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Summer Newsletter 2019
“The War Within”
By McKade Marshall
Right now there is a battle taking place in your mind. This battle is a lifelong war that every person must fight. You see, all people are born into this world as flesh and blood. Our flesh nature is in bondage to a rule of law that is in direct opposition to God’s rule of law. This rule of law that governs the flesh is called sin. Sin was introduced at the beginning of time through Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden. When mankind fell from grace in the garden by disobeying God’s command, the curse of sin which brought about physical death was imputed. Ever since then mankind has been at war with the sin within.
The good news today is the war within has already been won through Jesus Christ our Lord.
The Apostle Paul verbalizes this internal struggle with sin, stating in Romans 7:24-25 (NASB), “Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, on the one hand I myself with my mind am serving the law of God, but on the other, with my flesh the law of sin.” The Apostle Paul makes a clear distinction between where these two opposing laws are operating. The law of God is at work in his mind, while the law of sin is at work in his flesh, or physical body. The contradiction, or tension, every Christian must work through is the battle for the mind. If you struggle with an addiction, a bad habit, or just have a hard time keeping your mouth from saying the wrong thing, you are in good company with the rest of us. Everyone has a fleshly nature they are dealing with.
Even the Apostle Paul, who wrote over half the New Testament, struggled to do what was right despite being an expert in the law of God. He says in Romans 7:14-20 (ESV), “For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am of the flesh, sold under sin. For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good. So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.” If we are being honest, we can all relate to Paul's inner tug-of-war between flesh and Spirit.
The key to having victory over the flesh and carrying out the will of God for your life is surrender.
When you surrender your life to Christ, laying your dreams and desires on God's altar, then you are no longer subject to the sinful nature. Jesus tells us in Luke 9:23 (NIV), "Whoever wants to be My disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow Me." Following Christ is a daily activity. We must choose to surrender to God's will daily. Just as Jesus had to give up His life on a daily basis, even to the point of dying on the Cross, so we must die daily to our own ways and thinking. The good news is there is a promise that follows from surrendering your life to the Lord. Jesus also tells us in Matthew 10:39 (NLT), "If you cling to your life, you will lose it; but if you give up your life for Me, you will find it."
It is impossible to know the will of God without first surrendering your life to Him. Clinging to the things of the past and to old ways of thinking is going to hinder you from rising higher in your walk with God in the future. What God did yesterday and how He did it is not necessarily how He is going to do it again in the future. We serve a God of progression and forward movement. Psalm 121:4 (NASB) says, “Behold, He who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.” We serve a God who literally never sleeps! That means God is always doing something. He is always at work. When you go to bed at night, you can rest well knowing God is working around the clock even while you are snoring.
For the past few weeks I have felt in my spirit God telling me to wait. He has even sent people into my life recently saying they were going through a season of waiting as well. Right now I believe we are in a waiting period. Psalm 37:7 (NLT) says, “Be still in the presence of the LORD, and wait patiently for Him to act.” There are certain things in life that cannot be accomplished without waiting. In God’s kingdom there is a growing season, and there is a waiting season. While the growing season may be more exciting, there is a maturity that must first be developed in you by waiting. Psalm 127:1-2 (NASB) tells us, “Unless the LORD builds the house, they labor in vain who build it; unless the LORD guards the city, the watchman keeps awake in vain. It is vain for you to rise up early, to retire late, to eat the bread of painful labors; for He gives to His beloved even in his sleep.”
As the Lord’s servants we must be open, malleable, willing to change when God begins stretching, molding, and moving us. He is our Master Potter; we are His clay. The biggest breakthroughs in my life usually happen after I have gone through a period of waiting on the Lord. The amount of time I have had to wait before I see the new thing come forth is usually much longer than I think is necessary, but I am sure God knows better than me! As a writer I find myself having to relearn this principle of waiting on the Lord, especially when I embark upon a new adventure (like writing another book).
My flesh nature wants everything to be done now - like right now. If I am writing a book, my flesh says the book should be written in two weeks, marketed the next day, and everyone should already own a copy before the book is even printed. Next to impossible, right? The truth is writing a book is a rather lengthy process. As a believer, I want what I am writing to be inspired by the Holy Spirit. Therefore, it is important I yield to what the Holy Spirit prompts me to write and when He wants me to write it. The war within me to rush a new project versus yield to the Spirit and walk in step with what the Lord wants to do is a battle I must take authority over. If not, I am going to be very frustrated.
The flesh and the Spirit cannot work together. They are in combat with one another.
Whichever one we choose to listen to and follow is the one that dictates our actions. Romans 6:16 (NLT) tells us, “Don’t you realize that you become the slave of whatever you choose to obey? You can be a slave to sin, which leads to death, or you can choose to obey God, which leads to righteous living." When you listen to the flesh, sin is your master. When you listen to the Holy Spirit, God is your master. You are bound to one or the other. There is no in-between. This is why we should be reading the Bible every day. Reading the Bible is how we fill our minds with the Word of God. The Scriptures strengthen our inner spiritual muscles and train us for spiritual warfare.
Ephesians 5:15-18 (NIV) instructs us, “Be very careful, then, how you live--not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord's will is. Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit.” Another translation says to “not act thoughtlessly”. We are living in a day when we must put on our spiritual helmets and think! Having a sound mind is critical for making good choices and having a better life. Every day we have the opportunity to share God’s love with someone. Every morning we have the opportunity to get still and spend time with the Lord. Every night we have the opportunity to pray over the people God has placed in our lives before we go to sleep.
We are living in a war that is entirely spiritual.
What we see in the physical world is a response to what is happening in the unseen realm. The good news is Jesus Christ has already defeated the enemy of this world. As such, we need to take hold of the authority we have in this great and awesome name! When you pray in the name of Jesus, the unseen spiritual forces must obey His name. Jesus is Lord over all things, so you can pray with confidence knowing there is nothing He cannot do. I see the power of prayer in His name every day in whatever I’m dealing with. When I’m having a hard time or a family member is struggling, I can go to the throne of God in prayer.
Over and over I have seen God turn bad situations around. He sends someone along my path that says something encouraging and lifts my spirit - just one encouraging word that changes my outlook on life. His healing hand causes a loved one that is sick to begin to recover in their health. His divine favor causes business to pick back up after a month of lackluster sales. His supernatural power causes the wayward child to come back to their senses and start making better choices. There is nothing and no one that is beyond the reach of God’s invisible hand. While we cannot physically see God with our eyes, we can be sure He is doing things in the mystery of life (see John 1:18).
We are all a work in progress. None of us are perfect.
However, we should all strive to grow and learn more in our faith. Studying the Word and engaging with the Holy Spirit through prayer and worship is how we fill our souls with more of God’s presence. It is important to put on the full armor of God every day and keep it on (see Ephesians 6:13-17). Fasten the belt of truth around your waist. Put on the breastplate of righteousness. Make sure the shoelaces on your shoes that are ready to carry the gospel of peace are securely tied and double-knotted (we are in a spiritual war, so make sure they won’t come off!). Remember to always carry your shield of faith that guards you against the fiery darts of the enemy before you ever leave the house. Strap on the helmet of salvation, which guards your mind from the voice of the enemy; bring your sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God, so you are prepared for every battle you are ever going to face.
The war we are in is against spiritual forces of darkness. When God’s light comes bursting forth, demons flee. Diseases leave. Poverty is broken. Pain is healed. Discord becomes peace. A few years ago I went with some college buddies to a Hillsong Worship concert in the city. I have always enjoyed listening to and singing along with this anointed worship ministry that has touched the world, so the experience was one I will never forget. During one of the songs, the presence of God was so strong in the auditorium that supernatural ministry began to take place. One of my friends had a really bad ear infection and could barely hear in one ear. However, when God’s presence came over us in praise, their ear popped and miraculously healed in an instant! The pain was gone, and my friend could hear clearly.
God is still in the business of supernatural healing.
I believe even right now as you are reading this newsletter the Holy Spirit is coming over you. Disease is leaving. Thoughts that are not from God are dissipating. Worry is being replaced with God’s heavenly peace. The war within you was already won some 2,000 years ago when Jesus Christ, the one and only Son of God, died on the Cross for the sins of the world. The instant you come into agreement with God’s Word, the Lord’s power is released. 2 Peter 3:18 tells us to “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ”. Continually feed your thoughts with the things above every day, and there is no limit to what God can do in your life.
This summer we are in a period of waiting on the Lord. God is preparing you for what is coming. As you wait upon the Lord, you are actively feeding your inner faith with more of His Word and His loving presence. I believe God has you in the waiting room in order to develop your vision so you can run towards what He is calling you to do. When you release the past and embrace the future, you are opening yourself up for God to do a new thing in your life. Stay pliable. Allow God the time needed to mature you into the man or woman of God you were created to be. Your DNA that God wove into the fabric of who you are while you were in your mother's womb is loaded with potential. Only God could possibly know how to draw out the greatness inside of you for His own grand purposes in your life.
On Sunday, January 1st, 2017, I took a leap of faith and launched a weekly YouTube show called Word of the Week. The first gospel video I recorded was entitled, “Do Your Best, and God Will Do the Rest”. Since then, over 130 weekly gospel videos have been released faithfully every single Sunday evening. People from all over the world have viewed these gospel messages through YouTube and other social media platforms. If you are not subscribed to my weekly e-mails or newsletter mailing list, I encourage you to go to www.mckademarshall.com and submit your address on the contact page.
I declare this summer you are being filled with more of God's Spirit as you wait patiently for Him to act. Any dark forces resisting you are being demolished in the name of Jesus. Every day you are advancing God's Kingdom and experiencing more of the Lord's goodness. Your trials are becoming your triumphs. Your tests are becoming your testimonies. Every morning you wake up with a fresh, clean slate with God. You are blameless and perfect in His eyes. He is not withholding any good thing from you. You belong to Him! With the Lord’s help, there is nothing you cannot accomplish. I love you, and I am praying for you.
Your fellow soldier in Christ,
McKade “Levi” Marshall
Author of "Finding Your Keys", "BREATHE", and "Tasting the Goodness of God"
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