Summary: The enemy always looks, speaks, and acts strong; but our God is stronger.
When the Enemy Challenges
July 10, 2011 Evening Service
Immanuel Baptist Church, Wagoner, OK
Message Point: The enemy always looks, speaks, and acts strong; but our God is stronger.
Focus Passage: I Samuel 17:1-11
Supplemental Passage: No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it. (1 Corinthians 10:13 NASB)
Introduction: A recent survey of Discipleship Journal readers ranked areas of greatest spiritual challenge to them:
5. (Tie) Anger/Bitterness.
5. (Tie) Sexual lust.
Survey respondents noted temptations were more potent when they had neglected their time with God (81 percent) and when they were physically tired (57 percent). Resisting temptation was accomplished by prayer (84 percent), avoiding compromising situations (76 percent), Bible study (66 percent), and being accountable to someone (52 percent). Discipleship Journal, November / December, 1992.
I. The Enemy’s Foothold
a. The Philistines were in Israel (But WHY?)
i. God’s Spirit had departed Saul
ii. Samuel had forsaken Saul of his counsel
iii. The Philistines had heard of Saul’s troubles and wanted to exploit the weakness
b. When you let the enemy in, you end up having to face him
II. The Enemy’s Appearance
a. Goliath was nearly 10 feet tall
b. Goliath’s armor was intimidating
c. The enemy is appealing when trying to entice and dreadful when trying to intimidate.
d. When you let the enemy in you end up having to look at him
III. The Enemy’s Challenge
a. Goliath proposed a deal, whoever loses becomes the other one’s slaves
b. The Philistines had no intention of keeping the deal (they trusted the giant)
c. Israel believed the giant, but didn’t trust God
i. There are two equally damning lies Satan wants us to believe: 1) Just once won't hurt. 2) Now that you have ruined your life, you are beyond God's use, and might as well enjoy sinning. ~Charles Spurgeon.
d. When you let the enemy in, you end up having to listen to him
What settings are you in when you fall? Avoid them. What props do you have that support your sin? Eliminate them. What people are you usually with? Avoid them. ~Charles Spurgeon.
Men who trap animals in Africa for zoos in America say that one of the hardest animals to catch is the ring-tailed monkey. For the Zulus of that continent, however, it’s simple. They’ve been catching this agile little animal with ease for years. The method the Zulus use is based on knowledge of the animal. Their trap is nothing more than a melon growing on a vine. The seeds of this melon are a favorite of the monkey. Knowing this, the Zulus simply cut a hole in the melon, just large enough for the monkey to insert his hand to reach the seeds inside. The monkey will stick his hand in, grab as many seeds as he can, then start to withdraw it. This he cannot do. His fist is now larger than the hole. The monkey will pull and tug, screech and fight the melon for hours. But he can’t get free of the trap unless he gives up the seeds, which he refuses to do. Meanwhile, the Zulus sneak up and nab him. SOURCE: Charles Swindoll, Living Above the Level of Mediocrity, p.150ff