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Summary: When faced with danger; we humans exhibit a "fight or flight response" (sweaty palms, racing heart rate. Spiritually speaking, there are times when Christians should fight; and times to flee.

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April 27, 2003 Sunday Morning

Title: Fight or Flight Response

Text: 1 Timothy 6:11-12

Introduction

Sociologists and Psychologists talk about a "fight or flight" response.

They have documented certain things that happen to people when they are faced with a dangerous situation.

And these are things that prepare us to either stay and fight whatever the danger is that we face

or to turn around and run away from the danger.

Some of these things that are documented:

sweaty palms--when we are faced with danger; there are glands (called "eccrine glands") that secrete moisture on our palms.

our pupils in our eyes become dialated

our hair will bristle and stand up on end

our rate of breathing and our heart rate will increase rapidly

if we are preparing to face battle, we will square up our chest and shoulders...

and if we are preparing to run, we will angle our torso away from the danger...

our face may get bright red or turn pale white....

and others.

Maybe you remember facing a very scary situation;

and maybe your remember some of these responses happening to you.

Sometimes, as Christians, we may face spiritually dangerous situations....

and there are sometimes that we should stand up and fight....

and there are times that we shoud flee....

and by studying these, it is my hope that we will develop our SPIRITUAL fight or flight response...

to enable us to spiritually survive dangerous things.

Read Text: 1 Timothy 6:11-12

Body

1. There are times that we should fight!

sometimes we refer to "spiritual warfare"

and this is seen in some of the songs we sing....

"Onward Christian soldiers! Marching as to war"

"Stand up, stand up for Jesus, ye soldiers of the cross."

"Sound the battle cry, see the foe is nigh"

"Lead on, O King Eternal, the day of march is come. Henceforth in fields of conquest, Thy tents shall be our home."

And others.

When most people think about Christians...

they think about spineless little wimps that would jump if you said, "boo".

Or they picture us (men) as balding, with big glasses, hump shouldered,

scared of our own shadow.

And perhaps, sometimes we, as Christians, have helped to perpetuate that stereotype because we were afraid to stand up and fight.

So, when should we fight?

First of all, we should fight when it is the will of God.

When we studied the Book of Joshua, we noticed that there were times that God wanted His people to fight.

There were times when He just wanted them to march (like Jericho)...

But there were times when God wanted them to raise their swords and fight...

When it was God’s will for them to fight; and they did fight, they were incredibly victorious; even against larger armies...

but when God didn’t want them to fight; but they fought anyway, they were humiliatingly defeated; even by much smaller armies.

and in the spiritual sense, this is true as well.

When God wants us to stand up and fight for something...we better fight.

Scripture says, "Do not be afraid of them; the LORD your God himself will fight for you." Deut 3:22 (NIV)

When God wants us to stand and fight; we don’t fight alone...God stands with us...

and when God is for us...nothing can stand in our way!

1 Timothy 6:12 says, "Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses"

There are some things that I won’t bleed over...

there are some things that I will not fight and argue over...

for example, there have been great arguments over the Rapture...

and whether the Rapture will occur before the tribulation (pre-Trib)...

or in the middle of the Tribulation (mid-Trib)

or at the end of the Tribulation (post-Trib)

Now, I have an opinion on that...but I’m not going to lay down my life over when the Rapture will occur...

to me, the more important question is, "are you ready for the rapture"?

If you are ready...well, then let it come whenever God wants it to!

But there are some things that I will fight about...

There are some things that are worth the battle...

there are some things that are worth dieing for.

Our Text says, "fight the good fight of FAITH"

Now, I have yet to be called upon to lay down my life for my faith...

but I would hope that if that time came...that I would willingly lay down my life for my faith!

Our faith determines our destiny; our text continues by saying "take hold of the eternal life"

When it comes to things that determine where we will spend eternity;

we had better be willing to fight tooth and nail.

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