Summary: Proposition: The spiritual warrior never accepts defeat in accomplishing God’s will for his or her life.

The Warrior Ethos II

Sean Lester

January 18, 2007

Primary Text: 1 John 5:3-5

[3] This is love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, [4] for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. [5] Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.

Supplementary Texts: 2 Samuel 5:6-8, Matthew 16:21-28, Romans 10:13-15

I Will Never Accept Defeat


A. This is the second message in this spiritual warfare series. In the first message we discovered that in the warrior ethos the mission always comes first. This is important to remember because followers of Christ are often led astray by the idea that their mission is to become perfect. The result of that effort will always be failure because people are human and therefore are frail. The mission of the believer is to follow Christ in making disciples. Making disciples requires commitment but it does not require perfection. Making disciples is the mission and everything that a believer does serves that purpose.

B. Putting the mission first is a matter of setting priorities. It is an act of the mind. A follower of Jesus Christ needs to have the mind made up that the Lord’s mission is to be life’s priority. However, it is not enough to know to do right. The heart must also be invested in the mission. The heart of a person drives the emotions to do that thing that the sprit longs to have. Without heart, a person will have only good intentions and beliefs without actually fulfilling God’s purpose for life.

C. The heart of a warrior never accepts defeat. In war, defeat means that the enemy wins. Your way of life ends and the values and beliefs of another people are imposed upon you. In a battle, defeat means the enemy is closer to imposing his will on you and your people. Defeat is unacceptable.

D. The battle in the spirit is greater than the battle in the realm of the natural. The battle for your soul has greater consequence than who wins the war in Iraq. The battle for the soul of your family members, friends, and countrymen is more important than which empire rules the world.

Proposition: The spiritual warrior never accepts defeat in accomplishing God’s will for his or her life.

Interrogative: Why does the spiritual warrior’s heart so strongly demand success in the mission of his life?

Transition: The spiritual warrior understands the consequences of defeat.

I. Defeat Means the Enemy Retains Control

a. Biblical illustration: 2nd Samuel 5:6-8

i. As David and his army subdued the territory that God had given to the Israelites, they came upon the seemingly impregnable fortress of Jebus. The city sat upon a hill and was surrounded by high walls. The people felt so secure that they declared that the lame and the children could defend the city. David would not accept defeat. He noted that the only way into the city was through the water shafts that led from the interior of the city to the bottom of the hill. In a complimentary passage we discover that David declared that the first soldier that went through the shafts would become the commander-in-chief of his army. Joab led his army though the shafts, into the city, and defeated the fortified enemy.

ii. Why was defeat unacceptable to David? Because as long as Jebus remained the enemy had some control in the midst of the people of God. The town would be ready to aid the enemy forces that attacked from outside the borders. They would slow Israel’s prosperity as a nation.

b. Defeat has the same implications for a believer. A believer who has not defeated the enemy strongholds in life remains unable to fulfill their purpose in God’s will. A believer who remains under the control of addictions and bad habits remains unable to serve the Lord. That is why it says in Hebrews, “Let us throw off every weight that causes us to stumble.”

Transition: The presence of the enemy in a believer’s life has even greater danger than simply retarding effectiveness in serving the Lord.

II. Defeat Means Spiritual Death

a. Biblical Illustration: Matthew 16:21-28

i. When Jesus began to prepare his disciples for his coming crucifixion, Peter declared that no such thing would ever happen. Then, Jesus rebuked Peter for not putting the things of God ahead of the things that are important to people. It was not Jesus’ mission to survive in this world, it was his mission to die for the people living in this world. Resisting the cross meant defeat. Defeat was unacceptable to our Lord.

ii. Then Jesus declared the importance of his example for anyone who would follow him. Following him means taking up the cross. He said, “What good is it to gain the whole world and yet lose your own soul?”

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