Summary: Journey of Faith, part 4 “The Battle Belongs to the Lord”
Journey of Faith, part 4
“The Battle Belongs to the Lord”
Introduction – Heb 13:7-8
Main idea – When our lives are oriented around God’s purposes we can be confident of God working on our behalf.
1. Be confident of victory over any threats to God’s purposes (vs. 1-16)
As followers of Christ, we should be the happiest and most confident people who walk this earth. Yes, there will be struggles with sin and pain and Satan. But we can be confident when Paul says that sin will not have dominion over us; that is exactly what he means. We can be confident that all the promises of God find their Yes in him (2 Cor 1:20). All the promises of God for the good of his people focus in Christ. He confirms them and secures them and purchases them for all who belong to him. Every sinner who comes to God in Christ, with all his needs, finds God coming to him in Christ, with all his promises. When a sinful person meets the holy God IN CHRIST, what he hears is YES. Do you love me? YES. Will you forgive me? YES. Will you accept me? YES. YES. Will you help me change? YES. Will you give me power to serve you? YES. Will you keep me? YES. Will you show me your glory? YES. All the promises of God—all the blessings of God in the heavenly places—are YES in Christ Jesus. Jesus is God's decisive YES to all who believe because we are heirs according to the promise. That should give us great confidence and hope in God.
There will always be conflict in the pursuit of God’s Purposes (1-12)
Here we have five kings subject to Chedorlaomer for 12 years. Then one year they decided they had enough and stopped paying their tax. So the next year four kings go on the war path to teach them a lesson. They defeated everyone in their path. Then they trounced the king of Sodom and the other four kings sending them running for the hills. As a result they took Lot hostage. These kings conquered the land of Canaan; the land promised to Abram. Here is another, even greater threat to the promise of God to Abram than those already dwelling in the land. But with God it does not matter how big the threat to his promises are because God says something will happen because he makes it happen. The greater the threat the greater the demonstration of Gods power to fulfill that promise. What battle in your life seems too ominous to overcome? What sin seems too strong to break? Gods power is greater than any bondage or struggle you face.
Insufficient resources are not an issue for God (13-16)
Lot makes his wisest decision to date, sending someone to Abram for help. Abram gathers 318 trained men and his allies and pursues this great army. It would be an understatement to say he is the underdog. He is unproven in battle, he is a nomad, and a shepherd. Yet Abram did not let this cause him to back down. The enemy will use fear and intimidation to get us to back down from Gods purposes and Gods calling in our lives. It may come in the way they treat us or what they say to us and it creates doubt and fear. What if I fail? What if it does not work out? What if it gets hard? So we back down because we allow the enemy to intimidate us. Abram was decisive. He believed that God was bigger than his inexperience and his little army and he routed the four kings at night. In the pursuit of Gods purposes there will be threats and obstacles but Gods power and grace trump them all. We see God exercising his sovereign power to secure the land for Abram.
In this story we see great power in unity with Abram and his allies. His lack of experience and his lack of men did not hinder Gods power to thwart the threat to his promise. If we as a body are united around our purpose then we will be unstoppable.
We also see a sense of loyalty in Abram risking his own life to save Lot. Lot shafted him in taking the best of the land yet and then to sin city. Yet Abram does not abandon him. He does not hold a grudge against him; he rescued him.
Where the rubber meets the road - Behind the natural conflict is usually a spiritual one; lack of resources are no obstacles with God; Beware of being too comfortable with your life; there is power in community
2. When victorious beware of the deception of the enemy (vs. 17-24)