The Flesh Is Weak
God has given messages in our church that He is sorely displeased with His people and sheep. He also said He created our life and created our path, walk ye therein. Let us consider this further that we might know and change that which is displeasing.
Scripturally, what can we see that displeased the Lord? In Numbers 11:1 God was displeased with the complaining of the people. Do you have an unhappy, dissatisfied, complaining disposition? God has provided all you need for happiness if you will turn everything to Him. Psalm 60:1 records that God was displeased, but does not definitively establish why. Habakkuk 3:8 records His displeasure with the rivers and sea (is that the sea of flesh?), and says that He would ride … chariots of salvation … but again is not specific what the displeasure was. Isaiah 59:15 records that truth faileth, and that the Lord was displeased that there was no judgment. In Zechariah we see two instances of His being displeased. We will look at the second one first, where the Lord is displeased with the heathen for further afflicting Judah;
Zechariah 1:14 – 15 So the angel that communed with me said unto me, Cry thou, saying, Thus saith the LORD of hosts; I am jealous for Jerusalem and for Zion with a great jealousy. And I am very sore displeased with the heathen that are at ease: for I was but a little displeased, and they helped forward the affliction.
God had judged Jerusalem and sent into captivity Judah, but the heathen had increased the affliction. Our President and our government had best be careful in their dealings with Israel, lest the Lord be displeased with them. The other reference in Zechariah was of the displeasing of the fathers;
Zechariah 1:2 – 4 The LORD hath been sore displeased with your fathers. Therefore say thou unto them, Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Turn ye unto me, saith the LORD of hosts, and I will turn unto you, saith the LORD of hosts. Be ye not as your fathers, unto whom the former prophets have cried, saying, Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Turn ye now from your evil ways, and from your evil doings: but they did not hear, nor hearken unto me, saith the LORD.
While we knew that the evil ways and evil doings displeased the Lord, please note also that they, the fathers, did not hear or hearken, the hearing and the doing! We need to grasp the spiritual needs in hearing and doing, or we displease God. The spiritual need brings us to consider Jesus being displeased;
Mark 10:13, 14 And they brought young children to him, that he should touch them: and his disciples rebuked those that brought them. But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.
Jesus acknowledges here that God is also concerned with the children, and notes those in the kingdom of God will be similar. This brings us to the church today; why is the Lord sorely displeased with His people? Our main text will come from Isaiah 28.
God is not displeased for your trips to the altar, or for your time in the Word, or operating in the anointing, or ministering to the needs of the people, but rather in your lack in these areas. God has been your strength for each of those things;
Isaiah 28:5, 6 In that day shall the LORD of hosts be for a crown of glory, and for a diadem of beauty, unto the residue of his people, And for a spirit of judgment to him that sitteth in judgment, and for strength to them that turn the battle to the gate.
To those engaged in spiritual warfare the Lord shall be a crown of glory and beauty, the spirit of judgment, and the strength of the remnant. He is everything we need, but we reject Him due to our flesh;
Isaiah 28:7, 8 But they also have erred through wine, and through strong drink are out of the way; the priest and the prophet have erred through strong drink, they are swallowed up of wine, they are out of the way through strong drink; they err in vision, they stumble in judgment. For all tables are full of vomit and filthiness, so that there is no place clean.
The Word says these have stumbled through drunkenness, but how have we erred? What is our failure, what is our sin or iniquity? Is it spiritual adultery or fornication, failing to hear and do the call of God? Is it complacency causing the same deafness? Is it unbelief? Or is it just a fleshly, carnal, nature? The spirit is indeed willing, but the flesh is weak. The following scriptures encompass most of the possibilities;
I John 2:15 – 17 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.
James 4:4 Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.
Are you the enemy of God? Anything that removes His preeminence is against the things of God:
Colossians 1:18, 19 And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence. For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell;
Jesus is the head, the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; in all things He must be given the preeminence. All of the worldly, carnal, things mentioned above remove His preeminence. That is what is mentioned in Isaiah 28:7 and 8; they had erred and removed the preeminence of God. The scripture above says that in Jesus will all fulness dwell; will you dwell in Him? Our overcoming of the weak flesh is so simple if we find a life of dwelling in Him. Do you understand that He is unchanging?
Malachi 3:6 For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.
Praise God that He is unchanging, for His mercy endureth for ever. This should not bring complacency, but the fear of God; He has called you to steadfastness and obedience. The unchanging nature of the Lord is also recorded in the following scripture;
Hebrews 13:8 Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.
If we are to be conformed to His image, or have His mind these will also be our traits. We know from John 1:1 that; IN the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God. Do you have a heart knowledge that He is the Word, the … bread of life? Knowledge, doctrine, and life come through Him spiritually. That is what is further spoken in the next verses in Isaiah 28 if we will hear it;
Isaiah 28:9 – 13 Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts. For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little: For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people. To whom he said, This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear. But the word of the LORD was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little; that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken.
There is another depth of understanding in these words. There is a spiritual language to be heard in the first part of … precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; but they received only the natural, or letter of the words, as noted in the second part. We know from II Corinthians 3:6 … for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life. This caused them to … go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken. The depth of your knowledge, and the understanding of doctrine, are dependent on your being weaned from the natural, and receiving the spiritual. The scripture … To whom he said … tells us that He was speaking to them, but do you understand that Jesus is the rest for the weary, and the refreshing? But they did not hear. God has now spoken to us of our displeasing Him with … stammering lips and another tongue, will we hear? We need to allow God to quicken us, and the message to us;
Romans 4:17 (As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were.
God desires us to let Him quicken us to the spiritual, and not remain in the letter. Let us look at the natural of Isaiah 28:10, and ask God to quicken it to us in the spiritual; the word precept is number 6673 in the Strong’s Hebrew dictionary, and means an injunction. It is translated commandment or precept. Injunctive relief in our courts goes even beyond judgment, and demands an action. God is demanding complete obedience on our part to His commands, but it must be in the spiritual, not trying to do it in the natural. Our heart and understanding must be quickened and opened to the spiritual truth in this word. Humbleness and yielding to the Spirit will bring us to spiritual obedience, and bring us into the paths He created for us, His plan. Consider again the following scriptures;
Psalm 37:23 The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way.
Isaiah 30:21 And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.
Romans 11:29 For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.
Ephesians 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
God has told us He created our life and our paths, and commanded us to walk in them. We need to look beyond the natural and receive that word by the Spirit. We briefly discussed that He predestined our path. Let us consider it further;
Ephesians 1:3 – 6 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.
He chose us and purposed that we may be holy and without blame, and that, through Jesus, we might be adopted! Our walking that path can, and will, only occur as we walk as, with, and for Jesus;
Romans 8:29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.
The path of perfection for you, if you will truly repent and allow God to work it in you, is to be conformed to the image of Jesus. God does not leave this as a random possibility, but calls us unto it;
Romans 8:30, 31 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?
God has created you, has created your paths, and He also calls you; He called your name. Are you spiritually hard of hearing and cannot hear God calling your name? Or are you hearing but refusing to fear Him and yield to the call? Are you choosing the life of enmity to God and thus refusing to be conformed to the image of His Son? There is a price to be paid for choosing enmity to God;
Isaiah 66:4 I also will choose their delusions, and will bring their fears upon them; because when I called, none did answer; when I spake, they did not hear: but they did evil before mine eyes, and chose that in which I delighted not.
Why would you leave yourself on the side against the Almighty God? Hearken and fear God and let Him go before you and let Him be your rereward; who can be against Him?
Why is it important that we be conformed to the image of His Son? In Matthew 3:17, 12:18, 17:5, in Mark 1:11, and in Luke 3:22 the Word says He is … well pleased … with His Son. Do you want to please rather than displease God? God, in His omnipotence, in His omniscience, in His omnipresence, in His pervasive love and mercy that fills the earth exhorted us to live in Jesus Christ, and dwell in Jesus Christ; this is the path to the fulness of the Holy Ghost we have talked, and prayed, and sought God for! But this path is the walk of spiritual perfection; we must personally repent and turn to a walk of holiness;
II Corinthians 6:17 – 7:1 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty. HAVING therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.
Have you heard the phrase ‘You can’t get there from here’? We cannot and will not find revival, the blessings of God, and the fulness of the Spirit again walking in the sin and iniquity the world is in today. There is a perfectness that we are called to, a righteousness unto holiness. Have you noticed the number of times in the above scriptures that God gave judgment? Most of the Isaiah scriptures mentioned judgment. In the late 1800s men preached judgment (Charles Finney, Charles Spurgeon, D.L. Moody, Andrew Murray, Smith Wigglesworth; a very long list could be made). As noted in Isaiah 30:18 … the Lord is a God of judgment … We also know from Isaiah 61:8 that … I the Lord love judgment … Judgment must be preached to bring men to repentance and turning from their wickedness. These men sought God for a greater relationship with Him, and preached righteousness unto holiness, bringing in revival. This revival came from personal spiritual warfare, not collective warfare. We cannot have a ‘move with the herd’ mentality, but must look within, and allow God to purge things from our lives. They desired to come out, and be ye separate; they desired to cleanse ourselves as noted in the above scriptures. This hunger for a greater walk with God brought the church to repent and seek holiness, and led to the Spirit being poured out in Topeka and at Azusa Street, and to the world.
Then over the years men began to veer from preaching judgment. Around the world in the 1920s people legislated Prohibition, but it was not successful because men loved darkness rather than light. Over the decades the watering down has continued until now the preaching is of healing and prosperity, and men are calling evil good and good evil; telling people their sin is acceptable in the eyes of God. As with the Israelites there is again no spiritual hearing and doing. Why has God chosen to upbraid us and tell us He is displeased? He must start at His house;
I Peter 4:17 For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?
In the 1965 prophecy that God used Stanley Frodsham to deliver, God again noted that judgment would begin at His house, and He called us to great diligence in our walk with Him. He promised revival to prepare and enable us for the darkness ahead. We must wholly commit ourselves to spiritual warfare, and allow Him to bring us through spiritual boot camp;
II Corinthians 10:3 – 6 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.
While we have heard these scriptures over and over in the call to come out of the flesh, are we grasping them in the call to the Spirit? This is internal, personal, spiritual warfare. Giving up our imaginations, and our personal aspirations and fleshly desires that war … against the knowledge of God, will only be accomplished through the Spirit; it is God who pulls down the strongholds if we let Him. It is by the Spirit that every thought can be brought to obedience; we must quit operating in the natural. It is only here in the Spirit that we can truly begin hearing the calling; there is a high calling, a holy calling in the paths God created for you;
Philippians 3:14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
II Timothy 1:9 Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,
I Thessalonians 2:12 That ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto his kingdom and glory.
Will you hear His voice calling your name? Will you believe and answer these high and holy callings unto His kingdom and glory? If you will, the Spirit can flow and you will please God;
Hebrews 13:15, 16 By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name. But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.
The word translated lips in the above scripture is number 5491 in the Greek from Strong’s, and means; a lip (as a pouring place); figuratively a margin (of water). It is translated as lip or shore. Do not limit your understanding to still consider the word lips as part of the face, but as a container with a brim to pour out a substance. The sacrifice of praise, or giving thanks, or to communicate, in these scriptures should not be considered as only verbal, but spiritual and in doing. Look deeper to gain a spiritual understanding; in John 7:38 Jesus said … out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. Our thoughts (for instance, hunger or thirst for righteousness or the word, or humble, contrite prayer) or our actions (feeding and clothing the poor, for example) are probably more pleasing to God than our words: He knows our heart. In Isaiah, God tells us how we receive this fruit;
Isaiah 57:19 I create the fruit of the lips; Peace, peace to him that is far off, and to him that is near, saith the Lord; and I will heal him.
The Hebrew word used create here is number 1254 in the Strong’s; bara, baw-raw’; a primitive root; (absolutely) to create; (qualified) to cut down (a wood), select, feed (as formative processes): as we desire and yield, God is purging, and changing, and providing that we may be vessels unto His honor and glory.
My personal desire has been to see and marvel at the physical things God created, and not to spend time with the people, who have been corrupted. While looking at a proposed highway job in the mountains of Kentucky I was awed, and said to Him, God, the things you have created are so beautiful! And He said The people I created are beautiful too, but they are being destroyed by the enemy. We must now grasp that God created their life, He created their paths, He predestined them to be conformed to the image of His Son. Do we love them enough to tell them? This is the beginning of our fruit inspection, is His love in us to this depth? We do not put His love within, but it is in our openness to the Holy Ghost;
Romans 5:5 And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.
Can you grasp the spiritual aspect of these needs? When God spoke to us that He is no more in our heart than in the heathen, we did not understand, and we felt it was for someone else, since He surely was in our heart. If we do not have the love of the people He created, He is not fully in our heart. If He is in our heart as He intends, His love will show through us, sowing that love to the lost, that He loves as much as He did us.
Look again at a couple of scriptures from above;
I Peter 4:17 For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?
If God is first dealing with you in the house of God, He has not yet judged them that are without, but is asking you who will deal with them? There is a calling to you if you will hear it! If you will not, you will fall into … them that obey not the gospel of God.
Ephesians 1:4 – 5 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,
When we first looked at these scriptures we put ourselves in the position of adoption, but God is calling you to the path of helping with the adoption process! Begin hearing and doing! Let His love be shed abroad! Give up your weak, carnal, fleshly nature, and through the Spirit become a holy, obedient, soldier for the Lord Jesus Christ! Let God give you a love for the “they” of the world;
Romans 10:14, 15 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!
This scripture has been used almost exclusively in the church today as a fund raising message, calling us to ‘send’ the evangelist or missionary, but it is a call to action for all believers, consider the promise of verse 18.
Romans 10:16 – 18 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report? So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. But I say, Have they not heard? Yes verily, their sound went out into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world.
Who hath believed? They must hear the Word of God to have faith, and it should come from us. Let your sound be heard! Stop blocking the flow of the fountain of life, the rivers of living waters, with your flesh, sin, iniquity, or complacency! Yield to the Spirit, and let God purge and mold and shape you in His love and in His image!