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Sunday, September 4, 2011

The Holy Spirit: Power Presence and Purpose Part 35

The Advent Part 27

Acts 1:18-19, “Now this man purchased a field with the wages of iniquity; and falling headlong, he burst open in the middle and all his entrails gushed out. And it became known to all those dwelling in Jerusalem; so that field is called in their own language, Akel Dama, that is, Field of Blood.”

Looking at this entire situation through the prism of human understanding, one would reach the logical conclusion that Judas got a raw deal. If we perceive what took place as Judas having been a pawn in a cosmic plan, wherein he had no choice but to betray Jesus, wherein he had been fated from the time he was in his mother’s womb to be so overcome with guilt over what he’d done that he would fall headlong and burst open in the middle, then yes, I would agree, it seems somewhat cold and void of compassion.

God did not make Judas betray Jesus, Judas opened his heart to the enemy, and allowed himself to be used by him, and I can prove this biblically.

Luke 22:3-6, “Then Satan entered Judas, surnamed Iscariot, who was numbered among the twelve. So he went his way and conferred with the chief priests and captains how he might betray Him to them. And they were glad, and agreed to give him money. Then he promised and sought opportunity to betray Him to them in the absence of the multitude.”

The only way by which Satan could enter Judas, was if Judas’s heart was not properly guarded. Judas had not completely shut the door of his heart to the world, he had not completely shut the door of his heart to greed and sin, and it is because the door was open that Satan was able to enter him, and put it into his heart to betray Jesus.

I speak of the armor of God often, I write about spiritual awareness, preparedness, vigilance and watchfulness often, because they are necessary for us as believers. I don’t flap my gums just for the sake of it, I don’t spend hours on end studying, researching and writing just because I have nothing else to do, I do these things because they are of paramount importance to the body of Christ. We must be vigilant against any and all attacks of the enemy, and make certain that we have the armor of God upon our spiritual man in perpetuity. If there is any crack in your armor, if there is any way by which the enemy could come into your heart and cause you to stray, be certain he will find it and exploit it to its maximum potential.

Colossians 3:1-4, “If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.”

Having our lives hidden with Christ in God, is the only way by which we can keep ourselves from being coopted by the enemy, it is the only way by which we can be certain that though he may attempt it time and time again, the devil will never gain ground, nor worm his way into our hearts.

If we were raised with Christ, then we seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. It is up to us to set our minds on things above, and we must make a concerted effort to do so because the enemy will constantly attempt to distract us, and detour us.

So the next time you hear a man-centered sermon, the next time you see a pair of bright, shiny white teeth smiling at you from your television screen telling you that greed is good, and you’re entitled to the abundance of material things that your heart desires, remember, set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.

If only we would obey the Word of God and do what it tells us, if only we would pursue those things which are worth pursuing, those things that have eternal worth and value and not the temporal and passing, perhaps we would finally be able to walk in the authority that God has given us, and see with our own eyes the might and power of the true and living God.

The penalty of sin is always death, and Judas paid the price in full. That which is gained by betraying Jesus, that which is gained by knowingly betraying the truth, will always lead to death, destruction and desolation. Many today, especially those of the younger generation who are just starting out in ministry, look at the lavish lifestyles and excesses of some, and never ask themselves the fundamental question, ‘at what cost?’

At what cost have these men amassed the untold fortunes they amassed in the name of Jesus? Which part of the Gospel did they have to omit, what compromises did they have to make, how much of Christ did they have to betray in order to be loved by the world and the church alike?

In the end all that Judas’s betrayal got him was a field, which he didn’t even purchase himself. It was the priests that purchased the field after Judas threw the thirty pieces of silver down in the temple, because they thought it unseemly to return it to the treasury since it was the price of blood.

We either leave light and life in our wake, or death and darkness. We either live the life that God would have us live, with Christ in Him, or we pretend to be something that we are not. Our fruit will always bear us out, our fruit will always reveal the inner truth of our heart, and if we are rooted in Jesus then our fruit will be good and wholesome for all to see.

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

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