Learning To Reign I
LEARNING TO REIGN--PT I
A. Introduction: It is Godís will that Christians reign in this life. Rom 5:17
1. Reigning in life does not mean problem free living (John 16:33). It means that in the midst of trouble:
a. We have victory -- peace, joy, wisdom, provision, etc.
b. We experience all that the Cross of Christ provided -- health, freedom from sin and condemnation, freedom from lack, etc.
c. We have ability to accurately represent Jesus in this life, both His character and His power.
2. Reigning in life doesnít happen automatically. We have to learn how to do it.
a. Paul said he learned how to be independent of circumstances. Phil 4:11
b. If we are going to experience all that God has provided for us through the Cross, there are some things we must learn. Matt 11:28-30; 28:19
c. We are taking some time to learn the things necessary for us to reign in life.
B. In order to reign in life, one of the things you must know is that two realms exist side-by-side.
II Cor 4:18; II Kings 6:13-17; Matt 3:16; Luke 2:9-15; Acts 7:55,56
1. The seen realm is the entire material creation which we contact through our five physical senses. The unseen realm is the realm of God -- the spirit realm, the unseen, invisible realm.
2. We tend to think of unseen things as not real or as less real than what we see.
a. Not seen doesnít mean not real. It means invisible. Sound is invisible -- yet is real. You just canít see it.
b. Invisible means spiritual. Spiritual doesnít mean not real, it means invisible. Something that is invisible is not visible to our eyes.
3. God is a Spirit and He is invisible. John 4:24; Heb 11:27; I Tim 1:17; 6:16; Col 1:15
a. Yet God is real. And, God is the most powerful (Omnipotent) Being there is.
b. All of the seen creation is the work of the unseen, invisible God who reigns over an invisible, spiritual kingdom. Heb 11:3
c. The invisible not only created the visible, but it can and does affect and change the visible, and, it will outlast the visible. Gen 1:3; Mark 4:39; II Cor 4:18
d. The Bible is our only reliable source of information about the unseen realm.
4. All of the help and provision God has for us is spiritual or invisible at first. Eph 1:3
a. For many of us, the fact that Godís provision is spiritual, leads us to believe it is not real help. And, as a result, we donít look to or depend on it. Therefore, we do not experience the power necessary to reign in life.
b. But, we have real help, real provision. The spiritual created the (seen) material, can change the (seen) material, and will out last the material (seen).
5. If we are going to reign in life, we must learn to look to and depend on the unseen realm.
C. If you are going to reign in life, you must know that you are a spirit who lives in a material (physical) body and possesses a soul (mind and emotions). I Thess 5:23
1. Your true identity is spirit (unseen, eternal). John 3:6
a. There is a sense in which we cannot see the real you.
b. That doesnít mean your arenít real. It just means we canít see you.
2. Gen 1:26; John 4:24--God is a spirit and we are made in His image. That means:
a. You are in the same class as God. That doesnít mean you are God. It means youíre made in such a way that God can indwell you and can fellowship with you.
b. You are an eternal being. That means you will live forever.
c. You can live independent of your body. Phil 1:23,24; II Cor 5:6
3. It is vital that you know these things because, when you were born again, everything that happened to you happened in your spirit, the part you cannot see.
a. When you were born again, the uncreated life of God came into your spirit and made you a new creature. II Cor 5:17,18; I John 5:11,12; II Pet 1:4
b. Everything in that life is in you now, is true about you now -- righteousness, peace, joy, wisdom, health, strength.
c. It is Godís plan that your spirit which has the life and nature of God in it now, dominate your soul and body. Rom 8:12,13; Gal 5:16,17
d. Christians who learn to live by the life of God in them are the ones who reign in life. Phil 4:11-13
4. We must know what we are now that we are born again. And, we must begin to identify with what we are -- new creatures who have the life and nature of God in us. II Cor 4:16
a. Luke 9:55--Not knowing what manner of spirit they were led James and John to want to act wrong.
b. I Cor 3:3--The Holy Spiritís exhortation to the carnal Corinthians was: Stop acting like mere men. Act like what you are.
c. Gal 4:19--Paulís concern for the Galatians who were in doctrinal error was that Christ had not yet been found in them.
5. One of the Bible themes we have been dealing with in recent lessons is Godís plan for our lives. Godís plan for us is that we become sons and daughters who are conformed to the image of Christ. Eph 1:4,5; Rom 8:29
a. It is Godís will that we live on earth even as Jesus lived. I John 2:6; 4:17
b. Jesus knew who He was and He continually said who He was -- not according to sight, but according to His Father. John 6:35; 8:12; 10:9; 11:25; 14:6
c. We must do the same thing if we are going to accurately represent Jesus.
6. Does this kind of study put too much focus on us and not enough on God?
a. In the epistles, approximately 130 times, we see phrases such as in Christ, through Christ, by Christ, etc. These verses each tell us something that is true about us now that we are born again. The Holy Spirit wrote those epistles.
b. In James 1:22-25 we are told to continue to look into Godís word (His mirror) so we wonít forget what manner of men we are.
c. God knows we are fit to live as He desires us to live. Now, we need to know it, too! Eph 2:10
7. There are two ways to view yourself -- according to what you see or according to what God says.
a. You can live according to the visible or you can live according to the invisible, according to the natural or according to the supernatural.
b. Both produce definite results in our lives.
8. We want to look at several examples in the OT of the importance of seeing yourself as God sees you and then living in the light of it.
D. The children of Israel at the edge of the promised land -- Num 13,14.
1. When the children of Israel reached the edge of the promised land, twelve spies spent forty days in the land checking it out. When they returned, they gave a report to the rest of the people.
2. The spies had two sources of information available to them about their situation.
a. What they could see -- It was a good land filled with strong people, walled cities, and giants. Num 13:27-29
b. What God said -- That He had given them this land and would bring them into it.
Ex 3:7,8; 6:6-8; Ex 13
3. Ten spies chose to walk in the light of what they could see = assess their situation according to what they could see = talk and act based on what they could see.
a. Two spies, Joshua and Caleb (and Moses), assessed the situation and themselves based on what God said. Num 13:30; 14:7-9; Deut 1:29-33
b. All of Israel accepted the report of the ten spies, and it produced fear, complaining, discouragement, and unbelief. Num 14:1-4
c. As a result, they did not possess the land that was already theirs, the land God wanted them to have. Num 14:26-29; Heb 3:19
4. The only ones who entered the land were those who saw themselves as God saw them and acted accordingly -- Joshua and Caleb. Num 14:30
5. The interesting thing is -- when things were going well, the children of Israel were able to make the right confession. Ex 15:13-17
a. However, in the crisis of life, they sided in with sense evidence.
b. Why? Because even their ďgood confessionĒ was based on what they saw and felt -- the Red Sea parted and their enemies destroyed.
c. You have got to say what God says about you (meditate on His word) until it dominates you despite what you see and feel.
E. David when he defeated Goliath. I Sam 17
1. The Philistine armies gathered together against Saul and the men of Israel. v1-3
a. Goliath, one of the Philistineís mighty warriors, came out every day for forty days and defied Israel. v4-11;16
b. He issued the same challenge every day -- send out a man to fight me. Israelís response was fear.
c. David was not in the army, but had three older brothers who were. David came up to the camp with food one day as Goliath was issuing his challenge. v17-24
d. David announced that he would fight Goliath, and he was taken to Saul. v31,32
2. These are the facts about David and Goliath according to sight.
a. v3-7--Goliath was nine feet tall, wore a 200 LB coat of mail. He carried a javelin several inches thick, with a 25 LB iron spearhead. His shield was so big, a man walked in front of Goliath, carrying the shield.
b. v33--David was a boy no military training who was used to tending sheep. Goliath had been trained for war from his youth up.
c. v38-40--David had no armor of his own, and couldnít wear Saulís armor. All he had to fight with was a sling and five stones.
d. v41,42--Goliath walked out toward David with his shield bearer ahead of him, sneering in contempt at this nice little red-cheeked boy! (Living)
3. But, David did not go into battle based on what he could see. He met Goliath based on what God said.
a. David went against Goliath as a covenant man. Davidís reference to Goliath as uncircumcised makes it clear David viewed this as a covenant issue. v 26,36
b. As a covenant man, David had Godís promise of victory. Lev 26:3-13
4. As David faced Goliath, he identified himself with the unseen realm -- Godís word and Godís power. v37,45-47
a. David did not deny the reality of what he could see, he acknowledged a higher reality which he could not see.
b. David didnít confess these things to try to become something, but because he was already something. He said what he was according to God.
c. Anyone in Israel could have killed Goliath with rocks because they were all covenant men. Only David acted like what he was.
5. The result of David walking in the light of what he was according to unseen information was that he reigned in this situation.
F. Conclusion: If you are going to reign in life, you must see yourself and your situation according to the unseen realities and then walk in the light of them.
1. To do this, you are going to have to take time to meditate in Godís word until these unseen realities dominate you. Ps 63:5-7; Ps 8
2. Involved with that is developing the habit of saying about yourself and your situation what God says.
a. We are to hold fast to our profession (saying the same things as) of faith.
Heb 10:23; 13:5,6
b. You are not lying -- you are speaking of unseen realities revealed to us by God.
c. The times we feel the least like saying what God says are the times we most need to do it.
d. Through the new birth we become masters. We are masters who reign, who conquer, with words. I John 5:4; II Cor 2:14; I Cor 15:57; Rom 8:37
3. As we study these issues, keep this thought in mind.
a. The basis of everything we are talking about is the integrity of Godís word.
b. The Bible is God speaking to us. He cannot lie. He cannot fail. Isa 55:14;
Jer 1:12; Heb 6:18
c. If He said it, it is so -- case closed, issue settled. The Bible is God talking to us.
4. If we will take God at His word despite what we see or feel and walk in the light of it, we will reign in life through Christ Jesus.