II Timothy 2:3-4 – Take [with me] your share of the hardship and suffering
[which you are called to endure] as a good (first-class) soldier of Christ Jesus.
No soldier when in service gets entangled in the enterprises of [civilian] life;
his aim is to satisfy and please the one who enlisted him. (AMP)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

This post is derived from Clear and Present Danger in  God doesn’t Date .
(the work and this submission are subject to copyright. Published here with permission).

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

In my last article, we answered a hard question…“If we cannot live abundantly committed to Jesus and for Jesus today, (John 14:21) what makes us think will we be able to die for him tomorrow?”  And, honestly… as always, I am preaching to myself as much as anyone.

Today, we ponder II Timothy 2:3-4 and James 4:4.  This snippet, without a credited author, illustrates James 4:4 so well.

There was a crowd of people standing in a field with a fence dividing them into two groups. Jesus came and took the little group of people who were on His side of the fence and then the Devil came and took the larger group.[1] After this, there was one man left sitting on the fence. The Devil came back and told the man to come with him, but the man said, “I don’t belong to you, I’m sitting on the fence.”

The Devil replied, “Oh, but you do belong to me. I own the fence.”[2]

What is that old quotation?—“you can’t walk with God[3] and hold hands with Satan at the same time.”[4]

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Daughters of God :: We are navigating a wretched, corrupt, sinful world—make no compromises with it.  Silence all ungodly voices.  We are in Clear and Present Danger.  We filter ALL opinions and choices through God’s Word alone!  Clearly define and guard your perimeter.  STAND guard.  Choose a side or lose your life to friendly fire.[5]   God calls us to think only on that which is godly[6] and righteous.[7]  He calls us to choose our “friends” wisely and flee from the ways of this world.[8]

It is clear from this analogy, the fence line is a perimeter checkpoint into the war zone, but I didn’t come to battle, nor did I come to judge.  I came to present the armour of God and teach you to stand at the gates and guard the temple as we live in a world of imminent threats. The threat against your soul and salvation[18] is real.[19]  The world’s beguiling[20] call to be a chronic adulterer is real.  As a brother and sister in Christ, you are in Clear and Present Danger.  Silence worldly voices.

Boldly, I assert – these concepts aren’t for nominal Christians.  They aren’t for bumper sticker Jesus freaks.  If you are sitting on the fence between radical faith and the world, remember God offers you a choice.  Easy or Right?

Righteous?[17]

Make no mistake about it God and Satan are in a battle for your soul.[13],[14]  It is wartime![15]  The war zone is vast, and the trenches many.   You and I may surrender to Christ, but Satan is still practicing guerilla warfare.[16]  He gravely fears you becoming who God created you to be.

 

Walk His walk.[21],[22]

Put on His armour about committing, living[23] and loving like Christ.[24]  Go and make disciples.[25]

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Knowing Jesus[26] is important, but knowing Jesus[27] also involves knowing the moral and ethical code that guided His life and choosing that life.[28]   Christ said:  “Follow me!”[29]  He also said:  love Me and obey Me.  He eventually followed up with an incredible if/then statement.

John 14:21 — “He who has My commandments[30] and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will disclose Myself to him.” (NASB)

Think on that :: When I obey, God sits beside me.  When I obey, He walks[31] with me.  When I obey, my sword lights up with fierce magnificence.  The Light of Jesus shines.  When I neglect obedience, I miss out on God’s presence.

God’s love is unconditional; His presence is not.

 

Obedience to God’s Word begins with submission[65]—giving every little thing to Christ.  God wants your heart, and when you give it to Him, you will be obedient – obedient because you love and are committed to Him first.

God doesn’t date His people.[66]  He commits.  Jesus didn’t date His purpose.  He committed.  He never abrogated His covenant of salvation with you and me.

What models we have!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Are you dating Christ?[67]  Are you having an affair (James would call it an adulterous affair)?[68]  Our Father in Heaven expects more from us.  We are created in His image.[69]

The grace of God is empowering[70] grace.[71],[72]  We are capable.[73],[74] 

 

Scripture References :: 

[1] Matthew 7:13-4 – “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.”
[2] James 4:4 – You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.
[3] Colossians 2:6-7 – Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed, and overflowing with gratitude.
[4] I Corinthians 10:21-3 – You cannot drink from the cup of the Lord and from the cup of demons, too. You cannot eat at the Lord’s Table and at the table of demons, too.  What? Do we dare to rouse the Lord’s jealousy? Do you think we are stronger than he is?  You say, “I am allowed to do anything”—but not everything is good for you. You say, “I am allowed to do anything”—but not everything is beneficial. (NLT)
[5] Matthew 8:11-12 – I say to you that many will come from east and west, and recline at the table with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven; but the sons of the kingdom will be cast out into the outer darkness; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
[6] Psalms 119:15 – I will meditate on Your precepts and fix my eyes upon Your ways.
[7] Philippians 4:8 – Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.
[8] I Corinthians 6:18-20 – Flee immorality.  Every other sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the immoral man sins against his own body.  Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God and that you are not your own?  For you have been bought with a price:  therefore, glorify God with your body.
[9] Proverbs 5:15-6 – Drink water from your own cistern and fresh water from your own well.  Should your springs be dispersed abroad, streams of water in the streets?
[10] I Thessalonians 4:3 – For this is the will of God, your sanctification; that is, that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each of you know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, not in lustful passion like the Gentiles, who do not know God, do.
[11] Job 31:1 – I have made a covenant with my eyes; How then could I gaze at a virgin?
[12] Ephesians 6:12-3 – For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.  Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.
[13] Revelation 12:7-9 – And there was war in heaven, Michael and his angels waging war with the dragon. The dragon and his angels waged war, and they were not strong enough, and there was no longer a place found for them in heaven.  And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.
[14] Luke 11:21-3 – When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own house, his possessions are undisturbed.  But when someone stronger than he attacks him and overpowers him, he takes away from him all his armor on which he had relied and distributes his plunder.  He who is not with Me is against Me; and he who does not gather with Me, scatters.
[15] Isaiah 14:12-15 – “How you have fallen from heaven, O star of the morning, son of the dawn!  You have been cut down to the earth, you who have weakened the nations!  “But you said in your heart, ‘I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God, and I will sit on the mount of assembly in the recesses of the north.  ‘I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.’  “Nevertheless you will be thrust down to Sheol, to the recesses of the pit.
[16] Psalm 16:1 – Keep and protect me, O God, for in You I have placed my trust and found refuge. (AMP)
[17] Philippians 1:7 – Only conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or remain absent, I will hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel.
[18] I John 2:16-7 – For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life is not from the Father, but is from the world.  The world is passing away and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever.
[19] I Timothy 4:16 – Pay close attention to yourself and to your teaching; persevere in these things, for as you do this you will ensure salvation both for yourself and for those who hear you.
[20] II Corinthians 11:3 – But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ.  (Genesis 3:1-7)
[21] Colossians 2:6-7 – Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed, and overflowing with gratitude.
[22] Micah 6:8 – He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?
[23] Colossians 3:12-3 – Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.   Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.
[24] John 13:34-5 – A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
[25] Matthew 28:18-20 – And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
[26] John 14:6 – Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.”
[27] Galatians 5:15-7 – For this reason I too, having heard of the faith in the Lord Jesus which exists among you and your love for all the saints, do not cease giving thanks for you, while making mention of you in my prayers; that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe.
[28] Luke 7:13-4 – “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it.  For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.”
[29] Luke 9:23 – And He was saying to them all, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me.”
[30] I John 2:3-4 – By this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments.  The one who says, “I have come to know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him;
[31] Colossians 2:6-7 – Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed, and overflowing with gratitude.
[32] John 1:1-4 – In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  He was in the beginning with God.  All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.  In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men.  The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.
[33] Psalm 119:165-68 – Those who love Your law have great peace, and nothing causes them to stumble.  I hope for Your salvation, O Lord, and do Your commandments.  My soul keeps Your testimonies, and I love them exceedingly.  I keep Your precepts and Your testimonies, for all my ways are before You.
[34] Matthew 19:17 – And He said to him, “Why are you asking Me about what is good? There is only One who is good; but if you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments.”
[35] James 1:15 – But if you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it. (NLT)
[36] John 14:15 – “If you love me you will keep my commandments.”
[37] Matthew 5:16 – “Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill.”
[38] I Corinthians 9:21b – But I do not ignore the law of God; I obey the law of Christ.
[39] Joshua 1:8 – Study this Book of Instruction continually.  Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it.  Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do. (NLT)
[40] I John 2:3-4 – By this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments.  The one who says, “I have come to know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him;
[41] II Corinthians 5:17 – Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold new things have come.
[42] I Corinthians 9:21b – But I do not ignore the law of God; I obey the law of Christ.
[43] Colossians 2:6-7 – Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed, and overflowing with gratitude.
[44] Ecclesiastes 7:18 – It is good that you grasp one thing and also not let go of the other; for the one who fears God comes forth with both of them.
[45] I Timothy 1:8-10 – But we know that the Law is good, if one uses it lawfully, realizing the fact that law is not made for a righteous person, but for those who are lawless and rebellious, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers and immoral men and homosexuals and kidnappers and liars and perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound teaching.
[46] Hebrews 4:12 – For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
[47] Romans 3:20 – For no one can ever be made right with God by doing what the law commands. The law simply shows us how sinful we are. (NLT)
[48] I Samuel 16:7 – But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
[49] Deuteronomy 5:22 – So Moses told the people, “You must be careful to obey all the commands of the Lord your God, following his instructions in every detail.”
[50] James 1:15 – But if you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it. (NLT)
[51] Romans 6:14 – For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under the law but under grace.
[52] II Peter 3:9 – The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.
[53] Galatians 3:13 – But Christ has rescued us from the curse pronounced by the law. When he was hung on the cross, he took upon himself the curse for our wrongdoing. For it is written in the Scriptures, “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.” (NLT)[54] Hebrews 10:14 – For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified.
[55] Psalm 103:12 – As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.
[56] Exodus 15:25-6 – Then he cried out to the Lord, and the Lord showed him a tree; and he threw it into the waters, and the waters became sweet.  There He made for them a statute and regulation, and there He tested them. And He said, “If you will give earnest heed to the voice of the Lord your God, and do what is right in His sight, and give ear to His commandments, and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you which I have put on the Egyptians; for I, the Lord, am your healer.”
[57] Deuteronomy 5:22 – So Moses told the people, “You must be careful to obey all the commands of the Lord your God, following his instructions in every detail.”
[58] Deuteronomy 5:22 – So Moses told the people, “You must be careful to obey all the commands of the Lord your God, following his instructions in every detail.”
[59] James 1:15 – But if you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it. (NLT)
[60] Deuteronomy 5:22 – So Moses told the people, “You must be careful to obey all the commands of the Lord your God, following his instructions in every detail.”
[61] Exodus 15:26 – And He said, “If you will give earnest heed to the voice of the Lord you God and do what is right in His sight and give ear to His commandments, and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you which I have put on the Egyptians; for I am YHWH Rophi – The Lord Your Healer.”
[62] I John 2:3-4 – By this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments.  The one who says, “I have come to know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him;
[63] John 14:21 – “He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will disclose Myself to him.”
[64] John 15:14 – “You are My friends if you do what I command you.”
[65] Psalm 1:1-3 – How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, nor stand in the path of sinners, nor sit in the seat of scoffers!  But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day in night.  He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and its leaf doesn’t not wither; and in whatever he does, he prospers.
[66] II Timothy 2:13 – If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself.
[67] I Corinthians 10:21-3 – You cannot drink from the cup of the Lord and from the cup of demons, too. You cannot eat at the Lord’s Table and at the table of demons, too.  What? Do we dare to rouse the Lord’s jealousy? Do you think we are stronger than he is?  You say, “I am allowed to do anything”—but not everything is good for you. You say, “I am allowed to do anything”—but not everything is beneficial. (NLT)
[68] James 4:4 – You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God?  Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.
[69] Genesis 1:27 – God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.
[70] I Corinthians 4:20 – For the Kingdom of God is not just a lot of talk; it is living by God’s power. (NLT)
[71] Hebrews 12:14-5 – Work at living in peace with everyone, and work at living a holy life, for those who are not holy will not see the Lord.  Look after each other so that none of you fails to receive the grace of God. Watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows up to trouble you, corrupting many. (NLT)
[72] Proverbs 3:5-6 – Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.
[73] Matthew 19:26 – And looking at them Jesus said to them, “With people this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
[74] Philippians 4:13 – I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.

 

Tamar Sloane

Tamar Sloane

Isaiah 43:1-3 But now, thus says the Lord, your Creator, … … He who formed you, “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine! “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched, nor will the flame burn you. For I am the Lord your God, The Holy One of Israel, your Savior. …”