Summary: Even though we are in the midst of a spiritual attack, we can be victorious in the power of God.
WE SHALL OVERCOME
Text: James 4:6 – 10
God has been really good to us over the past several months. He used Brother Nick Crum to deliver a very inspiring message during our New Year’s Eve Watch Service. We prayed and worked, and God blessed, and our Couple’s Day and Friends Day services were both successful. Our bus ministry has taken off, and Andy’s Sunday school class has grown by leaps and bounds. Virgie and Sue have both been returned to us. We’ve had the privilege of welcoming several guests to our services here lately, and our Praise and Worship service was wonderful. These are all great reasons to rejoice and to celebrate!
But in the midst of all these good things, we have been under attack. You may not have realized it, but satan and his minions have been attacking us, both as individuals, and as a congregation.
Take me, for example. Over the past month, I have spent a night in the hospital, suffered with several health problems, and had to have three medical tests ran. I found out the other day that I need to speak to a surgeon because there is a problem with the ulcer that put me in the hospital a couple of years ago. I have also been fighting a major depression, loads of stress, and bouts of discouragement. I have been very concerned about some things that are affecting our church and its people, and I have even been tempted to resign as your pastor a time or two.
During the same time period, I have watched some of you struggle with sickness, and in some cases, hospitalization. Some of you have had deaths in your family or among your friends. Some of you are out of work or are in danger of losing your job. Some of you are dealing with problems at work, problems with finances, or problems with family members. Some of you have had to deal with power outages. Some of you have been wrestling with really difficult decisions.
In addition to all of this, I believe that satan and his forces are trying to attack us in other ways as well. He is trying to cause us to worry and fear because of the crime problem that has developed in our neighborhood. You have no idea how much he tried to hinder and stop the worship service. Satan has provided enticements to keep some of you away from church, especially during our series on evangelism.
You may not agree with me, but I believe that all these things are happening at the same time because we are under attack. And I think that satan has some really good reasons to be attacking us right now. I feel that we are on the verge of something spectacular here at the church. I see us getting ready to experience a period of tremendous growth, not only numerically, but also in our relationships with God and with each other. I believe that we are about to see souls saved, and Christians revived and recommitted to the Lord. We have set about to glorify God, to edify the church, and to testify to the lost, and satan would love to keep us from accomplishing any of that.
So what are we going to do about it? Let me read you a passage from 1 Kings 19:1 – 4. Elijah had just won a major spiritual battle in chapter 18, but it came at a price. The wicked queen Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah to tell him that she had put out a hit on him. Instead of celebrating the victory and rejoicing over all that God had done in the situation, we find Elijah running off into the desert to sit under a juniper tree, discouraged, depressed, and wanting to die.
Is that the way that you feel this morning? Have you forgotten about all the good things God has done for us over the past several months? Do you feel like quitting? Do you feel like it’s not worth the effort any more?
Well, that’s how I felt a couple of days ago, but yesterday, I had a long talk with the Lord. I told him how I felt, and I confessed to Him that I had allowed myself to be defeated and discouraged. I asked Him to forgive me, and to give me the strength, the grace, and the desire to get through this attack.
I believe that some of you are feeling the same way that I did a couple of days ago. So when I was speaking to God, I asked Him to speak to me and to all of you through this message this morning. And here is what He says we need to do: