ALL OF US HAVE BEEN GUILTY OF GETTING DOWN IN THE DUMPS. Remember that old Letter "Dumps"? It's a terrible spirit to be in, a terrible state to be in.--Because you can never be down in the dumps by yourself, you always drag everybody down with you.
DON'T THINK YOU CAN JUST KEEP YOUR LITTLE PROBLEM TO YOURSELF and KEEP YOUR BAD DRAGGY SPIRIT TO YOURSELF! Everybody will notice it, everybody already knows it. It gets around. They can just take one look at you and know that you're down in the dumps, something's wrong, your spirit is bad. They can even feel it in the Spirit without even looking at you, just feel it when you're around.
DON'T THINK YOU'RE GOING TO BE ABLE TO HIDE IT, YOU CANNOT HIDE A BAD SPIRIT ANY MORE THAN YOU CAN HIDE A GOOD SPIRIT! You cannot hide a happy, useful, helpful, shining spirit, it radiates on everybody the same light, the same joy! People meet us and say, "You have such a light on your face, you seem so happy, you just shine, you're always smiling!" It just radiates!
HAPPINESS IS WHAT YOU MAKE IT. It's a law of God just like gravity that you don't get happy by trying to make yourself happy or trying to get somebody else to make you happy, but you get happiness by trying to give it to other people! You don't find happiness by chasing it! You go around chasing others and trying to make them happy, then happiness will find you, it will chase you and catch up with you and make you happy!
WE HAVE A LITTLE SAYING, LOVE ISN'T LOVE TILL YOU GIVE IT AWAY! What does it mean? Love isn't real love until you are spending your time trying to give love to others.--Not trying to get love, that's not love, that's selfishness. That's wanting selfish satisfaction, that's introspection, that's sucking, that's desire.
WHEN YOU'RE DOWN IN THE DUMPS and YOU'RE TEARFUL and YOU'RE A SAD SACK, YOU WANT EVERYBODY TO BE MISERABLE WITH YOU, you want everybody else to sympathize with you and be sad with you! "How can they dare to be happy when I'm so sad? How can you be cheerful when I'm down in the dumps? Come on down here in the dumps of the Pit with me! Don't you dare be happy when I'm sad!" It's pitiful! It's human nature. But it's godly nature, it's spiritual nature, it's the nature of Jesus to try to lift others up and encourage them and cheer them even when you don't feel like it.
THE MANIFESTATION OF THE PROBLEM IS NOT THE IMPORTANT THING, THE SYMPTOM IS NOT THE DISEASE, THE CORE OF THE THING IS YOU! Quit blaming your lack of victory on everybody else and on the doctrine on this one or that one or your husband or wife or child or whatever it is!
THE TROUBLE IS, I'VE FOUND OUT WITH MOST PEOPLE THAT THEIR PROBLEM IS THEY BLAME ALL THEIR TROUBLES ON SOMEBODY ELSE! They think, "It's that person I have to live with, that awful Hell of a person I have to sleep with or that leader I have to work under"--or this one or that one!--But when they go from there to some other place they take that same selfish proud heavy heart with them and drag it along and drag others down too!
THEY LEAVE THAT MATE and THINK, "THANK GOD I GOT RID OF HIM, NOW I'M GOING TO GET ME SOMEBODY THAT'LL MAKE ME HAPPY!"--And they go around all their lives looking for somebody to make them happy instead of trying to find somebody they can make happy. How much have you tried to make that person happy with all your heart? How much unselfish love have you got for that person maybe you don't even like?
BUT THE THING IS, YOU'LL NEVER BE HAPPY WITH ANYONE and NO ONE WILL EVER MAKE YOU HAPPY, because it's not the other person, it's you that's the problem and your spirit, selfishness, self-centeredness and pride! You're the problem, not him! You're the problem, not me!--Not us!--But you!
IT'S THE DEVIL'S OWN TACTIC TO ALWAYS TRY TO BLAME YOU and YOUR PROBLEM ON EVERYBODY ELSE! "Why me, Lord? I didn't do it, they did it to me! It wasn't my fault, it's his fault, her fault! They're the ones to blame! They're the ones that made me feel like this!" I've been that way with Maria sometimes, isn't that sad? "It's your fault, you made me unhappy! I'm going to go out in the garden and eat worms!"
IT'S REALLY RIDICULOUS WHEN YOU LOOK AT YOURSELF AS YOU REALLY ARE and SEE WHAT YOUR ATTITUDE REALLY IS, what you're really trying to do! Just because you're sad and you're unhappy and you're a sad sack, you may not even realize it, but you're trying to bring everybody down with you! Because you're so sad and unhappy and so much in the dumps, you hate to see anybody else happy, you want everybody else to feel like you do and want to drag them down and get'm in the dumps too and have sympathy for you. Maybe you didn't know you felt like that! But look at yourself now! I'm trying to hold a mirror up in front of you to look at yourself! See yourself as God sees you, as I see you, as others see you! For God's sake, see your self as you are!
MY, HOW WE LOVE SYMPATHY WHEN WE'RE DOWN, WHEN SOMETIMES THAT'S THE LAST THING IN THE WORLD WE NEED! Somebody needs to come along and sock us on the butt, kick us in the ass, sock us on the chin to wake us up out of our lethargy and our stupor of self-pity and self-sympathy so we can get our minds on the Lord and His Work and others and forget our stinkin' self! You'll never get the victory by looking at yourself, because there's nobody that drags me down worse than me and my stinkin' self, my own foul spirit! Self is horrible! Self is terrible!--That kind of self, that evil you, that evil self!
DIFFERENT DENOMINATIONS HAVE DIFFERENT DOCTRINES ABOUT GETTING THE VICTORY. The doctrine of the Baptists is that everybody's got a good self and a bad self and the only way to get the victory is just to get the good self on top of the bad self and hold him down! They call it the doctrine of suppression, that you'll always have that good and bad self there, but the only thing to do is just hold the bad self down.
THE HOLINESS PEOPLE BELIEVE IN THE DOCTRINE OF ERADICATION: "Yes, you've got a good and a bad self and the only way to get the victory is to get rid of the bad self! Go through the operation of entire sanctification, have the bad self cut out and throw it away like a cancer so there's nothing but good self left! This is the good me! This is my self, the real self, the good self! There's no evil thing left in me now, I'm all good, just the good me!"--Self-righteous and holier-than-thou, is what they really are!
WELL, THE TRUE DOCTRINE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT IS NEITHER ONE! You don't get the victory by just holding down that bad spirit, that bad self, that bad temptation, that weakness, by just trying to hold it down by your own strength and by your good self, sitting on it, holding that devilish bad self of yours down. You'll never get the victory that way.--And you never get the victory by thinking that you can have God cut out the bad self and just leave the good self.
I WANT TO TELL YOU RIGHT NOW, THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS GOOD SELF AT ALL! THERE IS ONLY BAD SELF! Your self is only bad, it cannot be good, not any part of it!--Not half of you good and half bad. There's no good thing in you! Even the Apostle Paul said that: "No good thing dwelleth in me!" (Rom.7:18) The true victory is not yourself, but His Self, Him Self, so that "it is not I that live, but Christ that liveth in me!" (Gal.2:20)--The theological doctrine of habitation, cohabiting with the Lord. God tosses out the bad self and He also tosses out the good self, because it's bad too, it's even worse!--It's self-righteous, hypocritical, holier-than-thou and critical! We've had a few people around like that too and that's been their problem, they're critical of others, they're holier than other people, they're better, they don't make that kind of mistake. They think they're good.
NO SELF IS GOOD! NONE OF YOU ARE GOOD! "There is none righteous, no, not one! All have sinned and come short of the glory of God!" (Rom.3:10,23) You're no better than me and I'm no better than you! There's nobody any better than us except Jesus! He's the only One Who can be good, and without Him you're nothing!--You're empty, zero, absolutely nothing! You can't be good without Jesus, so why keep trying to be good? You can't be good, you can't be righteous, you can't get the victory, you can't overcome it! Don't try to chase out the darkness, let the Light in! Let Jesus in and He'll take care of the whole problem! Get your mind off of your self, and even your good self, and let Jesus come in and let the life of Christ shine in you!
WE SAY, "THEY'D BETTER GET THE VICTORY" but they can't! Jesus has to get it and you have to let Him or you'll never have it! Let go and let God! Quit trying to be something you aren't and can never be, and that's righteous. Only Jesus can make you righteous. Just let Jesus in! What's that old song? "Lift your heart to Heaven and His Glory will come in! Lift your heart to Heaven and His Glory will come in! Let Jesus have possession, He'll save you from your sin! Lift your heart to Heaven and His Glory will come in!"
YOU DON'T HAVE TO WORK IT OUT, PRAY IT OFF OR PRAY IT ON, YOU DON'T HAVE TO DO ANYTHING EXCEPT JUST LET GO and LET GOD! (Sings:) "Let go and let God have His wonderful way, let go and let God have His way! He'll fill with His Spirit and turn night to day, let go and let God have His way!"
YOU'RE NOT GOOD ENOUGH FOR ME--I'M NOT GOOD ENOUGH FOR YOU EITHER! NONE OF US ARE GOOD ENOUGH FOR EACH OTHER, ONLY JESUS IS GOOD ENOUGH, BUT HE'S GOOD ENOUGH FOR US ALL! So why don't you get your eyes off of your self and get'm on Jesus! Why don't you get your eyes off of others and your mate or this problem person or this person you don't like or your rooming situation or your job or whatever it may be, and get your eyes on Jesus! Think about the Lord! Let the Light in and the darkness will flee! What is the Glory?--It's the Spirit of the Lord! It's His Spirit, His Glory, His Self--not yourself!
I HOPE YOU'LL GET THE VICTORY!--FOR GOD'S SAKE, I HOPE I'LL GET THE VICTORY! Often out there playing ping-pong I miss the ball etc., not always because the other guy's all that good, but I've said I'm my own worst enemy! It's because of my own mistakes! It's not because he's so clever or so good that I always lose.
SO IT'S NOT ALWAYS BECAUSE THE OTHER GUY'S SO GOOD, YOU'RE YOUR OWN WORST ENEMY! In our school we used to have people complaining about evil spirits and demons and devils and "Oh, the Devil did this and the Devil did that and he caused me this trouble and he was the one that delayed me and I have so much trouble with the Devil!" I'd say, "Shut up! Your problem isn't the Devil! It's your own spirit that you have the most trouble with, not evil spirits! Your own evil spirit is the one that gives you the most trouble--you!"
YOU'RE YOUR OWN WORST ENEMY! Don't blame it on everybody else and evil spirits and even the Devil, he couldn't touch you if it wasn't for your spirit that lets him in and lets him cause you trouble!--Or even lets God let him touch you because of your evil spirit and your problems with your own heart and your own evil self! You're your own worst enemy!
DON'T BLAME IT ON EVERYBODY ELSE, DON'T BLAME IT ON THIS and THAT and THE JOB and church and the pastor or the doctrine or the outside enemies or blah blah blah, it's you that you have the most trouble with!--It's your own evil spirit! You're your own worst enemy! You may have conquered all the rest, but your own spirit is the most difficult to conquer, and the only way you're ever going to conquer it is not to conquer it, but let Jesus conquer it! He's your own best Friend!--Not you, not your good self, or "If I just had some other mate, or if I just had some other place, or if I could do something else I'd be happy!"--No, you wouldn't! You'd take that same old heavy heart, that same old evil spirit with you wherever you go and you'd still be blaming it on everything else except yourself!
YOU ARE YOUR OWN WORST ENEMY!--BUT JESUS IS YOUR OWN BEST FRIEND and HE IS THE ONLY ONE WHO CAN HELP YOU GET THE VICTORY!--Not over your job and others and blah blah blah, but over yourself where the big problem is. You are the big problem! If you can let Jesus conquer your evil spirit, He can easily take care of all the rest! PTL? Hallelujah?
(SINGS:) "KEEP YOUR EYES ON JESUS, DO NOT WATCH THE WAVES! Keep your eyes on Jesus, 'tis faith in Him that saves! Keep your eyes on Jesus, His promises avail! Keep your eyes on Jesus, praise God, He cannot fail!" Quit trying to succeed yourself, quit trying to have the victory, just let Jesus come in and let Him win it! Get your mind on the Lord! Get your mind on your job! Get your mind on helping others! Seek their happiness before your own! Have real, genuine, sacrificial, unselfish love!--That's love, not this hog-wallowing trying to get satisfaction for yourself, trying to make yourself happy, trying to make others make you happy. Get your mind on Jesus! Ask Him to help you love Him so much you'll love others so much you'll forget your evil self, your worst enemy, and live for the Lord, live for others!
WHY NOT GET BUSY and WORK HARD FOR JESUS, work hard for others, work hard to help other people! You'll get so busy and so filled with His Spirit and so filled with His joy and His happiness that He gives you as a result of trying to make other people happy, that you'll forget that evil self of yours and your own worst enemy and you'll find your best Friend, Jesus, that He can do it all if you'll just let Him.
SO LET'S PRAY and ASK HIM RIGHT NOW TO DO IT! TYJ! Hallelujah! PYL! TYJ! Amen, amen! Do bless and keep us now, Lord! Keep us not only from the Evil One, not only from the evil ones, but most of all keep us from our evil selves and let You in, Lord, the Light in, to chase away the shadows and the darkness, to get rid of our evil self, "Christ in me, the hope of glory! So that the life which we now live in the flesh, we live by the grace of God! It is no longer I that live, but Christ that liveth in me!"--In Jesus' name! Amen. ILY!
My name is James Arendt. I was raised in the Hegewisch neighborhood on the southeast side of Chicago, Illinois, served in the USAF from 1970 to 1974, and became a full-time missionary for Christ living 40 years in Japan, 3.5 years in Russia, and a few months in other countries such as Finland, Poland, Estonia, Latvia, South Korea, Taiwan and mainland China where I also served the King of Kings, Jesus, as an Ambassador for His Kingdom.
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