Being a Weapon of Righteousness
September 13, 2020
Being a Weapon of Righteousness
September 13, 2020
Do you find yourself at times wondering why and how do you keep going back to some things in your past that leave you feeling stuck? Feeling like you will never get away from your past?
This teaching is meant to focus on our goal as a believer which is, irrespective of how long we have been a Christian, to be grounded in the reality that we have a new life in Jesus. The revelation of this reality will result in us becoming weapons in the hands of God, bringing glory to Jesus.
There are three areas that I want to personally address:
1. Know who you are in Christ.
2. Choose to believe the Bible.
3. Yield yourself as a tool in God’s hand.
Have you ever watched a little child try to carry a backpack? They pack their entire world into that one little bag. The bag becomes so heavy that they can barely stand up straight. When they begin to walk, it pulls them backwards, pulls them down, making it impossible for them to walk straight. As a parent if you’re watching this struggle and observing the determination in their eyes to carry this bag, you would naturally want to help them. You let them walk ahead of you, and you begin to lift the top of that bag to make the load lighter. The proud look of this little toddler is incredible. They are suddenly so confident, they feel so strong and able, that it gives you pleasure to simply walk along behind them. That toddler may become aware that you are doing this. Some toddlers may rebel and push away their parents, but many will play along joyfully, knowing that ‘Daddy’s got me,’ or ‘Mommy’s got me.’ As a parent, this is all part of living the dream, helping our children become stronger and learn how to pack the necessary things in their bags. What’s frustrating is having a child who refuses to allow you to help them.
As a believer, Jesus beckons us to come to Him for help. He beckons us to learn of Him and His ways. The goal for our lives as believers is to live so that we build the kingdom of God in this world, being used in God’s hand as a weapon. It is not God’s heart that, as believers, we keep going back to our past way of living, being pulled back by the heaviness of trying to carry dead weight around. Like the child’s things in his backpack, constantly being pulled down. We can each make a personal choice to lighten this load we carry. We can choose to drop the weights that hold us back, and strongly walk in God’s Grace.
Jesus said in:
Matthew 11:28-30 (AMPC)
28 Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy-laden and overburdened, and I will cause you to rest. [I will ease and relieve and refresh your souls.] 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me, for I am gentle (meek) and humble (lowly) in heart, and you will find rest (relief and ease and refreshment and recreation and blessed quiet) for your souls. 30 For My yoke is wholesome (useful, good—not harsh, hard, sharp, or pressing, but comfortable, gracious, and pleasant), and My burden is light and easy to be borne.
The apostle Paul teaches in:
Romans 8:14 (AMPC)
14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.
Romans 6:13 (AMPC)
Do not continue offering or yielding your bodily members [and faculties] to sin as instruments (tools) of wickedness. But offer and yield yourselves to God as though you have been raised from the dead to [perpetual] life, and your bodily members [and faculties] to God, presenting them as implements of righteousness.
Romans 6:13 (TPT)
So then, refuse to answer its call to surrender your body as a tool for wickedness. Instead, passionately answer God’s call to keep yielding your body to him as one who has now experienced resurrection life! You live now for his pleasure, ready to be used for his noble purpose.
Our aim as a believer is to live a life with the Lord, so that our entire beings, our souls, completely lean on and depend on Him: knowing that we are not meant to walk this life alone, recognizing that Jesus is helping us along the way, and that He completely desires that we joyfully become aware that He is present. He wants us to constantly know that He is most able to assist us as we go through life.
1. Know who you are in Christ.
The Bible teaches that all who call on the name of Jesus will be saved. Romans 10:9-10 tells us that if we acknowledge/confess and believe in our hearts that Jesus died for our sins, was buried and rose on the third day, we will be saved.
Those who have been walking with the Lord for years have heard Bible verses that say we are in Christ, we are the head and not the tail, we are seated with Jesus in heavenly places, we are more than conquerors, we are highly blessed and favored, etc. We have said them so much that when we hear others quote them, we can finish the phrases. In church services, when the pastor leads a confession, a prayer, and has everyone repeat, we say those words without giving much thought to them at all. How do I know this? I have done it. I have watched others close to me do it. Then, when we leave church or are away from our Christian friends, choices are made, and reactions come from our temperament that are completely contradictory to the confession we made.
Jesus is the truth
You see, we can easily have a Christian confession, the salvation confession that ‘Jesus is Lord.’ This confession may give me a free get-out-of-hell pass. However, the goal of salvation is that God gets hell out of my life.
I can believe all day long that I am a son, or a daughter of the King of the universe. But my actions say a whole lot more about who I am, than who I say I am. Standing in a garage doesn’t make me a car, any more than saying I am a believer makes me like Jesus.
In John 14:6, Jesus says I am the way, “the truth,” and the life. That we get to the Father by going through Jesus. He also says in John 8:32 that we shall “know the truth and the truth will make you free.”
Who is the truth? It is Jesus. Going back to having a free get-out-of-hell pass, versus getting hell out of us – this is done by knowing Christ. Intimate relationship with Jesus (close fellowship) is a requirement if we are to live free of the burdens of sin. Believing is the prerequisite, but that’s just the first part. The next part of the equation is seeking Him as your necessary food.
It takes effort
It’s like two young love birds, two young people in love with each other. They are young, believe that they are ready for life together, ready to tackle the world. They make time for each other, they don’t really want anyone to interrupt their “our time.” Each person in this relationship wants to be understood and seemingly wants to know what to do to please the other.
As a young married wife at 19 with Shane, I wanted to do everything perfectly. I wanted to have the perfect little home, and be a great cook making things he loved. I wanted to find out what he liked, so I could please him. This required me learning from my mother-in-love and his grandma. I watched everything they did and how they did it, because they had known Shane longer than I. So it took effort. I didn’t mind learning from them. And they were so gracious to teach me.
So it should be with Jesus. We can’t get to know Him if we are not actively pursuing what pleases Him, i.e. learning from and becoming discipled by those who are walking where we are headed. If we want to go higher, we must dig deeper, and this takes effort. This is done by setting time aside to pray, read, and study the Bible, and also by getting involved in being mentored by others who are doers of the Word. Our focus should be on knowing Him, aiming to understand what He has done for us, and focusing on our new life in Him.
2 Corinthians 5:15,17 (TPT)
15 so that those who live should no longer live self-absorbed lives but lives that are poured out for him—the one who died for us and now lives again. 17 Now, if anyone is enfolded into Christ, he has become an entirely new creation. All that is related to the old order has vanished. Behold, everything is fresh and new.
We must focus on our new life in Him, living unto Him, and not the old life of sin and living to please ourselves. We need to be focused on being God-conscious and not sin-conscious.
To be used as a weapon of righteousness, we must understand who we are in Christ. This leads to the next point.
2. Choose to believe the Bible.
Someone said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting your results to be different. So what this boils down to is, if I want to see different results in my life, I’ve got to do something that I have never done, and do it consistently.
I have had so many conversations with people who say the Bible is a historical book, that it is irrelevant for this generation, that it was written for a past people, a former generation. Complete rubbish!
Experience is the best teacher in our lives. I have personally experienced so many kisses from heaven in my short lifetime. I can go back over the course of my life, even before I was saved, and see the hand of the Lord in my life, how He has personally looked after me and loved me even when I was hell-bound. I had to make a choice to not do many of the things I used to do before I accepted Christ. I had to eliminate victim mentality from my thinking, and instead fill myself with what the Bible said about me. I had to especially change the way that I spoke. Instead of speaking words that were negative, I was constantly learning to replace the negatives with the Word. And little by little, things changed and are still being changed in my life. I began expecting God to show up for me.
Forsake past behaviors
As much as I have received my kisses from heaven, I’ve received a lot of corrections too. One of the things that was such a struggle for me as a young believer was smoking. I was so ashamed of being a smoker. I would hide and smoke. As a mom, I never wanted to be the one that said to my kids, “Do as I say and not as I do.” I wanted to be a mother who taught my children to follow me as I follow Jesus. I was a closet-smoker. I didn’t want anyone to know that I smoked and definitely never wanted my children to see me. I had this strong thing going on inside of me – that smoking would ruin my witness to others, especially my kids. When I got saved, I knew that I was called to do something for Jesus, called to ministry. But I was so aware that my first ministry was to my husband and my kids.
One day I went into my garage, while my kids were upstairs. Isaiah, my oldest, came downstairs at some point looking for me. I was standing at the stairs outside of the door that led into the house. I heard him come to the door and I reached quickly to hold the door shut. He said, “mommy, what are you doing?” I told him to go back upstairs and that I would be in shortly. I remember feeling so ashamed. I was hiding from my child! Isaiah was learning in school that smoking was dangerous and bad for a person. I would tell him that it was. Yet here I was doing what I knew to be wrong. I started to cry and prayed with tears running down my face. I asked the Father to please take this desire from me, even asking Him to make me sick of the very smell. I dropped smoking instantly and never picked it up again. I didn’t say that I wasn’t tempted again. I said I didn’t pick it up again. I made a choice, because I didn’t like feeling the shame and feeling like a hypocrite.
Listen, I don’t believe that smoking will send you to hell. I do believe it may send you to heaven faster. For me, it brought shame. I started smoking as a thing with my high school friends. We were an EXTREMELY rebellious crowd of teens. We did a whole lot of bad things that were foolish and dangerous. Smoking, now that I was saved, was a residue of my past. The truth said to my heart that I was no longer that rebellious teen. So why was I still trying to be like that old Meera … Smoking very much reminded me of my past. I hid as a teenager too.
You see, I am talking about believing the Word, believing the Bible. I believe with my whole heart everything it says. If it tells me to avoid going back to my past way of living, then I avoid it.
Romans 8:5-9 (TPT)
5 Those who are motivated by the flesh only pursue what benefits themselves. But those who live by the impulses of the Holy Spirit are motivated to pursue spiritual realities. 6 For the mind-set of the flesh is death, but the mind-set controlled by the Spirit finds life and peace. 7 In fact, the mind-set focused on the flesh fights God’s plan and refuses to submit to his direction, because it cannot! 8 For no matter how hard they try, God finds no pleasure with those who are controlled by the flesh. 9 But when the Spirit of Christ empowers your life, you are not dominated by the flesh but by the Spirit. And if you are not joined to the Spirit of the Anointed One, you are not of him.
Jesus left the example for us to follow. He said things to us like this:
John 15:4-5 (AMPC)
4 Dwell in Me, and I will dwell in you. [Live in Me, and I will live in you.] Just as no branch can bear fruit of itself without abiding in (being vitally united to) the vine, neither can you bear fruit unless you abide in Me. 5 I am the Vine; you are the branches. Whoever lives in Me and I in him bears much (abundant) fruit. However, apart from Me [cut off from vital union with Me] you can do nothing.
John 15:16 (AMPC)
16 You have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you and I have appointed you [I have planted you], that you might go and bear fruit and keep on bearing, and that your fruit may be lasting [that it may remain, abide], so that whatever you ask the Father in My Name [as presenting all that I Am], He may give it to you.
Let’s face it, the struggle that most of us fall into is battling with the sinful things in our past, and this battle is in our flesh. There are desires in us that are antagonistic to the ways of God. The flesh is in complete opposition to God, and if we do not discipline ourselves, it will give way to sin in our lives.
It’s like we end up living a double life in God. When we are in church and around other believers, we are one way. We talk out the confession stuff. But when we are away from this environment, we are someone else. This happens because we truly don’t know the truth. We don’t believe that Jesus is the very word of God and that He is truly present in us. We may have a surface relationship in our hearts with Him. But are we fully aware that when the Father looks at me, at us, that He sees Jesus? Do we really resemble Jesus? If we were aware of this truth, truly aware of it, we would want to be like Christ. The fruit of a life submitted and surrendered to God would have a thought life like the lyrics to a song I love: Where you go by Brian Johnson
Where you go I’ll go
What you say I’ll say
What you pray I’ll pray
Jesus only did what he saw you do
He would only say what he heard you speak
He would only move when he felt you lead
Following your heart following your spirit
How could I expect to walk without you
When every move that Jesus made was in surrender
I personally just can’t picture Jesus smoking. Can you?
Believing the Bible would result in what the apostle Paul said of all of us.
2 Corinthians 3:2 (MSG)
Your very lives are a letter that anyone can read by just looking at you. Christ himself wrote it—not with ink, but with God’s living Spirit; not chiseled into stone, but carved into human lives
Wasn’t something compelling about Jesus to the lost? Isn’t it so apparent that our world is in trouble? Why isn’t the church the antidote that makes the chaos and the madness stop? It’s because we all, myself included, have not truly identified ourselves in Him. We have not fully believed the Word. If we believed the Bible, we would live the Bible. I know this sounds rough, but it’s something that Jesus Himself spoke to His followers. It’s His Words that hit my heart. It’s something that I have to say to myself, “When I am obedient to the Word, I love Him, so when I am disobedient, I am not loving Him” (John 14:23).
This is not meant to hurt anyone who hears this message or reads these words. God is bigger than my mess-ups, His grace meets me when I fail to do what is right, fail to say what is gracious, fail to act on what is pleasing to Him. He couldn’t love me any more than He already does. Rules without relationship lead to rebellion. God doesn’t expect blind obedience. He gives us the ability to know Him. He wants us to know that we are deeply loved and accepted by Him. He is not a tyrant. Jesus says this, “Learn of me.” He desires us to relate to Him. We must know who we are and work on knowing who He is.
The value of an item is usually determined by the cost paid for the item. The value of my life was paid for with the Blood of Jesus! Heaven paid the ransom for me. So this life that I live is not my own. A person can’t give more than their life for someone else. So, does He love me? Absolutely! Does He love you? Absolutely!! Can I please Him more? Absolutely! How do I do this? Believe His Word and surrender myself to living out what it says.
Going back to what I said about insanity and applying it to believing the Bible: if I want to be a true son/daughter, fully sold out to my identity in Christ, I must do something different than what I have been doing. If I continuously find myself falling back into the old sinful life I had before asking Jesus to be Lord of my life, then I am not aware of who I am in Christ. I haven’t yet accepted the Bible as truth.
3. Yield yourself as a tool in God’s hand.
Romans 6: 12-13 (TPT)
12 Sin is a dethroned monarch; so you must no longer give it an opportunity to rule over your life, controlling how you live and compelling you to obey its desires and cravings. 13 So then, refuse to answer its call to surrender your body as a tool for wickedness. Instead, passionately answer God’s call to keep yielding your body to him as one who has now experienced resurrection life! You live now for his pleasure, ready to be used for his noble purpose.
Romans 6:12-13 (NKJV)
12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts. 13 And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.
The above verse speaks on:
– Do not let sin reign – reign is symbolic of a kingdom, a position of authority, a king.
– Sin – a force that wants to take control – remember what God said to Cain in Gen 4:7, “Sin desires to have you, but you must master it.” Sin wants to take control of us, of our person.
– Compel – sin wants to compel me to obey its desires – sin has desires – it has cravings.
– Surrendering to sin will cause us to become a tool of wickedness in Satan’s hand.
– Yielding my body to Him, to Jesus – He is the One True King. He defeated death and has now taken His place on the throne of my heart.
As long as we live in this thing called a physical body, we will have temptations and struggles. As we discuss yielding, surrendering, and submitting ourselves to God, again, we must know who we are. We must believe that this Bible contains the very words of God, that it is a powerful tool, and not just mere words, my friends. It is the very essence of all that God is. We must believe that it has creative power, and it is the source of the very life we will live in Christ. These are not empty words or something to callously and carelessly throw around. In fact, when it is being preached and spoken, everything on the inside of us should stand at attention. He, God, is speaking. If we could physically see Him, what would we do if He were speaking? What would we do if He walked into the room? We can’t see Him and the Bible as being two separate things, they are One!
We know that our old (un-renewed) self was nailed to the cross with Him in order that [our] body [which is the instrument] of sin might be made ineffective and inactive for evil, that we might no longer be the slaves of sin.
Galatians 2:20 (TPT)
20 My old identity has been co-crucified with Messiah and no longer lives; for the nails of his cross crucified me with him. And now the essence of this new life is no longer mine, for the Anointed One lives his life through me—we live in union as one! My new life is empowered by the faith of the Son of God who loves me so much that he gave himself for me, and dispenses his life into mine!
Ephesians 2:4-6 (TPT)
4 But God still loved us with such great love. He is so rich in compassion and mercy. 5 Even when we were dead and doomed in our many sins, he united us into the very life of Christ and saved us by his wonderful grace! 6 He raised us up with Christ the exalted One, and we ascended with him into the glorious perfection and authority of the heavenly realm, for we are now co-seated as one with Christ!
We live for the pleasure of God.
Recognize that there’s a war for our souls. Our salvation must be worked out. We cannot take for granted that confessing Christ is all that it takes to walk through this life victoriously. It will require us to be both vigilant and diligent.
We must be aware that God is the One True King and that our allegiance belongs to Him and to Him alone. I don’t belong to myself.
1 Corinthians 6:20 (AMPC)
You were bought with a price [purchased with a preciousness and paid for, made His own]. So then, honor God and bring glory to Him in your body.
We must also be aware of who we are and respond to this new identity. Jesus made a great exchange. He gave me His gift of life, taking my imperfections and giving me everything that belongs to Him. If I pay for something it belongs to me. According to the Bible, He paid a price for me, so I belong to Him.
Sin is not just an act. It is a force that draws us.
It wants to rule us. There is a real enemy, a real devil. This is not some hocus pocus movie we are watching and participating in. Sin was first found in Satan. Its roots are in the devil. Sin brings temptations. When the apostle Paul says, “Do not let sin rule your members,” he wasn’t talking about everyone else but ourselves. He’s talking about our very own bodies, like our eyes, our mouths, etc. Our bodies have desires that want to be appeased. For instance, our brain communicates to our body that we need food. Food sustains our physical body. Hunger is a sign that I need food, so this is normal. When I choose to eat an entire cake, or a half a chicken or a whole pizza, I have chosen to yield myself to sin, because my actions are gluttonous. How about when uncontrolled eating leads to bulimia, or fear of eating because of poor self image leads to anorexia, this is not healthy It can potentially take the lives of people. Again, the desire to eat is not wrong; it’s when we go above what is healthy for us that it becomes sin.
How about our words being used as a weapon?
James 3:5-10 (TPT)
5 And so the tongue is a small part of the body yet it carries great power! Just think of how a small flame can set a huge forest ablaze. 6 And the tongue is a fire! It can be compared to the sum total of wickedness and is the most dangerous part of our human body. It corrupts the entire body and is a hellish flame! It releases a fire that can burn throughout the course of human existence. 7 For every wild animal on earth including birds, creeping reptiles, and creatures of the sea and land have all been overpowered and tamed by humans, 8 but the tongue is not able to be tamed. It’s a fickle, unrestrained evil that spews out words full of toxic poison! 9 We use our tongue to praise God our Father and then turn around and curse a person who was made in his very image! 10 Out of the same mouth we pour out words of praise one minute and curses the next. My brothers and sister, this should never be!
Another example that is a huge struggle and a huge temptation is sexual intimacy.
God created sex to be experienced in the covenant of marriage, to procreate life and to bring joy between man and wife. Yielding ourselves to our spouses is God’s perfect plan for a man and his wife. If it’s sex within a marriage, between one man and one woman, then we are fulfilling His plan and are being used in a righteous way, a tool in God’s hand to reflect His plan for humanity. How it becomes a weapon of wickedness, a weapon of unrighteousness, is when the desire for sexual satisfaction leads a person to indulge and engage in pornography, masturbation, adultery, homosexuality, sexting, pedophilia, etc.
Sin is not just an idea or a thought. It is a real enemy trying to take you captive.
It is the old nature, the one that existed before you gave your life to Jesus, trying to resurrect your old life. When we engage, we may feel momentary gratification, but after that wears off, we are filled with shame. This is because there’s a new King present in us. But if we choose to keep on engaging the old ways, we will continue a cycle that pulls us away from Christ. It’s a cycle of shame like I was feeling when I smoked cigarettes. 1 Peter 2 is sobering. We are warned that engaging in what we broke free from can leave us worse off than before, like a dog returning to its vomit or a pig that was washed from mud only to return to the mud again.
The great news is that God has given us everything we need for life and godliness. The choice is ours. And as I mentioned in some of the very first verses of scriptures presented in this discussion, Jesus says to us all:
Matthew 11:28-30 28 Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy-laden and overburdened, and I will cause you to rest. [I will ease and relieve and refresh your souls.] 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me, for I am gentle (meek) and humble (lowly) in heart, and you will find rest (relief and ease and refreshment and recreation and blessed quiet) for your souls. 30 For My yoke is wholesome (useful, good—not harsh, hard, sharp, or pressing, but comfortable, gracious, and pleasant), and My burden is light and easy to be borne.
He is gentle and He cares about everything that we struggle with. The heavy-laden and overburdened words here are related to things that we struggle with. And the precious promise is that the Spirit of God in us will cry out to God on our behalf. Jesus is for you, Beloved.
- Are there any resources to invest in, like a Bible study, a book on a subject that you may struggle with, that will help? Maybe ask someone on our staff if you need help.
- Is there a mentor or someone who can come alongside you and help you to stay accountable? (Keep in mind that a good mentor will not be someone who is struggling with what you are struggling with; we have to find those who are walking free.)
- Are there places, friendships, TV shows, that you may need to remove from your life?