Proverbs 18:14 AMPC
The strong spirit of a man sustains him in bodily pain or trouble, but a weak and broken spirit who can raise up or bear?
God is wanting us to develop a strong spirit. Why? Because we are living in the last days with perilous times, times of great stress and when you have a strong spirit, it enables you to get through anything. A strong spirit will cause us to overcome physical attacks, financial problems, relational/marital difficulties, job/career/ministerial setbacks, emotional challenges – everything the devil throws our way.
Our spirits can become so rooted, grounded, built up and established in the Word that we can actually… Repel disease, stop care, resist sin, override doubt, dissolve offense, and block pressure. We can build up our spiritual immune system to such a degree that sickness can’t penetrate it, discouragement can’t sway it, fear can’t stop it, bad news can’t move it, adversity can’t affect it, and offense can’t enter it. If things keep shaking you, and trouble keeps overwhelming you, and people keep getting to you, then it means you have a weak spirit and you need to do something about it. We started last week speaking about the enemies of a strong spirit, things that steal our strength. You can feed on the Word of God, exercise your faith and rest, and yet still be weak because of things that deplete your spirit.
It’s like filling a bath tub with water but the plug is not in. You pouring in water but it’s going out just as fast because your plug is not in. So you don’t need more power, you just need to get rid of the drain, hindrances and excess weight. You need to get rid of things that are draining your strength. In other words, you are doing more catching up than overcoming. You got your feet on both sides of the fence. You have one leg in the church and one leg in the world and you are not running your race effectively.
Five Enemies of a Strong Spirit
- Worry and Care
- Yielding to the flesh
Sin can drain your spiritual strength.
Psalm 31:10 NLT
I am dying from grief; my years are shortened by sadness. Sin has drained my strength; I am wasting away from within.
Sin will take you further than you wanted to go. Sin will keep you longer than you wanted to stay, and sin will cost you more than you wanted to pay. Ask the prodigal son. He just wanted to go out and party, and have a good time, but he ended up living with the pigs. Your enemy, the devil only shows you the prodigal son’s hotel room, he doesn’t show you his pig pen and where he ended up. Samson was the strongest man in the Bible, but became weak because he was sleeping with the Philistines. Because sin drains your spiritual strength. Sin makes cowards out of people. Samson was the strongest man in the Bible but sex got him. David was the most spiritual man in the Bible but sex got him. Solomon was the wisest man in the Bible but sex got him. Nothing wrong with sex as long as it stays within marriage. But when you play in the devil’s territory, he has a right to take a shot at you. Clean is God’s territory. Dirty is the devil’s territory.
Psalm 119:28 MSG
My sad life’s dilapidated, a falling-down barn; build me up again by your Word.
If that describes your life. Sad and dilapidated, everything falling down. Notice what will build you up again. The Word.
Psalm 119:9-11 NKJV
How can a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed according to Your word. With my whole heart I have sought You; Oh, let me not wander from Your commandments! Your word I have hidden in my heart, That I might not sin against You.
Hidden in your heart not your head. Not head knowledge of the Word but allowing the Word to sink into your heart, your spirit. When it does, the Word will build a barrier, a force field, a wall of protection around your heart so that when sin shows up, the temptation to sin shows up, the Word in you will protect and deliver you from it.
Sin is like a stray cat. Resist it immediately when it shows up.
- Overloaded life
The problem for many people is…
- Too many irons in the fire
- Too many projects
- Diary full all the time
Listen, you can’t please everyone, be everywhere and do everything. You will burn yourself out. (We spoke last week about exhaustion). Learn to focus on one thing because Focus produces power. And I know it refers to focusing on one project, one thing, BUT… Guess what the one thing is? The Word of God. That should be the only thing you continually focus on.
Luke 10:38-42 NKJV
Now it happened as they went that He entered a certain village; and a certain woman named Martha welcomed Him into her house. 39 And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus’ feet and heard His word. 40 But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me.” 41 And Jesus answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. 42 But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.”
Many things but thing. The one thing will take care of the many things. It’s needed, it’s not optional. Jesus knows that we need to stay connected to the vine otherwise we begin to dry up spiritually.
Luke 10:40 AMPC
But Martha [overly occupied and too busy] was distracted with much serving;
Does that describe your life? Overly occupied and too busy. If you don’t have time to sit at His feet and hear His Word, then you are too busy. You need to trim away what is stealing your time and draining your strength.
John 15:4-7 NKJV
“Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.”
Give the Word of God first place and make it final authority in your life. You take the answer but you don’t take the care.
- Relationship problems
We must work on building relationships with the right godly people and stay away from toxic people that drain us of spiritual strength.
Genesis 26:34-35 NLT
At the age of forty, Esau married two Hittite wives: Judith, the daughter of Beeri, and Basemath, the daughter of Elon. 35 But Esau’s wives made life miserable for Isaac and Rebekah.
Genesis 27:46 NLT
Then Rebekah said to Isaac, “I’m sick and tired of these local Hittite women! I would rather die than see Jacob marry one of them.”
Some people feel their calling in life is just to find fault and have arguments all the time. They always blaming others for their bad choices and behaviour. Do you know why bad things happen to good people? Because good people make bad choices. Some people bless you when they come into your life and some people bless you when they exit your life. Arguments will drain you of spiritual strength. A person is only as big as the things that annoy him/her. See what annoys you and ask God to help you grow out from that. That’s the area that satan keeps using to poke at you.
- Spiritual leeches
A leech is a parasite. A blood sucking parasite. There are spiritual leeches. Things that suck your energy.
Romans 8:1 NKJV
There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.
If you missed it, you repent and ask God to forgive you but then don’t let condemnation steal your spiritual strength.
Proverbs 27:4 TPT
The rage and anger of others can be overwhelming, but it’s nothing compared to jealousy’s fire.
Celebrate when others receive. Don’t be jealous. Recognize that your turn is coming.
Proverbs 19:11 TPT
An understanding person demonstrates patience, for mercy means holding your tongue. When you are insulted, be quick to forgive and forget it, for you are virtuous when you overlook an offense.
Hebrews 12:15 KJV
Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;
Bitterness is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.
James 3:16 KJV
For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.
Ephesians 4:31-32 NKJV
Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.
- Judging others
Matthew 7:1-2 NKJV
Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.
Recap: The enemies of a strong spirit
Worry and Care
Yielding to the flesh