Creflo Dollar - The Battle Of The Mind, Part 2
The key to spiritual warfare is to rest by faith in the finished works of Jesus Christ. The key to spiritual warfare. See, if you really believe something, the acid test that you really believe it is that you'll enter into rest, not stress, not worry, but when I really believe something, I am at rest. I am at peace. And so you gotta understand this now. The key to spiritual warfare is to rest in the finished works of Jesus Christ. I rest in the finish work that I am the righteousness of God. And Satan gonna do everything he can to try to get me to stress out over it. I rest in the finished works of Jesus Christ.
Remember when I started this statement? I said the most important thing that a believer can do in spiritual warfare is to believe the promises of God, not condemn yourself, not condemn yourself. "Well, what happens if condemnation comes, Pastor? What do I do"? Well, Romans 8:1, says, "There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus". So any time you feel condemnation coming, the way you fight now in this warfare... see, notice it's coming up here in your mind. The way you fight in this warfare, you know, condemnation comes, and here's what you do. You say, "There is no condemnation to those who are in Christ. I'm in Christ". Whoa, whoa, you're maintaining the victory. It said, "Believe the promises and not to think that God is mad at you".
Well, Isaiah 54:9, I need you to see this, Isaiah 54:9. Promises. God made a covenant to not be angry with you nor to rebuke you. It was a covenant promise that he made. He says, "For this is as the waters of Noah unto me, for as I have sworn that the waters of Noah should no more go over the earth", and notice we've not seen another flood since, "so have I sworn that I would not be wroth or angry with thee, nor rebuke thee". So every time this thought comes and it says, "Well, you know what? God's angry at you, and God's mad at you, therefore, what you're going through is punishment," you should say, "No, no, no, God made a promise. He said, 'Just like I promised that the waters of the earth won't ever flood the earth again, so have I promised not to be angry at you and to rebuke you and to punish you.'" God is not the punisher, and you need to tell yourself when that thought comes.
Notice when I said, "when that thought comes," notice when that thought of condemnation comes, notice when that thought that God's mad at you come, You gotta respond with the Word. It's important that you open your mouth to respond to the Word. You remember, I've done this over maybe the last 40 years, over and over and over again, but you take authority of your thoughts with the words of your mouth. So you can't just sit there and let the thoughts happen. When there's a crazy thought going through your mind, open your mouth up and say what you believe and such. Say the victory. Speak the victory. Let's do this one more time. I want you to count from one to ten without saying anything. Just count to yourself one to ten. Ready? Go. Now say your name out loud, all right?
What happened to your counting? Oh, excuse me. What happened to the counting? It stopped, right? Because your brain had to shut that down, that thought down, to comprehend what was coming out your mouth, and that's exactly what happens when the enemy is coming up to you and trying to condemn you, you open your mouth up, and you say, "There's no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus". That stops, and what you just said now enters in. When the enemy comes to you and says, "God's mad at you, and he's gonna punish you, and what you're going through is a punishment, you shouldn't've did that," you open your mouth up and say, "God's got a covenant with me not to be angry with me nor to rebuke me". That's spiritual warfare. That's how you do that, okay?
It also says, you know, "Let's believe the promise. Most important thing that a believer can do in spiritual warfare is to believe the promise and not to be sin conscious", look at Hebrews 10:2, sin conscious, not to be sin conscious and to blame things on your latest, or your most recent, performance of sin. Sin consciousness, always going around, conscious of sin: "Well, that didn't happen because of the sin in my life," and "Well, that didn't happen because of sin in my life," and just so sin conscious. You're so sin conscious, you get up in the morning, and you say, "Lord, forgive me for the sin I hadn't even committed yet". And the Bible says concerning this, he says, "For then would they not have ceased to be offered", he's talking about sacrifices, "because that the worshiper once purged should have no more consciousness of sins".
You see, Jesus was that final offering, and he was offered, and what happened when Jesus was offered, sin consciousness was purged. So every time sin consciousness comes in your mind, you open your mouth up and say, "Because of the offering of Jesus, no more sin consciousness". See, this is how you battle. You don't just sit there and let things sit in your mind. You respond with words, okay? And then you go on, and you say, "You know, well, the reason why I'm going through this is because I didn't do this, and because I didn't do this, then God couldn't do that". Or "If I'd've did that, then God would've did that," or "If I hadn't have done that, then I wouldn't be going through this".
Look at Galatians chapter 2, verse 16, in the NLT; Galatians chapter 2:16 in NLT. Well, why am I taking my time to share with this? It's time for us to get detailed in this Word so that we can have some amazing victories manifesting in our lives. Jesus has already given us the victory. Now we gotta get 'em to manifest in our lives. He says, "Yet we know that a person is made right with God by faith in Jesus Christ, not by obeying the law. And we have believed in Christ Jesus, so that we might be made right with God, so we're made right with God because we believe Jesus because of our faith in Christ, not because we have obeyed the law of Moses".
So the key to spiritual warfare is to rest, that's authentic belief, to rest in the finished works of Jesus Christ, to rest in the victory that Jesus has obtained, to rest in it, to have a level of confidence, not stress, to have a level of peace about it, not worry, to have a level of faith about it, not trying to figure out what you need to do in order for this to be true. It is true because Jesus has already made it happen. All right, you know, I wanna go a little bit more detailed, okay? And I'm not trying to bore you with this, but, you know, we gotta get in the Word, man. You know, when you talk about having rest in the finished works of Jesus Christ, some people may not have heard this. I kind of go over it quickly, but I wanna settle down a little bit this morning.
What is the finished work of Jesus Christ? I mean, by Scripture, if somebody were to ask you, "What's the finished works of Jesus Christ"? You tell 'em this, this, this, and then they'd ask the question, "Well, prove it". Well, first of all, where did we get that from? John 19:30, here's Jesus on the cross, and in John 19:30, he says, "When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said", watch this, "'It is finished,' bowed his head, and gave up the ghost". "It is finished". I don't know about you, but as a Christian, you should ask, "Well, what was finished? What was finished"? He said, "It is finished". What was finished? And that's the mistake we make. We get so religious that we deal with Satan in the general and not in the preciseness of things.
What is finished? Well, there are three very specific things. I could break it down to more, but three very specific things that were finished. I'll give you three words: propitiation, redemption, and reconciliation. I know by Scripture what was finished when he laid his head and died: propitiation, redemption, and reconciliation. It was finished. Now, let me show this to you in Scripture because you need to know this. Christian people, it's time to be well informed because, if you keep hearing half-truths, you won't know how to fight the devil, because he'll show up and actually oppress you with the half-truth. Look at this, 1 John chapter 4:10, and look what he says: "Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and he sent his Son to be a propitiation for our sins".
So when Jesus was sent to be a propitiation for our sins, and that was finished on the cross... so what is a propitiation? It is literally, ladies and gentlemen, it is to satisfy a wrath by sacrifice. Basically, Jesus was the propitiation, or he was the ransom, for the sin in our life. You see, God is a just God, and when a person sins, it's not just for them to just get away with it without paying the consequences. So Jesus was the payment for the sins of the whole world, not just for Christian people, but he was the payment for the sin of the entire world. That's powerful. Jesus was the sin offering. He was the peace offering. Here's the most accurate definition: he was the ransom that was paid for the sin and the consequences of sin so we can go free from the consequences of it, and that was finished on the cross. I don't have to ask him to do that.
Listen, there is nothing I could do to make him do this. That's the favor of God. That's the favor of God. It's not me doing a little bit and Jesus doing a little bit. It was all God. I mean, "For God so loved the world that he gave his Son". Favor, right now. The problem can't be the solution. The problem can't be the solution. All favor of God, right now. You didn't have nothing to do with this propitiation, all from God, favored you with a sin offering, favored you with a ransom that was paid, came up with it, wasn't our suggestion, was his alone, oh glory, and that was finished on the cross. And so right now, by faith, I receive that. It's already done. I'm not trying to come up with another offering for my sins.
And you know, so many people do that. When they sin, they think about "I need to do this, this, this, so I get rid of it". They don't receive by faith the propitiation that was already taken care of. The wrath that God had against us, Jesus was that sin offering. He was that ransom that was paid for our sins and the consequences of our sin. And our response should be, "Thank you, thank you". But there's so many Christians today trying to handle that which has already been handled. So that was finished on the cross. The ransom, the payment for all of your sins, that's so powerful, the payment for all of your sins, the payment for the consequences for all of your sins, I mean, you know, all of us were supposed to go to hell for sin, according to Romans 6. God just can't smile and let you get away with it.
So what he did is he sent the payment. Glory be to God, amen. So that's the first thing that was finished. Here's the second thing that was finished: redemption, redemption. Look at Ephesians chapter 1 and verse 7; Ephesians chapter 1 and verse 7. He says, "In him we have redemption through the blood". We have redemption through the blood. So what is redemption? It's the work of Christ in setting us free from the bondage of sin's slavery with all of its awful connections and consequences. So we have been redeemed. We have been set free from the slavery of sin and the consequences of sin. That's finished at the cross, and according to Ephesians 1:7 we have redemption. We got it through his blood. When he shed his blood, our deliverance from the slavery of sin, done. We have been redeemed, all God's idea, all happened because of him. You didn't do a little bit and God did a little bit, all God, amen.
That's the second thing that was finished at the cross. Here's the third thing that was finished at the cross: reconciliation, reconciliation, 2 Corinthians 5:18. Verse 18 says, "Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ". God's idea. God says, "I'm gonna repair the relationship. You were the enmity because of the sin in your life, and I'm gonna repair the relationship". Reconciliation is the act by which God brings mankind in a complete-change relationship with himself. This is a one-way act by God, a one-way act by God that God initiated this, and God says, "I'm going to reconcile our relationship". There was enmity between man and God, and God says, "I'm going to do something about it. I'm gonna restore our friendship".
This was a one-way act by God, not you doing a little bit and God, and that's the thing about it. People don't understand this is all God, and religion wanna make you think, "Naw, but you gotta do this, this, this, this, this". Honey, Jesus is enough, amen. And then look at 2 Peter chapter 1:3. So the finished works of Jesus: propitiation, redemption, reconciliation, and I like to add this, 2 Peter chapter 1:3, "According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that has called us to glory and virtue".
So everything that pertains to life and godliness has been made available to us. It is finished. Propitiation is finished. Reconciliation is finished. Redemption is finished. My righteousness is finished. Glory to God. My healing is finished. My deliverance is finished. You understand? It's the finished works of Jesus Christ. Satan hates the fact that the work is finished. So here's how he's gonna attack you. He's gonna attack you by challenging your faith in what's finished and by trying to get you to do something to finish it. Satan's ultimate attack is gonna try to get you to enter into performance-based Christianity. He wants you to feel like you gotta perform in order to have your sins paid for.
"You gotta perform in order to be delivered. You gotta perform in order to walk in this reconciliation. You gotta perform in order to get everything that Jesus finished". That's what he wants to do. That's the battle now. The battle is you standing on what's done, and Satan says, "Here's what I'm gonna do. I'm gonna get you into performance-based Christianity. I'm gonna get you to thinking that here are all the things you gotta do in order for that to happen". Satan wants you to think, "Jesus is not enough. It's gotta be Jesus plus a little of what you do. It's gotta be a little from you and little from Jesus". And that's how Satan wins, and that's how he is winning because you have church people who will not receive what the blood of Jesus has made available.
What a slap in God's face to give his Son so that you might freely have all these other things, and you turn down the freedom and still feel like you gotta pay a price for it, wow. So now let's talk about the connection between grace and resisting the devil because I'm telling you right now, our victory in the spiritual warfare is through the unmerited favor of God. It's through the grace of God. It's through what Jesus has already done. That's how we win in the spiritual warfare: by receiving what Jesus has already done. See, you're thinking, "Well, in order for me to get the victory, I've got to intercede for 38 hours and give myself credit and say, 'You know, we prayed for 38 hours, and look at what God could do.'"
You're deceived. It's a slap in God's face. God says, "I already had this ready. All you had to do is stand on it. All you had to do is believe you receive it," and the church is filled with motion, just a lot of motion trying to get God to do something. And I'll show you a Scripture in the series in Romans chapter 6 that talks about the law is responsible for the motions of sin, wow. All right, so let's look at this. What's the connection between grace and resisting the devil, to fight against the devil, to actively fight against the devil? You have to have grace. You will win every time with grace.
Let's look at these two Scriptures, James 4:6 through 7. I looked at 'em last week. James 4:6 through 7, he says, "But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but he gives grace unto the humble". So that's pretty strong right there. "God resists the proud. He gives grace to the humble". Verse 7, "Submit yourself therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you". All right, now notice verse 6 and 7 goes together. He says, "First of all, I want to inform you that those who will believe and line their lives up with the finished works of Jesus Christ," he says, "they are the humble, and I can get grace to them. But those who will not believe and will not line themselves up with the victory that's already there but will enter into performance-based Christianity, that's pride".
That's pride. A prideful man says, "I'm not going to submit to what Jesus has done. I'm not gonna submit to what's already been done". I mean, you got food on the table. You can eat it if you're hungry, but you gotta submit to it. You gotta submit to eating. And he says he resists the proud. There's a resisting the proud. A proud man has an overestimation of his importance. A humble man has a low estimation of his importance. All of a sudden, this prideful man thinks he is so important, more important than Jesus, more important than what the blood has done, that he proceeds to come up with his own protocol of how to try to get it to happen, and he says, "I resist that, but I'll give grace to the guy who thinks of his self lowly and who will submit and line his life up with what I've already done". And then he says in verse 7, "If you'll do that," he says, "submit yourself therefore to God".
See, that's humility. It's all about submitting yourself to God. Submit yourself to God, and when you're submitted to God, then you can fight against the devil. Notice the fighting against the devil comes when you submit yourself to what's done, what's finished. "I'm healed right now. Now I can resist the devil. Now I can resist the devil". That's awesome. See, a lot of people trying to fight the devil, and they don't know what has been done, and they won't submit to what has been done, and they're fighting with no weapons. And so he says, "Resist the devil," because you're submitted to what God has said, and more grace can come your way, and he says, "And he's gonna run from you with fear". That's what the word "flee" means, "to run with fear, to run with fear".
Notice, grace shows up because of your submission to it, and the devil runs with fear, all right? Now, look at this next Scripture, 1 Peter 5:5 through 8; 1 Peter 5:5 through 8, he says, "Likewise, you younger, submit yourselves unto the elder," okay? You know what that means. You're submitting yourself to the elder. You're gonna do what they say, you know? "Submit yourself to the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, be clothed with humility," and verse 6, "for God resisteth the proud", the guy who has a overestimation of his self, who won't line up with what's already finished and, in his prideful way, will try to achieve something that's already been achieved. "For God resists the proud, but he gives grace to the humble," the guy that submits to what's already done. You know, when you submit to healing, you're saying, "I'm healed just 'cause healing's already done". He said, "God resists the proud and give grace to the humble".
All right, verse 6, so it says, since grace goes to the humble, "Humble yourself therefore under the mighty hand of God". He says, "You'll be exalted in due time because grace is working". Verse 7, and so watch this: "Cast all your cares upon him, for he cares for you". Now, this is a test of submission. You see, he says, "Humble yourself," and then he turns around and says, "Cast your care on him 'cause he cares for you". For you to worry instead of casting your care, for you, it's a prideful act. It's a act of pride. When you submit yourself to God, you know what you're saying? "I'll cast my care upon him because he cares for me. And when I cast my care upon him because he cares for me, I have humbled myself, and grace is available. So I can cast my care upon him because he cares for me, and now grace is available to take care of the care". That's what happens when you humble yourself.