Why do People Manipulate Each Other? Part 2

One reason that people struggle with manipulation is that they have a personal agenda they are determined to fulfill. “It must get done at all costs.” Even when an agenda has “good intentions,” a person may still employ manipulation in order to accomplish his goals. While goal setting in of itself can be a good thing, the way the goals are met will determine if they are truly worthy. That is to say, methodology will expose the heart of the individual.

As believers, we need to realize that God is more concerned with our ways than our acts (see Matthew 7:17-27). Generally, our acts will be the result our ways found in the heart. A person may have a “ good” agenda or goal, but if it is based upon hypocrisy, it will be of no eternal value to him. By definition, a hypocrite is an actor pretending to be someone he is not. There is a difference between having shortcomings from time to time in our walk as believers, and one pretending to be a believer. A worthy goal is faith-based, glorifies God, and is rooted in love (Galatians 5:6). That means we should be concerned with the will of the Father, and let Him determine our goals and the way they are carried out. Secondly, our desire should be to glorify our King out of love for Him. That same love should dictate the way we interact with others. Our agenda is simple: love and obey the Father through Jesus Christ our Lord, in the power of the Holy Spirit. When we determine our own agenda on our terms, we will be heading for trouble. Manipulation will be nipping at our heals.
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Spiritual Warfare Part 2

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places (Ephesians 6:12, KJV).

Here something to consider: just because something sounds spiritual, does not necessarily mean that it is spiritual. In order for something to be truly spiritual, it must line up with the Word of God. In other words, in order for something to be spiritual, it must be scriptural. It is important to spend time in the Word of God because there are things that may sound scriptural, but are not. Please understand that even when using a verse of Scripture in a teaching, it does not ensure that the principle that is being taught is sound. We cannot base a teaching on a single verse; there should be at least two or three verses of Scripture used in proper context. Everything taught must conform to the Word of God; we cannot seek to conform the Word to our teaching. This means all of us need to read and study our Bibles. Whether we are dealing with warfare as in this case, or any other principle, we must study things out while relying on the Holy Spirit to teach us. We must always remain teachable, regardless of how much we think we know. Dovetailing off the previous lesson, a very important tool in warfare is the written Word of God.
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Do Not Limit God Part Three

In parts, one and two of this series we touched on four ways that people can limit God: unbelief, maintaining a hardened heart, rejecting the will of the Father, and living a double life. One more way that people limit God is by failing to walk in love. This is no small issue, as this is a major component in the Kingdom of God. Without love, it is virtually impossible to do the things of God. In truth, everything God does for us is based upon His love. If one is having difficulty with ascertaining whether he is truly walking with God, a simple way he can do this is by examining where he stands in relation to love.
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