Summary: Facing giants with faith and courage...
Strength to Stand
Intro: In his book, Fuzzy Memories, Jack Handey writes, "There used to be this bully who would demand my lunch money every day. Since I was smaller, I would give it to him.
"Then I decided to fight back. I started taking karate lessons, but the instructor wanted $5 a lesson. That was a lot of money. I found that it was cheaper to pay the bully, so I gave up karate."
Too many Christians believe it’s easier to pay the bully than learn how to defeat him.
-Today I’d like to take a look at what God wants to say to us about standing our ground. He has brought us here to this point in our lives so that we can continue to know Him and love Him and help others do the same. To go back now through retreat or defeat is to undo some of the work that God is doing in us and perhaps in those around us. That is why He gives us the strength to stand firm. He wants us to be victorious! He wants us to win the struggles we face. And He wants us to pull together and help one another stand our ground, not yielding a single inch to the enemy.
-In short, the message today is this: God wants you to stand your ground and He will give you everything you need to do so.
-TS: Let’s look at a few reminders that will help us find the strength to stand as we face the enemy of our souls.
I. Remember where your strength comes from (10)
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.
-After all that Paul has just written, he brings v.10 as a reminder that we can’t do it ourselves. We can’t be the best worker or boss, treating others as we would treat Christ. We can’t obey our parents in all things. We can’t be good parents, providing patient and loving training to our kids. Husbands can’t love their wives as Jesus loved the Church and gave Himself for her. Wives can’t submit to their husbands as to the Lord. We can’t live a holy life of love that is pleasing to God – UNLESS .. we have His help!
-And He has certainly helped us, or we wouldn’t have grown as much as we have! We wouldn’t be standing on the ground we are standing on unless the Lord had been with us. But let’s never forget that what got us this far is the only thing that will keep us moving closer and closer to Jesus and all He has for us to be and do!
-You might ask, “Well, how can I be strong in the Lord? What does that mean in my life?” We can certainly find ways to tap into the power of God throughout the Bible. Paul already mentioned that we should be filled with the Holy Spirit, rather than wine or alcohol. A really good way to do that is found by waiting and hoping in the Lord.
-Isaiah 40:29-31 29 He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. 30 Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; 31 but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
-Joshua was encouraged by the Lord to be strong and of good courage after Moses died and he was appointed to lead the people of Israel into the Promised Land. He did this by trusting in God and believing that God was with him, just as He’d been with Moses.
-King David too recognized that his help came from the Lord who made heaven and earth.
-Paul shows that the full armor of God is what will make you strong in the Lord, and he will spell that out in the next several verses. If you were to boil them all down, I suppose you could simply say, “Staying connected to God is what will make you strong.”
-TS: This next verse reminds us why we need to be ready to fight in God’s power.
II. Remember why you are fighting (11)
11 Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.
-Why bother? Why fight? It’s easier just to give up and stop caring. But that doesn’t come without a price. That is paying the bully, and you will pay – it may cost you your family, it may cost you your spiritual vitality, it may cost you your testimony to those who are watching your life. Don’t pay the bully!