Pastor Barry/ The Gathering: FEAR NOT #3: Victory To watch this video message and others go toand click on the youtube link to subscribe.
Preparing For War Ephesians 6:10-18
This pandemic that we are in has so much conflicting news and information that any thinking person is rightfully agitated if not downright angry. Sensible people will agree that we are dealing with a real virus, but many disagree on the way that virus is being reacted to, how and why that virus was released and who is profiting from it. One thing is sure—the virus was meant for evil and it is doing far more than biological harm—and where there is evil there is the Devil.
God’s word tells us clearly that our struggle is not against a virus (or an attack on flesh and blood) it is against the forces of evil and the powers of this dark world; therefore, we need to be “strong in the Lord” and put on the full armor of God so that we can take our stand against the Devil’s schemes. (Ephesians 6:10-18).
The Apostle Paul uses the illustration of a Roman soldier in full battle attire to stand against the Devil’s advances on God’s children. He describes “Faith” in Christ as a shield against the Devil’s “flaming arrows” ( attacks) and “Salvation” (helmet) as the covering for our mind and thoughts as fear is used in an attempt to control us. He reminds us of our mission to walk about with the gospel of peace while carrying the double edged sword of God’s word to defend ourselves. Our mission as Christians is always one of peace, grace and mercy—to bring peace and reconciliation with God to the lost sinner, but the Devil will always stir up foes against us for which we will need to defend ourselves. The Bible in the hands of a well read soldier can slay an army of demons and shut the mouths of arrogant men, but we must know our weapon to use it rightly. As I said in our last lesson, we must know well what the Bible teaches of the “real Jesus”. Christians! This is no time to be distracted by civilian affairs but to be soldiers of the cross —it is time to please the one who enlisted us into His service (2 Timothy 2:2-4). It is time to prepare for war! Be alert, watch and pray!
Just before His arrest Jesus prayed for His disciples and said: “My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one” (John 17:15). This is how we are protected my friend. Put on your armor and get ready for a fight!
Meant For Evil 1 Peter 5:8-11
The Bible teaches that the Devil (Satan) is a real foe and not just a force or an allegorical tale. He is a spiritual entity and he hates God and His children and has nothing but evil intent for you (1 Peter 5:8-11). We are to be alert to that fact and stand on our faith with other believers in this world. Satan’s personal attacks on God’s people are recorded all throughout the scriptures from the fall of man in Genesis 3 to his temptation of Christ in Matthew 4:1-11 and his final temptation of man ending in his eternal judgment in Revelation 20. All through scripture we can also see Satan’s evil work displayed in the wicked hearts of people who live against God. In Genesis 50:20 we clearly see how Satan influenced the brothers of Joseph to throw him into a pit and then sell him as a slave. Joseph goes through some terrible trials only to end up in an elevated position as second in command over all of Egypt. In fact, God uses the evil intent of Joseph’s brothers for the ultimate good of Joseph and all of Israel including those who tried to hurt him. Joseph later tells his brothers: “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives”. Genesis 50:20 Satan means to bring evil to God’s people, but when we resist him and stand firm in our faith God causes all things to work together for good (Romans 8:28) and turns it all around!
Satan surely means to destroy us with this coronavirus pandemic and our reaction to it. Christians are now separated from fellowship, most are without jobs, locked in their homes alone or with their kids and spouse— maybe others. We’re loosing all of our rights and freedoms, wearing masks to shop for food. We’re cancelling weddings, birthday parties, graduations, outreach events and funerals— yes, even funerals. And our elected officials, news media, doctors and even many of our clergy are reacting in fear and negativity, but I am here to remind you… what the enemy meant for evil God will turn it for good! Resist Him and stand firm in your faith!
Victory Isaiah 54:17, 1 Corinthians 15:57-58
God promises His people in Isaiah 54:17 that “no weapon forged against us will prevail”. God also told King Jehoshaphat who faced a mighty army: “Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s”. 2 Chronicles 20:15 — and then He led that king to victory! God also filled David with the faith and strength to take down that mighty giant Goliath in 1 Samuel 17:48-49. He will give us the victory too and our giant will also fall! Do you believe that? Then shout Amen!
There is power in the name of Jesus— the Devil dished out everything he had to take Him down and kill Him but Jesus raised up with resurrection power! What the enemy meant for evil Jesus turned around and brought salvation and life to all who would believe (John 12:32).
There is power in the name of Jesus— and he is coming again and “every eye will see Him!” (Revelation 1:7) And every tongue confess that He is Lord: that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Philippians 2:10-11
Speak it out on faith in your darkest hour and shout it out loud over the clamor of the fake news and the negative headlines—”I’m gonna’ see a victory cause’ the battle belongs to the Lord!” Stand firm and let nothing move you—Your labor in the Lord is not in vain (1 Corinthians 15:57-58). ”We’re gonna’ see a victory cause’ the battle belongs to the Lord!”
Overcomers 1 John 5:4-5, Revelation 22:12-13, 17, 20-21
Are you born of God this morning (John 1:12-13)? If you are then you are an overcomer of anything and everything that the Devil throws at you. Proclaim your victory in advance by faith! (1 John 5:4-5)
Skip ahead in the book to Revelation and see how it ends—you know how it ends! ”We’re gonna’ see a victory cause’ the battle belongs to the Lord!” He is coming soon and His reward is with Him— is anyone thirsty for victory? Then come and join us. The Lord is with His people!