Summary: God did not ask his people to withdraw into their own little group or church and not reach out to the lost
Don't Circle the Wagons Yet
Text 2 Corinthians 10:1-7
Do you remember the TV show Wagon Train? That show and all the TV shows and movies that showed the western expansion by wagon train always showed the wagons moving into a defensive position that made forward movement impossible. When the pioneers were traveling the Oregon and Santa Fe Trails in route to new homes in the west, they circled the wagons at night. They were safer from attacks from bandits and the Indians when the the wagons were in a circle than when they were strung out in single file.
I challenge you to think of the times when God's people have in a sense circled the wagons when they should have taken the offense. Think about the Bible stories we have taught our children. We don't use the circled wagon events as examples of how we should act.
The spies who went into look over the Land of Canaan came back with the report that the land is everything God said it was, but it was also populated by giants. They wanted to circlNIVheir wagons.
When the Midianites were oppressing Israel, where did you find Gideon? He was hiding in the wine press threshing wheat so the Midianites wouldn't know he had any grain left. He had circled his wagons. (Judges 6)
When Goliath was making his challenge to Israel "Send out your best warrior and let him face me. Winner take all!" where did you find King Saul and his army? He was hiding in his tent and the army was peaking around their tents. The wagons were circled. What was God's response to those actions
You know the Biblical accounts well enough to fill those blanks in. Paul said that God has given us the weopons for victory.
By the humility and gentleness of Christ, I appeal to you—I, Paul, who am “timid” when face to face with you, but “bold” toward you when away! I beg you that when I come I may not have to be as bold as I expect to be toward some people who think that we live by the standards of this world. For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demowlish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. And we will be ready to punish every act of disobedience, once your obedience is complete. You are judging by appearances. If anyone is confident that they belong to Christ, they should consider again that we belong to Christ just as much as they do.
2 Corinthians 10:1?-?7 NIV
A. Do you remember what the first thing Jesus said to him disciples when he called them off their fishing boats? "Come follow me and I will make you fishers of men."
As Jesus walked beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” At once they left their nets and followed him. When he had gone a little farther, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John in a boat, preparing their nets. Without delay he called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men and followed him.
Mark 1:16?-?20 NIV
There is nothing in Jeseus' language that even remotely indicates he called them to circle their wagons.
B. What were the last words Jesus said to his disciples before he assended into heaven?
Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Matthew 28:16?-?20 NIV
C. Jesus spent his entire ministry facing opposition. He prepared his disciples to battle opposition.
We are not left with out weopons for the battle so that we don't have to circle the wagons.
Do not let anyone who delights in false humility and the worship of angels disqualify you. Such a person also goes into great detail about what they have seen; they are puffed up with idle notions by their unspiritual mind. They have lost connection with the head, from whom the whole body, supported and held together by its ligaments and sinews, grows as God causes it to grow