Know Your Opponent (7) Series
Contributed by Jeffery Anselmi on Sep 10, 2007 (message contributor)
Summary: WE cannot win the battle if we do not know our opponent.
• SLIDE #1
• Life can be tough at times. It seems like there are times when nothing seems to come easily. It seems in our spiritual walk that we take two steps forward and three back.
• I have seen people who would just give up and quit when things got tough for them. I see other people who persevere through the tough times in life.
• When I look at what is happening to our society today it seems like we are fighting a losing battle. Society in general seems to be sliding so far from God that is seems hopeless. The church seems to be fighting a losing battle in the arena of ideas. It seems like those who have anti-God agenda are winning the battle.
• Many Christians feel bruised and defeated.
• I know some of you are really struggling with your faith. Somewhere along the line you were made to think that life would be easy when you gave your life to Jesus, only to find that is not true in the way you thought it would be.
• The battles rage within you. There seems to be a temptation at every turn for some.
• Here is what it boils down to. We are all in a war. I do not think we really understand that.
• Today we are going to start a four part series that comes from the sixth chapter of Ephesians. This section deals with the armor of God.
• We are in a battle. We are all soldiers in God’s army. Before you give your life to Jesus, you are at war with God. When you give your life to Jesus, we are then engaged in another war. The enemy is trying to take you captive, he wants to try to get you back on his side.
• If we are going to wage a successful campaign against the enemy, there are some things we need to know. Over the next four weeks, we will look at some of the things we need to understand so that we can be victorious in our war with the enemy.
• Today, we will focus on the importance of knowing our opponent.
• SLIDE #2
If we understand our opponent, we will realize how important it is for us to:
I. KNOW WHERE YOUR STRENGTH COMES FROM (10)
• Let’s look at verse 10
• SLIDE #3
• Ephesians 6:10 (NASB) Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might.
• Verse ten begins by encouraging us to be strong in the Lord.
• The word “be strong” means to “be empowered”. We are encouraged to let he Lord empower us to fight the battle.
• SLIDE #4
• Philippians 4:13 says, “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.”
• Put another way, “I can do all things through Him who EMPOWERS me.
• We suffer defeat in our battle when we decide to go it alone. How many Christians do you know, who when they would be fighting a particular battle against some sin, would go into the woods and hide. Or maybe they were trying to defeat an enemy by their own strength.
• Our soldiers are fighting in Iraq. They are empowered for the fight by the U.S. military. These soldiers did not decide on there own to go fight the battle, they were empowered by our government and military to go fight the battle.
• Our soldiers know their power and strength comes from the military and the training and support they receive from the military. Even as teams of soldiers are fighting in the streets, they have air cover to help strengthen them in their fight.
• The ONLY way you will win the battles you are fighting is when you fight them with the Lord! We MUST understand our power comes from Him.
• Throughout the Old Testament, when the Israelites would go to battle, God made it clear that He was the reason and the cause of their victory.
• When God was helping Gideon put an army together to fight the Midians, Gideon had an army of over 30,000 men.
• Listen to what God said to Gideon in Judges 7:2,
• SLIDE #5
• “The Lord said to Gideon, "The people who are with you are too many for Me to give Midian into their hands, for Israel would become boastful, saying, ’My own power has delivered me.’
• We are not meant to fight the battle alone by our own power and strength; we are meant to let the Lord empower us!
• When you are in the middle of a battle in your life, you need to let God strengthen you; you need to let God’s people know that you need help. You do not always have to let them know every detail, but we are ALL in the same army. Outside of Jesus, we are powerless!
James Grocho (Grochowalski)