Summary: Describes how to win over temptation and stinkin thinkin. Expanded outline.
WINNING THE BATTLE WITHIN
On August 10, 2006, intelligence and law enforcement officials from around the world, coordinated sweeps to arrest more than 20 terrorists. These arrests came because of a plot to blow up numerous airlines in mid-air, killing their unsuspecting passengers.
5 years ago, on Sept 11, many Americans were finally awakened to the knowledge that there are a great many people in the world who desire nothing more than to hurt us. There are those in the world who plot and plan and attack, with the simple of goal of hurting others. It makes no difference to them whether you are a man, woman, or child.
In recent months, we have seen terrorism spreading around the world. We have seen trains and busses bombed. Others have suffered gas attacks. In Lebanon and Israel, indiscriminate rockets fired across the border have killed innocents. People are being hurt. People are being killed.
I, like many of you, rejoiced when I heard that this major plot against airline travelers had been foiled. I was excited to hear that terrorists had been stopped. I know many terrorists are now thinking, “They stopped us this time, but there’s always tomorrow.” I began to wonder, will these attacks against us never stop? I rejoice that this plan was foiled, but I wonder, “what will they try next? When will they attack again?”
My friends, we are at war with terrorists, but we face another war as well. We are fighting an invisible war, with a faceless enemy. Paul says in Ephesians that we battle not against flesh and blood but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
The Devil hates God and since we are children of God, he hates us. Jesus says he comes only to steal, kill and to destroy. Again the Bible describes the Devil as a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.
We are in a battle. We are in a war. “There is no truce in the invisible war. Demonic activity is both real and relentless. There is no R & R for Satan’s army. These soldiers work around the clock, seven days a week, fifty-two weeks a year, year after year.” (Chuck Swindoll)
The place where the fiercest battle is fought is in our minds. It is in our thoughts, in our minds, in our thinking and in our imaginations that the seeds of sin, the seeds of our destruction are sown.
> James 1:14-15 But each person is tempted when he is drawn away and enticed by his own evil desires. Then after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin, and when sin is fully grown, it gives birth to death.
My friends, the greatest battle we fight is not against terrorists in the world. The greatest battle we fight is the battle within. Don’t you agree?
Am I the only one who struggles to control my thoughts? I have had times when I have tried to pray, only to have temptations come to my mind while I’m praying. There have been times when I have been trying to read the Bible, and my mind and thoughts have been a million miles away. There have been times when I’ve been working, and all of a sudden I remember someone who has hurt me, or said something about me. I remember a way a person has let me down, and that thought has grabbed a hold of me and filled me with anger, bitterness and resentment that I have been seemingly unable to shake, for hours.