Summary: There is a battle raging in the spiritual realm and Paul tells us, in our text, to prepare for the battle. Stormie Omartian “The Prayer That Changes Everything, The hidden power of praising God”

“Battle ready Series” 2Chronicles 20: 21

There is a battle raging in the spiritual realm. It’s taking place all around you, whether you are a believer or not yet a believer in Jesus Christ. [Explain]

Paul tells us, in our text, to prepare for the battle so I want us to begin a series that we will call “Battle Ready.” My goal is for you/me to see what God expects from us as we, answer 2 questions. Are we ready for the battle and are we even willing to stand and face the enemy?

Flip to [Eph 6:12 NKJV] “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual [hosts] of wickedness in the heavenly [places].”

He is saying our battle is not with the person who doesn’t believe like we do or those who ridicule us and belittle us for believing in Jesus Christ or even for questioning His reality… Our battle is not with an out of control government, judicial system or society…our battle is not even physical. Our battle is spiritual warfare.

There are a multitude of belief systems, in the world today, that will tell you the Bible is nothing more than a fantasy book…a book of fairy tales and myths. They want you to believe that Jesus is just one of many ways to get to this place, we as Christians, call heaven. For some it’s simply called Euphoria.

Stormie Omartian, in her book titled; “The Prayer That Changes Everything, The hidden power of praising God” says this: “The most ridiculous thing I ever experienced in my life happened before I became a believer, when I was involved in that New Age religion.”

Let me give you just a tidbit of the New Age belief. They teach that evil does not exist. Evil only exist in the mind so if you can eliminate evil from your mind there will be no evil in your life. In other words, JUST STOP THINKING THOSE EVIL THOUGHTS. Look at your crystal hanging from your mirror and be happy.

If there is evil happening in someone’s life, New Ager’s will explain it like this; “They must have had evil in their minds, thereby attracting evil to themselves.”

WAIT A MINUTE!!! That is a circular argument. You cannot say there is no evil and say that they had evil in their minds and that’s why evil is happening to them…

Stormie goes on to say; “When I received the Lord and learned that I had a real enemy, it was such an enormous relief…Suddenly everything made sense…

The enemy had me right he wanted me. I couldn’t see him. I didn’t recognize him. I didn’t believe he even existed. So he was free to do whatever he wanted in my life because I couldn’t identify him.”

The Word of God clearly tells us in, [1Pe 5:8-9 NKJV] “8 Be sober, be vigilant;[keep a clear mind…stay focused] because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. 9 Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.” [brackets added]

Peter is saying that we are to get “Battle Ready.” So this morning, as we begin our series, I want to share with you some things that will help us as we prepare ourselves for the battle.

1. Realize you have an enemy and it is not be who you think it is.

Your enemy is not the banker who holds the mortgage you struggle to pay.

Your enemy is not your unbelieving spouse…sibling…child or friend.

Your enemy is not your not yet saved boss or your co-workers.

Your enemy is not that opinionated, self-righteous, judgmental so-called “”Christian.”

Your enemy is not your out of control neighbor or the guy selling drugs on your street.

Your enemy is not even that family member who sells your son/daughter or your grandchild their prescription pain meds, which is just as bad as the street corner drug dealer in my book.

Your enemy is not even a person…READ VERSE 12. Not once does Paul say that our adversary is human…Your enemy is the devil, who may be working in and through all those people who make your life miserable BUT they are not the enemy and fighting with them is a waste of time and energy. This is a remarkable strategy the devil uses to divert your attention away from the real enemy.

2. The enemy will attack you where you are most vulnerable.

If drugs and alcohol are not a problem for you the devil won’t use them against you. He may use people who are addicted to these things to attack you because he can get you off course and out of God’s will.

The enemy uses what he knows will get your attention off of your relationship with God, or your need to surrender to God and you can believe that he is very good at what he does.

I read this parable how about how to catch a monkey.

The hunter’s success is, much like the devil’s success against each of us, which is based on knowledge of the animal. The parable said that the trap is nothing more than a coconut with something hidden inside that is attractive to the monkey. Knowing this, the hunter simply cuts a hole in a coconut, just large enough for the monkey to insert his hand to reach the prize inside. The monkey will stick his hand in, grab as much as he can, then try to pull his hand out of the coconut but he can’t get his hand out because his fist is larger than the hole. The monkey will pull and tug, screech and fight the coconut for hours but is unable to get free.

See the only way for the money/you/me to get free of the trap is to let go of the thing that has us trapped, which we too often refuse to do…

Meanwhile, the hunter sneaks up on the unsuspecting monkey and knocks him in his noggin.

The enemy will use that one thing you refuse to let go of to trap you and defeat you…

So how do we get free of the trap? Just let it go…

3. The enemy despises your worship of God.

We can make the enemy just as miserable as he makes us by worshiping God through the pain…through the struggles and through the battles.

Actually the more you worship and praise God through your circumstance the weaker and out of focus the enemy becomes in your life. Praise and worship zaps the strength from the enemy and gets him off his game.

In 2nd Chronicles chapter 20, we have an awesome example of the power of praise.

We read in, [2Ch 20:1 NIV] “…the Moabites and Ammonites with some of the Meunites came to wage war against Jehoshaphat.”

King Jehoshaphat and the nation of Israel was surrounded by the enemy and Jehoshaphat realized he and all his people were defenseless against such a mighty force.

He cries out in verse 6 to the only hope he had. He cries out the God of all there is. The God who brought them out of bondage and set them free. The One who promised to give them fertile land and who said He would drive the enemy out and protect His own.

[2Ch 20:6b, 12b READ…Look at verse 12b READ

Now watch what God says in in verses 15 & 17 NKJV]

Do you know how The Israelites fought this battle?

BY SINGING PRAISES TO THEIR GOD…God said “I’ve got this…”

READ verses 18-19 & 21

Why on earth would he put the singers in front of the battle ready warriors!?

Could it be for the singers to get killed first, because he felt singers were a dime a dozen and could be easily replaced, whereas, good quality soldiers were a rare commodity?

Could it be that he was trying to fool the enemy into thinking they were about to face a bunch of soft musicians and the soldiers would suddenly jump out from behind?

Maybe Jehoshaphat thought he could serenade the enemy and when they fell asleep the soldiers would strike. NONE OF THE ABOVE…

The only reason the singers were on the front line was to praise God.

Let me give you a few things to do when you find yourself in a fight with the enemy.

a. Before you considering throwing the first punch, spend time praising God…

Turn those prayers of complaining into prayers of praise and see what God will do…

b. Praise God for defeating the enemy before it ever gets started…

c. Thank God for loving you enough to fight your battles for you…

d. Ask God if there is anything you need to be doing or should you just sit this one out and let Him take care of things. Sitting this one out is very hard for us to do…God can’t defeat your enemy if you keep getting in the way…Understand that the fight is not yours and God can do a much better job at defeating the enemy than you can.

f. Get in the right position before God/enemy. That position may be standing in praise and worship of our mighty God or face down, praying while He defeats your enemy…

g. Refuse, with everything in you to show fear. Never let the enemy see you sweat. Tell the enemy, “You may be bigger than me BUT you are not bigger than my God and He is fighting my battles today.”

We stand against the enemy, unstoppable and undefeated, when we stand in praise of our mighty God and King.

Next week we will begin looking at the proper dress for a warrior of God.

Your challenge for this week is Ephesians chapter 6: 10-17