Summary: To be a "Healthy Believer" we must pull down the stronghold of satan.
* In the early 1960’s one of the “family activities” that Watts family enjoyed was watching TV together. Dad had control of the remote (that would have been me) and we truly learned to love the shows which Dad watched. One of those shows was entitled, Combat.
* Combat was a TV series about WW2 and centered on a small platoon of soldiers who were always given dangerous assignments. One of the truths of WW2 and thus of this show was something called a “Machine Gun Nest.” Now a MGN was a place of fortification that was intended to be impregnable by enemy forces. A MGN was a tough opponent. This morning we need to keep the idea of a MGN in our minds and draw a spiritual parallel to the concept.
* Last week, I offered to you 6 Characteristics of a Healthy Believer. Do you remember what they are? Built around the truth that “If I am to be a healthy believer, then I will be like Jesus”, we unpacked the 6 qualities which each believer needs to have life “if” we are to be spiritually healthy.
* 1) I love God totally.
* 2) I am a person of Prayer.
* 3) I love all people.
* 4) I love God’s Church and God’s Word.
* 5) I am willing to tell the story.
* 6) I am willing to serve others.
* It is my belief that every person in this room who is a true believer in Christ desires to be spiritually healthy. However, if we are truthful like the Apostle Paul was in Romans 7, we will freely admit, “what I want to do, I don’t do and what I don’t want to do, I do” and honestly, we don’t understand why we are like that. Could it be that we have given Satan an avenue into our life, and given an avenue, he set up a stronghold (like a MGN) from which He wreaks havoc in us.
* Turn with me to 2 Corinthians 10 and let’s read.
* Today I begin with both bad news and good news. The bad news is this; we are in a spiritual war. Whether we like it or not, accept it or not, or admit it or not, there is a battle raging all around us. And it’s a battle for our souls as well as our spiritual health.
* As diligently as God wants to make us spiritually healthy, Satan is doing his best to develop strongholds in our lives so he can keep us under control and in the process, steal our peace, kill our joy, & destroy our harmony and witness. And quite honestly, he will stop at nothing to achieve his objective because he is a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour.
* Let me offer you a word of warning. Some want to say, “I don’t get into this stuff.” Well, the Bible teaches that when you came into Christ – you have come into this stuff. To ignore it is tantamount to being in a boxing match without an eye on the opponent or being in Iraq without recognizing the danger. And I believe it is for this reason, so many, has so much that is causing the untold destruction & chaos in their lives.
* So this morning, visit with me this Biblical concept of “Strongholds.” Let’s seek to understand strongholds then candidly & painfully ask ourselves this question, “Can Satan have a grip on me?”
* The Bible says, “The weapons of our warfare are not fleshly but are powerful through God for the demolition of strongholds.” Consider 4 thoughts with me;
1) THE DEFINITION - Remembering those MGN of WW2 will cause us realize this is a place of fortification, a base of operation, a power center. The Greek word means literally a fortress or a castle. It is like “home field advantage” in football. It is a place where Satan can have a free reign in our life, an area that Satan has control over, and what’s worse; he defeats us daily from this place. We may never have thought about this being a “stronghold of Satan and Evil”, but knowing the Bible teaches this, we can NOW see it as such.
* The stronghold which Satan has in my life is the place where he can work, most of the time, unabated. Know why? Because at some point in my past I have surrendered that part of my life to him. You ask, “Can a believer actually do that?” Seems to me that He can. David surrendered the concept of being on the front lines for God and got in trouble. Samson surrendered his sexual passions and he got in trouble. Annanias and Sapphira surrendered their desire to be thought of more highly than they should, and God called them home on the spot.