Walking in the Spirit in the Church

 

Scriptural Keys for Overcomers

The Lord guided me to put together this doc years ago. I have functioned in its truths at ever higher levels since my earliest years in congregations of believers. The results: increasing freedom from prejudice, freedom from the enemy’s relentless lies against the saints, and freedom to grow in I Corinthians 13 “charity.” I Peter 2:22 TLB happens: “Now you can have real love for everyone because your souls have been cleansed from selfishness and hatred . . . “ And, too, we have the promise of I Timothy 1:5 TLB: “that all the Christians there will be filled with love that comes from pure hearts . . . clean minds . . . .”

PART A

Confess/declare the following Scriptures aloud before every Body of Christ gathering. Let your mind be renewed to the truth of who your brothers and sisters are in Christ. See them and think about them not as they appear to be but as they are in the finished work of Christ. Envision them according to where they are headed not where they are today. Take every thought about fellow believers (that does not line up with the Word) captive to the obedience of Christ. Cast down every picture, every imagination, every high thing that exalts itself against the true knowledge of God—who they really are in Christ. (2 Corinthians 10:5.) Remember the battle to stay in the truth is in your mind. “Call those things that are not as though they were or call things not being as being.” (Romans 4:17 KJV and the Recovery Version.) Pray your brothers and sisters forth i.e. pray and labor that Christ “be formed in them.” Be like Paul in Galatians 4:19 KJV, “My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you.” Walk by faith in what the Word says about the church and not by sight or appearance. Forgive what is not like Jesus. [Remember Satan is “the accuser of the brethren.” (Revelation 12:10.)] Love the brethren higher. War for them—bind and loose in the unseen realm to gain their freedom.

Walk before an Audience of One: the Lord. Minister as if unto Him. Look only to Him for affirmation and reward. Note John 5:44 AMP—“you who [are content to seek and] receive praise and honor and glory from one another, and yet do not seek the praise and honor and glory which come from Him Who alone is God?”

In Christ, there is freedom to become “His masterpiece”—one “recreated in Christ Jesus.” From Eph. 2:10: “For we are his workmanship/masterpiece, recreated in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” Romans 12:2 JB PHILLIPS instructs: “Don’t let the world around you squeeze you into its own mould, but let God re-mould your minds from within . . .” But also, don’t let the church world and its less than spiritual culture in spots press you into its mold. The overcomers in Revelation 2 and 3 overcame the carnal church in addition to the world, the flesh, the devil.

Your place in the body of Christ is first of all “in Christ” not in a particular clique or ministry. Abide in the Vine. Stay so very close to Christ Jesus. Let God’s life flow through you to the hurting, needy, lowly. Be “ultra-Spirit-led” as the Lord leads you to one member of the Body then another. Take a low spot. Serve.

From “Overcoming Pride Blindedness” posted on https://bondslavefreedom.wordpress.com:

In and around people, especially around the Body of Christ, 1 Peter 5:5 AMP is mandatory: “Clothe (apron) yourselves, all of you, with humility [as the garb of a servant, so that its covering cannot possibly be stripped from you, with freedom from pride and arrogance] toward one another.” Wear a servant’s garb by praying for the needs of others, and watch any inflated emotion, caused by an inordinate focus on yourself. Always go low in terms of position. Continuously confess aloud Philippians 2:3, “I consider others (name them) more excellent—more highly than myself.” I encourage: keep at this confession until it is grafted into your soul. Verse 4 explains how to obey verse 3: Regard the virtues of others. Look to their interests above your own.

Always remember Jesus, our Pattern Son, loves the church. He gives Himself in intercession for her. He “nourishes and carefully protects and cherishes” her. Jesus died for the church. [Eph. 5 Amplified.]

John 21:15-17: “Jesus said . . . ‘do you love Me . . . ? Then feed My lambs’ . . . Jesus repeated . . . ‘do you really love Me? . . . Then take care of My sheep’. . . Once more He asked . . . ‘Are you even My friend?  . . . Then feed My little sheep.’ [Feed or get nutrients to the Body. Light. Life. The Truth spoken in love. (Eph. 4:15 TLB.)]

And note the Apostle Paul’s words from 1 Thessalonians 2:7,But we behaved gently when we were among you, like a devoted mother nursing and cherishing her own children.”

Ask for the shepherding ability of David. From Ps. 78:72, “He cared for them with a true heart and skillful hands.” PLEASE DON’T BEAT THE SHEEP with your words. Ps. 23:4 describes a shepherd’s tools, “Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.” The ROD is the direction, correction, and discipline necessary to lead “the sheep” into the fulfillment of their destinies in God. It’s to be used in / with pure agape love. See also Hebrews 12:5-13. The STAFF represents authority over the enemy. Use your spiritual authority to set free and bring healing to still captive Christians. See Luke 9:1.

It’s absolutely necessary to abide in God—to remain connected to the Lord as  your Life Source—ever drawing from Him. Stop and refuel in God; don’t keep going when you are out of “oil.” See Matthew 25. Practice radical leaning and great dependency on the Beloved at all times. See Song of Songs  8:5.

Do let Colossians 3:14 rule your heart:

“And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.”  Declare to the enemy—the accusing spirits: “NO breaking the bond of perfectness.”

And do say “yes” to 1 John 3:16 KJV: “Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.

PART B

Insert the name of your church in the blanks below. // Claim and apply these Scripture references to the Body of believers.

Romans 8:17 _______ are heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ.

Romans 8:23 _______ has and enjoys the firstfruits of the [Holy] Spirit [a foretaste of the blissful things to come]

Romans 8:37 We are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.

Romans 8:38-39 neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future nor any powers neither height nor depth nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

2 Cor. 5:20 Christ’s ambassadors.

Gal. 3:26 sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.

Gal 3:28 for you are all one in Christ Jesus

Ephesians 1:5 He predestined us to be adopted as His sons through Jesus Christ.

Eph. 2:6-7 And He raised us up together with Him and made us sit down together – giving us joint seating with Him – in the heavenly sphere [by virtue of our being] in Christ Jesus, the Messiah, the Anointed One. He did this that He might clearly demonstrate through the ages to come the immeasurable (limitless, surpassing) riches of His free grace (His unmerited favor) in kindness and goodness of heart toward us in Christ Jesus.

2 Cor. 10:12b However, when they measure themselves with themselves and compare themselves with one another, they are without understanding and behave unwisely.

1 Cor. 12:27 Now you (collectively) are Christ’s body and individually) you are members of it, each part severally and distinct—each with his own place and function.

1 Thess. 2:12 May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else just as ours does for you.

Phil. 2:4 Each of you should look not only to your own interests but also to the interests of others.

Phil. 2:13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to His good purpose.

Gal. 5:26 Let us not become vainglorious and self-conceited, competitive and challenging and provoking and irritating to one another, envying and being jealous of one another.

Gal. 6:4 without [resorting to] boastful comparison with his neighbor.

Psalm 84:11 For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows [present] grace and favor and [future] glory—honor, splendor and heavenly bliss! No good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly.

Eph. 2:10 For we are God’s [own] handiwork (His workmanship), recreated in Christ Jesus, [born anew] that we may do those good works which God predestined (planned beforehand) for us, (taking paths which He prepared ahead of time) that we should walk in them—living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us to live.

Col. 3:10 have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.

Col. 3:12 God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved.

Rom. 6:14 not under law but under grace.

Rom. 6:18 slaves to righteousness.

Rom. 7:6 dead to what once bound us; now we serve in the new way of the Spirit and not in the old way of the written code.

Rom. 8:1 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life has set us free from the law of sin and death.

Rom. 8:4 do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit.

Rom. 8:14-15 those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. We have received the spirit of adoption [the Spirit producing sonship] in [the bliss of] which we cry Abba (Father)! Father!

Eph. 1:1 to the saints (the consecrated, set-apart ones)

Phil. 1:6 that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

Jude 24-25 Now to Him who is able to keep you without stumbling or slipping or falling and to present [you] unblemished (blameless and faultless) before the presence of His glory—with unspeakable ecstatic delight—in triumphant joy and exultation to the one only God, our savior through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory (splendor), majesty, might and dominion, and power and authority before all time and now and forever—unto all the ages of eternity. Amen—so be it.

Phil. 3:20 But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ who by the power that enables him to bring everything under His control will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like His heavenly body.

1 Cor. 6:17 united with the Lord and one with Him in spirit.

Eph. 2:10 For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

1 Cor. 15:22 in Christ all will be made alive.

1 Cor. 15:57 He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Eph. 2:13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Jesus Christ.

Col. 3:13 Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.

Col. 1:22 But now He has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in His sight, without blemish and free from accusation.

Col. 1:11 being strengthened with all power according to His glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light.

John 1:16-17 For out of His fullness (abundance) we all received—all had a share and we were all supplied with—one grace after another and spiritual blessing upon spiritual blessing, and even favor upon favor and gift [heaped] upon gift.

For while the law was given through Moses, grace—unearned, undeserved favor and spiritual blessing and truth came through Jesus Christ.

1 Cor. 3:16 Do you not discern and understand that you [the whole church at Corinth] are God’s temple (His sanctuary) and that God’s Spirit has His permanent dwelling in you—to be at home in you [collectively as a church and also individually]?

2 Cor. 1:21-22 Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, set His seal of ownership on us, and put His Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.

Eph. 2:19-22 fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. In Him, the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in Him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by His Spirit.

2 Cor. 5:17 Therefore if anyone is in Christ he is a new creation, the old has gone, the new has come!

Gal. 2:6 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with Him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages, He might show the incomparable riches of His grace, expressed in His kindness to us in Christ Jesus.

Rom. 14:1 Accept him whose faith is weak without passing judgment on disputable matters.

Eph. 4:32 And become useful and helpful and kind to one another, tender-hearted (compassionate, understanding, loving-hearted) forgiving one another [readily and freely], as God in Christ forgave you.

1 John 4:10 This is love: not that we loved God but that He loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.

Heb. 10:24 Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.

Heb. 12:2 Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our faith.

Heb. 13:1 keep on loving each other as brothers.

James 2:1 don’t show favoritism

James 2:8 love your neighbor as yourself

I Peter 1:22 love one another deeply from the heart.

James 4:10 Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.

Romans 5:11 We also rejoice in God through whom we have now received reconciliation.

Romans 5:17 how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ.

Rom. 6:5 if united with [Christ] like this in His death, we also are certainly united with Him in His resurrection

2 Cor. 2:15 For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. To the one we are the smell of death; to the other the fragrance of life.

Eph. 5:25 just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water by the Word, and to present her to Himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.

Rom. 9:26 sons of the living God

Rom. 9:30 have obtained a righteousness that is by faith.

Rom. 9:33 the one who trusts in Him will never be put to shame.

Rom. 12:10 Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves.

Rom. 12:16 Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.

Rom. 12:18 Live at peace with everyone.

Rom. 13:9 Love your neighbor as yourself.

Rom. 1:6 called to belong to Christ Jesus.

Rom. 1:7 loved by God and called to be saints

Rom 3:24 justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.

Rom. 5:1-2 We have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through Whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand.

Col. 3:12-14 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved; clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

Rom. 6:6 the old self crucified with Him so that the body of sin might be done away with that we should no longer be slaves to sin—because anyone who has died has been freed from sin.

Rom. 6:11 alive to God in Christ Jesus.

Rom. 6:13 brought from death to life.

Ephesians 4:15-16 TLB Instead, we will lovingly follow the truth at all times—speaking truly, dealing truly, living truly—and so become more and more in every way like Christ who is the Head of his body, the Church. Under his direction, the whole body is fitted together perfectly, and each part in its own special way helps the other parts, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.

See Basilea Schlink’s series of short writings. The truths she’s penned are most helpful in gaining healing and deliverance for the human heart.  Go to Basilea Schlink. Don’t miss “Criticizing: Judging” by Basilea.

"THE SON OF GOD BECAME A MAN TO ENABLE MEN TO BECOME SONS OF GOD." C.S. Lewis

I welcome your suggestions of additional verses pertinent to 
"Walking in the Spirit in the Church." Thanks. Katherine

 

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Overcomers are Ultra-Spirit Led

A succinct way of thinking about those the Bible terms the overcomers is this: they are the ones who find the union life with the Lord and function according to *Romans 8:2.

*Romans 8:2 [AMP] “For the law of the Spirit of life [which is] in Christ Jesus [the law of our new being] has freed me from the law of sin and of death.”

Living by this “law” is living by means of the life of the Indwelling Christ now in union – Spirit-to-spirit – within those born-again of the Spirit of God. Those with regenerated spirits. [See Titus 3:5 AMP.]

A key part of their identity is found as well in *Revelation 14:4 [The Living Bible].

*Revelation 14:4 [The Living Bible] “…For they are spiritually undefiled, pure as virgins, following the Lamb [the Lord Jesus Christ] wherever He goes.”

How do the overcomers stay so close to the Lord? For one thing, they posture their hearts and guard their hearts to stay sensitive to the Spirit’s communications and leadings.

A chief means of maintaining such sensitivity is to stay ever so sensitive to the Word. If the Word seems dull or fails to penetrate the heart, hardness of heart is setting in. The overcomers recognize this and are quick to invite the searching gaze of the Holy Spirit so as to ascertain the reason for any dullness, hardness, or distance from God that may be occurring. The operative truth is: “For the Word that God speaks is alive and active; it cuts more keenly than any two-edged sword: it strikes through to the place where soul and spirit meet, to the innermost intimacies of a man’s being; it exposes the very thoughts and motives of a man’s heart.” [Hebrews 4:12-13 J.B. Phillips]

Also, a practice that brings the constant companionship of Christ is that of inviting Him into every relationship and every situation. Invite His wisdom, invite His thoughts according to *[Psalm 139:17-18 The Living Bible], and invite His full orchestration of events.

*[Psalm 139:17-18 The Living Bible] “How precious it is, Lord, to realize that You are thinking about me constantly! I can’t even count how many times a day Your thoughts turn toward me. And when I waken in the morning, You are still thinking of me!”

Revelation 3:20 [J.B. Phillips] promises a spiritual feast inside by way of this practice. Christ’s promise is, “See, I stand knocking at the door. if anyone listens to My voice and opens the door, I will go into his house [manifest Myself within his inner man], and dine with him, and he with Me.”

And a word picture from the Psalms well portrays this sensitivity that God is after in His saints. Psalm 123:1 [The Living Bible] reads, “We look to Jehovah our God … just as a servant keeps his eyes upon his master or a slave girl watches her mistress for the slightest signal.” The overcomer desires close places in Christ; in a word – intimacy. Thus they choose to walk in an ultra-Spirit led way. Like David, their heart cry is, “As for me, I get as close to Him as I can!” [Psalm 73:28 The Living Bible] They say to the Lord, “Tell me where You want me to go and I will go there.” [Psalm 86:11 The Living Bible] Also they declare, “I long for Your instructions more than I can tell … Make me understand what You want; for then I shall see Your miracles.” [Psalm 119:20 The Living Bible] [Note the Psalm 119:20 key to the in-breaking of miracles out of God’s glory realm.]

In conclusion, a couple of writings further illustrate this ultra-Spirit led existence. The introduction to Bill Britton’s classic essay, “The Harness of the Lord,” defines the overcomer as one in “absolute confinement to the perfect will of God” i.e. the overcomer’s will is “harnessed” to that of the Lord. And in Britton’s parable, though “the training got harder than ever… he [the colt] was rapidly learning more and more how to obey the slightest wish of the trainer, and to respond to even the quietness of his voice.” Wearing the harness turns out to result in rest in God and a secret feeding and drinking from Him.

In Blessing Your Spirit by Sylvia Gunter and Arthur Burk, the ultra-Spirit led life with its instant obedience to the movements of the Lord also turns out to be a life of blessing. They write:

“I bless you with fulfilling the call of God on your life and living out the fullness of His will. I bless you with being in your Father’s time, not running ahead and not lagging behind, but knowing His will and doing His will in the right time, the right place, and the right way, with the right people alongside you. I bless you with knowing the things that He has called you to do. I bless you with … doing God’s work, God’s way….

Your Father will bless you with the right closed doors, because your enemy will try to get you to do the things that God has not designed you to do – good things, legitimate things, profitable things, honorable things, but your Father has not designed you to do them….I bless you with…being able to invest fully where God is positioning you….Your Father will bless you with open doors to walk forward in in His time, in His calling, for you to experience the joy of fulfillment of being everything He has called you to be at the right time and in the right place.”

“…I will guide thee with Mine eye.” [Psalm 32:8 King James]

For further reading:

“The Harness of the Lord” by Bill Britton. Search online.

Blessing Your Spirit by Sylvia Gunter and Arthur Burk. Available from https://thefathersbusiness.com. 

How to Walk by the Spirit by Mark and Patti Virkler. Available from www.cwgministries.org.

The Great Mystery The Heart of Christianity: We no longer live – Christ lives through us by Mark and Patti Virkler. Available from www.cwgministries.org.

Led by God; Led from Intimacy. Strategic verses from the Psalms compiled by Katherine Bell. Request by email from katherinefbell@me.com.

Overcoming Pride Blindedness

At the end of my month at the Great Commission Intensive at the International House of Prayer in Kansas City, the Holy Spirit gave me a word of wisdom [see 1 Corinthians 12:8] for a brother called to high-level spiritual warfare who admitted he suffered from pride. I repeat this word for all of us: “War against pride as if your very life depended on it.” Today I read Zephaniah 2:3, and it says the same thing. “Seek the Lord [inquire for Him, inquire of Him, and require Him as the foremost necessity of your life], all you humble of the land who have acted in compliance with His revealed will and have kept His commandments; seek righteousness, seek humility [inquire for them, require them as vital]. It may be you will be hidden in the day of the Lord’s anger.”

Pride is a primal sin. It dates back to Eden. It’s very deep within us. And we who live to know and operate in the Truth – the Person Jesus Christ Who also comes in written form as the Word or Bible – must wage a real warfare against pride because pride so blinds. Let’s take a look at some verses and phrases from the Holy Bible that diagnose the condition of pride blindedness. 1 John 2:16 describes the society we came from this way: “For all that is in the world – the lust of the flesh [craving for sensual gratification] and the lust of the eyes [greedy longings of the mind] and the pride of life [assurance in one’s own resources or in the stability of earthly things] – these do not come from the Father but are from the world [itself].” In two places Old Testament prophets write: “the pride of your heart has deceived you.” [See Jeremiah 49:16 and Obadiah 1:3.] A phrase from Job 11:12 in the Amplified describes a proud man very blind to his true state: “…as when he thinks himself free because he is lifted up in pride.” Then Proverbs 11:2 teaches the spiritual yield of pride: “When swelling and pride come, then emptiness and shame come also, but with the humble (those who are lowly, who have been pruned or chiseled by trial, and renounce self) are skillful and godly Wisdom and soundness.”  Finally, Habakkuk 2:4 reveals there is a perversion or twistedness in the proud soul: “Look at the proud; his soul is not straight or right within him.”  Pride actually is “the sin of an uplifted heart against God and man” according to Mark 7:22 in the Amplified Bible.

Now that we see our desperate need, how can we get free from pride? How can we attain places of abject humility? First, we must have inside us a great desire to see God and to see the way forward in God. And also a great desire to walk as a kindred spirit to our Elder Brother and Pattern Son, Jesus. Matthew 5:8 tells us the truth, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.”  John writes in Revelation that it’s the salve or anointing of the Spirit that overcomes the Laodicean thinking of, “I am rich, I have prospered and grown wealthy, and I am in need of nothing.” The Living Bible proposes, “get medicine from Me to heal your eyes and give you back your sight.” Then, recognize with amazement that Jesus, the Lord of the whole universe, is humble and even lowly. And the more we become like Him, the more we will experience kinship with Him.

There is one more motivation before we get to warfare strategies for the assault against pride. Note these few straightforward verses revealing God’s posture when He sees pride in man. Amos records in 6:8, “The Lord, the God of hosts, says: I abhor, reject, and despise the pride and false, futile glory of Jacob (Israel).”  Proverbs 6:16-17 AMP declares that the Lord hates “a proud look [the spirit that makes one overestimate himself and underestimate others]” – it is an “abomination to Him.”  Proverbs 16:5 goes further: “Everyone proud and arrogant in heart is disgusting, hateful, and exceedingly offensive to the Lord.”  Then sense His favor on those who comport themselves in humility. 1 Peter 5:5 records, “For God sets Himself against the proud (the insolent, the overbearing, the disdainful, the presumptuous, the boastful) – [and He opposes, frustrates, and defeats them], but gives grace (favor, blessing) to the humble.”  The Psalmist agrees in 138:6 AMP, “For though the Lord is high, yet has He respect to the lowly [bringing them into fellowship with Him]; but the proud and haughty He knows and recognizes [only] at a distance.” And Mary, Jesus’ mother, confirms this same God in Luke 1:51, “He has scattered the proud and haughty in and by the imagination and purpose and designs of their hearts. He has put down the mighty from their thrones and exalted those of low degree…the rich He has sent away empty-handed – without a gift.” Isaiah 66:2 is the attitude of heart He wants: This is the Lord’s declaration. 
I will look favorably on this kind of person:
  one who is humble, submissive in spirit, 
and trembles at My word.” David’s Psalm 25 tells us, “The humble He teaches His way.” 

Dating from my first steps with Jesus after I surrendered to and encountered Him around May 1995, I entered into the fight to stay in humility before the Lord. I had thick walls of pride to hack through as well as serious internal insecurities.  But I truly wanted to see; I desired in wholeheartedness to gain Christ. So whenever pride surfaced, I entered into the war of Spirit vs. flesh. I sought answers from the Lord and His Book, the Bible. Again and again I would go over the promises concerning humility and the precepts addressing pride. Victory sometimes took significant hours per week. The warfare involved hard labor. And in truth, growth in sustained humility took a number of years of perseverance. Today, often after a success, I find there are deeper cuts to go in attaining full freedom from my pride. However, praise the Lord God: because I have cooperated with Him, I now experience longer and longer stretches of clear, cool, good-tasting humility. Today, I only experience shorter or longer skirmishes against pride.

A key thing in overcoming pride is obedience to Psalm 119:11. Storing the Word in your heart does hold you back from sin. James 1:21 adds, “…in a humble (gentle, modest) spirit receive and welcome the Word which implanted and rooted [in your hearts] contains the power to save your souls.” The more verses you take in that warn against pride and promise humility the better. It’s essential to engraft the truth in your heart. The Holy Spirit then has Truth to work with. He brings up the Word just when you need it, and right at the threshold of thought, you can choose to think and declare words of humility over your soul. The idea is to literally become the Word in one area at a time. From John’s Gospel, Jesus is the Word made flesh. We, too, are to become a walking, talking, functioning Word of God. For example, when swelling rises up, say aloud Psalm 36:11, “Let not the foot of pride overtake me.” Or state the truth of Matthew 23:12 over your soul, “Whoever exalts himself with haughtiness and empty pride shall be humbled (brought low; and whoever humbles himself – who has a modest opinion of himself and behaves accordingly – shall be raised to honor.” You might have to do this a lot. I did.

Another key is commanding your soul to bow low. As much as you need to, speak with authority, “Soul, humble yourself before the Lord.” I have done this, at times, all through a morning or the better part of a day.  And over extended seasons. Once you have won some battles over pride and the Lord’s dominion over your soul within is more established, less work is required. As with other weapons, if you are vigilant and watchful and utilize this command at the very first sign of pride, a win will happen more quickly. Both James 4:10 and 1 Peter 5:6 direct us to humble ourselves. Along this line, take thoughts of pride and grandiose self-centered thoughts and projections captive to the obedience of Christ. Refuse such thoughts. In this, it helps to keep your inward gaze on Jesus. Dethrone feelings of pride by staying open to the heart of God.  Militantly cast down imaginations and high things that rise up against the Truth – the true knowledge of God found in Holy Writ. [See 2 Corinthians 10:5.]

Along with the Word, we need the Spirit. Welcome the Holy Spirit in full measure. Pray in the Spirit i.e. in tongues for extended hours.  Ask stronger saints to pray for you. James 4:5-6 reveals, “The Spirit Whom He has caused to dwell in us yearns over us – and He yearns for the Spirit [to be welcome] with a jealous love. But He gives us more and more grace [power of the Holy Spirit, to meet this evil tendency and all others fully].” After all, the Holy Spirit is the producer of humility, lowliness, and meekness or the grace to wear the Lord’s yoke – these are of His fruit. Too, God is our source of love. And the pursuit of agape love will deny envy, jealousy, vainglory, conceit, and pride a place in us. So 1 Corinthians 13:4-5 prescribes. “Charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,” the King James says. At the point of testing, draw upon the Spirit inside. Pray: “Lord, Your love for brother John Doe or sister Jane Doe.” Pray: “Lord, You be humility in me.”

Another primary tactic is found in Galatians 2:20. Declare it this way: “Pride is crucified with Christ; pride no longer lives and reigns in me, but Christ reigns in me.” Use 2:20 as well for selfish ambition, self-exaltation, self-glorification, self-will or any traits of self-centered life. At the cross, we entered into the circumcision of the flesh – “the circumcision not made with hands” of Colossians 2:11. This “a spiritual circumcision [performed by] Christ by stripping off the body of the flesh (the whole corrupt carnal nature with its passions and lusts).” Now we can pray as needed, “Lord, cut away all pride, vainglory, and conceit.” “Uproot pride. Go to the very taproot.” Pray repeatedly until pride is subdued – until it is nailed down in the crucified position. Your aim is to once more experience an unblocked, free-flowing stream of the life of God from within, and taste His humility.

Insecurity turns out to be a root of pride. Because insecurity drives a soul to hunger for attention and recognition, the swelling of pride often results. In my own life, asking the Lord to heal my insecurities greatly lessened pride’s hold. What such a soul really needs is the unconditional love of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – the intimacy (into-me-you-see) and expert nurture the Godhead so freely gives.  I have prayed with powerful results, “Lord I receive Your perfect love. I receive Your perfect nurture. I receive the acceptance I need from You.” Confidence has come. The humility of Christ has become my default mode. When the flesh-dominated self again seeks center stage,  state, “My drive for attention, recognition, adoration, and worship from others is crucified with Christ. Christ and His Christ-nature reign in me.” According to Galatians 2:20 PHILLIPS, “I died on the cross with Christ. And my present life is not that of the old “I”, but the living Christ within me.” The Amplified Version reads, “I have been crucified with Christ [that is, in Him I have shared His crucifixion]; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body I live by faith [by adhering to, relying on, and completely trusting] in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.” Psalm 100:3 reveals the truth that slays seeking the place of God; “Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves.” All glory to my Maker—my Designer. The Author and Perfector of my story. We must keep our gaze upon Him to overcome in general and definitely to overcome pride. Hebrews 12:2 AMP encourages, “focusing our eyes on Jesus, who is the Author and Perfecter of faith [the first incentive for our belief and the One who brings our faith to maturity] . . . ”

In and around people, especially around the Body of Christ, 1 Peter 5:5 is mandatory: “Clothe (apron) yourselves, all of you, with humility [as the garb of a servant, so that its covering cannot possibly be stripped from you, with freedom from pride and arrogance] toward one another.” Wear a servant’s garb by praying for the needs of others, and watch any inflated emotion, caused by an inordinate focus on yourself, subside. Continuously confess aloud Philippians 2:3, “I consider others (name them) more excellent – more highly than myself.” I encourage:  keep at this confession until it marks your heart and is grafted into your soul. Verse 4 explains how to obey verse 3:  Regard the virtues of others. Look to their interests above your own.

Also in Body and family and civic life, bear in mind Jesus’ teaching from Luke 14:7-10 – a lesson in humility. “Then he gave a little word of advice to the guests when he noticed how they were choosing the best seats. When you are invited to a wedding reception, don’t sit down in the best seat. It might happen that a more distinguished man than you has also been invited. Then your host might say, ‘I am afraid you must give up your seat for this man.’ And then, with considerable embarrassment, you will have to sit in the humblest place. No, when you are invited, go and take your seat in an inconspicuous place, so that when your host comes in he may say to you, ‘Come on, my dear fellow, we have a much better seat than this for you.’ That is the way to be important in the eyes of all your fellow-guests! For everyone who makes himself important will become insignificant, while the man who makes himself insignificant will find himself important.” Direct yourself at all times to go low.  The Apostle Paul considered himself last in the triumphal procession. [See 1 Corinthians 4:9.]

And most helpful in successful spiritual life is the practice of removing yourself to a place alone with the Lord and His Word after times of social life with fellow humans. Some duration given to prayer and the Word keeps you walking in just what the Word promises and keeps you dependent on the very Source of humility – Christ. You stay centered in Him. You stay anti-pride in your stance. Such a discipline reminds you that you are a container of Another. As you grow in grace upon grace, this right discernment protects you from spiritual pride or pride in your spiritual gifts and exploits. As John 15:5 reveals, “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.” Always know He is the Treasure; we are just the vessels.  2 Corinthians 4:7 puts it beautifully, However, we possess this precious treasure [the divine Light of the Gospel] in [frail, human] vessels of earth, that the grandeur and exceeding greatness of the power may be shown to be from God and not from ourselves.” Emblazon this on your heart: to God belongs the glory and the thanksgiving for what He is making of you.

We have talked about using the Word to overcome the flesh. Know that you have to make your flesh submit to the Truth. At times, you must hammer your flesh down with powerful and pointed verses. At other junctures, you have to use the “sword” of the Word to cut through or hack through the flesh, specifically pride. When pride is hard to conquer, demons are likely involved as they feed on pride. In such cases, the all-powerful weapon of the blood works when you are not strong enough with other weapons. Remembering Jesus drenched in blood at the cross humbles us. But the cry aloud of “the blood, the blood, the blood of the Lamb Jesus Christ stands against you satanic forces” in the face of aggressive demonic spirits does prevail. [See Revelation 12:11.] Couple this with repentance for allowing pride in your heart. Ask the Lord to forgive you, and also forgive yourself. Follow with the prayer: “I loose myself from a spirit of pride.” Then command pride to go. All in Jesus’ name.

Finally, the call to humility is a call to know your true condition apart from Jesus, Savior and full Zoe Life Source. Jeremiah 17:9 instructs us well: The heart is deceitful above all things, and it is exceedingly perverse and corrupt and severely, mortally sick! Who can know it [perceive, understand, be acquainted with his own heart and mind]?” Proverbs 3:5 adds, “Don’t ever trust yourself.” Thankfully we have the Lord.  We have the Healer of pride blindedness. And we can pray day after day Psalm 139, “O Lord, you have examined my heart and know everything about me…. When far away you know my every thought…. You know what I am going to say before I even say it…. I can never be lost to Your Spirit! I can never get away from God!… Search me, O God, and know my heart; test my thoughts. Point out anything You find in me that makes You sad (any hurtful way), and lead me along the path of everlasting life.”

A sequel to this post on hidden pride is in the works.

Readings I highly recommend in your pursuit of humility:

Humility by Andrew Murray

How to Get Rid of Self by Betty Green

Available from www.bettygreenministries.com

The Veil of Self by Art Katz

Online article at www.artkatzministries.org/articles/the-veil-of-self/

The Context of Humility in the Cosmic Purposes of God by Art Katz online at http://artkatzministries.org/articles/the-context-of-humility-in-the-cosmic-purposes-of-god/

Walking in the Spirit by Katherine Bell

Request by email katherinefbell@me.com

In the end:

Daniel 4:17 “This sentence is by the decree of the [heavenly] watchers and the decision is by the word of the holy ones, to the intent that the living may know that the Most High [God] rules the kingdom of mankind and gives it to whomever He will and sets over it the humblest and lowliest of men.”