Call to Battle
New Hope Community Pastor Bob Briggs July 9, 2004
Stumbling in lethargy, the trumpet is sounding, it is time for the church to awaken to the cry of battle, the sound of distant thunder is on the horizon, there is a battle brewing, and the church had better prepare herself. The spiritual battle is pouring itself forth into the physical realm and the devil is seeking to take as many captive as possible. Awake! Awake! Is the cry to the church in slumber for the church is fast being overtaken and does not want to hear the message of truth rather seeking to lie down and think herself not to be vulnerable, yet vulnerable she stands without the power of God flowing through her.
I had read a message from Francis Frangipane about the state of the church and we have but to look around to see the reality, the church has lost her sense of discernment and without it becomes open pry to a crouching enemy, the serpent, Satan, who crawls in the dust seeking every possible advantage to strike his deadly blow and he is not going to slide away in the night, he circles and prods until he finds that weakness, that opening where the soldier of God has laid down his weapon and left him or herself exposed.
The voice of the prophets are calling, speaking forth the warnings of God but much like times past, no one is listening, the prefer to hear something pleasant rather than the truth of their plight. In the midst of this God is raising up an army of faith, people who will stand guard through the long nights and hot days, who will continue to raise the banner of Christ high, even while others have let it droop or dropped it all together. The greatest day of the church stands before us if we listen to the call of our Lord and Commander, Jesus Christ. Get ready to experience what the young man with Elisha experienced in 2 Kings 6.
Do you remember the story? Elisha had continually warned the king of Israel of impending danger and the king listened to what Elisha was saying and responded, infuriating the king of Aram who was trying to defeat the people of God. In verse 11 we read, He summoned his officers and demanded of them, "Will you not tell me which of us is on the side of the king of Israel?"
Before any spy satellite was launched in space, there was a spy in the sky, God watches over all his creation. Too often we forget we have the greatest power in the universe working for us if we are but on His side.
So the King of Aram got word from one of his soldiers, "None of us, my lord the king," said one of his officers, "but Elisha, the prophet who is in Israel, tells the king of Israel the very words you speak in your bedroom."
You don’t need electronic bugging when you have prophetic eavesdropping. God was tuned into what the king was doing, Elisha was tuned into what God was saying to him, and the King of Israel was listening to the voice of the prophet.
Then the King of Aram sent soldiers to find Elisha, to seek a point of weakness in his defense so he could be taken captive. The same plan the devil uses to day, Satan is not original, only recycled.
We read in verses 15, 16: When the servant of the man of God got up and went out early the next morning, an army with horses and chariots had surrounded the city. "Oh, my lord, what shall we do?" the servant asked.
"Don’t be afraid," the prophet answered. "Those who are with us are more than those who are with them."
If you don’t know God, if you don’t have a personal relationship, or if you know God but have fallen asleep in your relationship, you have something to worry about. The enemy has surrounded the city. Can you imagine this young servant of God rising in the morning and seeing how suddenly things have changed. When he went to bed, everything was okay, the city was not under siege, then things took a rapid change.
How many Christians have gone to bed with everything alright, only to awaken to find themselves under attack, surrounded with no possible means of escape? They say if you snooze you lose, we need to be constantly awake to the things of God. That’s why you need to know the authority you have in Christ so you can respond to the situations of life like Elisha, “Don’t be afraid, those who are with us are more than those who are with them.”
Do you have that assurance in your life right now. In Psalm 135:5 the Psalmist reminds us of this truth, saying, I know that the LORD is great, that our Lord is greater than all gods. How well do you know of his infinite greatness?
Looking at the odds, I dare to day most people would be praying, “Lord get me out of this mess and when you do, when I am safely away from the battle, I will do this or that for you.”
Francis Frangipane said, “Instead of praying for victory, we settle for temporary relief. We pray that God will make the devil leave us alone, when the Lord is telling us to pursue our enemies and scatter them like dust.”
Elisha prayed in 2 Kings 6: "O LORD , open his eyes so he may see." Then the LORD opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.
I believe one of the major problems we have as Christians today is we have our eyes wide shut to the situations around us. And for some, they find that okay because they don’t have to respond, but it is not okay, there is a battle taking place in the heavenly realm which has now set its feet down on earth and is being waged by unknowing men and women which is sending this world into chaos. Make no mistake, the devil is advancing. We need to begin to pray the eyes of the church be opened to the situation and to see the spiritual battle being waged.
It is time to rise up, answer the call to battle, and move forward in victory. The church is not in defeat, and it should not be in retreat. Our God is greater than any other, we have the power of the Holy Spirit who gives wisdom and direction, we need to begin to move out with fresh anointing moving in the power of God’s might, defeating the enemy that brings darkness on this land.
When it comes to mentioning spiritual battles, far too many believers want to opt out, they live a life of constant defeat, complaining God is not helping them when in fact, if they would just open their eyes, reach out and get involved instead of sitting on the sideline, they would experience the intensity of the power of God. The devil cannot defeat a believer, he may be able to cause a Christian to back off in a skirmish or two, but in Christ we cannot be defeat.
Peter had identified who Jesus is, the Christ, in Matthew 16. Jesus responded to Peter in verses 17-19, reading from the Message, "God bless you, Simon, son of Jonah! You didn’t get that answer out of books or from teachers. My Father in heaven, God himself, let you in on this secret of who I really am. 18And now I’m going to tell you who you are, really are. You are Peter, a rock. This is the rock on which I will put together my church, a church so expansive with energy that not even the gates of hell will be able to keep it out.
19"And that’s not all. You will have complete and free access to God’s kingdom, keys to open any and every door: no more barriers between heaven and earth, earth and heaven. A yes on earth is yes in heaven. A no on earth is no in heaven.”
Either Jesus lied, or the church, which is made up of those who believe in Christ, has the energy, the power brought from the Holy Spirit, so much so that the gates of hell cannot stand against us. Now is not the time to concede, now is the time to ready ones self for the battle. Stop running and start fighting, ask God to open your eyes to the battle before you so you can see the victory. Stop looking at what is going wrong and start seeing the anointing of God flowing all around you.
Get up, put on the full armor of God and walk daily in victory. Hear the call of battle, this is the day of the Lord. There is a new level of anointing, a fresh oil being poured out in our midst, don’t miss it.
Elisha prayed and what did he see, verse 17 says, Then Elisha prayed, "O GOD, open his eyes and let him see." The eyes of the young man were opened and he saw. A wonder! The whole mountainside full of horses and chariots of fire surrounding Elisha!
Victory! Just waiting for the victor to claim. Are you ready to have your spiritual eyes opened, are you ready to walk in the victory of the Lord, are you wearing your spiritual armor, then get ready, the Lord is calling us to battle, and we already know He has won.