2018 Grace Life Conference (Session 4)
9 Jul 2018
Our thoughts are powerful. They can either unite us according to God’s Word, or cause us to fall prey to the spirit of division. We should be aware of what we think, and be careful to align our minds with God’s grace. The enemy operates in secret and in the dark. He works hard to reinforce the divisions between people based on their physical differences. We fight back against his influence by choosing to relate to others not according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. The spirit of inferiority comes from a divisive mindset, and this spirit is a curse. Jesus died to reverse the curse and redeem everyone, regardless of race, gender, social status, or class. We rise above the spirits of division, inferiority, and superiority when we accept who we are in Christ.
- We must think of ourselves the same way God thinks of us; no more, and no less.
- We should not regard ourselves too highly, or too low. The spirit of inferiority influences us to think less of ourselves than God wants us to think.
- For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith (Romans 12:3).
- For by the grace (unmerited favor of God) given to me I warn everyone among you not to estimate and think of himself more highly than he ought [not to have an exaggerated opinion of his own importance], but to rate his ability with sober judgment, each according to the degree of faith apportioned by God to him (Romans 12:3, AMPC).
- The spirit of inferiority comes from Satan. He used it against Adam and Eve when he attacked their thoughts after they sinned in the garden of Eden. This was his way of influencing what they believed.
- The consequence of the enemy’s attack on their thought lives was that their mindset caused them to fall short and miss the mark.
- And the Lord God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life: And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel. Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee(Genesis 3:14-16).
- The spirit of patriarchy was the result of Adam and Eve’s fall. Under this spirit, men ruled over and dominated others, and women were subordinate.
- What Adam and Eve did also opened the door to the spirits of superiority and inferiority.
- God views all of us with equality and impartiality. We do not need to make distinctions.
- We are all made in God’s image; therefore, we all have great value.
- And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them (Genesis 1:26, 27).
- Judging others by their race, gender, class, or social status is a violation of God’s law of love.
- If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well: But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors. For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all (James 2:8-10).
- If indeed you [really] fulfill the royal Law in accordance with the Scripture, You shall love your neighbor as [you love] yourself, you do well. But if you show servile regard (prejudice, favoritism) for people, you commit sin and are rebuked and convicted by the Law as violators and offenders. For whosoever keeps the Law [as a] whole but stumbles and offends in one [single instance] has become guilty of [breaking] all of it (James 2:8-10, AMPC).
- God shows no bias toward people; we must transform our thinking to line up with this mindset. Jesus died for everyone’s redemption.
- But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile: For there is no respect of persons with God (Romans 2:10, 11).
- For God shows no partiality [undue favor or unfairness; with Him one man is not different from another] (Romans 2:11, AMPC).
- Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree (Galatians 3:13).
- Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new (2 Corinthians 5:17).
- Feelings of inferiority are part of the old-covenant curse Jesus died to remove.
- And thou shalt grope at noonday, as the blind gropeth in darkness, and thou shalt not prosper in thy ways: and thou shalt be only oppressed and spoiled evermore, and no man shall save thee…The stranger that is within thee shall get up above thee very high; and thou shalt come down very low. He shall lend to thee, and thou shalt not lend to him: he shall be the head, and thou shalt be the tail(Deuteronomy 28:29, 43, 44).
- This was part of the curse. By comparison, living under grace means prosperity is available for all God’s children.
- “Coming down very low” is the state of being inferior. Inferiority is a persistent sense of inadequacy and a feeling of powerlessness.
- Christ has dealt with the divisions separating people. He unites us.
- For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us(Ephesians 2:14).
- God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; Neither is worshipped with men's hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things; And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation (Acts 17:24-26).
- Wherefore, though I might be much bold in Christ to enjoin thee that which is convenient, Yet for love's sake I rather beseech thee, being such an one as Paul the aged, and now also a prisoner of Jesus Christ. I beseech thee for my son Onesimus, whom I have begotten in my bonds: Which in time past was to thee unprofitable, but now profitable to thee and to me: Whom I have sent again: thou therefore receive him, that is, mine own bowels: Whom I would have retained with me, that in thy stead he might have ministered unto me in the bonds of the gospel: But without thy mind would I do nothing; that thy benefit should not be as it were of necessity, but willingly. For perhaps he therefore departed for a season, that thou shouldest receive him for ever; Not now as a servant, but above a servant, a brother beloved, specially to me, but how much more unto thee, both in the flesh, and in the Lord? If thou count me therefore a partner, receive him as myself (Philemon 1:8-17).
- This was after Paul’s transformation and change of mindset. He now saw Onesimus as a brother instead of a slave.
- Jesus leveled the playing field. Now, everyone has access to God.
- Jesus went out of His way to oppose the spirit of inequality; we must do the same.
- When Jesus felt the need to go to Samaria, it was because He sensed there was someone there He needed to meet with.
- The Samaritan woman at the well was the first evangelist. The talk she had with Jesus transpired in a culture where women were not allowed to talk to men, but God’s love turned her life around (John 4:4-29).
- We must be intentional about operating in the ministry of reconciliation.
- If our vertical reconciliation to God required intentionality, our horizontal reconciliation with others will also.
- We must recognize the spirits of superiority and inferiority, and the thought patterns that result from these spirits.
- When we identify them, we can bring this type of mindset into agreement with God’s Word and repent.
Romans 12:3, AMPC
Genesis 1:26, 27
James 2:8-10, AMPC
Romans 2:10, 11
Romans 2:11, AMPC
2 Corinthians 5:17
Deuteronomy 28:29, 43, 44