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Submitting to the Right Spirit

“We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.” 1 John 4:6

Everyone goes through life submitting either to the voices of the world or the voice of God.

Matthew 11:15
He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.

Jesus spoke those words on many occasions. We all have ears. We must decide who or what we are going to listen to; the spirit of truth or the spirit of error?

Romans 6:16
Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?

Will you submit to the voices of this world or to the voice of God?


As we have already seen, the spirits of the world - the spirits of error - desire to destroy us from the inside out. The Holy Spirit, though, desires to build us, renew us, and grow us from the inside out.


Submit Your Desire to the Will of God

Daniel 1:8
But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s meat, nor with the wine which he drank: therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself.

Daniel, now living in Babylon, was free! He could indulge in everything that the world had to offer. In fact, he was being encouraged to indulge in everything that the world had to offer. In a way, he was being “ordered” to indulge in everything that the world had to offer. Daniel found himself in a situation where the temptation could not have been stronger for him to listen to the “voices” of the world; to listen to the spirit of error instead of the spirit of truth!


I don’t think most of us realize how strong that battle was; the battle between truth and error.


Most of us don’t realize how strong that battle is now, in 2019!

Ancient Babylon was the pagan-but-spiritual, hyperstimulated, multicultural, imperial crossroads that became the unwilling home of Judean exiles, including the prophet Daniel, in the sixth century BCE. But digital Babylon is not a physical place. It is the pagan-but-spiritual, hyperstimulated, multicultural, imperial crossroads that is the virtual home of every person with Wi-Fi, a data plan, or—for most of us—both.
Kinnaman, David. Faith for Exiles (p. 20). Baker Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
Those of us who long to keep him at the center of our lives constantly fight the centrifugal force of a world spinning us away from him.
Kinnaman, David. Faith for Exiles (p. 20). Baker Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

But, in spite of having to live among such wickedness, Daniel submitted his desire to the will of God instead — and so can we!


You see, God tells us..


Matthew 6:24
No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

As we journey though this life, we must choose who will be our spiritual master. We do not have the option of going through life without one. We will have a master - either the spirits of the world or the Spirit of God.


When Daniel purposed to yield to God, where did it start? It started in his heart.

Daniel 1:8 KJV 1900
But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s meat, nor with the wine which he drank: therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself.

Submit the Desires of your Heart to the Will of God


A desire of the heart is a moldable thing in the hand of God.

Your desires can change. God can change your desires. But we must do our part. We must first submit the desires of our heart to the Lord!

Psalm 37:4
Delight thyself also in the Lord; And he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.

We often misinterpret this verse. We seem to think that, whatever our desires our, that, as long as we delight in the Lord, He will give those desires to us. I’m afraid to say, that’s not correct.


As we delight ourselves in the Lord, He begins to change our desires and conform them to what His desires, for our life, are.


So, how do we “delight in the Lord?” Well, it begins by delighting in His Word.

Psalm 1:1–2
Blessed is the man That walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, Nor standeth in the way of sinners, Nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.
But his delight is in the law of the Lord; And in his law doth he meditate day and night.
Young resilient disciples report nearly double the spiritual intake in a typical year compared to habitual churchgoers and about six times the number of hours of Christian content compared to nomads and prodigals...We also found evidence that resilients experience less overall screen time than other segments of young Christians and former Christians.
Kinnaman, David. Faith for Exiles (pp. 94-95). Baker Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

In other words, to “delight in the law of the Lord,” which leads to “delight in the Lord,” begins by putting the smartphone down; closing the laptop; powering off the tablet; turning off the TV; and picking up God’s Word!


Desires change through obedience by faith.


Allow me to ask you: Which do you think tasted better? The king’s meet and wine or the pulse and water? We need to be real honest with ourselves. Physically, I can guarantee you that the king’s meet and wine tasted better. So, what does a person do if they have already developed a taste for the king’s meet and wine? In other words, what are you supposed to do if you have already developed a “desire” for the “spirits of error” and the “spirits of this world?

  • What do you do if your heart is controlled by a love for this world and the things of this world?

  • What do you do if your being controlled by the world’s music and entertainment?

  • What do you do if your heart has been flood with error by way of social media and the internet?

  • What do you do if, unlike Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, you have already bowed to the idols of this world? You’ve already given in?

By faith, obey! You see, we often will say, “God, if you’ll change my desires, then I’ll obey.” Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way. If we obey, God will begin to change our desires.


When we walk with the Lord in the light of His Word, What a glory He sheds on our way! While we do His good will, He abides with us still, And with all who will trust and obey.
Trust and obey, for there's no other way To be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.

Take, for example, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego when they were being forced, by the spirit of error, through Nebuchadnezzar, to bow to the golden idol. Do you realize what they didn’t say? They didn’t say, “God, if you’ll put the fire out, then we’ll be obedient to you and not bow.”

Daniel 3:16–18
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter.
If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king.
But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.

They said, “No matter what, we are going to obey God!” And, we know the rest of the story. Can’t you imagine how the desire of their heart - to serve God - was solidified when, after their act of obedience, God stepped in and brought out of the fire?!?


Don’t wait for your desires to change; go ahead and start obeying now!


Desires can change through patience.


Desires, like appetites, take time to change, and new ones take time to develop.


The great thing about Daniel and the three Hebrew children is that they never developed a desire for the king’s meat and his wine.


But, if you have developed an appetite for listening to the spirits of error then you must understand that it will take time and patience to see God change your desires.

Joshua 1:8
This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.
Psalm 1:2
But his delight is in the law of the Lord; And in his law doth he meditate day and night.

If you begin listening to the spirit of truth by listening to God’s Word “day and night,” you will begin to see your desires change. Consider...

Psalm 119:9–11
BETH. Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed thereto according to thy word.
With my whole heart have I sought thee: O let me not wander from thy commandments.
Thy word have I hid in mine heart, That I might not sin against thee.

With all of the being said...


God can create a right desire, in our heart, to listen to the right voices.


Are you ready to...

  1. Recognize that you have been listening to the wrong voices?

  2. Submit to the Lord and to His desires for you?

  3. Pick up God’s Word, more than you pick up your smartphone, so that you can begin listening to His voice?

  4. Patiently, day by day, stay in God’s Word?

I have a precious Book, it's the Word of God. It's the only Book that God has giv'n. As I read, God speaks to me, I see Christ and Calvary. The Wonderful Word of God.
Forever it will stand as the ages roll, It's the living and eternal Word. It's my guiding light each day, and without it I would stray; The Wonderful Word of God.
Dear Lord may I each day read Thy precious Word. May I love it and obey it too. May I grow to be like Thee. May my friends see Christ in me. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
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© 2019 by South Charlotte Baptist Church

South Charlotte Baptist Church

12416 Lancaster Highway

Pineville, NC 28134

(704) 542-5536

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