“Whosoever draws his sword against the prince must throw the scabbard away.” (English 17th Century Proverb)
A scabbard is a sheath for holding a sword, knife or other large blade or gun, such as a rifle with a bayonet.
There are two princes who are at war. First is Jesus Christ the prince of heaven and the son of God. The other is Satan the prince of the fallen world (John 12:31) and the arch-enemy of God.
There is no scope for being a neutral party. The Bible is very clear about this:
He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad (Matthew 12:30).
Therefore, he who rejects this instruction does not reject man but God, who gives you his Holy Spirit. (1 Thessalonians 4:8).
“The one who hears you hears me, and the one who rejects you rejects me, and the one who rejects me rejects him who sent me.” (Luke 10:16).
So when you choose the side of the prince of heaven, you’re at odds with the Devil. You must realize that Satan is on one evil mission. Some scriptures about this that tell about the problem by the Devil & the solution:
Violence like a lion:
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walks about, seeking whom he may devour (1 Peter 5:8)
Pretense by the Devil:
And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. (2 Corinthians 11:14)
The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have [it] more abundantly. (John 10:10)
So know that the Devil is a violent, pretentious thief what must one do?
- Accept God; Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. (James 4:7)
- Resist the Devil; Resist him and be firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kinds of suffering. (1 Peter 5:9).
What do I do if the Devil reminds me of my past failings?
Remind him about his future. And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet [are], and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever. (Revelation 20:10)
Just keep working on doing the right things as mentioned above. You don’t need to much wisdom. You only need God’s grace which is given to those who keep his word.
Thanks for reading. Christ be with you!
(Note: This is a message I had given to a private audience about 4 years ago and had made a record of this. Suddenly during my prayers I felt like God wants me to share this with you, so that you benefit from it.)
My friends be warned that legalism functions like a counterfeit of discipline. It mimics the roots but the fruits of legalism show its true character. Fruits do take a season or two to show up but God knows the heart.
Jesus our Lord gave respect to the poor widows offerings but didn’t have regard for those who were hypocritically giving offerings in the temple. Also from the parable of the Pharisee and the Publican we learn that though both went into the temple to pray to God only the humble Publican was justified as he acknowledged his sins unlike the self righteous Pharisee.
Attending church and attending to God must go hand in hand. The problem comes when someone proclaims his church attendance to his neighbours but secretly in church is only interested in being noticed as a pious individual by all. So as a result he has not been attending to God. There’s no way God is going to honour this.
The only thing worse than a hypocrite is a legalistic hypocrite. Jesus tackled legalistic hypocrites during his ministry on earth. He observed how the will of God was being tampered with legalism and was critical of it. Among one of his rebukes to them is the following:
For Moses said, ‘Honor your father and your mother’; and, ‘Whoever reviles father or mother must surely die.’ But you say, ‘If a man tells his father or his mother, “Whatever you would have gained from me is Corban”’ (that is, given to God)— then you no longer permit him to do anything for his father or mother, thus making void the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down. And many such things you do.” (Mark 7:10-13)
Don’t get tricked by anyone who tells you to follow rules and traditions that are not consistent with the teachings of the Bible. If someone says that you need to donate money to prove that you love God remind that person that God loved us even when we were sinners. Nothing should stop you from giving financially for the preaching of the gospel in unreached areas. But its deception to get conned into paying money to prove your love of God.
Be vary of instructions by religious teachers who say to only speak well to church members of your own race or clan. Remember that the Lord doesn’t like racism in church even if you are not harming the other person.
Never get egged on by the notion that the more you fast the more grace you can earn. The grace of God cannot be earned. If grace could be earned it would not be grace. Fast because you want to spend time in prayer with God instead. Fast because you want to focus on things of the Spirit.
Remember that pilgrimages to holy places in Israel (or elsewhere) are not mandatory for your salvation. It’s good to have a ‘boots on the ground’ feel of places where Jesus walked but then again are you obligated to do that to be saved? You can be saved even if you have lived all your life in Idaho or wherever. You need to believe in Jesus Christ to be saved. Obviously that means that you repent and believe in the Gospel.
Discipline is much different than legalism. You still drink sufficient water whether others are offended by it or not. You have a bath even if others don’t. You still uphold the Gospel even if all others are sinning. We still provide food for our families regardless of the winter or rain, we don’t need to have a thousand laws to tell us that. It’s instinct, spiritual instinct that comes from God. For instance, you may hear just one sermon against witchcraft and you effectively resist all the lies of temptation to witchcraft years after the sermon. Instinct of the spirit is something that you need to have like your natural instincts and even more.
You can develop your spiritual instinct by praying to God and reading his Word which is the Bible. Pray in the Holy Spirit. Seek the presence of Christ when you pray. Read the testimonies of how various people left their wicked ways and led a holy life for Jesus. Learn how brave the early Christian martyrs were that they chose to die by execution rather than forsake Christ. Take delight in hearing of healings by God through his people on earth even for the worst of sinners. That’s when you realize that godly discipline is pristine and is to be cherished unlike legalism which is to be avoided totally.
I pray that you walk more in discipline and remain out of legalism. In the name of Jesus, for the glory God and by the Holy Spirit. Amen.