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As awesome as an army with banners.

Song of Songs 6:10

The Shepherd King completes His description of His bride’s maturity of faith and devotion with a glorious military simile.

In this phrase He speaks not of her beautiful character, but her victory over all the things which would keep her from Him.

What victory?

She has conquered  many an adversary.

She has defeated the internal foe of her sin nature. She was dark but beautiful, dark with the filth of the her sin nature. As she gave herself to His care, she was washed in His righteousness. The battle of sin and guilt in the bride’s life is won at the cross. He fought the battle giving us the victory.

She banished the enemy of fear that kept her in her chambers when He invited her to run with Him in the hills and conquer the mountains with Him. This victory came as He displayed His awesome might before her. He showed her the place of safety He prepared for her, in the cleft of the rock, and again she wins.

She untangled the lie of abandonment as she pursued Him in the night, and bore the marks of His suffering at the hand of the watchmen. This was likely her hardest test as she faced her own desire to quit, to sulk, to wither without Him. But in that dark night of the soul she rose up and went after Him. She declared to any who would listen her deep devotion to the Love she could not see, to the indwelling of the one she couldn’t sense.

Many more victories belong to her, and for each she carries a banner announcing to her foe – the enemy of the believer – the accuser of the brethren – that she is to be feared.

‘Awesome’ is better rendered ‘Terrifying.’

An army on parade with victory banners flying strikes fear in her enemy’s hearts. Our enemy once thought us lambs for slaughter, but to the bride there is a different end in store:

Just as it is written, "FOR YOUR SAKE WE ARE BEING PUT TO DEATH ALL DAY LONG; WE WERE CONSIDERED AS SHEEP TO BE SLAUGHTERED."

But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. - Romans 8:36-39 NASB

nora and papa at the table, benThanks for coming by.

Walk in the light!

Ben

12

Path

I had the opportunity to speak at an evening of worship which carried an overall theme of repentance. This is not the first time I have shared this revelation, but I find it at the core of my ministry on an on going basis. Of course every time I get ready to share it, the Lord deepens the message in me, and shows me a new area to work on. Sometimes it frustrates me that I am such a work in process, but then I read The Book, and find that I am not alone.

Anyway – all that as a way of introducing the basic message. I hope it blesses you, and sets you on the road to freedom.

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Repentance – the Path to Victory!

When you think of repentance, what comes to mind?

Most would probably describe confession as an apology. It is often the way we use the word in church circles.

Some go to the actual definition of the word, changing your mind.

These are both fine, since language is what it is.

But today, I want to give you a new way of thinking about repentance.

Repentance is a personal war on sin.

It is a war that God calls you to.

You will know you have been given this ‘call to war’ when you sense a deep sorrow over your sin.

I am not talking about feeling guilty or getting depressed.

I am not talking about weeping at a altar and

Repentance is a War on sin in your life.

Let me make this plain to you. You will never have victory over any particular sin in your life until you take up arms against it.

And today I am going to arm you for this war.

The first thing to understand is:

StrategyA war requires a strategy.

Check out what Paul tells the Church in Corinth

For the sorrow that is according to the will of God produces a repentance without regret, leading to salvation, but the sorrow of the world produces death. For behold what earnestness this very thing, this godly sorrow, has produced in you: what vindication of yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what longing, what zeal, what avenging of wrong! In everything you demonstrated yourselves to be innocent in the matter. - 2 Corinthians 7:10-11 NASB

You see – sorrow brings you to the point of needing to change – repent. Sorrow is not repentance – repentance is War.

And here is the strategy that the Corinthians used

EarnestEarnestness,

It’s time to get serious about getting the freedom God is offering. All repentance is a gift from God, and God would never give you a gift He did not want you to fully experience and embrace. But you will need to set you mind and heart on high alert if you ever want to lay hold on this marvelous freedom.

Vindication

The Greek word here indicates a verbal response to an accusation – I like to think of it as your declaration of WAR.

I recommend that you do it out loud – Declare war on the object of your repentance. Jesus spoke to trees, you can speak to the sin in your life. Put it on notice. Gossip, you are not long for this world! Bitterness, you are going down.

One more recommendation here; You should recruit others, someone or some folks to whom you can be accountable. Someone you can call when you just need to hear the word “no” in a voice other than your own, especially when the only thing you voice wants to say is ‘yes.’

IndignationIndignation

You have to get all your facilities on board – including your emotions – and it is appropriate to get angry here. No nation or people ever got free from the abomination of slavery without creating a public outcry of indignation – and that is what it is going to take in your life.

Fear of the LordFear

When you see how awesome a price God put on your freedom, how much he paid for you to be free from sin, there will rise up a fear – a concern for wasting the precious blood of Jesus.

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; Fools despise wisdom and instruction. - Proverbs 1:7 NASB

Any true knowledge that makes a difference is experiential. True knowledge of another comes through intimacy, and this is a key component of this war on your sin. You must walk in intimacy with God.

It is in fact these besetting sins in our lives that undermine our relationship with the Lover or our souls.

Longing

How bad do you want to be free? Can you imagine life without the guilt and shame that always accompany this indulgence of yours? Do you have a deep desire within to be closer to Father?

Repentance_pptx 6Zeal

Can you stir up passion – no life and death battle will be won without zealous, passionate, persistent effort.

If you look at wars that have been waged without zeal, you see defeat or détente, but you never see victory. Contrast the Americans in Viet Nam, fighting for something they really did not care about, verses the way the colonials defended their homes and families in the American Revolutionary War, against the highly trained and organized British.

Avenging of wrong

There is this Avenging of wrong. God’s sneaky little (well big) plan is to set you free and then send you out with keys to set others free. [Tweet This]

(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled. - 2 Corinthians 10:4-6 KJV

Our biggest problem in this regard is we want to do this (help others get free) before we have dealt with it in ourselves. We want to be helping folks to pick specks out of their eyes, while mindlessly slamming around with a plank shooting out above our nose.

and finally

VictoryVictory

In everything you demonstrated yourselves to be innocent in the matter. - 2 Corinthians 7:11

Repentance results in victory.

So today, has God placed on your heart a sin that gets the best of you on a regular basis? You can be free.

Declare war on that thing.

Get Serious.

Get Angry.

See yourself free in the future.

Start doing battle today.

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Hey – by the way, if you are located in the north east in a not too unreasonable travel distance from North Jersey and would like me to come and speak to your gathering you can contact me via email: ben@AnotherRedLetterDay.com

Ben NelsonThanks for coming by today.

See you again soon

Ben

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