Summary: Let’s think about what is required to be strong in the Lord. It requires: 1- Taking a stand against the devil 2- Putting on the armor of God 3- Praying in the Spirit
INTRO. - Be strong. Be strong in the Lord. We can choose to be strong in ourselves or we can choose to be strong in the Lord. TAKE YOUR CHOICE!
Most people (or many) choose to be strong in themselves. They want to be in control and do their own thing. They pride themselves on being a "self-made" person or so they think they are! But in reality, no one is self-made. We may do some things in life to improve ourselves but we are not self-made. WE ARE GOD-MADE! God made us with certain abilities or talents and we may choose to develop those talents or not. BUT NONE OF US ARE SELF-MADE OR STRONG IN OURSELVES.
ILL.- The American Idol show is over for another season and Elaine said, "what will we now watch on TV?" I told her we’ll watch her Lifetime movies. In the finals of American Idol it was a contest with two Davids. Little David Archuleta from Utah and a Mormon boy. And big David Cook from Blue Springs, MO, who was bar tender and a part-time rock singer.
Elaine and I voted for little David Archuleta to win but David Cook won instead. I think people wanted a rocker to win this year. And he’s talented. He has a great voice. In fact, there is something different about his voice and that has a great appeal to it. And little David Archuleta... What can we say about that young man? Humble, nice appearance, kind, gracious, and a tremendous voice.
Brothers and sisters, where did both David Archuleta and David Cook get those wonderful singing voices and the ability to sing? WE KNOW whether they do or not. Hopefully, they recognize that they are blessed by God.
And it is my personal opinion that we can choose in life to either be strong in ourselves and glory in ourselves or else we can choose to be strong in the Lord!
What little good I do in this life, I prefer for the Lord to get the glory! That’s the way it is supposed to be for all Christians. We’re here to glory in Him and glorify Him!
I Cor. 10:31 "So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all to the glory of God."
ILL.- Toscanini, the world-famous conductor, who was very exacting and almost tyrannical in rehearsals, once practiced the Ninth Symphony of Beethoven with an orchestra.
First, it was practiced piece meal—each group of instruments alone, and then, together, at full concert strength.
At last rehearsals were over; and master and orchestra were ready for the concert performance. When the performance was over, the first violinist said to the second violinist; “If he scolds us after that, I will jump up and push him off his platform.”
He stood silent—his arms still outstretched, his deep eyes burning with an inner fire, the light of a great rapture upon his face, and a spirit of utter contentment enfolding him. After a long silence he spoke: “Who am I? Who is Toscanini? Who are you? I am nobody. You are nobody.”
The crowd was hushed. The master stood with arms still extended. The multitude waited in awed silence. Then with the light upon his face of one who had seen a vision, he added: “But Beethoven is everything—everything!”
This is so similar to us in life. We are nothing. I am nothing in a sense. But God is everything! Without Him we would be nothing and have nothing! There would be no music, so to speak, in our lives. There would be no goodness, no kindness, no holiness, no nothing. God is everything!
And He is the one who gives us strength for life, whatever that strength includes.
PROP.- Let’s think about what is required to be strong in the Lord. It requires:
1- Taking a stand against the devil
2- Putting on the armor of God
3- Praying in the Spirit
I. TAKING A STAND AGAINST THE DEVIL
10Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
ILL.- A gentle Quaker, hearing a strange noise in his house one night, got up and discovered a burglar busy at work. So he went and got his gun, then came back and stood quietly in the doorway. “Friend,” he said, “I would do thee no harm for the world, but thou standest where I am about to shoot.”
I like that. We need to get the devil in our aim and pull the trigger!