Summary: As a Christian, you are in a constant battle - how well equipped are you?
The Valley Of War – 15th February 2009 am
What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of this valley? Megiddon / Megiddo means place of crowds – this valley will be the scene of the final war this world will see.
The true Christian life is one of constant battles. It is one of self-crucifixion and cross bearing. It is a life of reproach and persecution. The Christian life is a fight and not a game. Most professing Christians desire a life of no strife, but the Christian life is one of wars. We fight battles WITHOUT! We fight battles WITHIN! Our Lord said, “Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.” (Matthew 10:34)
I. The Overall Valley of War
1. It Is An Intense War - Jude 3
Like it or not, the war has started. The Lord Jesus Christ has already said, He that is not for me is against me. We need to fight for our faith, for the Word, for the Lord, for the Doctrines, for the truth, for the Biblical standards we are told to live by… But in order to contend for it, you need to know about it –
There are two reasons for us to be skilled and knowledgeable in our faith – first to defend against corruption within because of apathy and second to be able to give a logical answer for our faith when asked. Part of contending for the faith is knowing what we believe and why we believe it.
Jude tells us to earnestly contend for the faith = wrestle, gloves leather – metal – damaging, loser had eyes gouged out.
2. It Is An Intentional War - 2 Timothy 4:7
The word fought means literally “to engage in conflict”. Paul had often acknowledged the fact that the Christian is at war. Paul had practiced what he preached. He had waged war day and night against the enemy, and now he was a POW. It would do us good to remember who the enemy is – Satan.
The devil didn’t know what to do with Paul. If he turned him loose, then Paul would turn the world upside down for Christ. If kept in prison he would win his jailers to Christ, engage in prayer that would shake the devil’s strongholds to their foundations, and write letters that would arm believers yet unborn to fight as the apostle had fought. If Satan killed Paul, he would simply be promoted to glory, where he longed to be anyway.
We are in a war, just make sure you fight the good fight!
3. It Is An Important War - 1 Timothy 6:12
The word fight is agone and is where we get our word agonise from. It describes a person straining to give his best to win the battle. Our faith, family, and friends are at stake!
We need to be like Nehemiah, we need to have a trowel in one hand for building, and a sword in the other hand for battling. If we do not stand guard and oppose the enemy then what we have built could be taken from us.
II. The External Valley of War
1. There Is A War With Satanic Powers - Ephesians 6:11-13
The enemy has many different names, Satan (adversary), tempter, murderer, liar, serpent, lion, angel of light, god of this world and here he is called the devil. This is a word that means "accuser." We get our word diabolical from it. His name reveals his character. Since he made his first appearance upon the pages of the Bible, the devil has been in the business of lying, slandering and accusing the people of God, Gen. 3:1-6; Job 1, 2.
The word "wiles" in verse 11 is the same word from which we get our English word "method". It refers to craftiness and trickery. In Ephesians 4:14, it is translated "lie in wait." It gives the image of a hunter disguising himself in order to capture his prey. What a perfect picture of the devil! Remember what the Bible tells us about him, 1 Pet. 5:8 Satan will pull out all the stops to trip you up!
Identify your target – we do not want anyone killed by “friendly fire!” Satan is the enemy!
2. There Is A War With Scriptural Perversion – 2 Peter 2:1
One of the most successful businesses today is that of “knock-off’s” fake art, fake designer clothing, fake money etc… It’s hard to tell the difference (the only way to tell is to place it alongside the real thing)
Counterfeits are nothing new, Satan is the great imitator and he’s been hard at work ever since he deceived Eve in the Garden of Eden. He has false Christians, a false gospel, a false righteousness and will one day present to the world a false Christ.