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Dr. Ed Young - Know Your Weakness

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    Dr. Ed Young - Know Your Weakness
TOPICS: Weaknesses

The Book of Ephesians is a fabulous, practical study of telling us how God wants His sons and daughters to walk in the world in which we live. Look at it. Chapter 1 of Ephesians tells us that we are in Christ. If we've received Him, this is what we have; this is who we are-tremendous thing. And then the word "walk" is all the way through this. Look at Chapter 2 Verse 10: "For we are His workmanship..." He carved us out. "...created in Jesus Christ..." A new carving, a new person, for good works which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them. He has given us gifts and abilities and put us here at this time in this place, regardless of how confusing our life is; regardless of how thrilling our life is. We are His workmanship, and we are to walk and use that which He's given us at this point in life.

Then Chapter 2, we talk about our walk, for we are His workmanship. And then look over in Chapter Number 3. He still talks about, Verse 14: "For this reason, I bow my knees to the Father from whom every family in Heaven and on earth derives its name". Verse 17: "So that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith that you, being rooted and grounded in love be able to comprehend with all the saints, all the other Christians, what is the breadth, and length, and height, and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses all knowledge that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God". Oh, that's amazing. The Chapter 4 Verse 1: "I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord beseech you that you walk..." there's our word " a manner worthy of the calling as Christians with which you're called".

How do we walk? With humility. All humility. With gentleness. With patience, showing, showing, showing tolerance for one another in love. That's how we are to walk. Look at Verse 17: "So this I say, and affirm together with the Lord, that you walk no longer just as the Gentiles, unbelievers walk in the futility of their mind". No, we walk intelligently. Then look at Verse, Chapter Number 5 Verse 2: "And walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma". When we're walking with Him, there's a fragrant aroma going out from our lives. Isn't that interesting? Beautiful, beautiful figurative language.

Then Verse 15 Chapter 5, Ephesians: "Therefore, be careful how you walk, not as unwise men and women, but as wise, making the most of your time because the days are evil". Verse 17: "So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is". So the whole passage-you walk like this, you walk like this... Then you come to that 18th Verse there in Ephesians 5, and it says, "Be not drunk with wine, but be filled with the Spirit". Now some people have the idea when you're filled with the Spirit, it's like you're drunk. Heh, heh-no, no, no! When you're filled with the Spirit, it's the opposite of being drunk. It means you are walking. You are standing. You are solid. You are steadfast. You have a sense of direction, a sense of purpose. And that's what it means to be filled with the Spirit.

Now, somebody, "Well, being filled with the Spirit. That's such a big, fancy church kind of concept. What does it really mean"? Paul tells us in the following Verses. This is a transition in all the Book of Ephesians. Paul said, "This is how you walk. This is who you are. This is how you walk. This is how you live. You walk in love, etc..." And then he says, "Be filled with the Spirit". He has four characteristics to determine whether you and I are Spirit filled, very simple. Number one, he says "Speaking". See it there in the text? You speak to one another. By the way, some people have a hard time saying "Hello". Have you noticed that? It's not painful. Some people have a hard time smiling. Try it! We speak to one-they're speak, and they're singing! Oh yeah!

You say, "I don't sing". How many of you have ever been in a choir in your life? Would you-ever been in a choir-baby choir, my goodness! I'm-by the way, you've been in the choir today! Wayne was leading all of us. We've been in the choir! That's what we do. We sing. "Well, I don't sing anymore". Just mouth the words. "Amazing grace! How sweet..." You know, singing! Speaking! Saying, thanking is a mark of being spirit filled. We're thankful. I'm grateful for this; I'm thankful for that. I'm thrilled with... be, have an attitude. We love to be around people who have a, a Thanksgiving lifestyle, don't we? You know people, just, they're just thankful. The sun came up, "I'm thankful..." We're thankful for little things... Thanksgiving is a mark of being filled with the Spirit -filled the Spirit, like Christ. Speaking, singing, thank... Submitting is a mark!

Say, we're to be submissive one to another. That's to position ourselves under. Now Paul gives this lofty, theological framework, and then you know what he breaks out into in Ephesians? He gets real practical. He said, "Now you're filled with the Spirit. You're speaking, you're singing, you're thanking, you're submitting, and now, this is how a man relates to his wife, and a wife relates to a man in marriage". Whoo! Very practical, isn't it? Brings it right down to earth. Then he gets more practical. He said, "Also, this is how parents relate to children, and children relates to parents. Anything simpler than that? Great counsel..." Then he gets even more practical. He said, "This is how to employer rates to employees, and employees relate to an employer". Very practical.

And you say, "Well, I've got this walk. I've got this winning walk down, and because I have the winning walk down, I'm okay..." but then Paul, right there in the Scripture we've been looking at in Ephesians Chapter Number 6, he says, "Finally, be strong in the Lord in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the Devil". Now, we've already, if you've been around, put on three pieces of armor. Have you noticed it? But I want you to see what else Paul says. Look at Verse 16. I won't even, I know it. He said, "In addition to this, we got all we need," but Paul said, "In addition to this, if we're gonna be successful in the battle against evil in this world, in your life and in my life, he says, and he adds three more pieces of armor. These are symbols..."

By the way, remember what this is. We're putting on Jesus Christ, aren't we? We take off ourselves, and we put on Christ. This is a symbol of what we have when we put on Christ. And then he says, "In addition to this..." What is this about? Look at John. I love this. John-over here, it tells us something really -John Chapter 14 Verse 20. Jesus says, "In that day, you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you". Now watch this. Jesus is saying that when, Jesus says, "I am in the Father..." right? Father God, and He's saying, "You are in Me, and I am in you," He's saying we're doubly protected. Isn't that terrific? We're doubly protected!

You know, I'm in Christ, Christ in you, and we're all in the Father God. I mean, that is amazing protection. This is what Paul is saying here. He's saying, "You've got on these three pieces of armor," but said, "in addition to this, if you're really going to stand and walk in the 21st Century, you gotta have three other things. The first thing is", he said, "You've got to take up the shield of faith". Now this shield pictured here in the Scripture is not one of those little old round, Frisbee-like shields, you know? You see a little round shield there... Uh-huh. This shield is about 2.5 feet wide; about 4.5 feet long. It's almost like picking up a door, you got it? That's how big that Roman shield was. And the Roman shield was covered in leather, and therefore, the shield is there because the fiery darts from the enemy, the Devil, comes and attacks us.

How did the Romans use that shield? They would get there, and they would line up with their legions. They would take that shield, and they would hide behind that shield, and they would have a phalanx there. And they'd lock their shields together -shield, after shield, after shield... The next row, shield after shield. It would go all the way back, and the flaming arrows would come. What were those flaming arrows? They would take cotton, put 'em on an arrow. They'd dip the cotton in pitch. It'd be fire, burning slow. They would slow it, and the arrow would come and where it would hit, it would splatter-splatter fire. But you see, they were protected behind that shield. Let the flaming arrows of the Devil come and attack us, because this shield is a shield of what? Faith!

Now we think faith is a weak, weak word. It's just not a strong word; it's a weak word. It's not a weak word. It's not a flimsy word. It's a strong word. We say, "Well, reason is strong, and faith is weak". And therefore, we talk about natural revelation-stay with me! That's the created order. And we say, "I can look at the natural revelation, the created order, and I can come to believe that there's a God". Okay? That's reason. But we look at special revelation-that's the Bible. We say, "Oh, no, no. I have to accept the Bible by faith".

Let me show you something. The best way to understand the difference between reason and faith is, we use reason to have a faith, and we use faith to have reason. They're not opposites; they are complimentary. Best way to see that is, you're dating someone. Your wife, husband, and when you're dating, it's good to use a little reason. If you fall in love only with your heart, Heaven help you! Only by appearance, time out! So we use reason. We get to know the person; they get to know us, their habits, their understanding. There is a reason that involve; and then on the basis of that reason, we move into a faith. It's like saying, "I do," and "I will". We have a reasonable faith. We come to the altar, "I do", and "I will". We use our head, and we use our heart as we fall in love. Our head gives us reason; our heart gives us faith, and they come together, and we have marriage. We have a reasonable faith, and that's important that we understand that.

And so, this shield of faith is strong. It is a reason faith. It is a firm faith. So we pick up the shield of faith that handles all the fiery darts that he tries to bring into your life-temptations, and doubts, and frustrations, and anger. The shield of faith-shield of faith-get behind it! Then the next thing we pick up is the helmet of salvation. We put on that helmet, and that says this is who we are. The helmet protects the mind, the thinking. It gives us clear thinking. Don't you like people who think clearly? I saw Joe Namath on, on television, a sports talk show. Remember, if you're on T.V., unless you're on the news -some news, and unless you have a number on your back, I'll not see you... That's just the way I am! I apologize for that.

People say, "Did you see this"? Naw, naw, naw, naw... You haven't got a number on your back, maybe, particularly if you're from Mississippi-uh, if you got a number on your back, you know, I may... I was watching a little sports show, and Joe Namath was one. I'd heard Joe-Broadway Joe had all the concussions, and I noticed a few years back, he was slipping. You know, he wasn't speaking clearly. His mind was sort of hazy, and I could tell his cognitive ability had greatly declined, all those concussions. Then I saw him on this talk show, and man, he was clear and speaking just candidly and vividly, remembering things. And in the process, they asked him, "Joe, what's, what's happened to you"? And he got in some hyperbaric thing that feeds, like you go in from, from being a diver would go in? And oxygen would come?

There's a special treatment they gave to his brain, and he told the story. He said, "The whole right side of his brain," he said, "was darkened when they first tested him. But they began a new process of putting oxygen in that brain". He said, "Now they test me. Both sides of my brain are lighted". There's oxygen. There's blood flow there, and there's been a rekindling of his brain and the stem in there. And you could tell the way he would speak, and the way he'd work. This has great hope for stroke victims. Has great hope for those who have a series of concussion. I saw it right there! This is what happens when we put on the helmet of salvation, ladies and gentlemen! All of a sudden, things that were dark are clear! And God reveals to us, and we think clearly, and we operate clearly. The helmet of salvation, we put it on. We put it on...

And then, what else do we put on? We really don't put it on. We pick it up. We take it out. That is that sword. By the way, in most armies of this day, most people are right handed; they put the scabbard and the sword over here, and they draw the big sword like that, right? Not the Romans! No, no, no! Not this kind of armor. The Romans had that big old shield like a door, and they kept, if they were right handed, the sword here, and they drew the sword right out like this-bam! And it was right there. It was a short thing about 6 or 8 inches long, and I've heard all my life, people teach on this, "Well, the sword is the only offensive weapon the Word of God"! Right? "The Sword of the Spirit is the Word of God".

That's not true! The sword is an offensive weapon, but all the armor is too. Go up against a Roman, hand-to-hand combat. He's got that shield-bam! I mean, that's offensive. He's got those boots of peace-gave like spikes on 'em. Let me tell you, that's offensive. He has his helmet on. Have you ever been head-butted? Bam! That's offensive. He's got this breast plate of righteousness-bam! He'll get you, and he's got that sword of the spirit right there-bam! The Word of God, the Sword of the Spirit. Now usually in the Bible, the Word of God-you see the word "logos" in Greece, or "logos" in Greece. It is the whole Word of God. It's all that's available to us. It's like having an arsenal of weapons over here; but the sword is not-the word here is not "logos," it's "rhema," and it, it is also another word for the Word, and that is how it is used, the sword is used in a very personal, direct way.

It's how Jesus used the Bible. In His temptations, what did He say? "It is is written..." And He'd be dealing with the Pharisees or the Sadducees. He'd say, "As the Bible teaches... as the Bible teaches..." Would He not? All the way through, He used this as truth. It was the sword. That's how we use it. I mean, I had a little battle years ago, with my heart, and all of a sudden, I'm in a hospital room, and a Verse come to mind: "Create in me a clean heart, O' Lord! Renew a right spirit within me". Bang! Perfect, wasn't it? Clean heart, right spirit. There it was! Words of God come. Have you ever started to cross that line, and all of a sudden, a Scripture will come to you? Didn't even know you knew it? Didn't know exactly where it came from? The quotation? But it's there?

See, that is a rhema. It is used personally. It's putting faith in the action-reasonable faith in action, and that is that sword that we pull out. And we win-the sword is two-edged. It cuts us, and it cuts out. It's offensive, and it's defensive as we go through this winning walk. That's salvation. Uh, that's Christ! You say, "Well, I don't know about the Bible..." Walk through something I think's very important. Jesus says the Bible is true, right? Uses the Bible as truth. The Bible says Jesus is true. Okay. But that's circular reasoning, isn't it? We know everything about Jesus from the Bible-bam. Jesus says, "I look at the Bible..." that's circular reasoning, but it's really not when you add one other element, and that is the Bible itself.

This Bible contains 66 Books, right? Written by 37 authors, on two continents, written over a period of 2,000 years, covering a scope of history at least 4,000 years in length. You would expect different understandings, different backgrounds. You'd expect incoherence. You'd expect conflicts. You'd expect all kind of things with a book put together like that, wouldn't you, logically? But what do you find here? You find progressive revelation. You find God progressively revealing Himself to man over a period of time. You find truth all the way through here. You see how prophecy is fulfilled here. It is predicted here; it is fulfilled over here, and you see the evolution. You see the involvement of the progressive knowledge of God through the Scripture, and you see the thematic, the theme of it stays absolutely consistent all the way through. And so we hold up and we see historians have not been able to disprove one centimeter of this Bible.

Archeologists, as they've dug into the past, they've only found things that affirm the Scripture, not anything that rejects the Scripture. You look at anthropologists. They study all these tribes, all these ancient groups and sects, and they see it rings true with the language, with the understanding of the Scripture. So you look at the Bible; it stands up as truth! Therefore, Jesus says the Bible is true. The Bible says Jesus is truth, and the Bible itself stands up as irreversible truth, as inerrant truth. That is not circular reasoning; it is founded there. And then we look at Jesus and see, how did He stack up against truth? He didn't just teach these stuff, and these principles; He fleshed it out all the way through His death and through His Resurrection!

That is the reason we can put on this full armor as we're instructed to and know that we'll be able to do what? We'll be able to stand! Stand firm! I spoke to a group of young parents Wednesday night a week ago, and I thought of this, and I hadn't thought of it in years. I went to Mississippi College, a school outside of Jackson, Mississippi in Clinton, and once we had Abigail Van Buren to speak to us. Now you know Dear Abby? You know-all the newspapers, "Dear Abby" columns. They'd ask Abby questions, and, and she'd answer them. And after she got through speaking, they asked her, they said, "Abby, of all the answers you've given, what answer did you give that got the most response from other writers"? She said, "That's easy". And she told this story. She said, "I got a letter from a woman in Idaho".

Have to be Idaho... And she said that, she said, "Dear Abby, I have always done my housework in the nude". And she said, "I do it. Nobody's at home. I pull all the drapes, all the blinds". She said, "I just do my housework in the nude," and she said, "I just wonder-I told one of my friends about it. She said, 'That's really weird. There may be something wrong with you'" and she said, "I don't know. Is that okay? Idaho..." Abby answers the letter in sort of an ambiguous kind of way, she said, "Well, you know, you're by yourself doing your housework. That's what you do. I don't see any problem... but," she said, "You might better go get some, you know, psychological counseling of some kind to make sure it's, you know, it's okay". And Abby said as a result of her response, she got letters of strong response on both sides.

Some people wrote and said, "Well, what in the world's the matter? She's by herself. She does her housework. Nobody's there. Blinds are pulled. What's wrong with that? It's crazy for you to even question that! That's no big deal"! Others wrote and said, "Obviously, the woman is psychotic. She's out of her mind; she needs to get immediate help, somebody who would do their housework without any clothes on". And then Abby tells the group there in my school... She said, "Then I got an avalanche of letters, but said one letter stands out". This woman wrote and says, "Dear Abby, in response to the woman who did her housework in the nude, let me tell you what happened to me". She said, "A few weeks back, I got up, took a shower, put on an old robe," and said, "I started, it was wash day".

She said, "I went and got the dirty clothes from my kid's room, and all of our dirty clothes and hampers". Said, "I took 'em down in the basement". Said, "I do all my washing down there," and she said, "While I was down there, I was drying something, and there was steam in the air," and she said, "My hair, I just got it fixed. It was straightening and falling," and she said, "I wanted to do something to cover my head," and she said, "I reached over there and got my son's football helmet and put it on". You know, you ladies underst... just cover it, and it was uh... and she said, "There I was," and she said, "All of a sudden, I put something in the washer, and I saw how dirty my robe was".

She said, "You nobody around, I didn't have any clothes on". Said, "I just took my robe off and put it in the washer". She said, "I was standing there in my football helmet without any clothes on, in the basement nobody there". And she said, "All of a sudden, I heard a noise..." and she said, "I looked over the other side of the basement, and in walks the man to read the gas meter"! And she said, "I screamed"! and said, "He hollered, and he said, 'I'm sorry! I'm sorry!' and he starts going out the door," but says, "As he went out the door, he said, 'Lady, I sure hope your team wins!'" Let me tell you something: If we put on the full armor of the Lord Jesus Christ and take off you and take off me, let me tell you something: that helmet and all the rest of it will be on the winning team for God in the 21st Century!
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