Join us this Thursday night, February 12th for our Men’s Fellowship Night with Pastor Willy Winborne. Check out this link for details!!! Come bring a friend!!!
Know Your Enemy
Well, well, well. Here we are another week has come upon us and 2015 has gotten off to a fast start as we are already one month done. Happy February. This week, I want to discuss something that is very familiar to all of us, and as we think about our lives, we need to understand that we have three enemies who are seeking constantly for our fall, destruction, and even our death. So, I do not know if you have given these three any thought lately, but I do know that when I was asking the LORD what is it that I should write about this week, this is where he lead me. Someone out there in our circle needs to hear what the LORD has to say today about this subject.
As we consider our three enemies, we all need to understand that each of us has these same three enemies. Two of them are external enemies (outside of ourselves), and the other lives in us. We will quickly look at each one and see how they operate in our lives and how we are to gain victory over them.
Satan – we start with him because every one of us knows that he is an enemy. We even at times only give him the credit for the work of sin in our lives without even acknowledging the work of the other two. So, just what does he do in our lives. The very first thing we need to understand about this foe, is that he does not have any authority in our lives if we are believers in Jesus Christ. Many Christians that I have come into contact with over the years have been deceived into thinking that he exercises power of them. This just is not the truth. The issue for the Christ follower is that he needs to exercise James 4.7 and submit to the truth of God for their life. We usually asked God for his power over our temptation but we do not resist the devil. Just how do we do this? We do this by replacing the lies of Satan with the truth of God. We have to acknowledge that what Satan has planted in our mind is a lie and we must not only acknowledge it with must replace it with God’s truth. We do this by faith. Satan operates and attacks us in our minds. When we draw near to God and resist the devil, God promises us that the devil will flee from us. Do you believe that? If not, you are holding onto the lie, that Satan has more power over you then the devil has.
The world – this is the world’s system, its philosophy, its mindset. Listen to some of the thoughts of our present world system.
Alcohol use is fun (commercials on TV). Did you ever notice that the advertisers never show the destruction that alcohol causes. The Super Bowl just passed this weekend and the beer commercials never showed once the harm it causes.
Drinking alcohol is a private choice.
It’s ok to relax and drink.
Drinking helps us cope with the horrible things that has happened in our lives.
Alcohol helps us to have fun with other people. It loosens us up, makes us more social.
Some of the things that I have heard people say that is contrary to the teachings of Jesus go something like this.
You do not need the help of Jesus to overcome your addiction, you just need to decide to stop using and you will stop.
God is here to make you happy and he does that by helping you and serving you.
God helps those who help themselves.
Pull yourself up by your own bootstraps; you are going to be fine you just got to keep yourself pure.
This world system operates in our lives in the same way that the devil does, in that, it attacks our minds. Listen to Solomon in the book of Proverbs:
For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee. Proverbs 23:7King James Version (KJV)
It is natural for us to think about what our heart desires. Our heart always desires that which it sees. Think about those TV commercials that come on that show that big juicy burger, once we see it, we start to fantasize about it, then our hearts want it. This is the way the world catches us in its system. When we are being tempted by the world we should keep these things in mind.
Change the channel on the TV if you see something that is beginning to catch your attention and promotes sinfulness or lies to us. My wife and I have made a habit of talking about the lies that the commercial is trying to get us to believe.
Do not entertain the worldly thoughts in your mind. Replace the lie with the truth.
Be active and resists the lies that this present world is telling you. Remember Satan is the ruler of this world and he is the father of lies.
Stay away from people, places and things that will promote the lies of this world as much as you can.
Be very selective in the things that you allow into your mind. You heard the old saying, GIGO (garbage in, garbage out).
Our last enemy is our flesh. This enemy is internal, it lives in us. Unlike, Satan and this world, which influence our thinking, this enemy lives in us and it refers to not only our thinking but our speaking and acting as well. This is also known to us and our sin nature. We are born with this nature. We sin because we are sinners. Did you know, that no one had to teach you how to sin, sin comes naturally to us. It is part of being human. That is why Paul could say with confidence, “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Why, because Paul knew that all mankind has been born into sin.
None of us escapes the reality of sin in our lives. Once we become believers in Jesus Christ, our sin nature does not go away, as a matter of speaking we bring it right into our walk with Jesus Christ. What we need to learn to do here is to practice putting on the new nature (since we were born again, God gave us this new nature) and put off the old nature. Another way of saying this is stop the old sinful practices and put on the new practices. We do this by surrendering to the Holy Spirit’s work in our lives.
I am going to close this and next week, we will pick up and discuss a number of issues concerning these things. Have a great week. Doug Barger is the Director of Men’s Ministry at Bethesda Mission. You can email him at dbarger2030 @comcast.net
Think About This: If God can bring blessing from the broken body of Jesus and glory from something that’s as obscene as the cross, He can bring blessing from my problems and my pain and my unanswered prayer. I just have to trust Him.
Anne Graham Lotz
This Week’s Verse to Memorize: Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord. Psalm 27:14