believe that Jesus is the Son of God? You can’t if you mix Jesus with the need and desire for human value; it’s an impossible contradiction, 1John 2:15. The truth is, you’re not saved if you haven’t sacrificed the desire to be valued by others, Luke 14:26,33.

A man who walks by faith has sacrificed the value of human honour. He is focussed on spirit not what people think of him, and he accepts being labelled “rude” knowing that it’s the price of suffering for the name of Christ.

In John 6, Jesus went on to explain that He is the bread of life, and if you are to have life you must eat Him and drink His blood. This was too much for His followers so they deserted Him. If they were walking by Holy Spirit they would have seen what Jesus was talking about, but they were already offended at His correction so this was the final straw. Why did Jesus explain it the way He did? He could have said it more clearly and not offended them further. Because He knew He was up against resistant spirits, v.64, and this is the same reason He spoke in parables so that only those who were called by the Father (v.44) would recognise the truth. Does that sound fair to you? Of course it won’t if you are in a false spirit.

How do you know whether you are functioning under a lying spirit?

  1. You won’t like correction; it will make you feel bad
  2. You won’t be comfortable with the person who has Holy Spirit; you’ll withdraw from them; they’ll threaten your popularity or comforts.
  3. You won’t know because your own arrogance is too strong and too well camouflaged
  4. You will try and work out what to do to get back into the good books of the corrector

The evidence of Holy Spirit

1. unpopular, John 7:7

2. not believed , John 7:5

3. seeks only the glory of the Father, John 7:18

4. misjudged, John 6:61

If you are one of the few who have committed themselves to the influence and lordship of Jesus be careful not to expect people to not hold a grievance against you, otherwise you’ll be tricked into falling for a grievance yourself. Unjust, misunderstood accusations against a man of faith are tools that Satan uses to try and make you fall to your hurt emotions and trap you in the sin of a grievance.

May God strengthen His faithful few for His glory.

Pastor Mike Stewart

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Posted by on April 23, 2012 in Faith

 

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