Do you have a war constantly going on inside of you, between good and evil, between the flesh and the spirit, between sin and righteousness, between light and darkness? Is it like there’s two sides to you – God and Satan? (Rom 7:25) Does Jesus know that you have a big war? Did he know, when he was here in the flesh, that you have a big war all the time? And, did the apostles know it? Yes. Well then, why isn’t the Bible all about your war then? Isn’t your war the big problem? Why can’t you even find a chapter about it? (Romans 8 doesn’t say war, inside you, directly.)
The whole New Testament (NT), the apostles, what do they tell you to do? What’s the answer to your big war? Everything in the NT comes back to JUST BELIEVE. BELIEVING IS THE ANSWER, THE HEART OF IT. Believe Jesus, believe God, believe the resurrection, and believe the gospel – that’s the answer to everything and grows into everything. But, it doesn’t feel right. He who believes HAS aonion life. But the automatic is to want to do it yourself. You need to learn what is so important about believing; why does the Bible do that so much; why is that the answer? In a war, you need big answers fast. Instead of telling you about your war, He simply says ‘Just believe’. Therefore, believing must be the answer to your war. He knows you have this war. Doesn’t He love you? Well then, He must be telling you the answer somehow. What does He say all the time? Believe. That’s why Christian training for new Christians is all about believing, because that’s the only real answer. Believing is the real answer, but it doesn’t feel right. (Prov. 14:12)
Why is believing the answer to your war? And how would you explain how it works as the answer to your war? You worry about your war all the time. David said, “my enemy is too strong for me” – in other words, he’s losing the war. (Ps 63:3) Now, are you winning this war, or losing it? Are you worried about it? You say, ‘Well I believe, but that doesn’t help me. I still have this war, what’s wrong?’ The war between believing Jesus and believing yourself. Believing in this life – that’s automatic. That’s a war right there – believing yourself versus believing Jesus.
How is believing the real answer? Believing Jesus, and the gospel, and the resurrection. You must actually put together problem and answer, or else you won’t understand it. But Jesus wants you to understand it. What about this war between good and evil, and between believing yourself and believing Jesus? When you believe yourself, ultimately you are believing a lie. You’re believing evil. (Gen 6:5) You’re believing a lie – it feels good, but it’s poisoned candy when you believe this life, when you believe yourself. When you believe Jesus, you are believing the truth because He is The Truth. (Jn 14:6) He is the explanation of everything. When you believe Him, that’s how you follow Him. (Jn 8:12) You don’t listen to the other voices. Deny yourself. (Lk 9:23) Don’t listen to the automatic. Obey Jesus and keep your mind on Him, Jesus Himself. (Rom 8:6) That’s how He saves you, that believing develops into salvation. Everything good comes from believing Jesus, everything bad is from believing yourself. Because ‘I know I don’t know what I’m doing, I’m just guessing’, but Jesus does know. He leads me through believing; and through believing, you know. It’s a substitute for knowing, until you do understand. It actually grows into understanding. If you start by believing the truth, that’s what God arranged for us. Start by believing Jesus – He is the truth. And He is the Way – that’s following Him. If you do this you get confidence, because you see it working in you. And so, you continue (abide in Me, John 15).
Now the war stays there but you don’t have to live according to it. Then you can know that you have the answer. That’s what Paul said (1 Cor 15:57) – “Thanks be to God, He gives us the victory.” I, of myself, can’t do it. Your war is confusion. New Christians have confusion all the time; they don’t have experience in following Jesus. You only get confidence through believing, because you see it works. Instead of doing your ideas, deny yourself and do His ideas – His Way. (Isa 55:8) It doesn’t feel right, but it will work, it is right. You’re trying to win the war yourself. You should think – I’m going to obey Jesus and let Him win the war for me. You’re not going to win; He has to win it for you. I’m going to obey Jesus, and He is going win the war for me. A lot of people try to be Christians from the outside working inward, but Jesus works from the inside out. Deny yourself, quit trying to win the war yourself, let Him win it for you, through believing – abide in Him.
If you try to win the war with your efforts, the devil will laugh at you. Obeying Jesus starts with believing Him inwardly, and works from the inside out. Follow Him through believing and that grows into everything good. Now this is what you need to practice instead of trying to win the war yourself. That’s what Peter was doing, he was always getting in the way trying to do it his way. “My enemy is too strong for me” (Ps 18:17) – I’m going to quit trying and just really believe Jesus and let Him win the war. Abide in Him, and He’ll win it for you. The obedience out of faith (Rom 16:26) – that means to obey Him through believing. That’s the foundation. Believing becomes faith. (Phil. 1:29) By His grace we believe, that’s where He intervenes for us. It’s not your efforts, and your efforts will never give you confidence. It feels right, but it never works. The first thing Jesus said – ‘Repent, and believe the gospel.’ Believe Jesus according to the Bible.
Young people fight Jesus by believing this life. They have confusion. Who is the maker of confusion? There are no short cuts. I must deny myself, follow Jesus through believing, and continue to the end. Conscience actually means what you and God know together. God and I both know … I have this war; I can’t win it myself. Jesus has to win it for me. Jesus told Peter, “Get behind me, Satan”. (Mk 8:33) That’s fighting Jesus; only believing is going to get anywhere. You have to really accept this. “How long will you go limping between two opinions?” (1 Kings 18:21) ‘I can do it. I’m going to be good’. God is jealous. He wants you depending on Him, His way. ‘I’m not a debtor to my flesh. (Rom 8:12) But, I don’t have to believe it, I can believe Jesus instead. My flesh just lies to me.’ How bad is this war? There is no discharge from war. You believe yourself, or you believe Jesus, that’s it. Two different ways. You choose.