I was stirred in my spirit while watching a Leonard Ravenhill message this evening entitled “The Real Cost” He said something I had not heard before. I immediately knew the principle of it by having experienced it many times.
Before I disclose Ravenhill’s statement, I need to remind the reader what Paul endured. When Satan sent his minions to abuse the apostle Paul, they beat him with rods, he was stoned, and five times he was whipped with forty lashes minus one. I heard it said and read somewhere that the reason they called such a whipping forty minus one was that forty lashes would kill most men. So, they didn’t want to kill Paul but to make him suffer greatly. And Paul endured that lashing five times, plus all the other abuse.
Leonard Ravenhill said they didn’t want to kill Paul; they wanted to kill the “Jesus” out of him. I hope people understand that statement. The ones who truly have the Spirit of Christ in them will understand. (What I mean by “the Jesus,” and what I believe Ravenhill meant, is knowing Him, the honor you have for Him, determination to follow Him, hope you have in Him, closeness to Him, the joy of Him, love for Him, et cetera.)
For the ones straddling the fence, what the World System does is far more significant damage than compelling and provoking people to sin. It is trying to take the “Jesus” out of you. Anytime one yields to the flesh and its feeding trough, the sty of the World System, it is like soul-eating bacteria designed to get the “Jesus” out of him or her.
For the weary, the battle-worn, and the betrayal torn, for the broken hearts and the broken spirits—all from daily taking up their crosses to follow the Lord Jesus, take heart. Satan is not out to destroy you because he cannot do that until your course is finished. He wants to kill the Jesus out of you. Now that you know, start praying to have a stronger hold on faith. Read and study the Word to have a more excellent knowledge of God. Do everything necessary to strengthen your commitment to stand more powerful than ever, speak bolder than before, and write like the sword of the Spirit is in your hand. Get stronger, not depressed, and certainly not complaining with a defeated spirit.
The good news is you are an enemy of unrighteousness and a threat to the darkness. I believe that we can have more Jesus in us than the Devil can do anything about. We can have so much “yes” to God and “no” to sin that we can say “get” to the Devil, and he doesn’t wait around for the “thee behind me.
It is not a matter of being a super saint or a follower of a modern self-labeled phony miracle worker. It is a matter of having more love for Christ and God than anything else. It is making each day an opportunity to be full of all God has to offer. Of being unwilling to let the Devil have even a slight chance of beating the Jesus out of you.
I grit my teeth with anger when I think of what that old serpent has been trying to do to God’s people and to me and my loved ones. It compels me to spend time in prayer for the ones that are bruised by the enemy of their souls.