Robert Morris — The Believer's Battle
I'm beginning a new series that is going to be great, just to let you know. Not because I'm speaking it, but because the Holy Spirit is speaking it to our church. But the name of the new series is "Lost and Found: A Prodigal's Journey". And we're going to take it all out of Luke 15. And you may think you've heard everything there is about the prodigal son but the things that the Lord is showing me about this parable that Jesus told, are fantastic. And you'll see even by this first message, the Lord's really gonna take us somewhere in the next few weeks.
So, I want to talk to you seriously about how all of us, all of us can become a prodigal in maybe even an area of our life. Maybe even just for a short time. And how do we handle that, alright? So, the title of the message today is "The Believer's Battle". So, I asked you to go to Hebrews 5. I'm gonna read a little bit of Luke 15. And we'll eventually read the whole passage, but we'll look at parts of it. So, I just want to show you a few verses in Luke 15, where we're gonna get the series from.
Verse 11, "Then he said, "A certain man had two sons. And the younger of them said to his father, "Father give me the portion of goods that falls to me". So, he divided to them his livelihood. And not many days after, the younger son gathered all together, journeyed to a far country and there wasted his possessions with prodigal living. This is where we get the prodigal son. Prodigal living. You probably don't use that word in conversations every day and probably the only time you use the word prodigal is when you're referring to this passage of scripture. Would you agree with that? You probably don't use it very much.
And so, I love to go to the Greek and see what's the Greek word. So, I'm gonna give you, the Strong's Exhaustive Dictionary. The definition of this word prodigal, from the Greek, is a one-word definition and when I give it to you it will clear everything up, alright? Here's what it means. And this is from the Strong's Exhaustive Concordant, alright? Dissolutely. That do it? Clears it all up doesn't it? Just makes it clear as mud to me, you know? So, I had no clue what the word dissolutely meant. And so, it's an adverb and I couldn't even find it in the dictionary. I only found the adjective dissolute with describes a person.
Dissolutely would be the way the person is living. Dissolute would be describing the person, who is prodigal. Here's what Webster's dictionary says about dissolute: A person lacking restraint, marked by indulgence in things. This is even Webster's dictionary: such as drink or promiscuous sex. We understand that about this son and that he probably had indulgence in those things. But the first part of the definition is what I want us to see. Lacking restraint. Now if we're honest, there are — is probably at least one, maybe two or three areas where we lack restraint. All of us. Probably different but all. Y'all are looking at me real self-righteously. Stop it. Come on, is there an area in your life you lack restraint in that area, it's a tough area for you, you know?
Well, the reason we have a battle, as believers, is because we're three parts: We're spirit, soul, and body. And let me show you a verse that has all three parts in it. Genesis Chapter 2:7 says, "Then the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, so this is referring to his body, "and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life". This is referring to his spirit because this word breath is actually sometimes translated spirit. It's the spirit of God that he breathed into us. And man became a living soul. There we are: body, spirit, and soul all in one verse. So why am I saying this? Well, it's important to understand God created our spirits to relate to Him. He created our bodies to relate to His creation. In other words with our bodies we relate to His creation. He created our souls to relate to Him and His creation.
And remember your soul is your mind, your will, and your emotions. So, your mind and your emotions, He wants you to relate to him with your mind and your emotions. And He wants you to relate to His creation with your mind and your emotions and your will. He wants you to enjoy His creation. But He created your spirits to relate to Him. Here's the problem, when Adam and Eve sinned, their spirits died. If you remember God said you eat this and you die. Their bodies did not die. Their bodies didn't die, their souls didn't die, their minds didn't die, their emotions didn't die. They still had a soul. Their spirits died.
Ephesians says before we accept Christ we're dead, in trespasses and sin. We're dead. You're actually born on this earth with a dead spirit. Your spirit does not come alive until you accept Christ. Your spirit comes alive. So, for years you learn to relate to God through only your soul. In other words, you relate to God through what you can understand about God, your mind, how you feel about the situation, and what you desire to do. Are y'all with me? You learn to live a life and you make all of your decisions based on your thoughts about whatever it is, your feelings and your desires. And God never intended you to live that way. He intended you to live where your spirit is in charge. But the problem is we live for years where our souls are in charge. This is the believer's battle. This is the believer's battle.
So, let me tell you some things about the soul. Alright? Here's number one, the soul is selfish. The soul is selfish. The soul's motto is protect number one, live for number one, watch out for number one, you don't watch out for number one no one else will. The soul is selfish. The soul protects itself. The soul is made up again of our minds, our wills, our emotions. Alright? So, it's only what we can think, only what we can reason, only what we feel is right, and only what we desire. But let me just take one part of that, alright, to explain this to you. The mind. The mind is phenomenal. It's incredible. Your mind is better than any computer you own. Now you don't think it is. I understand that but it is. Your mind has logged everything you've ever done, everything you've ever said, and everything that's ever been said to you, and everything you've ever seen or experienced. Your mind has it.
Now, you're thinking where is it because I can't remember. It's in your subconscious. Have you ever said, "Oh what's her name it's on the tip of my tongue"? It's not on the tip of your tongue, it's an expression, it's in your subconscious. It's there 'cause it'll come to you right when you're trying to go to sleep. Cindy! You know, it just comes out. Okay, I remember now. OK. But the point is it's in your subconscious. You're trying to bring it to your conscious. You see what I'm saying? So it's there. Your mind, in a millisecond, in a millisecond searches through all the files and assesses every situation that you're in. Every situation.
Now listen to me, this is why you respond sometimes with insecurity. Now let me say this again, listen to me. This is extremely important what I'm telling you because you assess several situations that are similar in which you felt insecure. So, you now feel insecure in that situation. This all comes from the soul. This is your mind doing this. See your spirit says, "Lay your life down, turn the other cheek". Your soul says, "Protect number one". So why am I telling you this? I know this is funny. But why am I telling you this? This is how stronghold works. That's why I'm telling you. This is how a stronghold works. Why am I telling you this? Because this is the believer's battle.
This is how, let me just name some strongholds, this is how lust works. Your mind is categorized every perverse thing you've ever seen. And you see something that reminds you of that and you begin to have lustful thoughts. Please hear me this is so important. This is so important. This is why believers fall away. This is why believers end up in a pig pen, when they're living in a mansion. And they end up in a pig pen. Why? Because they have a stronghold. Stronghold's in your soul. You have to know that. See your spirit is saved. Your spirit is saved, if you accepted Christ.
See this is the problem they don't understand grace, they don't understand works. Here's the problem they don't understand the finished work of grace in your spirit and they don't understand the progressive work of grace in your soul. So you need to understand, the battle's in the soul. The only reason you ever lose the battle is 'cause in your soul, there's a problem in your soul 'cause your soul is selfish. It is born selfish. That's why it needs to be converted. It needs to be renewed. It needs to be transformed. This is why people who don't understand scriptures about the saving of the soul. Believe to the saving of the soul. It has nothing to do with your eternal destination.
The word saved comes from the Greek word sozo. It means making whole. Your spirit's been made whole. That's a work of grace. If you think you're doing something to earn your way to Heaven, I feel so sorry for you. 'Cause you'll always have a works mentality about you, and you'll have a perfectionism and a legalism and you'll have a judgmentalism and a criticism about anybody who doesn't live up to your standards. Alright so what do we do about it? Well here's number two, the soul must submit to the spirit. The soul must submit to the spirit.
Romans 9:12, it's talking about Jacob and Esau, it says, "It was said to her the older shall serve the younger". Now, here's the only reason I say this, God uses this as a principle in scripture. It's a principle that used in scripture. The older shall serve the younger. It has nothing to do with first born so if you're first born and you say that's the way it is in my family. That's not what I'm talking about, alright? The older shall serve the younger. Think about this. You come into this world and let's say you live for 20 years before you accept Christ.
Who's in charge for that 20 years? Your soul is. Your soul's in charge. And then you get born again or literally from the Greek, John 3, it would be better translated, born from above. Born spiritually. Born of the spirit. And your spirit comes alive. That's what Ephesians 2 tell us. Your spirit comes alive. It was dead and trespassed and sin and He made us alive. That's your spirit. So your spirit comes alive. So your soul's been in charge for 20 years and then you get saved, your spirit comes alive. So which one then would be the older? The soul. Which one would be the younger? The spirit. What does the bible say? The older shall serve the younger. See the soul needs to serve the spirit. Submit to the spirit.
So here's what happened, you get saved and your spirit says to your soul, "I'm in charge now. We're gonna do things God's way". And your soul, being the sweet, kind, compassionate, humble person that he is, says, "OK". No, your soul says, "Not without a fight pal". And that's where the fight is. Are you gonna respond the way your soul, the way your mind, your emotions tells you to respond or are you gonna respond the way that Jesus would respond in that situation? So what you've got to do is you've got to feed your spirit. Your spirit's got to grow up.
Let me show you how David talks about this battle. Psalms 131. We'll get to Hebrews 5 later. Psalms 131:2 says,"surely I have calmed and quieted my soul. Like a weaned child with its mother. Like a weaned child is my soul within me". Ok, he gives us a clue, you have to wean your soul. The only way you can calm and quiet your soul is to wean your soul. Everyone following me on that? Ok, so how do you wean a child? You take him off of milk put him on solid food, right?
Alright we'll get to Hebrews 5, one more verse but let me show you this one first. 1 Corinthians 3:1 and I Brethren could not speak to you as spiritual, spiritual, spiritual, people, but as to carnal. As babes in Christ I fed you with milk not with solid food. Now Hebrews 5. Here's Hebrews 5:12 for though by this time you ought to be teachers, but you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God. And you come to me milk not solid food. For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness for he is a babe or baby. But solid food belongs to those who are full aged. That is those who by reason use and have the senses exercised to discern both good and evil.
Alright so let me ask you a question. If you've got to wean your soul, what happens when you try to wean a baby? It throws a fit doesn't he? He throws a fit and he cries, right? OK, do you know what's gonna happen when you try to wean your soul? He's gonna throw a fit and he's gonna cry. Why does a baby cry when you try to wean him? Because he thinks you're trying to kill him. You're taking away the only food source he's ever known. So, he thinks you're trying to kill him. Let me explain something though, in the case of the soul, he's right. And that's point number three, the soul must die. The soul must die. You're saying, "My soul has to die"? Mmm Hmm. Die to self. Your selfish thoughts need to die. Here you go — I am crucified with Christ. Yeah, you need to die. It's all through Christian Theology. We need to die to self.
OK, so if you're in Hebrews 5 we need to go back one page, Hebrews 4. Verse 12's a real famous verse. But I don't think we understand it 'cause — I think we do understand it but I don't think we understand verse 13. So I'll get to that. Hebrews 4:12, "Says for the word of God is living and powerful, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division". The division of what? Soul and Spirit. What you think and what God thinks. "And of joint and marrow the discernment of thoughts and intents of the heart," and, and, no one seems to connect verse 13 to verse 12, "and there is no creature hidden from his sight but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account".
Now let me tell you something about this word open. Now remember that — the word of God is called a sword. In verse 12 it's called a sword. Ok? Ok, let me tell you what this word open is in the Greek: Trachilitos. Now you can figure out lots of Greek words if you think about the English. Like graphy is graph. So, it's a writing. Logos, logic. Alright so trachilitos, trachea. Trachea, what does that refer to? Trachea the wind pipe. Alright now, trachea that's the good part, the throat, -litos that's where the word goes kinda bad, OK? So let me tell you what this word means. It means to bend back the neck of a victim to be slain. Listen, to expose the gullet of a person to kill him.
OK, listen. God has big plans for your soul. That's what the word of God does. It says, "No Robert, don't respond that way that's your soul. You respond this way". Do y'all follow me? This is why people go astray. This is why believers go astray. 'Cause they don't let the sword divide between their soul and spirit. Matthew 16:24-25, Jesus said to his disciples, "Anyone who desires to comes after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross". Just want you to know it's the word his. I'm gonna come back to that, "and follow me. For whoever desires to save his life", that Greek word here for life is psuche, which is where we get the word psyche, it means soul, "Whoever desires to save his soul will lose it, whoever loses his soul for my sake will find it".
Alright. Have you ever heard the saying Jesus went to the cross, so you wouldn't have to? OK, I have a problem with that saying, because what this says if you want to follow me take up your cross. So apparently, I have to die too. Luke 9:23, He said to them all, this is Jesus, "If anyone desires to come after me let him deny himself", watch this now, watch He's gonna take it a step further, "and take up his cross daily". Why'd you have to put the word daily in there? Look, 1 Corinthians 15:31, Paul said, "I die daily". Do you think that means he got saved every day? No. It means he crucified himself every day. His soul.
Say, "I just want to walk down the aisle one time preacher". It doesn't work that way, it's an every day. You come to the cross every day. I beg you. I beseech you by the mercies of God. That your present your body as a living sacrifice. Holy and acceptable unto God which is your reasonable service. And don't be conformed to the world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. I don't know if I'm making myself clear or not I really don't. Why would a believer, ever leave the family of God and go live in a pig pen? Because he's not in this book every day. And he's feeding his soul instead of his spirit.
Alright, here's the last thing that I'm gonna tell ya. I was on sabbatical, the Lord started dealing with me. And then it was actually when I came back from sabbatical that the Lord spoke to me really clearly one day and he said, "You've gotten in a real bad habit". And I said, "What do you mean, Lord"? And he said, I've never heard this phrase before the Lord made it up I guess. He said, "You're having drive-through quiet times". Fast-food quiet times. He said, "You used to spend a lot more time with me". He said, "I just want to spend time with you. No agenda, no message to prepare, no church to pray over, I just want just you and me". So I said, "Lord, I'm sorry". And so, I set some time aside and more time to start having those times with the Lord.
Very first day I'm in there and the Lord reminded me. Said, "Do you remember, when you were 30 years old is when I really taught you how to have quiet time". I'm starting to have a lot of headaches. And I'd gone to doctors, nobody could figure it out. I was having my quiet time one morning and the Lord said to me, "You think I know why you're having headaches"? I said, "Yeah I do". He said, "Let me tell you why". He said, "Because you're not really spending time with me. You're coming in to me in the mornings and you're giving me your to-do list. And then you leave. But you're not spending time with Me", and He said, "Stress and sin snowball". That's what he said to me. "If you don't deal with stress and sin, every day, it's gonna snowball on you".
And so, when I started again putting a little more time aside, I'm talking about not that long ago. The Lord said, "you remember that"? I said, "Yeah". He said, "What I was telling you was it adds up". I said, "I can see that". Well I felt like he told me to read in the message bible during my quiet time. So he said, "I want you to go look at Psalms 32 today". So I went and read it and I just want to show you one verse. Psalm 32:6 says, "These things add up, every one of us needs to pray". Here's the reason I'm preaching this to ya. I don't want to be a prodigal. This is the battle. The battle is, are we gonna let the word of God divide between our thoughts and between God's thoughts?