Fish are Caught – Then Cleaned


“This I say then, walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh does lust against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and they are CONTRARY the one to the other, so that you cannot do the things that you would.” (Galatians 5:16-17)

Did you notice in this scripture that Paul was not led to say, “become holy and you will be able to walk with God?” He said to make the decision to walk with God (first) and then your desire to sin will fade! Why did the Lord make it like that? Because when we surrender our will and choose to walk with Him, then He can help us with the problems of our flesh. If we tried to clean ourselves up “before” we abandoned our will – we would not be able to do it. Our flesh is so strong that it is going to take “an act of God” to change the way we think and live. This order is crucial for the disciple who is determined to follow and abide with Christ in the holy of holies. Do we understand what it means to walk in His Spirit? Since understanding the meaning of words does not necessarily prove that we are “living” what we know, allow me to ask this another way; have you made the decision to walk in His Spirit? Is it your highest goal to constantly know Him more intimately? After all of this time are you finally ready to stop going half-way, and prepared to go all the way? Let us go on as we keep this thought close to our heart.

I want to let you in on a little secret. Most people are not worried about the subject we are talking about. In fact, this has always been a very un-popular topic and always will be until Jesus comes. Why? Because we want to do whatever we want without God interrupting us! I’m not talking about our will power to not rob a bank, because to be honest we do not have the courage for that anyway. We can brag all day long about how we have advanced in our holiness and how our self-discipline keeps us from being a criminal. Give me a break! The bad things you are not doing now are things you probably would not do if you were lost! I’m talking about the sin of not having control over your flesh to do things like gossip, lust, pride, hate and selfishness. I’m talking about surrendering your will so that you will not be envious, or a backstabbing hypocrite. Many Christians have become so spoiled, calloused and hard-hearted from the pleasures of sin, they avoid anything that would have a chance to convict them. They do NOT want to be broken by God or anyone else. They do NOT want to hear the truth about how they need to control their flesh and they do NOT want to spend time in prayer so that God can begin to do miracles and change the things they are concerned about. They flip through the TV and radio channels and if they hear something about the coming apocalypse or a fascinating prophecy about angels and UFO’s or how some world leader is the anti-christ, they will listen to every word. But if they tune in to someone talking about how the flesh must die in order to walk holy with God – they turn it off. The same is true with many churches that teach how God’s main idea and purpose for your life is to keep you fat and happy. They have three services on Sunday and are continually building bigger sanctuaries. The small assemblies that do not have the unlimited resources or the glitz and glamor of Hollywood, but instead teach people the basic fundamentals about how to draw near to God and follow His voice, only have a handful that show up for evangelism and prayer. Why? It is obvious the masses have developed an appetite for sensational entertainment and presenting “just” the Word of God does not generate enough excitement anymore.

So where is all this leading? Well, to begin with, someone forgot when they were making church invitations, that the flesh was not welcome. Since most Christians are led by their un-renewed mind in all of the other daily activities, they do not blink an eye at trying to organize and control the church with their intelligence, talents and degrees in business administration. I am not saying we are not to do the best we can, but rather I am declaring that God’s true church will be led by GOD! If you are a person that knows the presence of God and you cannot feel Him in your church – there is something horribly wrong! I personally believe that God absolutely recognizes the motives and spiritual “condition” of those who are ministry leaders. If these leaders do not seek God’s direction and are not walking holy and the congregation is also not praying for God to bring the fire of His conviction and power of His Gospel, the church has become no more than a moose lodge. We sing, “Light the fire again” and how we need to pray this until we sense His passion rising within us so that our flame does not turn into ashes.

Sin has always been very strong on the earth as it is not anything new to declare the world is wicked. Those who are walking in God’s Spirit are few and far between because many have fallen into a conceited arrogance that thinks, I have my ticket and that’s all I’m concerned about. Many Christians will not say it but in their heart they are thinking; if you do not have your ticket to heaven that is your problem for being so hard-headed (and maybe God never sent you an invitation anyway). For those who are not concerned about the lost enough to actually witness and testify, I wonder why they go to church at all. Maybe they think that if they give some money – someone else will do it! Maybe they want to be seen going to church so that everyone will think they are respectable people of integrity. Allow me to take my liberty for a few moments and ask you today, why do you think God has reserved a place for you around His throne after you die? Because I live a good life and I am a good person. I hate to break this to you but there are lost sinners that live a whole lot “better” than you and I. Morals and religious good deeds are good but not good enough to help out-weigh our lack of spiritual intimacy with God. He only cares about how much we love Him because most of what we do is connected with us trying to earn His favor. If we are only living a dry, cold religious life that has no passion, no love for others, no interest in His Word and no desire to spend time in the “secret place” with God – we have either backslidden to the North Pole or we need to be born-again. Selah.

What about you dear one, why do you feel secure in your salvation? Because I believe God is who He says He is. Well, this may come as a shock but Satan and every demon feels the same way. When Satan was Lucifer, He played a significant leadership role right in front of God’s throne and witnessed the majesty and wonders of heaven with his own eyes. All of the Bible stories you have read about, he not only knows, but has a first-hand account of each one. He knows God is the Almighty because he has known God and seen everything God has done! He was standing there when God created the world! He was standing there when Jesus was dying on the cross! It is not enough to know about what God has done or to know that He is the one and only true God. The question is whether or not He is YOUR LORD! If you are saved this hour it is because you have surrendered your will and allowed Christ to renew your mind and transform your spirit. You are saved today because you received His blood sacrifice as the payment for your sins and by faith are allowing Him to change you into His image. Until mental knowledge becomes quickened into spiritual revelation – you are just being religious. Salvation is not fire insurance. Receiving Christ is being convicted by God’s Word and this guilt breaks our heart and causes us to “hate” how we have hurt the Lord and who we have been. This brokenness leads us to open the door of our heart and to welcome Jesus to come in and take over our life. The Christian life is Him becoming our Master and us serving Him and loving Him more than anything in this life.

I realize that we now find ourselves at the end of the age where the world is so evil, dark and harsh. It reminds me of being out in the country, in the summer when night-time comes and the lightning bugs come out. You can barely see them as their lights are like little specks among the vast density of darkness. Is your light being seen by all those around you? Could I ask anyone who knows you about your zeal to witness the gospel whenever you have the chance? Would all who know you declare that you are passionate about your love for God? Do people come to you in private and talk with you about their soul? Why not? Selah.

A deception cannot be seen or recognized in the mortal world because truth can only be seen with spiritual eyes that are empowered by the Holy Spirit. (God is absolute truth and all truth has come from Him.) The natural eyes allow the mind to perceive and the “view” of thought will depend on whether it has been renewed by God or not. When the natural mind is dictated by the carnal nature, the end result is a distorted mentality that is influenced by wickedness. Sadly, this dark spirit of selfish rebellion also runs rampant in the church of Jesus Christ because Christians have turned away from living holy. To cast down the strong will of the un-renewed mind is not an easy task, and most humans avoid it all cost. This delusion has many names but the most popular is called “lukewarmness” and it is slowly draining the life out of God’s people. It is subtle and its tactics include lying, misleading, trickery, fraud and witchcraft with the intention to steal and destroy the relationship between God and His children. We must remember that Satan has a huge advantage in spiritual warfare because our flesh is always a willing candidate to cooperate with his schemes. Our carnality never needs to meditate or consider the dangers of obeying the devil, in fact we were born into this default nature and it just seems like “old times” when we allow our original nature to control our thoughts. “And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.” (Galatians 5:24)

The above paragraph seems very sad and not uplifting, however there is a spiritual accountability to know truth and act on it. Most Christians would agree that carnality has spread like a plague and that many Christians have become infected with it, but just to “know it” is not enough. Usually when there is a widespread problem, we find two different camps on the subject – those who are a part of the problem and the ones that have been delivered from it or at least are trying to escape. If we can agree that an abandonment of sanctification has blanketed the Christian world, it is the time for us to take an inventory of OUR heart and decide which camp we are in. If we are living in our flesh during the week and trying to run the church with our old nature, we have created and developed a “secular” assembly! Holiness starts at home and spreads outward! We pray, study, develop and worship when we are alone, and then we demonstrate our relationship with God to others. Church is the locker room – the game is our life! May we be extremely careful to NOT become so arrogant that we think we have done all we need to do! Denial is deception. Mmmm.

The enemy is trying to influence the masses with a false sense of security so it is wise to take a personal inventory of where we are and what we are doing. As it is a crucial part of the change process to be transparent with our own conscience, repentance is not only seeing where we need to change – but it is asking God to forgive us with the determination to not do it again! Allow me to ask, if we are not spiritually growing, learning, progressing and developing in His presence – then just exactly what are we doing? Are you awake? Are you listening? Some simple facts worth considering; if we are not growing stronger with more maturity, wisdom and love, we have become stagnant and have become “sick” with heart disease. It is a hereditary illness called willful “sin”. If we are not learning how to live in victory over our flesh so that we can be overcomer for His glory, we are playing a religious game that has no spiritual significance or value; in fact we have become an ENEMY to His cause! If we are not progressing forward we are sliding backward. A tree that has life will grow and mature so it can eventually bear fruit. Trees that do not bear fruit are cut down and thrown into the fire. If we are not developing a bond of love with God, a deep personal relationship of knowing His mind and will where we discern His heart and OBEY His voice, we are being deceived as to what our calling and purpose of life is all about. Selah.

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