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.
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
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.
b Jesus had to battle the devil proves to me one thing: Spiritual maturity doesn’t take you out of the fight/battle/war.
aa My devils I fight aren’t the ones Jesus fought, but I must face mine like Jesus did His.
bb Not ignore, fail to acknowledge, put off . . . face them.
2 Like Jesus, I would have to spend some time in the wilderness facing what stood in opposition to my future like Jesus in the wilderness . . . David in Elah valley.
C Goliah had taunted Israel for 40 days like clock work (every morning & evening)
1 When a young shepherd boy showed up, rose up and refused to listen to the giants voice any longer. Face the giant.
a He put a stone in the middle of the giants forehead and fell him.
b After the epic battle . . . David was not seen as a boy, little shepherd any longer. (Warrior, Soldier, Giant Killer, Bad to the bone . . .eventually become King of Israel.)
2 Before a soldier can be a warrior, victorious of any battle . . . he must decide to show up for the fight.
a David showed up, Jesus showed up to fight.