Summary: Satan can’t win unless we quit
Why Quiting Is Not An Option - part #1
July 13, 2003 AM
This morning I want to deal with the spiritual implications of quiting --
Or giving up in times of difficulty.
Tonight I want to look at the everyday realities of what happens when we quit --
But this morning let me read two different stories -- two different scenarios with similar circumstances -- but with different reactions;
Mark 4:36-39 (NKJV)
Now when they had left the multitude, they took Him along in the boat as He was. And other little boats were also with Him.
37And a great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that it was already filling.
38But Jesus was in the stern, asleep on a pillow. And they awoke Him and said to Him, "Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?"
39Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, "Peace, be still!" And the wind ceased and there was a great calm.
Matthew 14:22-26 (NKJV)
Immediately Jesus made His disciples get into the boat and go before Him to the other side, while He sent the multitudes away.
23And when He had sent the multitudes away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray. Now when evening came, He was alone there.
24But the boat was now in the middle of the sea, tossed by the waves, for the wind was contrary.
25Now in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went to them, walking on the sea.
26And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, "It is a ghost!" And they cried out for fear.
What I want you to see this morning is that so much of the answer to our circumstances,
So much of the answer to our difficult situations,
So much of the answer to our hardships is directly related to our response to those circumstances, difficulties and hardships.
The point I want you to go home with is this;
There is a limit as to how far the enemy can go in harrassing us.
There is a limit as to how far the enemy can go in destroying our life.
What he hopes for is that our reaction to his attacks will be what hurts us the most --
For instance in Zimbabwe all of our rooms had a few spiders.
And some of them were pretty good size spiders.
Now we come from a culture which says "the only good spider is a dead spider"
And so we proceded to slap, smash, squesh, stomp and eradicate every spider we saw.
But the Africans told us "no, no, no -- those are good spiders -- they eat flies, mosquitos and other bugs
They are harmless to humans -- they don’t bite, and they are certainly not poisonous, leave them alone"
But -- many of our group were actually hurt by those spiders --
Not by the spiders themselves -- but we hurt ourselves trying to get away from the spiders.
That is what the enemy hopes for.
He attacks -- and the actual attack cannot destroy us -- God won’t let him do that,
But our reaction to the attack is what gets us.
The first story I read to you -- the disciples are in the boat and the storm comes up.
They were afraid -- their reactions were not perfect --
But they ultimately responded by calling on Jesus.
And at their call, he responded by stopping the pending disaster.
Hear me -- the devil had permission to get them wet -- but he didn’t have permission kill them.
The devil had permission to blow the wind all he wanted to -- but he didn’t have permission to blow them away completely.
The devil had permission to fill the boat with water -- but he he didn’t have permission to sink them.
Are you hearing me today?
There is a limit as to what the devil can do in your life --
What makes it life threatening -- is not what Satan does -- but how you react.
For instance -- do you remember the story of the three hebrew men that the king threw in to the furnace?
There was a king named Nebechudnezzer who built a statue of himself that he wanted people to worship.
And these three men from the land of the hebrews, who had been kidnapped, and who were now on the kings staff -- refused to bow down.
They would not worship a statue of the king.
So the king ordered them bound and thrown into a furnace.
I want you to see this -- the devil had permission to cause them to fall into disfavor with the king,