Creflo Dollar - The Reality Of Spiritual Warfare, Part 2
Proverbs 4:20. All right, look what he says. Proverbs 4:20, "My son, attend," or give attention, "to my words; incline thy ear unto my sayings". All right. Am I saying that it's not important to give attention to all of God's Word? No, I'm not saying that. That is important, but I think that we are now in a place in our life where we can begin to search for accuracy and precision. "My son, attend to my words". All right. There's 66 books in the Bible, so attend to all of your words? Yeah, that's cool. I have no problem with that, but when I need healing do I need to attend to the whole Bible, or are there some specific words I need to attend to? Or when I need deliverance is I gotta get all the words in the Bible, or do I get some specific, accurate words that deal with healing or provision?
All right, lemme show you what I'm saying here. So, he says give attention here, but then if you flip over to Romans chapter 6 in the New Testament, Romans chapter 6 in the New Testament, he's going to deal with something that requires our attention in order for us to be successful under this new covenant of grace. Watch very carefully now. "For sin shall not have dominion," or authority, "over you". All right now, hold on a minute now. What we just read is only true in the new covenant, because under the old covenant sin had dominion and authority. You following what I'm saying? So, you gotta rightly and accurately divide that. Sin shall not have dominion over you. Well, it did before you got born again. It did before Jesus died on the cross and gave us this new covenant. It dominated mankind, so now he's talking about us under the new covenant, this new and living way.
"For sin shall not have dominion over you," under this new and living way "for you are not under the law". Well, now that we're born again we are not under the law, but we're under grace. So now, he's showing some precision here. He said sin will not have dominion over you, and then he says you're not under the law. You're under grace. What he's saying is under the law sin had dominion over you, but under the grace of God it no longer had dominion over you. So, you see the precision there, but religion will keep saying, "You know, sin dominates you. Sin dominates you, sin dominates you". That is right under the law, but we're not under the law. We're under the grace of God, so sin does not dominate you under the grace of God, all right? You follow me?
Now, go to the next verse. He says, "What then? Shall we sin", now, this is an action, "Shall we sin, because we're not under the law"... He says, okay, you're not under the law, so shall we just go ahead and sin? 'Cause under the law it said if you sinned you're gonna be condemned to death. All kinds of things that will happen. He says, "Shall we sin now that we're not under the law, but under grace"? He says no. Grace is not a license to sin. Grace still has the objective of holiness. Look at verse 16. All right, now this is so important. Follow me carefully. "Know you not, that to whom you yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants you are to whom you obey; whether of sin unto death, or obedience unto righteousness"? Verse 17, "But God be thanked, that you were the servants of sin, but you have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine," that word "doctrine" means teaching, "which was delivered unto you".
Now go back to 16. Now, I'm telling you all my life I did not see this. I kept it in the general. I didn't have any precision towards this. I mean, I read it like this years ago. "Know you not, that to whom you yield yourselves servants to obey," all right? So, I'm thinking I need to obey something. "His servants you are to whom you obey". So, if I obey God, I'm his servant. If I obey the devil, I'm his servant. And in general that would be cool, all right? And it wouldn't be anything real wrong with that, okay? It's not like that's wrong, all right? But there's only one problem here, because there's an accuracy here. That if I don't get the precision here I'm gonna miss out on something really big deal.
You see the word "obey"? It appears two times in this verse of Scripture. This word "obey" in verse 16 and 17 is translated. It is a Greek word that's translated "to listen" or "to give attention to". Wow, this word "obey" translated in the Greek, it means "to hearken, to pay attention to, or to listen to". To hearken, to pay attention to, or to listen to. Now, if I don't go back and understand the context of what's happening, I'm gonna miss the whole point. Now look at this. "Know you not, that to whom you yield yourselves servants to obey," to hearken to, to give attention to, to listen to, oh, "servants to listen to". "So that to whom you yield yourselves servants to listen to or to give your attention to, his servants you are to whom you listen to or give your attention to. Whether you listen to or give your attention to the sin unto death, or whether you listen to or give your attention to obedience unto righteousness".
And the next verse says that it's doctrine, or teachings, that you're listening to. That next verse calls this doctrine, or teaching, so he says, "But God be thanked, that you were the servants of sin, but you have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine," so he's talking about teachings. He says you will be a servant to whichever teaching you give your attention to, whether you give your attention to the teaching of sin unto death, which came by Adam, or whether you give your attention to obedience unto righteousness, which came by Jesus. He says whichever teaching you give your attention to, that's the teaching you're gonna serve. I never got that. Are you seeing what I'm saying? And now all of a sudden I'm like, "Oh, wow".
If I continue to listen to and give my attention to the teaching or the doctrine of Adam, which is sin unto death, then that's what I'm gonna serve. But if I will give my attention and start listening to the doctrine and the teaching of Jesus Christ concerning obedience unto righteousness, then that's what I'm gonna serve. So, very simply put, you keep listening to teachings about the old covenant under the law, instead of listening to teachings about the grace of God under Jesus Christ, he says you're gonna either serve that doctrine, or you're gonna serve this one. "God be thanked, that you were the servants of sin". Why? "But you have given your attention from the heart to that form of doctrine which was delivered unto you".
Now the doctrine that's been delivered unto you by Jesus Christ. Verse 18, "Being then made free from sin, you became the servants of righteousness". How did you become the servants of righteousness? By giving your attention and yielding to the teaching that came from Jesus Christ concerning this grace of God. By giving your attention to and being obedient, the obedience to righteousness or the fact that I'm righteous because of Jesus, and I'm not righteous because of what I do. I'm righteous because of the Lord Jesus and not because of what I do. I'm gonna listen to this teaching on God's grace and I'll be a servant of righteousness because I'm not listening to the teaching that came from Adam concerning sin unto death.
Wow, all of a sudden now I'm thinking, "Oh my God. I need precision". I need precision, 'cause I didn't get that. I was just satisfied with, "Oh, if I obey the devil, then I'm gonna serve the devil. If I obey God, I'm gonna serve God". And, like I said, that's not wrong, but the precision that's necessary to show us how to get there. The precision that's necessary to show us how to walk in this is what was missing. So, listen to this now, the devil can only succeed in your life if you are under performance-based Christianity, which is under the law. You wanna lose the battle in the mind? Allow yourself to try to accomplish what Jesus has already accomplished. Allow yourself to try to accomplish it by your own works and by your own performance. And every time you try to do things by your own works and your own performance, Satan is guaranteed victory in your life. The devil can only succeed in your life if you are under performance-based Christianity, which is under the Law of Moses. Performance-centered, self-centered is all under the law, same thing.
Here's what I'm talking about. Jesus has already died, rose again, and he says, "I am righteous, so now you're righteous". And so, instead of you just receiving that by faith, "I'm righteous," you're over here doing all righteous activities to try to take something that you can't earn. You're over here trying to work real hard to get real righteous instead of believing it. See, see, Jesus has already done it and my job is by faith taking it, by faith taking possession of it. So, what happens is instead of just saying, "Jesus is enough. I'm righteous 'cause he made me righteous. I'm redeemed 'cause he made me redeemed. I'm healed because he's provided healing". Instead of me saying, "Okay, God, I receive that by faith". We did that with salvation.
Remember what he said in Ephesians 2? He said we were saved by grace, but we got it through faith. You're healed by grace, but you get it through faith. You know what the other side says? It says, "We are saved through performance". That's not right. "You are healed through your performance". That's not right. "You are delivered through your performance". That's not right, not anymore. It was, but not anymore because of what Jesus did. Man, I've been set free from that because of what Jesus did.
Now, think about this now. Please understand this. What's under the law versus what's under grace? If I repeat this again you may begin to really... hopefully, this will all fall in place now. The law is what you do for God. Grace is what God does for you. Under the Law of Moses it's all about what you do for God. Under the Law of Moses it's what you gotta do for God in order for God to do anything for you, but under the grace of God it's what God does for you. And you believe it, and you receive it, okay? Let's look at another one. Under the law, the law is working for God, but grace is working for you. Under the law you're working for God, but under grace God's working for you. Wow, wow. Under the law you're always working for God. That's why you're so tired under the law. You're always working for God. And under the law it required all of that work back then.
I'm not saying that's not true. I'm saying it's not true under grace. I'm saying it's not true under that, 'cause under grace God's working for you. God totally has done everything that could ever be done in your life. Everything that you'll ever need in your life, he's already done it. God is working for you. You see, when you are focused and thinking more on what you have done wrong or what you have done right, you're thinking more, "This is what I've done wrong. This is what I've done right". People have that mindset today. If you live good, you go to heaven. If you live bad, you go to hell. All right, listen to what I'm saying. When you are focused and thinking more on what you have done wrong and right, then you are performance-centered focus, because you're thinking about, "Oh, this is what I did wrong. This is what I did right". You're performance-centered focus.
Now, if you are performing before God and if you are conscious of your performance, then you are under the law. If you are performing before God and if you are conscious of your performance, then you are under the law. And you know what Hebrews chapter 9:14 calls it? Hebrews chapter 9, pull it up. He calls it dead works and look what he says. He says, "How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit he offered himself without spot to God". How much more to be able to purge your conscience from dead works so you can serve the living God? He says what else does he have to do to show you that everything is done?
And you know what dead works are? Dead works are you trying to do something to deserve something. It's dead works because you're trying to do to deserve it. You're, "You know, oh, if I can pray for three hours, then I'll deserve God to bless me. You know, if I can pray and fast for five days, I deserve for God to bless me. And if I'm living good, then I deserve for God to bless me". And you're doing what you're doing so you can deserve it. That's dead works, and he says Jesus shed his blood so you can be set free from sin consciousness, so you can no longer serve God with dead works. Oh, wow, you see, listen to me. People under grace, they are conscious of what Christ is doing for them and will do for them. When you're under grace, I'm conscious about what God's done. I'm conscious about that he's already healed me. I'm conscious about he's already delivered me. I'm conscious about what God has done. I'm more conscious about what he is doing. I'm more conscious about what he will do. Praise God.
That's what I'm conscious about, God's doings, not your doings, and that's the key. God's doings, not your doings. That's the distinction between that old way of living and that new way of living. That I gotta renew my mind to God's doings instead of my doings, because under grace it's done. Under the law it's what you got to do. Glory to God. You see, the devil will get you every single time you shift to self-effort and self-performance, because when you shift to self-effort then he will condemn you for your efforts. He'll turn around right after you release your self-effort, and then he'll condemn you for your self-efforts, and he'll say, "Look at what you did. Look at what you did".
That's how this game is played. Satan will cause guilt and questionings. Guilt and questionings. That's what Satan causes. Well, he'll do stuff. For example, "How many times have you read your Bible today"? Just to cause you to feel guilty about not reading your Bible. See, you can read your Bible, but if you don't that shouldn't make you feel guilty. It should make you feel hungry, but not guilty. Grace destroys the power of the devil. And when you renew your thinking to line up with this grace of God, this gospel of grace, these finished works of Jesus Christ, when you renew your thinking to line up with that, the gates of hell just can't prevail against you. Why? 'Cause you have a revelation of Jesus. You have a revelation of Jesus. Let's look at this just for a moment. Let's look at the relationship between Satan and the law. This is important. Let's start off with this. Lucifer was in the Garden of Eden, and then man took his place.
Now you gotta know there's a issue there now. That's why he hates man so much. He's in the garden, and now man's in the garden, and man took his place. Listen carefully. So, why not tempt Eve? If you're that mad, Satan, why don't you just tempt Eve to murder her husband? Think with me, think with me for a moment. He hates us, he wants to kill, steal, and destroy because man took over something that he had, so hey, devil, why don't you just, you know, since you all that, why don't you tempt Eve to murder her husband? You know why? Because the devil uses the law to strengthen temptation. He couldn't tempt Eve to murder her husband because there was no law at the time prohibiting murder
Lemme show you something. 1 Corinthians chapter 15:56. Where there is no law, there is no strength for temptation. Wow, look at verse 56. "The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin," the strength of sin, "is the law". He could not get her to sin and commit her murder because there was no law at the time prohibiting it. Satan can only tempt in the area where there is a law. That's so strong. Where there is a law, and that's why he wants to get you and me and the body of Christ to stay stuck on living by the Law of Moses, because it allows him the power to tempt. Oh, man, please see this. See, if you're still stuck on those 613 laws of Moses and you're not understanding that Satan needs a law in order to tempt you and not coming over to this new and living way... I know there's a lotta deep things in this and especially for some of you who are online and you've never heard the gospel of grace.
And you're thinking like, "What in the world is this guy talking about"? But I promise you I'm right. And that's not a arrogant statement. It's just this grace is so big and huge, because grace is not a doctrine. It's a person, Jesus full of grace and truth, and you have to peel off layers. And there are so many layers that you peel off. And I've stayed with this thing for years, and I'm telling you what I know. The battle of the mind can be won when we renew our mind in grace, when we renew our mind in the finished works of Jesus, when we renew our mind in what Jesus has already done through his blood and through his broken body. Satan cannot win the battle of the mind when your mind is being renewed in grace.
Wow, the only law in the garden at that time was "don't eat of the tree". That was the only place where Satan could tempt. The strength to be able to tempt Adam and Eve could only be dealing with the tree, 'cause that was the only place where there was a tight law over that, when God said, "Don't eat of the tree, and the day you eat of it you will surely die". And that was the place of temptation. Have you noticed that? That he couldn't tempt Adam and Eve in any other area except the one area where there's a law. Wow, the law doesn't justify you, it doesn't. God is for me, and God is on my side, and this is what the devil is afraid of. The devil doesn't want you understanding that God is for you, and God is on your side, and God's working for you.