Summary: Sometimes life feels like an F5 tornado. How can I find the strength to stand? 1. Look to the Lord (vs. 10). 2. Recognize your real enemy (vs. 11-12). 3. Apply God’s armor (vs. 13-17).
Finding the Strength to Stand
Sermon by: Rick Crandall
Grayson Baptist Church - April 18, 2012
(Updated from sermon preached at McClendon Baptist Church - Jan. 15, 2006)
*Last Sunday we talked about the power of a tornado, and I told you that an F5 tornado can have winds of over 300 mph. A storm that powerful can literally peel the asphalt off of a road bed. And I once saw video of a place where that happened.
*Sometimes life feels like an F5 tornado. How are you going to stand in something like that? How can I find the strength to stand in the storms of life? We can see right here in the Word of God.
1. First of all, we must look to the Lord.
*That’s why in verse 10, Paul tells believers to “be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.”
*I promise you that when it comes to your spiritual life, when it comes to the most important things in life, the only way to be strong is to be strong in the Lord. King David knew that. Here is part of the song David sang to the Lord after God delivered David from the hand of all his enemies.
*From Psalm 18:
1. I will love You, O LORD, my strength.
2. The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; My God, my strength, in whom I will trust; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
*In Psalm 27:1, David said: “The LORD is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?”
*And in Psalm 19:14, he said: “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart Be acceptable in Your sight, O LORD, my strength and my Redeemer.”
*David knew for sure that the Lord was his strength. And now on the resurrection side of the cross we can be even more sure! We can be “strong in the Lord, and the power of his might,” because the Lord is our ever present source of strength.
*This is why in Philippians 4:13, with all of his suffering, hardship and trouble, the Apostle Paul could say: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
*And when Paul wrote his very last letter, he told Timothy this:
16. At my first defense no one stood with me, but all forsook me. May it not be charged against them.
17. But the Lord stood with me and strengthened me, so that the message might be preached fully through me, and that all the Gentiles might hear. Also I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion.
*Paul was “strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might.” He never could have stood in his own strength, and neither can we. We must look to the Lord.
*Kent Crockett told an old story about a pastor traveling on a bus down a bumpy road. A college student was seated next to the preacher, and he noticed that the pastor was reading his Bible.
*Almost out of the blue, the preacher asked: “Are you spiritually ready for the temptations that you will face in college?” The young man answered: “I don’t have a problem with temptation. I have strong willpower.”
*The preacher then took a pencil out of his pocket and said: “I can make this pencil stand up on the cover of this Bible even though the bus ride is bumpy.”
*The young man said, “I’ll believe it when I see it. I don’t think you can do it.”
-“Look, I am doing it,” the pastor replied.
*“Yeah, but you didn’t tell me you would hold the pencil up with your hand.”
-“I didn’t have to tell you,” the pastor said. “Have you ever seen a pencil stand up on its own without someone holding it?”
*Then the preacher let go of the pencil. Of course, it instantly fell over and the preacher said: “The only reason you stand, is because God is holding you up with His hand.” (1)
*How can I find the strength to stand? -- We must look to the Lord.
2. But also recognize your real enemy...
*We can see our enemy in vs. 11-12, where Paul said:
11. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
12. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
*Of course Jesus and His followers do have real flesh and blood enemies in this world. Paul was not suggesting otherwise. In Phil 3:18, he said, “Many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ...”