Conflicts in the Christian mind

It is easy to recognize the Christian who is at rest – it will be evident in his/her appearance and in the eyes. In fact, rest, joy and peace ought to be the distinguishing characteristics of a Christian. Jesus said that he would provide rest, his joy and his peace.

The Bible speaks of various sources of conflict that could move the Christian out of a place of rest in Christ. Lets look at them and why they occur.

1. Galatians 5:17 “For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish.” The primary source of conflict is when the flesh and Spirit compete for control. After salvation, it often takes a long time for the Holy Spirit to take complete control of the individual as the flesh does not easily submit to God. I have seen in my own life and have begun to discern in others this conflict between the flesh and the Spirit.

2. 1Peter 2:11 “Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul.” Indulgement of fleshly lusts creates a war/conflict in the soul – the mind, will and emotions.

3. James 4:4,5 “Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. Or do you think that the Scripture says in vain, “The Spirit who dwells within us yearns jealously.”” Love of the world and friendship with the world creates a conflict with the Holy Spirit within the individual.

4. Ephesians 6:12 “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” Spiritual warfare could create a conflict in the mind. The spiritual atmosphere over cities differs and one could come under oppression in certain cities where the power of darkness has greater control. For example, the spiritual oppression in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia is so much more than in Chennai, India.

Breakdown in relationships are also a major cause of conflict. Here, I have noticed an evil under the sun – the inability of many Christians to see the error of their ways and to apologise for their wrongs. Even husband and wife have not learned that elementary lesson in Marriage 101 – acknowledging their mistakes and apologising for them to each other.

Paul speaks of conflict caused by persecution, so much so that he despaired even of life. He speaks of this in his two letters to the Corinthians. It is worth noting here that the Bible does not guarantee protection from persecution. We can pray to be kept from persecution and from the great trial that will come upon the earth, thats all.

Are you at rest? If you are not at rest, may I encourage you to check and find out why?

If the unrest is due to persecution, do pray that God will provide deliverance from wicked and unreasonable men. If the unrest is due to spiritual warfare, do press in, it is only for a season, don’t give up until you have won the victory and get back into the place of rest. If the unrest is due to any other reason as we have seen above, please take the time to deal with the cause of the unrest so that we may experience the rest that Jesus died to provide.

That place in the Spirit

The further I travel in my walk with God, the more I can see my need for a greater measure of the Holy Spirit. In Christendom too, I can see that we have only received a limited unction from God; we have received the Spirit only in a measure. There is a life described in the Bible that is expected of any person who has received the baptism with the Holy Spirit, which I find to be out of reach of most Christians, the reason not being a lack of effort on our part but a lack of unction. There is a place we must yearn for and reach in the Spirit where the Spirit of God rests so fully upon us that we will be able to experience the Christian life described in the Bible. Does’nt Paul pray for the Ephesian believers to be filled with all the fullness of God (Ephesians 3:19)? Had’nt they already received the Spirit? Certainly!

How does the Bible describe this life? Lets look at some verses.

1. 1John 2:6 “He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.” This verse speaks of living as Jesus lived.

2. 1Corinthians 2:16 “But we have the mind of Christ.” This speaks of thinking as Jesus thinks.

3. John 14:12 “Most assuredly I say to you, he who believes in me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do because I go to my Father.” This speaks of doing what Jesus did.

None of the above is remotely possible without the Holy Spirit.

I have had the privilege of leading people to Christ, baptizing people in water, leading people into the baptism of the Holy Spirit through the laying on of hands, casting out demons and healing the sick in the name of Jesus. I can tell you that I do get a great sense of fulfillment while in ministry, however there is still a deep yearning within my soul for I know that there is a higher place of union and communion with Christ that alone will truly satisfy. All ministry is just the natural outcome of the union and communion we have with Christ.

The soul can only be satisfied with more of God; ministry can never take God’s place. I believe that is why Paul, despite the wonderful ministry and the miracles he performed, still yearned to know Christ in a greater measure.

May the Lord Jesus, the baptizer in the Holy Spirit, pour out His Spirit upon us in a greater measure so that we can enter into this supernatural life that he promised.

Trading the truth for a lie

The Bible tells us that the end result of people who live in adultery is “total ruin” and “death”. We can see this in Proverbs 5:14, 23. In fact, the entire chapter speaks of the perils of adultery. We must understand that sins have consequences – at a basic level, please note that all the men who left Egypt, except for two could not enter the promised land because they refused to believe God and obey him; they all died in the wilderness. They still had supernatural provision and protection for 40 years, but they died in the wilderness.

Having said this, I would like to address another sin that the Bible warns against – homosexuality. I would like to show you what the Bible says about this sin.

1. Leviticus 18:22 “You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination.” It is an abomination.

2. 2 Peter 2:7 “and delivered righteous Lot, who was oppressed by the filthy conduct of the wicked.” It is called “filthy”.

3. Judges 19:22 “As they were enjoying themselves, suddenly certain men of the city, perverted men (sons of Belial), surrounded the house and beat on the door. They spoke to the master of the house, the old man, saying, “Bring out the man who came to your house, that we may know him carnally.”” The terms used here are “perverted” and “sons of Belial” or “sons of the devil”. 

4. Romans 1:24-28 NLT – “So God abandoned them to do whatever shameful things their hearts desired. As a result, they did vile and degrading things with each others bodies. They traded the truth about God for a lie. So they worshipped and served the things God created instead of the creator himself who is worthy of eternal praise. That is why God abandoned them to their shameful desires. Even the women turned against the natural way to have sex and instead indulged in sex with each other. And the men, instead of having normal sexual relations with women burned with lust for each other. Men did shameful things with other men and as a result of this sin, they suffered within themselves the penalty they deserved. Since they thought it foolish to acknowledge God, he abandoned them to their foolish thinking and let them do the things that never should be done.” From this passage, we can see that it is called “vile and degrading”, “shameful”, “unnatural”, “sin”, “deserves a penalty”, “will suffer a penalty in their bodies”, “foolish thinking” and “things that never should have been done.”

5. 1 Corinthians 6:9, 10 – “Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators……..nor homosexuals, nor sodomites …… will inherit the kingdom of God.” It is called “unrighteous”. The verse also shows that such will not inherit the kingdom of God.

I would also like to list the probable causes of homosexual behaviour. Do note that this is my personal opinion. 

1. It is caused by an unclean spirit/demon of homosexuality.

2. The spirit compels the flesh to desire and indulge in this sinful activity. It is compulsive. Thats why people think that they “are made that way”. Over a period of time, it becomes ingrained as normal behaviour so much so that even after the spirit has been cast out, people still struggle with temptation because their flesh has been indulged and conditioned for such a long time.

3. This spirit comes in either through molestation, or rape or hatred of men or hatred of women or pornography or oral sex or through the generational line when ancestors (male and female; husband and wife; father and mother) have indulged in anal sex. A word of caution here – not everyone who harbours a spirit ends up with a homosexual lifestyle.

Brethren, may the God of peace sanctify us through and through and may our whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls us is faithful and He will do it.