Summary: Many have convinced themselves that once you have surrendered your life to Christ, there is an easy pathway that is leveled out for you to follow, one that is clearly marked, one that just takes you right to the peak of spirituality.
Title: Conquering The Mountains
Theme: Surviving the Ascent to the Height of Spirituality
Introduction: There is a misunderstanding about the Christian walk. Many have convinced themselves that once you have surrendered your life to Christ, there is an easy pathway that is leveled out for you to follow, one that is clearly marked, one that just takes you right to the peak of spirituality. Someone once said, "On the Mountains of truth you can never climb in vain: either you will reach a point higher today, or you will be training your powers so that you will be able to climb higher tomorrow." (Friedrich Nietzsche) Mark Udall said, "You don't climb mountains without a team, you don't climb mountains without being fit, you don't climb mountains without being prepared and you don't climb mountains without balancing the risks and rewards. And you never climb a mountain on accident - it has to be intentional."
Proposition: I would propose to you that God has set before you mountains that you must intentionally climb; mountains you cannot climb alone, mountains you must spiritually train and condition for.
Interrogative Sentence: What are the mountains everyone must climb? How can these mountains be Biblically conquered?
Transitional Sentence: Before Christians can begin their climb, they must acknowledge the risks involved as well as acknowledging the reality, there is a devastating enemy of their souls. 1 Peter 5:8 says, "Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour."
The Bible has given names to our enemy (ὁ ἀντιδικος ὑμων [ho antidikos humōn]), which clearly describe his character: adversary, the devil, a roaring lion. As an adversary, he is the enemy that pleads your soul to follow his example while he litigates against you. As the devil, he is the grand accuser of all the brethren; this title is derived from a word which signifies to strike. He would strike our human nature, so to poison the soul. As a roaring lion, he is hungry, fierce, strong, and cruel, the fierce and greedy pursuer of souls as prey. (Matthew Henry Commentary; Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the whole Bible) Satan is called "Apollyon" (Revelation 9:11, Bible Knowledge Commentary) meaning destroyer, he is "the tempter" (Matthew 4:3), he is "the evil one" the one who has the world under his control (1 John 5:18-19) presiding over mankind's anti-God life styles. (John 12:31; 14:30; 16:11; 2 Corinthians 4:4)
While you live on this earth, God may have your heart, but Satan will have free reign to attack your mind; therefore, putting you in a position of having to constantly plan and work hard to overcome his schemes. You will have to seek out a team, keep yourself spiritually fit and balance the risk with the rewards in order to survive his persistence. .
"There is the story of a lady who never spoke ill of anybody. 'I believe you would say something good even about the devil,' a friend told her. "Well,' she said, 'you certainly do have to admire his persistence." Satan is an adversary who is unbeatable apart from the protection and empowerment of Jesus Christ as we ascend to the mountaintop of a satisfying Christian walk. He knows how to stalk us in the wilderness of sin. (Genesis 6:5; Psalm 53:3; Isaiah 53:6; Isaiah 64:6; Romans 3:23)
Transitional Sentence: In this message we will consider four mountains that everyone must face. In addition, these mountains must be climbed many times during our lifetime on this earth. However, there is great news: Jesus gave a teaching about having faith in Him through the power of prayer.
Jesus said, "you can say to this mountain, 'Go, throw yourself into the sea, and it will be done. If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer." (Matthew 21:21-22) The Lord is asking us to completely trust His empowerment and authority as we take on the hard things, things that seem totally impossible. Jesus is teaching us to use the channel of prayer to tackle and remove mountains of difficulty. (Daily Study Bible Series; Bible Knowledge Commentary) The point, "If you believe" is the issue at hand. (Matthew Henry Commentary; The New Bible Commentary; The Bible Exposition Commentary) As Christians live in this sin-cursed world it is imperative they have faith in prayer to petition the Christ who can move mountains, because He has promised help, guidance and eternal life.
Transitional Sentence: Once faith is established, Christians can seek the Lord to enable them to conquer Mount of Olives. Mount of Olives is a mountain everyone must climb in their walk with the Lord. Mount of Olives is known as the "Mount of Corruption" (Tyndale Bible Dictionary) and the "Mount of Offense." (Nelson's New Illustrated Bible Dictionary)