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Summary: We cannot win by doing nothing

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“Wars are not won by evacuations”

2 co 2:9The reason I wrote you was to see if you would stand the test and be obedient in everything. 10If you forgive anyone, I also forgive him. And what I have forgiven--if there was anything to forgive--I have forgiven in the sight of Christ for your sake, 11in order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes.

In the summer of 1940, Hitler dominated Europe from the North Cape to the Pyrenees. His one remaining active enemy—Britain, under a new prime minister, Winston Churchill—vowed to continue fighting. Whether it could was questionable. The British army had left most of its weapons on the beaches at Dunkerque. Stalin was in no mood to challenge Hitler. The U.S., shocked by the fall of France, began the first peacetime conscription in its history and greatly increased its military budget, but public opinion, although sympathetic to Britain, was against getting into the war. The Germans hoped to subdue the British by starving them out. In June 1940 they undertook the Battle of the Atlantic, using submarine warfare to cut the British overseas lifelines. The Germans now had submarine bases in Norway and France. At the outset the Germans had only 28 submarines, but more were being built—enough to keep Britain in danger until the spring of 1943 and to carry on the battle for months thereafter.

In a war that was to involve the whole world the British troops had landed in Europe. They found themselves out numbered and outmanned so they made a massive retreat back across the English Channel on May 26, 1940. It involved taking 330,000 troops across the waters in private owned ships. The people rejoiced that they had been successful in doing this. It did not spell out victory but only avoided defeat. On June 4, 1940, Winston Churchill came to the House of Commons to proclaim that no victory could be claimed. He said with great emotion, “Wars are not won by evacuations!” Some said it was the finest speech given in 1,000 years. In the end he said, “We shall not flag or fail. We shall go on to the end, we shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the sir, we shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender.” It was in two weeks that Hitler invaded England. Churchill said this, “Upon this battle depends the survival of Christian civilization. This was their finest hour.” Wars are not won by the fainthearted, fearful, scared but to those who face the enemy head on in a fight. Paul said it in Eph. 6:13 “For this reason, take up all the armor that God supplies. Then you will be able to take a stand during these evil days. Once you have overcome all obstacles, you will be able to stand your ground.”

Martin Luther put it this way when he had to take a stand, “My conscience is captive to the Word of God….. Here I stand, I cannot do otherwise.” If we are to fight right we must take to heart JM 4; 7, 1 PT 5:8, 9. This war is not won by evacuations. We must resist every temptation that pulls us away from God. Let us look at three ways to lead us to spiritual victory in this world we live.

1. WE MUST Resist the Devil without delay

If we are going to win timing is everything. We are to resist what comes our way immediately. When Jesus met with the Devil he did not ignore him, He did not debate theology with him, he did not bargain with him. He answered him sharply with no delay. Resist as used in James means to stop or hinder the progress of an enemy. Resist means to stop the attempts to destroy us before we are harmed. We are only fooling ourselves if when we are attacked we can sit back and do nothing. Temptations do not go away if we sit back and do nothing. We are to stand firm against the methods of the devil. When it seems we are under a lot of pressure to do wrong we need t o just say “NO?” The longer we linger or listen to the tempter the greater the possibility of giving in. A good story of this is about the little three year old boy with a Tootise roll pop, who came up to his mom and asked, “Can I eat it now?” The mother said, “No, it is too close to lunch time and we can eat it after lunch. Why not put it away and eat it for dessert?” “I promise I will keep it in my pocket.” As the mother was talking with a visitor she noticed the boy taking the pop out and holding it to his nose. “What are you doing?” “I’m just seeing what it smells like.” “Do not eat that sucker.” He put it the wrapper back on and put it in his pocket. A little later the boy had the pop out holding it to his tongue. “What are you doing?” I’m just seeing if it will be good?” She warned him and he wrapped it up and put it back in his pocket.

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