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Summary: I wish that once I became a Christian my struggle with sin, depression, discouragement, bad habits would be overcome with just a prayer. If we want freedom/victory it means we have to square off with our devils . . . just like Jesus did in the wilderness.

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Are You Listening to God or Goliath?

(Inspired by article in Charisma August 2016 by Larry Dugger)

8/10/16 CFBC Chester, IL Dr. Mike Fogerson, Speaker

Introduction:

A I wish that once I became a Christian my struggle with sin, depression, discouragement, bad habits would be overcome with just a prayer.

1 I’ve tried to change over, and over only to end up back in the same old cycle of behavior that brings back to the person that I don’t want to be.

a It gets frustrating, defeating, discouraging.

b I do believe there is a way to gain victory over those struggles.

aa I believe we can change, transformed, know freedom/victory.

bb It’s a fight . . .battle (spiritual) . . . most Christians will walk away from it.

cc If we want freedom/victory it means we have to square off with our devils . . . just like Jesus did in the wilderness.

c The devils we face are the old familiar patterns of behavior that keep us experiencing the same unwanted results.

aa I want to lose weight w/o dieting/exercise . . . go deeper in Word w/o reading it . . . have a better prayer life w/o praying more . . . Tithe w/o giving 10%.

bb Sometimes we want change but we get frustrated, “I can never become the person who I want to be.”

2 The person you are today was shaped by your past . . . the person you will become is determined by what you do right now.

a There are no short-cuts, timesaving techniques to becoming great, rising above our tribulations/crisis’.

b It’s a battle, fight and it’s devils you fight.

I Jesus fought the same devils as we do.

A Irregardless of how long we’ve been in ministry, attending church being pure, forgiving those who treated unfairly, letting go of devils from our past is a struggle.

1 There are times I don’t think I’m going to be able to overcome, not going to make it.

a I feel like the devil has the upper hand and he knows it!

b He knows he’s getting the best of me . . . has me on the ropes . . . exhausted from fighting.

aa I don’t want to feel that way, be that way, think like that . . . but I do.

bb I feel like Paul, “For the good I desire to do, I do not do, but the evil I do not want is what I do.” (Rom. 7.19)

2 Imagine, my desire to change on one hand and my ability to change in another hand . . .now imagine those hands being a million miles apart.

a Frustrating, demoralizing . . . feel like your faith is flawed, inadequate.

b Even doubt your faith, identity in Christ.

aa Personally: In my greatest struggle of faith I looked good on paper (Pastor, Education, Experience), but in reality my life is sometimes very different.

bb I questioned my ministry, marriage, my future . . . felt like my life was off the rails.

cc I knew I ignoring my struggle wasn’t the answer . . . I was going to have to confront myself, my thoughts/feelings.

B I read Luke 4.1-13, I see Jesus battling a similar battle in the wilderness. (READ Luke passage)

1 Jesus’ humanity is on full display like never before, in 1080i when He faced the devil in the Judean desert.

a Jesus wasn’t just battling the devil; He also battled His own humanity . . . Himself.


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