Kenneth Copeland - Renewing Your Spiritual Strength
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The Lord has instructed me to talk about strength. Look in the 20th chapter of John's Gospel. Verse 24. "Thomas one of the 12 called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples therefore said unto him, 'We've seen the Lord'. But he said unto them, 'Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails and put my finger into the print of the nails and thrust my hand into his side. I will not believe'". Now, that was an act of his will. An act of his will. And it got him in trouble. Jesus straightened him out. He said to Thomas, "Reach here your finger and behold my hands. Reach here your hand, thrust it into my side, and be not faithless". Say faithless.
Now, see what happens to the will when there's no faith? It'll get you in trouble. I will not. I will to. But believing Thomas answered and said unto him, "My Lord, my God". Jesus said unto him, "Thomas, because you seen me you have believed. Blessed are they that have not seen, and yet believe". So, we're talking about will power. The power to the strength, the will strength to resist. The will strength to resist. Now, if you're only doing it in the flesh, I went through this, I'll tell you, and I'm gonna put this in proper words. I, this is Kenneth BC, you understand? I loved to smoke. I didn't like it, I loved it.
And there was this detective show thing on TV. And Ralph Bellamy, was the guy that was advertising Camel cigarettes. And he had a Zippo lighter. And some of you kids, you know what a Bic lighter, but forget the Bic. That's small, small time. The Zippo. And he had the lid on this thing, and the lid came up this way, and the flint wheel was right here. And he took that lighter and flipped that lid open, and hit that and it looked like it was disconnected. Bam. I thought I'm gonna have to learn that. Man, I worked at that, I mean, I scarred up my thumb, but I worked at it, worked at, and just bam. Let me. You know, yeah. Oh yeah, Jerry said like a gunfighter. Yeah, man, I had my Zippo. Looking good. Quite an accomplishment.
So, but oh brother. Then I got born again. I hate these things, man. Threw that Zippo out in the yard. I'd go, I hate these things then I'll throw the cigarettes out the window. I did not have any will power, and then go back in the weeds and hunt 'em. And I didn't have any money. Now, let me tell you what stupid is. Clyde, when I was in the Army, this is pitiful brother, to be so married to tobacco. And you run out, the month is too long, and the money too short, and the cigarettes run out. It's bad. I don't know how to roll them. You can buy little old Bull Durham for nearly nothing, but then you don't have any money, not gonna get that either.
So we had a can, and you field strip the cigarette in that can. That's nasty, man. And then they had this little cigarette rolling machines, and you could get a little Bull Durham and mix it in there where it wasn't quite so nasty and roll that and smoke that nasty. Man, that is terrible. But I was bound. Bound. I was working for my dad, and I didn't have any money. They're having a meeting down in Houston and I'll just got to go with Hilton Sutton, and Charles Rogers. Man, they having that great fabulous meeting, the thing went finally went six weeks. It was something. And I thought, I don't want to be around these guys with these cigarettes in my pocket. And so I just stuck them up over the sun visor.
Now, when I drove up in that parking lot, I was bound. I was addicted to them, when I drove up in that parking lot I was addicted to them, but now look what happened. I got under the Word, I'll tell you it was the. I never heard anything like this before. And a fellow came to me. I called and I quit my job, and I called Gloria. I said, "Gloria, I don't have the money to come get you. I'm halfway to Houston now, I'm just gonna go on down there". She said "Go ahead, baby. Everything's all right". So got down there and a fellow walked up to me and handed me some money. James, he said, "Copeland go get your wife, she's supposed to be in this meeting".
Yeah, glory to God. I went out there and got in the car and I. Two weeks. And I threw it out for the last time. the Word separated me. There was no willpower involved. the Word separated me. Now, since then I have learned, and so have you, concerning your will and the things. And when you become aware of it. When you become aware how important your will is, Though I had to, we're talking about strength here. I had the Lord correct me. I said, "Lord, forgive me for being so strong-willed". He said, "No, sir. No, sir. I don't want you weak-willed". He said, "I created you to have a strong will, but you just get strong on my will, and make my will your will, and everything gonna be all right".
And I finally learned how to walk in that kind of strength, where my will and my mind, and my emotions and my spirit, and the will of God and my will are connected together and I'm very strong-willed man. Because I will to be His servant, and His will is my will. December the sixth, 1966, I turned 30-years-old. Stepped into the perfect will of God for my life, when I enrolled at Oral Roberts University. Now, I had a lot to learn. I mean, I'm a, you know. But I'm eager, didn't have anything, but I was in the will of God and knew it. I'm in His will. And the most powerful part of this kind of strength is when you come to that place, where. And here, Pete, I'll always go back to my military training. It just kicks in when you think about this, and I just come back and I said, "Sir, I am yours to command". I'm yours to command. I'm a soldier in the army of the Lord. And I'm yours to command.
Now, my strength is growing. Strength is growing. Let's begin in James, the book of James. James said, "James a servant of God, and of the Lord Jesus Christ to the 12 tribes, which are scattered abroad, greeting. My brethren count it all joy when you fall into different temptations, tests and trials," knowing, knowing, knowing something. Count it all joy, but you can't count it all joy unless you know something. You have to know something. "Knowing this, that the trying, the testing of your faith works patience".
Now, wait a minute, wait a minute. Now, you're going to find out if you just read just a little bit further here, God is not testing you. No, your faith is being tried and tested. God isn't doing that, the devil is. He's the one that's pressing you and pushing you. Financially oppressing and pushing you. What's he trying to do? Take your spiritual strength away from you. He's a thief, Jesus said. Now, he said in John 6:63: "My words are spirit and they are life". Then he said in the 10th chapter of John, which is the dividing point of the Bible. The thief, now be very, very cautious and aware. Jesus put this in the proper order. People have a tendency to put kill first. Don't do that. "The thief comes, but for to steal, then to kill, then to destroy".
And we know from what Jesus said, he comes to steal the Word. If he can steal the Word, then he can kill your finances. He can kill anything that you let him have. Well, I don't understand that. Yes you do. I just told you about it earlier. Jesus said, whatever you bound, you have the keys "whatever you bound in heaven, whatever you loose is loosed in heaven". Lock him up. "Casting down imaginations". Now, you're back to the intellect. Casting down. What's that? The thought life. 2 Corinthians 10. "For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but they're... mighty". Dunamis, get our word dynamite from that. Dunamis, miraculous power. "How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost, and dunamis, power". Power. That's not strength, that's power. "Who went about doing good healing all that were oppressed of the devil". Praise God.
So, now notice what he said. "The trying of your faith works," patience, endurance, constancy. Count it all joy. Joy is the second fruit of the Spirit. Love, joy, peace, long suffering or patience. Amen. Against such, there is no law. The devil has no defense for joy. It has nothing to do with happiness. Happiness is tied to blessing. In fact, in the first covenant there are times when blessing is translated, happiness. Same word translated happiness, translated blessing. Now, joy can bring about a release that'll put you into that place of strength. Because "Let patience have her perfect work that you may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God".
Wisdom about what? Well about the temptation and the trial. Don't just bang through it. Get wisdom concerning the thing, instead of fussing around with it. Laugh at the problem. Ha-ha-ha. Laugh at it. Amen. Then let patience have her perfect work. Wisdom is the principal thing. And so, what do I do here? Well, he said he upbraid us not, or he doesn't find fault. If he found fault, you'd already be in a mess. I mean, you couldn't get the wisdom. It is the principle thing. Did you know most people really pray too quick, unless it's an emergency or something. And you're in a place where you pray in the Spirit. Well, that's wisdom, is praying in the Spirit, but there are people that don't pray at all. And there are people that just say stuff.
And oh go, I need healing. Oh no, I need this. Oh no, no, no maybe you don't. I went up to our prayer cabin. Man, we were a million dollars in the hole. Then I just went up there and spent the week in, and let's just pray over this thing. And I'm just, Oh God, we need a million dollars. I need a million dollars. And right here. I mean, this wasn't an inward witness. I mean, I heard him, He said, "No you don't". I said out loud. I said, "Well you could have fooled me". "No," He said, "you don't". He said, "You have a problem in your ministry, and if I gave you a million dollars, it would wipe that out too". He said, "Something I told you to do. And you took hold of it with your mind but you didn't do anything, you thought, well, that's good but you didn't do anything about it".
Now, in that condition, I was weak. Didn't have any strength spiritually. But the minute I made that adjustment, it was amazing, Clyde. It was amazing how fast that money came in there. Amen. And so I've been careful not to make that stupid mistake again, over all these years. Strength. So the joy of the Lord, Nehemiah 8:10, and here again, go back and read Nehemiah. And find out what was going on there. The joy of the Lord is your strength. The joy of the Lord is your strength. Hallelujah.
So let's look now at Isaiah chapter 40. "Has thou not known, has thou not heard that the everlasting God, the Lord, creator of the ends of the earth fainteth not, neither is weary. There's no searching of his understanding. He gives power to the faint and to them that have no might, he increases strength. Even the youth shall fainteth, faint and be weary. The young men shall utterly fall, but they that wait, they that hope, expect, and trust upon the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall mount up with wings as eagles. They shall run and not be weary".
They shall get on their treadmill and walk, and not faint. That's on my vision board, in my exercise room. Strength. The first thing I had to do, when I committed to the Lord, to Genesis 6:3, That became a mandate in my life. Now, I had to go back, and put all three parts of me in shape. My spirit being, and I committed to him in the name of Jesus, I will get my spirit in the best spiritual condition in which it can be in. I will get my intellect and the soul part of me, my will, my mind, my emotions in the strongest intellectual condition I can be in. And I will get this physical body in the best physical condition I can be in.