Summary: Second in a series on Spiritual Warfare. This message explores the hesitancy of people to get involved in spiritual battle.
Last week we began our series, “Operation Enduring Freedom.” A look at how to grab hold of a lasting, enduring freedom. And we started our series by looking at the importance of keeping our focus in the right place in the midst of the battles.
I asked you to start memorizing, and engraining in your mind the statement: Freedom starts with the name of Jesus on our lips. It is completed with the nature of Jesus in our hearts. Let’s say that again together – Freedom starts with the name of Jesus on our lips. It is completed with the nature of Jesus in our hearts.
Contrary to what is often expected or taught, I think the greatest harm you can do to Satan and his forces is not in the form of rebuking, casting out, or binding up, but is by becoming more and more like Christ. Allowing the nature of your Savior to become yours, in heart and action.
As we journey together towards true, enduring freedom, understand that God’s purpose for you, even in the midst of spiritual battle, is to make you more like Christ. God does not deliver us for the purpose of our just being delivered. He delivers us for the purpose of making us more and more like Christ. Don’t miss this, if you focus on getting free without becoming more Christ like, you will not experience freedom that lasts.
In recent months, we have talked about how we are to be strong and courageous, but not confrontational and aggressive. We are not about the business of calling out this spirit and that, but we operate from a mindset of peace. Paul says if you can focus on Christ and not get wrapped up in evil, then the God of “peace” will give you victory over Satan.
I shared a quote from Francis Frangipane that I want you to hear again. “Peace precedes power. Do not seek to rule over the devil until you are submitting to God’s rule over you. The focal point of all victory comes from seeking God until you find Him, and having found Him, allowing His presence to fill your spirit with His peace.”
Freedom starts with the name of Jesus on our lips. It is completed with the nature of Jesus in our hearts. Say that with me again. (repeat)
Now as we explore the issue of spiritual battle, and move forward in our series together, there is a reality that I know to be true. When it comes to this spiritual battle that we are engaged in as the army of God, many people would rather not fight. They would rather not get about the business of getting free, if spiritual warfare is going to be what is required to get there. I’ve been there, done that. (Personal Example w/ Door of Hope)
When it comes to spiritual warfare, many people would rather not fight. And for some good reasons.
Some people are just too exhausted to put up another defense. They are experiencing complete SPIRITUAL AND EMOTIONAL EXHAUSTION. (example of John Brantley) I’m not saying he doesn’t want to fight, but I would sure understand he if has reached a point of being so spiritually exhausted that he simply does not feel he can put up another defense.
Another reason some people would rather not fight is that they are afraid of what life might be like if they were truly free. They have a FEAR OF LIFE ON THE OTHER SIDE OF FREEDOM.
I don’t know about you, but I know that I like having excuses available to me. (Example of family reunions) Sometimes we would rather hold on to our excuses, then have to face the reality of an unknown life of complete freedom. Who knows what God may ask me to do in my new found freedom?
And still others would rather not fight because they believe that THERE MUST BE ANOTHER WAY. Can’t we just avoid the battle? Maybe, work our way around the outside. Pray that Satan will just go away. Pray that Jesus will come again before “Left Behind Volume 57” is released. Surely there must be a way to get from point A to point C without having to go through point B?
Many people, are simply not up for the fight, and want to just find another way to freedom without having to go to the front lines. It reminds me of high school sweethearts who get into a fight (Example of dealing with relational issues as teenagers verses adults).
What might God’s word have to say to those of us who just say, “This spiritual warfare stuff. I believe it. I understand that it exists. But I don’t want to fight.” Turn with me to the book of Deuteronomy.