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Summary: We are in the middle of a spiritual war that many Christians are unaware of. We need to learn to look toward heaven as Jesus did in Matthew 14.

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Looking toward Heaven

Illustration: Current Event

Headline: Judge declares NDOP Unconstitutional.

US District Judge Barbara Crabb said the holiday violates the “establishment clause” of the First Amendment, which creates a separation of church and state.

Comments- have nothing to do w/whether- NDOP- constitutional or not- we can argue that point.

Warning: As Christians- guard against an emotional response- examine it as a constitutional issue.

Aside: Establishment Clause

The term “separation of church and state”- not part of the original constitution or any of its amendments.

The idea- wall of separation- came from- letter- by T Jefferson to- Danbury Baptist Association- assure them-government would not interfere w/church.

Introduction

Back to the ruling that NDOP is unconstitutional …

you can interpret as want- not a Kingdom issue.

What is a Kingdom issue is that there is a spiritual battle raging today for- hearts/minds of people.

Judge’s ruling- in response to- case filed by-

Freedom From Religion Foundation- group of self-proclaimed atheist/agnostic.

Atheist- does not believe in- existence of- a god/gods.

Agnostic- believes- existence of a God is unknowable- not committed to- existence/non-existence of God.

The world is at war- people are being injured- countless lives lost in battle after battle.

The war we are in is not- Afghanistan, Iraq, terrorism- but the battle between good/evil.

It is an invisible war that began when …

Satan was cast out of heaven (Rev 12:7-9)

The war escalated in- Garden of Eden- Satan attacked- first man

Jesus fought the battle daily in his earthly walk,

the battle continued at the cross, and

we fight the same battle today.

Eph 6:12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. NASU

We are in the middle of a spiritual war of …

angels vs. demons,

good vs. evil, and

light vs. darkness

The battle affects every area of our lives, every day depression, divorce, addiction, anger, lust, greed

No one is immune to this battle- we must all deal with the affects of this struggle- in heavenly places.

The conflict exists because Satan wants the glory that is due the Creator for himself.

In Eph 2:2, Paul calls Satan …

the prince of the power of the air …

His desire-to be seen as God/steal the glory for himself

Since the beginning of mankind, Satan …

1 Pet 5:8 … prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. NASU

He works to deceive men to praise, worship, follow, align themselves w/something or someone other than- Creator.

Satan works to divert our attention away from God.

From Darkness to Light

Jesus Christ made it possible for us to turn from-

good to evil,

darkness to light,

Satan to the power God.

Through the blood of Christ we are no longer subject to the whims and purposes of the devil.”

Col 1:13 For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, NASU

God transferred us out of darkness into His army.

As warriors in God’s Kingdom we have everything we need to conquer the power of darkness in our lives.

Eph 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, NASU

Eph 2:6 and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, NASU

Parable of the Rich Young Ruler

Mtt 19:16-26 (read 21-22, 25-26)

If the man had turned to Christ, God would have empowered him to walk away from his wealth.

Just as God empowered Abraham- sacrifice his son.

Why? … with God all things are possible.

Looking Toward Heaven

First step towards overcoming the devil in our lives is recognizing that we live in heavenly places.

If we are going to walk in victory we must learn how to access the heavenly places.

As Believers, Satan’s strategy is to prevent us from walking in victory- enjoying our inheritance.

If he can keep us distracted w/affairs of this life- whether difficulties or leisure- he is successful he dismantles God’s army one believer at a time Jesus fought the same battle

Jesus during His stay on earth found Himself in the same spiritual battle we are in today.

Mtt 14:1-12 John the Baptist beheaded

What does Jesus do in the middle of the battle?

Mtt 14:13a

Jesus set out to find some time alone w/God.

Mtt 14:13-14

People were desperate for a touch from heaven.

Mtt 14:15-18

As the day wore on- evening approached- disciples- tired- suggested- Jesus send everybody home.

Their argument was plausible/responsible thing to do-

however, God had other plans.

Jesus suggested- people do not need to go away, and furthermore, He asked the disciples to feed them.

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