Summary: The fourth in a series exploring victory and freedom in the Christian walk. The message wrestles with the burden of past failures in our life.
(Extensive inspiration for this message, and this series taken from Francis Frangipane’s "This Day We Fight".)
Here we go. 2 minute drill. A high speed recap of where we left off two.
Okay. . .Joshua is hanging out, looks up, and sees standing before him a being with a sword drawn, ready for battle. I believe this being is Jehovah-Sabbaoth. The Lord of Hosts. The God of Armies. The one that we read in Isaiah 49:25 contends with those who contend with us. Week #1 key, we don’t have to fight the battles of our life alone. We have a God that as it says in Revelation 19:16 is the “king of kings and lord of lords.”
Week #2. The moment of truth for King Joash. He shoots the arrow through the window, and what prophet is prepared to declare victory over the Syrians? (Elisha) So with Elisha’s hand of blessing upon him, Joash is given the command to pick-up the arrows, and strike the ground with them. And he takes them and administers how many half-hearted, wimpy blows? (Three) And how many times does he end up experiencing partial victory over the Syrians? (Three) That’s right. Never fully conquers them because he lacked the passion and will to completely turn and defeat his enemy.
And our key for week #2 was to look at Psalm 18, look at an early model of King David, and see those times when we need to lock arms with the Lord of Hosts, face our enemy, and take an offensive approach towards victory until the enemy has been consumed. Remember the words of King David in Psalm 18:36 (through 38) -
“You gave a wide place for my steps under me, and my feet did not slip. I pursued my enemies and overtook them, and did not turn back till they were consumed. I thrust them through, so that they were not able to rise; they fell under my feet.”
Then, two weeks ago we examined another option. We examined another option that at a different point in his life King David. In II Samuel 11, at the time to go to battle, we find King David sending out his armies and generals, and rather than leading the way as the anointed man of God, instead he is stuck in bed. Sleeping through the day. Overcome by a spirit of passivity. And the results are devastating: adultery, murder, deceit, the death of his infant child.
The week #3 key was simple. If you don’t want to fight the enemy. If you don’t want to rise up and face the demons of your life that have plagued you for years: emotional, mental, physical, spiritual road blocks to true victory and freedom in your life. You do have the option of not getting engaged in the fight. But the consequences will be devastating.
So instead of option B, this year we win. This year we are going to rise up and face those places that we identify in our lives and say, “No more. I will no longer be held captive to fear. Or guilt. Or discouragement. Or a given area of temptation and addiction. Maybe alcohol, drugs, pornography. No more. This year, with the power of the Lord of Hosts, I am going to achieve true victory!” Amen?
That’s the recap. Maybe a bit more than 2 minutes. Now, over the next few weeks we are going to begin looking at some Biblical examples of road blocks to this quest for true freedom in our lives.
Many of us have ventured out on this journey towards victory before, only to be set back by one or more of the challenges we are going to explore over the next few weeks.
So I want us to pray for open hearts, open ears, open spiritual eyes to see the application of God’s word to our individual and corporate search for authentic, enduring, life lasting freedom.
Debbie has shared with us today about the AA Pregnancy Help Center’s ministry here in Lexington, KY. The ministry of this organization and ministries such as Step-by-Step lead us perfectly into this first challenge we are going to explore.
Listen to some of these statistics and facts about women who find themselves trying to navigate through the bondage of a post-abortion life. First and foremost, it is a bondage to a life of negative cycles. Did you know that 43 percent of the women to have an abortion in America have had at least one previous abortion? Trapped in a cycle.
Studies have revealed that women who have abortions are three times more likely to commit suicide than the general population, and seven times more likely than women who have given birth to a child.
Women who are struggling with the past of an abortion are five times more likely to report substance abuse than women who carry their pregnancy to term. Studies have revealed that they suffer from a higher rate of depression, mental illness, and miscarriages.