Summary: There is constant spiritual conflict. There are spiritual foes that fight with untruth, half-truth, distraction, division, apathy, etc. In the challenge and conflict we face there is a loud and clear voice of God telling us of the ultimate reality. We
Intro: “You are a poor soldier of Christ if you think you can overcome without fighting and suppose you can have the crown without conflict.” These words were spoken by Syrian preacher John Chrysostom (647-407 AD)
He was loudly and clearly stating what Paul said hundreds of years earlier. We fight not against flesh and blood but we fight none the less. The life of a Christ follower involves challenge and conflict. The challenge of the Christian life lies in choosing to submit to the present world system or the Kingdom of God.
It is the conflict against self, sin and Satan. These enemies constantly attack and try to strangle, devour, destroy our joy, peace, power, etc. In Christ we have freedom from self, sin and Satan. We become dead to the things of this world. We become alive to the truth Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe!!!
God warred with Satan on the Cross and defeated him. He now uses His followers to fight the lies of Satan by transforming us into livers of truth!!
2 Corinthians 10:3-5 “For although we are walking in the flesh, we do not wage war in a fleshly way, 4 since the weapons of our warfare are not fleshly, but are powerful through God for the demolition of strongholds. We demolish arguments 5 and every high-minded thing that is raised up against the knowledge of God, taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.”
Warren Wiersbe “A Pastor attended a court hearing to protest the building of a tavern near his church and a public school. The lawyer to the tavern owners said to him. I’m surprised to see you here today, Reverend. As a shepherd, shouldn’t you be taking care of the sheep? The pastor replied, Today I’m fighting the wolf.”
There is constant spiritual conflict. There are spiritual foes that fight with untruth, half-truth, distraction, division, apathy, etc. In the challenge and conflict we face there is a loud and clear voice of God telling us of the ultimate reality.
I. God’s clarion (loud and clear) declaration
A) Fear (two types)
1) Fear of the unbeliever
Fear of facing the creator. If he is not your savior it is a scary thing to come face to face with God because He is not father He is judge.
Fear of being discovered causes us to hide.
Fear of failing causes us to never really live
Fear of rejection causes us to miss out on relationships
This type of fear is the opposite of faith. God’s activity is only fearful if you have no understanding of it working for the good for all who love Him. We don’t have to fear His Judgment because Jesus took our place on the cross and took all God’s wrath.
Fear that does not result in obedience to God shuts God’s grace out of our life.
2) Fear of the believer
Oswald Chambers , "The remarkable thing about fearing God is that, when you fear God, you fear nothing else; whereas, if you do not fear God, you fear everything else."
A proper righteous fear of God will create a respectful, loving, obedient follower of Christ.
Hebrews 12.28 “Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear.
Biblical fear of the Lord leads to a deep desire to please God. It is the desire a son has to please his father. Proverbs tells us the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. A right response and respect of our creator is the beginning of right belief and behavior.
Who and what God is inspires awe. What God does for His people inspires love. True fear of God places in us and understanding of His awesome person and actions.
B) Faith (God’s promise)
Faith is a gift from God that produces trust in His promises. Joshua 6.2 “I have delivered Jericho into your hands.” This is a perfect tense verb. The event is as good as accomplished.”
Jesus clearly said “I have overcome the world.”
Jesus said on the cross, “It is finished.”
Accept this truth. You don’t fight for victory you fight from victory. We do not have to sweat spiritual battles because Christ our Captain has already taken the field. We have to walk in faith and trust what God says.
II. God’s clear instruction
Why such strange instructions? These battle plans would definitely not be found in Sun Tzu’s the art of war. Jericho is not the biggest city but it is probably the most important. It controls the travel ways of the promised land. From here Israel can have a beachhead to take all of Canaan. God was trying to teach a spiritual principle. We cannot win our spiritual conflicts with man made strategies.