Summary: Facing the battles of life
Who’s Battle is it Anyway?
1 Sam 17:45-47 David said to the Philistine, "You come against me with a dagger, spear, and sword, but I come against you in the name of the Lord of Hosts, the God of Israel's armies— you have defied Him. 46 Today, the Lord will hand you over to me. Today, I'll strike you down, cut your head off, and give the corpses of the Philistine camp to the birds of the sky and the creatures of the earth. Then all the world will know that Israel has a God, 47 and this whole assembly will know that it is not by sword or by spear that the Lord saves, for the battle is the Lord's. He will hand you over to us."
David and Goliath: -- This familiar dramatic story has much to teach us. One lesson only is our present consideration -- David's heroic and victorious faith. "Time would fail me," said the writer of the Epistle to the Hebrews in his beautiful chronicle of the worthies of faith, "to tell of Gedeon and of Barak, and of Sampson and of Jephthah; of David also." And when does his faith shine with such lustre as when, having single-handed slain Goliath, he "turned to fight the armies of the aliens"? In this narrative we see --
I. Identify the Enemy
Christians, Your Enemy Is Over There!
Before Andrew Jackson became the seventh president of the United States, he served as a major general in the Tennessee militia. During the War of 1812 his troops reached an all-time low in morale. As a result they began arguing, bickering, and fighting among themselves. It is reported that Old Hickory called them all together on one occasion when tensions were at their worst and said, “Gentlemen! Let’s remember, the enemy is over there.”
His sobering reminder would be an appropriate word for the church today. In fact, I wonder if Christ sometimes looks down at us and says with a sigh, “Christians, your Enemy is over there! Stop your infighting! Pull for one another. Support one another. Believe in one another. Care for one another. Pray for one another. Love one another.”
—Charles R. Swindoll, Hope Again (Word, 1996), p. 45.
Ephesians 6:12 For our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the world powers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavens.
Rom 8:38 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life,
nor angels nor rulers,
nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers,
Eph 1:21 far above every ruler and authority, power and dominion, and every title given, not only in this age but also in the one to come.
Eph 3:10 This is so that God's multi-faceted wisdom may now be made known through the church to the rulers and authorities in the heavens.
1 Peter 3:22 Now that He has gone into heaven, He is at God's right hand, with angels, authorities, and powers subjected to Him.
II. Identify HINDRANCES TO FAITH.
I. People around us
1 Sam 17:28 David's oldest brother Eliab listened as he spoke to the men, and became angry with him. "Why did you come down here?" he asked. "Who did you leave those few sheep with in the wilderness? I know your arrogance and your evil heart—you came down to see the battle!"
II. Worldly things
1 Sam 17:38-40 Then Saul had his own military clothes put on David. He put a bronze helmet on David's head and had him put on armor. 39 David strapped his sword on over the military clothes and tried to walk, but he was not used to them. "I can't walk in these," David said to Saul, "I'm not used to them." So David took them off. 40 Instead, he took his staff in his hand and chose five smooth stones from the wadi and put them in the pouch, in his shepherd's bag. Then, with his sling in his hand, he approached the Philistine.
III. Over confidence in Self!
Prepared for War
A Wycliffe Bible translator writes: “I went to the Amazon jungle in 1963 among the Apurina people. I was the first to challenge Satan’s dominion over this people. My purpose was to transfer them from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of light.
“Unfortunately, in spite of a Master of Theology degree, I was not aware of these truths [about spiritual warfare]. I got clobbered! Satan wiped the floor with me. I didn’t understand what was happening.
“I knew that Satan and demons exist; the Bible is clear on that score. But I knew very little about how they operate and virtually nothing about the use of our weapons, whether for defense or offense. My professors transmitted the idea that demonic attack wouldn’t be a problem for us.