Your Choice: The Flesh or The Spirit – Part 3

Today’s message summary from Pastor Gus Brown:

It is your choice as to whether or not you live in the power of the Holy Spirit or live in the flesh. Only the Christian has this choice. The people of the world can only live in the flesh.

Be mindful that everything that we have in this world is on loan. Note that this is not our real home. We, as believers in Jesus Christ, have an eternal home with Him. We are to live in this manner.

Galatians 5:20
…idolatry, sorcery, hatreds, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambitions, dissensions, factions.

Witchcraft is influenced by the demonic world. It is real, and it is very powerful. We don’t believe often in demons within the church, but they are indeed present. It is something that we absolutely need to avoid.

It is the fool who says there is no God (Psalm 14:1, 53:1). Look at this carefully and also understand that while one may not say it, you can still live your life exactly the same way. When it comes to witchcraft, as an example, be aware that the practice can give the appearance that the person who is involved has power and success. In reality, there is no power from God in any way. It is only when you are obedient to God when He will use you because of your willingness to yield to the Spirit.

A person who is foolish is one who has moral insensitivity.

Psalm 10:4
In all his scheming,
the wicked arrogantly thinks:
“There is no accountability,
since God does not exist.”

God will cause us to fail in order to teach us a lesson, but His desire is for us to prosper.

Look at what these passages state about sorcery or witchcraft and, in the case of Pharoah, how God shows Himself to be more powerful than the demonic forces:

Exodus 7:11-8:19
11 But then Pharaoh called the wise men and sorcerers—the magicians of Egypt, and they also did the same thing by their occult practices. 12 Each one threw down his staff, and it became a serpent. But Aaron’s staff swallowed their staffs. 13 However, Pharaoh’s heart hardened, and he did not listen to them, as the Lord had said.

The First Plague: Water Turned to Blood

14 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Pharaoh’s heart is hard: he refuses to let the people go. 15 Go to Pharaoh in the morning. When you see him walking out to the water, stand ready to meet him by the bank of the Nile. Take in your hand the staff that turned into a snake. 16 Tell him: Yahweh, the God of the Hebrews, has sent me to tell you: Let My people go, so that they may worship Me in the wilderness, but so far you have not listened. 17 This is what Yahweh says: Here is how you will know that I am Yahweh. Watch. I will strike the water in the Nile with the staff in my hand, and it will turn to blood. 18 The fish in the Nile will die, the river will stink, and the Egyptians will be unable to drink water from it.”

19 So the Lord said to Moses, “Tell Aaron: Take your staff and stretch out your hand over the waters of Egypt—over their rivers, canals, ponds, and all their water reservoirs—and they will become blood. There will be blood throughout the land of Egypt, even in wooden and stone containers.”

20 Moses and Aaron did just as the Lord had commanded; in the sight of Pharaoh and his officials, he raised the staff and struck the water in the Nile, and all the water in the Nile was turned to blood. 21 The fish in the Nile died, and the river smelled so bad the Egyptians could not drink water from it. There was blood throughout the land of Egypt.

22 But the magicians of Egypt did the same thing by their occult practices. So Pharaoh’s heart hardened, and he would not listen to them, as the Lord had said. 23 Pharaoh turned around, went into his palace, and didn’t even take this to heart. 24 All the Egyptians dug around the Nile for water to drink because they could not drink the water from the river. 25 Seven days passed after the Lord struck the Nile.

The Second Plague: Frogs

8 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Go in to Pharaoh and tell him: This is what Yahweh says: Let My people go, so that they may worship Me. 2 But if you refuse to let them go, then I will plague all your territory with frogs. 3 The Nile will swarm with frogs; they will come up and go into your palace, into your bedroom and on your bed, into the houses of your officials and your people, and into your ovens and kneading bowls. 4 The frogs will come up on you, your people, and all your officials.”

5 The Lord then said to Moses, “Tell Aaron: Stretch out your hand with your staff over the rivers, canals, and ponds, and cause the frogs to come up onto the land of Egypt.” 6 When Aaron stretched out his hand over the waters of Egypt, the frogs came up and covered the land of Egypt. 7 But the magicians did the same thing by their occult practices and brought frogs up onto the land of Egypt.

8 Pharaoh summoned Moses and Aaron and said, “Ask Yahweh to remove the frogs from me and my people. Then I will let the people go and they can sacrifice to Yahweh.”

9 Moses said to Pharaoh, “You make the choice rather than me. When should I ask on behalf of you, your officials, and your people, that the frogs be taken away from you and your houses, and remain only in the Nile?”

10 “Tomorrow,” he answered.

Moses replied, “As you have said, so you may know there is no one like Yahweh our God, 11 the frogs will go away from you, your houses, your officials, and your people. The frogs will remain only in the Nile.” 12 After Moses and Aaron went out from Pharaoh, Moses cried out to the Lord for help concerning the frogs that He had brought against Pharaoh. 13 The Lord did as Moses had said: the frogs in the houses, courtyards, and fields died. 14 They piled them in countless heaps, and there was a terrible odor in the land. 15 But when Pharaoh saw there was relief, he hardened his heart and would not listen to them, as the Lord had said.

The Third Plague: Gnats

16 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Tell Aaron: Stretch out your staff and strike the dust of the earth, and it will become gnats[f] throughout the land of Egypt.” 17 And they did this. Aaron stretched out his hand with his staff, and when he struck the dust of the earth, gnats were on man and beast. All the dust of the earth became gnats throughout the land of Egypt. 18 The magicians tried to produce gnats using their occult practices, but they could not. The gnats remained on man and beast.

19 “This is the finger of God,” the magicians said to Pharaoh. But Pharaoh’s heart hardened, and he would not listen to them, as the Lord had said.

God deals with sorcery and witchcraft throughout Scripture:

Revelation 9:20-21
20 The rest of the people, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands to stop worshiping demons and idols of gold, silver, bronze, stone, and wood, which are not able to see, hear, or walk. 21 And they did not repent of their murders, their sorceries, their sexual immorality, or their thefts.

Acts 19:18-19
18 And many who had become believers came confessing and disclosing their practices, 19 while many of those who had practiced magic collected their books and burned them in front of everyone. So they calculated their value and found it to be 50,000 pieces of silver.

When you see people who are living or acting a certain way, be willing to speak God’s Word–for it is powerful–much more powerful than the demonic forces of witchcraft and sorcery.

Satan’s power is limited. He is no where near equal to God and His power. Satan only does what God allows Him to do. He makes every demon recognize His presence.

Acts 8:9-25
9 A man named Simon had previously practiced sorcery in that city and astounded the Samaritan people, while claiming to be somebody great. 10 They all paid attention to him, from the least of them to the greatest, and they said, “This man is called the Great Power of God!” 11 They were attentive to him because he had astounded them with his sorceries for a long time. 12 But when they believed Philip, as he preached the good news about the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, both men and women were baptized. 13 Then even Simon himself believed. And after he was baptized, he went around constantly with Philip and was astounded as he observed the signs and great miracles that were being performed.

Simon’s Sin

14 When the apostles who were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had welcomed God’s message, they sent Peter and John to them. 15 After they went down there, they prayed for them, so the Samaritans might receive the Holy Spirit. 16 For He had not yet come down on any of them; they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 17 Then Peter and John laid their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.

18 When Simon saw that the Holy Spirit was given through the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money, 19 saying, “Give me this power too, so that anyone I lay hands on may receive the Holy Spirit.”

20 But Peter told him, “May your silver be destroyed with you, because you thought the gift of God could be obtained with money! 21 You have no part or share in this matter, because your heart is not right before God. 22 Therefore repent of this wickedness of yours, and pray to the Lord that the intent of your heart may be forgiven you. 23 For I see you are poisoned by bitterness and bound by iniquity.”

24 “Please pray to the Lord for me,” Simon replied, “so that nothing you have said may happen to me.”

25 Then, after they had testified and spoken the message of the Lord, they traveled back to Jerusalem, evangelizing many villages of the Samaritans.

Simon was one who had the attention of many because of the power of his sorcery. He was corrupted in that power and failed to see the importance of God in his life.

Isaiah 47:8-15
8 “So now hear this, lover of luxury,
who sits securely,
who says to herself,
‘I exist, and there is no one else.
I will never be a widow
or know the loss of children.’
9 These two things will happen to you
suddenly, in one day:
loss of children and widowhood.
They will happen to you in their entirety,
in spite of your many sorceries
and the potency of your spells.
10 You were secure in your wickedness;
you said, ‘No one sees me.’
Your wisdom and knowledge
led you astray.
You said to yourself,
‘I exist, and there is no one else.’
11 But disaster will happen to you;
you will not know how to avert it.
And it will fall on you,
but you will be unable to ward it off.
Devastation will happen to you suddenly
and unexpectedly.
12 So take your stand with your spells
and your many sorceries,
which you have wearied yourself with from your youth.
Perhaps you will be able to succeed;
perhaps you will inspire terror!
13 You are worn out with your many consultations.
So let them stand and save you—
the astrologers, who observe the stars,
who predict monthly
what will happen to you.
14 Look, they are like stubble;
fire burns them up.
They cannot deliver themselves
from the power of the flame.
This is not a coal for warming themselves,
or a fire to sit beside!
15 This is what they are to you—
those who have wearied you
and have traded with you from your youth—
each wanders on his own way;
no one can save you.

Idols, witchcraft, spells, charms, fortune telling or any magical thing cannot save you.

Are you waiting for God’s breakthrough in your life? Your true breakthrough comes with your obedience to His Word! He will not bless those who are living in disobedience of Him. He will do great things for those who have reverence for Him and who are obedient to His Word.

In your obedience to God, He will empower you in your obedience and desire to do His will, and every area that He sets before you will be achieved and conquered–all for His glory and honor.

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About melvingaines

I am a communications professional, author and speaker with years of experience as a business owner and corporate supervisor. My philosophy is “excellence in leadership-by-example with integrity and without compromise.” I am a member of the National Association of Black Accountants and served as President of the National Association of Credit Management, Greater Akron (OH). I have also held memberships with the American Collectors Association International, Inc. and the Commercial Law League of America. I am Church Administrator and Sunday school instructor at Akron Alliance Fellowship Church in Akron, Ohio. I have taught adult Sunday school for over 25 years and facilitated numerous bible studies and church cell group sessions. Every now and then, I fill in for the pastor with a sermon. I am a longtime advocate of Christian-based elementary and high school education. I am a graduate of The University of Akron with a degree in Business and Organizational Communication, and recently earned a Master’s degree in Christian Studies at Crown College, St. Bonifacius, Minnesota. I am also a member of the Chaplains Association of Ohio, and involved in Clinical Pastoral studies for possible full or part-time chaplaincy. I am a native of Cleveland, Ohio and I am married to my lovely childhood sweetheart, Lynn. View all posts by melvingaines

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