By Ray Gano
Last issue I talked about how we can fight the flesh and the ways of the world.
I called that part “ Basic Training.
For a quick review, we covered the following talking points…
Basic Training Point #1 – Bring your flesh / “Despicable Me” into subjection
Basic Training Point #2 – Make No Provision For Your Flesh
Basic Training Point #3 – Mortify Your Flesh
Basic Training Point #4 – Walk in the Spirit
Basic Training Point #5 – Crucify Your Flesh
Now that we have the basics out of the way, now the real training begins.
With the “basic training” we brought “The Flesh” under some semblance of control. If we do not continue to not feed, mortify and crucify the flesh daily, then The Flesh / “Despicable Me” will rise up again and we will be “sinning like hell” and have to fight this horrible fight all over again.
Now, is living a life of constant internal battles a great thing? No not at all. It is a horrible way to live and it is absolute misery.
But if we continue to go back to The Flesh then we will continue to have these struggles.
To prevent these internal battles with The Flesh from taking place, we need to get into the advanced servant warrior training and that means take some serious action.
To win the war against The Flesh (“Despicable Me”), one needs to realize what it is and that is a true battle. That means down and dirty fighting. The Flesh / “Despicable Me” is not going to let up. It will continue to fight daily. That is until you really learn how to tame The Flesh / “Despicable Me.”
Like in a real war battle, the side that rapidly overwhelms the other side will usually win. The more firepower, the more ammunition you must hurl at The Flesh / “Despicable Me” the more it will cause the enemy to fall back.
Remember the term “Shock & Awe”? That is what you do. But instead of using real world bullets, bombers and cannons. We use scripture, prayer, & praise.
When you feel The Flesh / “Despicable Me” starting to wiggle a little, wondering if you are paying attention, that is when you pounce and give them all you go.
Bam… You give it the scripture you have memorized.
Wham… You pray asking for God’s Help
Boom … You praise God for the victory.
If you do this at the very first sign of The Flesh / “Despicable Me” coming to life, you will win the battle.
So what do you need to maintain this state of vigilance against The Flesh / “Despicable Me”?
Advanced Training Point #1 – Sever All Bad Influences
Psalm 1:1 Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.
1 Corinthians 15:33 Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.
You don’t hang out with people who condone drug use, pornography, hedonism, drunkenness, theft, revelry, lawlessness, etc, etc.
I am going to be very blunt with you. You do not give people like this any of your time. You do not look to understand who and why they are. You do not negotiate, compromise, or have any dealings with them.
IF YOU DO… they will help reawaken The Flesh / “Despicable Me”. They will work to coerce you, tempt you, lead you astray, seduce, pull, just about anything they can do to cause you to fall away from God.
This is why you sever all bad influences. This especially means those are living the C.I.N.O life. (Christian In Name Only)
Is this hard? You betcha. That is why this is “Advanced Servant Warrior Training” and not the basics. You are going to have to knuckle down and get serious.
Do you truly want to be a servant warrior or not?
Now, I can hear some of you say. “ Well Jesus hung out with sinners.”
Yes He did. In fact He was surrounded by them 24 / 7 because everyone is a sinner. What makes Jesus different is that He is God in the Flesh. None of us can claim that.
We are here to be ambassadors to the world on behalf of our Lord and Savior. That does not mean that we freely partake of the world. We are to be light. Light shines and illuminates. It does not get in the fray and gets dirty.
See, when you play in the devil’s playground, you ALWAYS get dirty.
How you prevent this is by not getting in there in the first place.
We as Servant Warriors are called to a higher purpose, and NOT allowing the devil any foothold in your life from any source that would bring us down and off the path of the Servant Warrior.
Advanced Training Point #2 – Set No Wicked Things Before Your Eyes
As I have written in the past I used to be a smoker of Cigars & Cigarettes. This is something that God convicted me of and so to me it is a sin. But I will not walk up to someone who smokes and call them a sinner. I will tell them the harm that smoking causes, and those who are Christians should not damage the temple God gave us.
I say that because the first step to sin is looking upon it.
Genesis 3:6 And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. 7 And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.
The devil is cunning and knows how to cause us to stumble. The first step Eve took to sin was to look upon the fruit.
This is why when we are in some store that sells cigars and such, I don’t even look in that direction. Why put that temptation in my mind? You prevent doing that by not even looking.
If your Flesh / “Despicable Me” likes getting drunk of Friday nights. Stop looking at booze.
If your Flesh / “Despicable Me” likes sexy women and porn, don’t oogle the women at work, or in the store or on TV. Avert your eyes and look somewhere else.
Same goes for women. If your Flesh / “Despicable Me” likes those sexy guys and plants sinful thoughts in your mind. Stop looking and avert your eyes.
Psalm 101:3 I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me.
Advanced Training Point #3 – Take Heed To What You Hear
Mark 4:24 And he said unto them, Take heed what ye hear: with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you: and unto you that hear shall more be given.
Have you heard the music today? I mean it is utter filth. Most of it talks about having sex on a whim with whoever you are with. Swearing, cussing, killing, pro-theft, anti-Christian, anti-morals, anti-family. Defiling and degrading one’s self and women in one way or another.
If you would create movies just on pure lyrics alone, you would be amazed at the filth that you would see.
That is what most music today is made up of, filth, perversion, hedonism, and the list goes on.
Advanced Training Point #4 – Command Your Flesh / “Despicable Me with Authority
Galatians 5:24 And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.
Here Paul talks about “crucifying” your flesh. When your Flesh / “Despicable Me” starts to rise, you do exactly like Christ did when tempted. You use the Word of God to slay the temptation.
Christ when he was being tempted did not use is own strength. Every response that he gave to Satan, was from the bible (Old Testament) He used God’s Word to defeat temptation.
See, when you speak to your flesh with the Word of God, it can do nothing but retreat. The flesh and the spirit cannot coincide together. Remember Basic Training Point #4 – Walk In The Spirit? As long as you remain in the spirit, the flesh will not gain a foothold. That means praying all the time, listening to proper music, listen to the audio bible, watch proper TV shows, etc, etc.
Advanced Training Point #5 – Take Authority Over Your Mind
Romans 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
By renewing our mind, thinking and working to memorize scripture, singing songs of praise and edification to God, thinking on Him and His Word, these are ways that we renew our minds.
It is through this sort of “immersion” that we constantly grow and learn more about God. Again, the flesh and the spirit cannot coincide. So the more you meditate on God, the less room is given the Flesh / “Despicable Me” to gain a foothold.
Advanced Training Point #6 – Flee From Temptations Of The Flesh
Genesis 39:7 -13 And it came to pass after these things, that his master’s wife cast her eyes upon Joseph; and she said, Lie with me.
8 But he refused, and said unto his master’s wife, Behold, my master wotteth not what is with me in the house, and he hath committed all that he hath to my hand;
9 There is none greater in this house than I; neither hath he kept back anything from me but thee, because thou art his wife: how then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?
10 And it came to pass, as she spake to Joseph day by day, that he hearkened not unto her, to lie by her, or to be with her.
11 And it came to pass about this time, that Joseph went into the house to do his business; and there was none of the men of the house there within.
12 And she caught him by his garment, saying, Lie with me: and he left his garment in her hand, and fled, and got him out.
13 And it came to pass, when she saw that he had left his garment in her hand, and was fled forth,
As I have said before. If you play in the Devil’s playground, you will get dirty.
You cannot play, flirt, dilly dally with sin and not come out without a scratch. Sin does one thing and one thing only, it kills.
When you are confronted with temptations of the flesh be it sexual, financial, drink, food or other, you can do one thing and one thing only. That is to turn 180 degrees and run as fast away as you can.
There are no other options.
Now some of you may be asking… “Food”?
What was the first thing Adam & Eve was tempted with?
Yes, the enemy even uses food. It is funny how often we forget that one.
So when you are faced with temptation, FLEE!
Advanced Training Point #7 – Surround Yourself With Fellow Servant Warriors
Proverbs 27:17 Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.
This is one of my favorite Servant Warrior verses. As Servant Warriors the main goal is accountability. We are to be accountable to God, our family, our friends and finally ourselves.
But by surrounding ourselves with other Servant Warriors, we will be able to maintain our stand.
I am reminded of a man named Hur and Aaron who accompanied Moses to the top of a hill to watch Joshua fight the Amalekites. As long as Moses had his hands held up the Israelites were winning the battle. After a while Moses’ arms started to droop due to fatigue. Hur and Aaron jumped in like true Servant Warriors and helped their friend Moses to hold up his arms and because if that, the Israelites won the war.
Aaron and Hur were there when Moses needed them most.
You want other servant warriors around you so that they can hold you accountable and that you can hold them accountable.
There are no “Lone Rangers” in fact The Lone Ranger had Tonto to hold him accountable.
We must do the same thing. Have fellow Servant Warriors we can be accountable to.
Battling your Flesh / “Despicable Me” is the tough part of walking the Servant Warrior life. It is something that you have to work at daily and continue to grow.
I am starting a special email list for those who wish to challenge themselves to be Servant Warriors. If you wish to be on that list, email me and I will add you.
Finally, never give up, keep pushing forward.
1 Corinthians 9:24 Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.
I know that this is hard, believe me I know. I deal with these same issues. In fact, we read that even Paul dealt with his own “thorn in his side.” We all have them, but we will win in the end. Our goal is not perfection, our goal is to submit to God so that HE can change us from the inside out.
We are just clay in the master’s hands.
By submitting and living a right life in these last days, we will become more subtle in His hands and easier to work.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.