Summary: The devil is a real enemy, but we can have real victory over him by understanding who he is and fighting him strong in our faith.
VICTORY OVER THE ENEMY
THEME: Christians must never forget that we are travelers in a land that is currently under the influence and power of Satan. Satan is about the business of attacking Christians with a well-prepared, intentional, and strategic plan to keep us from living a life which gives God glory. The good news, however, is that Satan is an enemy who has already been defeated by Jesus Christ. Through our relationship with Him, God offers us all of the wisdom, strength, and courage we need to successfully battle our enemy and win.
LOGO: You are in real danger when your head is not in the game.
HOOK: Believe it or not, I grew up playing sports. I am a sports fanatic. Any of you who have played sports have learned that the quickest way to get injured in a sporting event is to stand around not paying attention while a play is in progress. LOGO.
This is an earthly example of the spiritual lesson we are going to see from God’s Word.
We are in a battle and that means that there is a real enemy. He is out to have victory over you, and therefore, you are in real danger when your head is not in the game.
** Barna Research Group poll: 62% of Americans agreed w/ “Satan is not a living being, but is a symbol of evil.” 52% of those professing to be Christians also agreed. That is why the enemy has so much success. It is not because of his innate power or strength because the bible clearly states that he is a defeated enemy. It is because we are not vigilant.
Read Joshua 9:1-6
Here are the three keys to having victory over the enemy:
I. WE MUST BE SOBER FACING THE ENEMY.
II. WE MUST BE SPIRITUALLY MINDED IN FIGHTING THE BATTLE.
III. WE MUST STEADFASTLY FINISH THE FIGHT.
I. We must sober facing the enemy because we are in a spiritual battle with dangerous enemy.
A. We must recognize that Satan is out there and he is up to no good. Read I Peter 5:8
• Satan is dangerous: “seeking whom he may devour.” What is at stake for Israel?
Why attack the Israelites?
1)God is working - vs. 9:1 “when they
Since Satan cannot achieve his desired goal of unseating God from His throne and receiving the praise and glory to which only God is entitled, the next best thing Satan can do is wreak havoc in our lives so we fail to give God glory and praise by our lives and our actions. Review Isaiah 14:12-15 which explains Satan’s fall from heaven.
2)Israel is being obedient:
Gilgah is the place where they had consecrated themselves to God. We are separated unto God for His use. Living in victory means God living in us and working through us.
Recite Eph. 2:8-10
Satan is out to put a stop to God’s glory and our usefulness.
B. Satan is deliberate in how he hunts and attacks. I Peter says he is “like a roaring lion” This is the picture of a hunting lion. Lions are cunning and crafty hunters. This is not a comical figure who wears a cape and carries a pitchfork. Satan is a dangerous and well-prepared enemy. His attacks are cunning and follow a well-defined strategy.
• Eph. 6:11
• Gen. 3:1
Satan uses the enemies of Israel in a cunning, subtle, deliberate attack. See the lies the Gibeonites told Joshua and Israel.
• played to their pride
• they tried to sound like they acknowledged God.
• they said,” we can’t hurt you - we’re from far away.”
When the 5 kings attacked, they:
• used Israel’s own integrity by attacking Gibeonites
• They picked their own battle ground.
Satan attacked Israel 2 ways:
1) subtely with Gibeonites
2) overtly with the 5 Kings
Satan takes time to plan his actions and uses multiple strategies, such as the subtleties of cultural influences and then bringing an overt attack against you personally.
C. Satan is determined - He ”walks about, seeking whom he may devour.” He is relentless and never gives up. The Israelites are battling the enemies they face in Canaan and they never stop. Why wouldn’t they quit after all they have seen God do? I would have given them a wide berth after Jericho – wouldn’t you? (Ai notwithstanding, because they came back and routed them the second time).
Satan has set out to engage in an intentional battle to cause us to reject God and suffer the same fate he will suffer. If we do accept Christ and become a Christian, his next plan of attack is to keep us from giving God the glory by our actions and to keep us from winning other converts to Jesus Christ.