Summary: Our victory in this struggle is certain, if we prepare
“The Battle Ahead”
“Our victory in this struggle is certain, if we prepare.”
Sunday Morning Sermon
Rocky Story Clip – Youtube.com cut off at 3:53 to avoid credits and blank screen.
(Title and Text)
I love the rocky movies – Who doesn’t love a story about an athlete who wins, but isn’t suppose to? Who doesn’t love a story about a soldier who overcomes great odds to honor their country? Who doesn’t enjoy a story about two people who for whatever reasons – race, or culture who aren’t suppose to get married, but they do, and their love lasts a lifetime? I love stories like that – because I can see myself in them. Church, I was at Bible College 2 weeks before I called my dad and told him where I was. I wasn’t suppose to be there – but then if I wasn’t there – I couldn’t be here – God works those struggles in our lives, those times when we have nothing to do but depend on his grace, his mercy and his wisdom.
If you find yourself in that struggle in life – some of you are there right now – Let me give you something to grab onto this morning -- Our victory in this struggle is certain, if we prepare. We shall overcome! We will, through God’s hand, right the wrong, and heal broken relationships and broken hearts. Our struggle – our battle – might not be easy, but God will be with us every step of the way.
God created you to win. However, losing has become apart of our society – I remember this song from the group BEK – “I’m a loser baby”…the words go on to say – “so why don’t you kill me.” I’m nothing, I came from nothing, I have nothing to live for, nothing to dream about, nothing to achieve, no body cares about me – I’m a loser baby, so why don’t you kill me. So we live our lives, we listen to our music and pick out the books to read based on being losers – based on being something we are not. We come to church, and the preacher (that would be me) tells you that you were created to win, and have victory in your life – then you go back into the world and choose the same books, the same friends, the same movies, filled with the same music – which leaves you the same empty and hopeless feelings..
We don’t live our lives protected from the devil and his schemes – maybe because we don’t believe it’s a threat, maybe we aren’t prepared for the battle, maybe it’s because we don’t recognize the enemy, maybe it’s because we are fighting to win, maybe because we think we are immune, maybe because we don’t understand the battle. There is a battle – church there has always been a battle – Paul tells the church to prepare for this battle. If you have your Bibles with you this morning turn with me to (Advance) Ephesians 6:10-18 (Read)
Some of the scholars on this section of scripture have stated that Paul is doing a church war call – these kind of speeches have been used several times even in our nation’s history. Speeches before war is declared – shortly after 9/11 President Bush grabbed the bull horn and promised that our enemy is clear, our God is with us, and we will have victory. All three of those things are found in our text. Great speeches before wars – are given to encourage and motivate for victory.
I see three things this morning –
I. Prepare for the battle
We must look ahead. Recognize and realize that we are in a spiritual battle.
a. If you don’t know that there is a spiritual battle
i. You can’t prepare for it.
ii. This was nothing new for them
The Christians in the church were aware of the spiritual battle. Those who came from a Jewish background would have seen Paul making reference to (Advance) Isaiah 59:17 -- (The first part of that verse) – 17 He put on righteousness as his breastplate, and the helmet of salvation on his head; he put on the garments of vengeance and wrapped himself in zeal as in a cloak.
b. How do we prepare for this spiritual battle?
The best way to win a battle is power -- (Advance)
Vs. 10 – Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.
It is not your strength, your power, your wisdom that will allow you to see victory on the other side of this spiritual battle.
i. Our strength – Comes from God
ii. Our wisdom – comes from God
iii. Our power – comes from God