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What In The World Is Going On? — Part 2
Saturday, August 6, 2022 by Dr James H Dotson Jr

We are engaged in spiritual warfare—the struggle against forces of evil. (Ephesians 6:12).

Acknowledging this, in our last blog, What In the World Is Going On? – Part 1, we ended with these two questions: 

  • Are we doomed to defeat?
  • How can any human being ever be victorious over “…rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places”? 

No!!! We are NOT doomed to defeat.

While we will face temptations, trials, tests, tribulations, and the ongoing efforts of Satan to destroy us, we may live victoriously through God, in God, and with God.

Living Victoriously Through God

God created a perfect world. But Adam and Eve forfeited this perfect world through sin. (Genesis 1:1—2:2; and Genesis 3:1-24).

Sin separates us from God. And the ultimate consequence of sin is death. Since all have sinned, all of us deserve eternal death. (Isaiah 59:1-2; Romans 6:23; and Romans 3:23).

BUT through the sinless life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, we can be reconciled to God and receive the gift of eternal life. (John 3:1–21).

Through faith in Jesus Christ, we are conquerors. Those who choose—God does not force it on us—to accept this gift and follow Christ are transformed. We become “new creations” / “born again” through the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit. (John 16:33; Acts 2:38; Romans 8:37–39; 1 Corinthians 12:13; 1 Corinthians 15:56–58; 2 Corinthians 5:17; 1 John 5:4)

Living Victoriously In and With God

There are decisions we may make and actions we may take to live with God and in His power. God has given us principles for living to help guide our journey through life.

Here are seven key principles that are essential to living victoriously in and with God:

  1. Make the decision to follow Jesus Christ and join your life with his.
  2. Ask for the Holy Spirit and walk with the Holy Spirit.
  3. Earnestly seek the wisdom and truth of God and live by it.
  4. Put on the armor of God, stand firm, and resist the devil.
  5. Carefully guard to whom and to what you attach your heart and mind.
  6. Ask for help when you need it. Pray continually. 
  7. Let love be the modus operandi of your life.

Let’s look briefly at each one of these. Review just one each day over the next week with your focus on putting each principle for living into practice in your day-to-day life.

Focus for Day 1. Make the decision to follow Jesus Christ and join your life with his.

Jesus invites us to a relationship with him. But he will not force any one to accept his invitation. For those who accept, he wants a close relationship; not superficial or now and then, but long-term, ongoing and intimate—like a best friend forever. 

Just as with a close family member or best friend, likewise invest in your relationship with Jesus—and then some. While Jesus is our Lord and Savior, he is also the best friend we can ever have.

  • ““Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends.” (Revelation 3:20, NLT)
  • “Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me. “Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:4–5, NLT)
  • “You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you slaves, because a master doesn’t confide in his slaves. Now you are my friends, since I have told you everything the Father told me.” (John 15:14–15, NLT)

Focus for Day 2. Ask for the Holy Spirit and walk with the Holy Spirit.

It is impossible for you or me to live a victorious life by/in our own strength. But the Holy Spirit can equip and empower us to live victoriously. Invite the Holy Spirit into your life and walk with him on your journey through life.

  • “So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves. The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions. But when you are directed by the Spirit, you are not under obligation to the law of Moses. When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God. But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives. Let us not become conceited, or provoke one another, or be jealous of one another.” (Galatians 5:16–26, NLT)
  • ““And so I tell you, keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. “You fathers—if your children ask for a fish, do you give them a snake instead? Or if they ask for an egg, do you give them a scorpion? Of course not! So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him.”” (Luke 11:9–13, NLT)

Focus for Day 3. Earnestly seek the wisdom and truth of God and live by it.

This may be hard to hear, but none of us is smart enough to win this war with Satan or live at our very best life. We need God’s wisdom and truth to guide our steps day-by-day. Seek it diligently.

  • “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take. Don’t be impressed with your own wisdom. Instead, fear the Lord and turn away from evil. Then you will have healing for your body and strength for your bones.” (Proverbs 3:5–8, NLT)
  • “Show me the right path, O Lord; point out the road for me to follow.” (Psalm 25:4, NLT)
  • “Make me walk along the path of your commands, for that is where my happiness is found.” (Psalm 119:35, NLT)
  • “Jesus said to the people who believed in him, “You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings. And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”” (John 8:31–32, NLT)
  • “But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves.” (James 1:22, NLT)
  • “That’s the whole story. Here now is my final conclusion: Fear God and obey his commands, for this is everyone’s duty. God will judge us for everything we do, including every secret thing, whether good or bad.” (Ecclesiastes 12:13–14, NLT)

Focus for Day 4. Put on the armor of God, stand firm, and resist the devil.

Satan is a powerful foe, but God gives us what we need to overcome Satan. Don’t sit passively by and let the devil have a feast with your life. With the armour God has provided, actively resist the devil.

  • “So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world. Let there be tears for what you have done. Let there be sorrow and deep grief. Let there be sadness instead of laughter, and gloom instead of joy. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up in honor.” (James 4:7–10, NLT)
  • “Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.” (Ephesians 6:13–18, NLT)

Focus for Day 5. Carefully guard to whom and to what you attach your heart and mind.

The mind/spirit is the part of a person that thinks, reasons, feels, desires, and wills. It’s that immaterial part of a person that is a fundamental activating principle determining one’s character. Because the mind/spirit is like the headquarters for how you and I live, we must take care what and who we allow to influence our thoughts, emotions, reasoning, and decision-making. 

  • “Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.” (Proverbs 4:23, NLT)
  • “A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart. What you say flows from what is in your heart.” (Luke 6:45, NLT)
  • “And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” (Romans 12:1–2, NLT)
  • “Don’t be fooled by those who say such things, for “bad company corrupts good character.”” (1 Corinthians 15:33, NLT)
  • “You should know this, Timothy, that in the last days there will be very difficult times. For people will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred. They will be unloving and unforgiving; they will slander others and have no self-control. They will be cruel and hate what is good. They will betray their friends, be reckless, be puffed up with pride, and love pleasure rather than God. They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly. Stay away from people like that!” (2 Timothy 3:1–5, NLT)“Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.” (Ephesians 6:13–18, NLT)
  • “Look to God’s instructions and teachings! People who contradict his word are completely in the dark.” (Isaiah 8:20, NLT)
  • “Dear friends, do not believe everyone who claims to speak by the Spirit. You must test them to see if the spirit they have comes from God. For there are many false prophets in the world. This is how we know if they have the Spirit of God: If a person claiming to be a prophet acknowledges that Jesus Christ came in a real body, that person has the Spirit of God. But if someone claims to be a prophet and does not acknowledge the truth about Jesus, that person is not from God. Such a person has the spirit of the Antichrist, which you heard is coming into the world and indeed is already here. But you belong to God, my dear children. You have already won a victory over those people, because the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world. Those people belong to this world, so they speak from the world’s viewpoint, and the world listens to them. But we belong to God, and those who know God listen to us. If they do not belong to God, they do not listen to us. That is how we know if someone has the Spirit of truth or the spirit of deception.” (1 John 4:1–6, NLT)

Focus for Day 6. Ask for help when you need it. Pray continually. 

Request help when you need it (from God and from those God has gifted, anointed, equipped and empowered to minister on our behalf). When you sin, repent and ask for forgiveness of your sins. Rejoice and give thanks in all circumstances. Ask God to fulfill his promise to work all things for good for those who love him and live according to his purpose. Ask for a way of escape from every temptation. Surrender every test, trial, struggle and tribulation to God and trust the outcomes to him. And pray not just for yourself, but for others also.

  • “Pray like this: Our Father in heaven, may your name be kept holy. May your Kingdom come soon. May your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. Give us today the food we need, and forgive us our sins, as we have forgiven those who sin against us. And don’t let us yield to temptation, but rescue us from the evil one.” (Matthew 6:9–13, NLT)
  • “Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5:16–18, NLT)
  • “Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice! Let everyone see that you are considerate in all you do. Remember, the Lord is coming soon. Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.” (Philippians 4:4–9, NLT)
  • “The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.” (1 Corinthians 10:13, NLT)
  • “If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth. But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness. If we claim we have not sinned, we are calling God a liar and showing that his word has no place in our hearts.” (1 John 1:8–10, NLT)
  • “I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them.” (1 Timothy 2:1, NLT)
  • “And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will. And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” (Romans 8:26–28, NLT)

Focus for Day 7. Let love be the modus operandi of your life.

Last, but by no means least, here are the top two principles for living: love God with your entire being as the first most important priority of your life, and love your neighbor as yourself as the second most important priority of your life.

  • ““Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?” Jesus replied, “ ‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.”” (Matthew 22:36–40, NLT) 
  • “Loving God means keeping his commandments, and his commandments are not burdensome.” (1 John 5:3, NLT)
  • “Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other.” (1 John 4:11, NLT)
  • ““Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you. This is the essence of all that is taught in the law and the prophets.” (Matthew 7:12, NLT)
  • See also Luke 10:29-37

Take Heart!!! Satan Is Defeated!!!

We’re in a war. But be sure of this, Satan was defeated by Christ through his sinless life, death, and resurrection, and at Christ’s Second Coming Satan will be destroyed and live no more.

Until then, we will face struggles, temptations, tests, trials, tribulations, and the ongoing schemes of Satan to draw us away from God and unto himself.

But for those who believe in Jesus Christ and put their faith in Him, remember that God is always with us, will complete the work within us he has begun, will equip and empower us to be overcomers over this evil world, and will bring us into a new world he’s preparing for us that will be free of Satan, sin, and the horrific consequences of evil. (Matthew 28:20; Philippians 1:6; 1 John 5:4; Revelation 20:10; and Revelation 21:1–7).

Stand firm. Fight the fight.

Copyright © 2022 Training for Transformation, Inc. All rights reserved.


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