FIGHTING OUR GOLIATHS PART 3

FEAR WILL KEEP YOU FROM FIGHTING

1 Samuel 17:11,  When Saul and all Israel heard those words of the Philistine, they were dismayed, and greatly afraid…{23} And as David talked with them, behold, there came up the champion, the Philistine of Gath, Goliath by name, out of the armies of the Philistines, and spake according to the same words: and David heard them.  (24)  And all the men of Israel, when they saw the man, fled from him, and were sore afraid.

FEAR WILL KEEP YOU FROM FIGHTING. That might not seem like such a bad thing to you. After all, it’s  a  lot  safer in the trenches than on the battlefield with the giant. At least you’re alive in the foxhole, instead of dead on the battlefield. But BATTLES ARE NOT WON IN THE FOXHOLES! Where would we be today if Jesus stayed in the foxhole? If He stayed in Heaven and refused to fight Satan on battlefield Earth?

THE DEVIL DOESN’T WANT YOU TO FIGHT HIM. Do you know why? BECAUSE HE KNOWS HE’LL LOSE IF YOU DO! Look at James 4:7, Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. The Bible promises us that if we submit ourselves to God and fight the Devil back, the Devil will flee from us. He’ll quit fighting. He’ll quit stealing, killing, destroying, and damning. He’ll cut it out and leave us alone.

BUT IT TAKES A FIGHT TO PUT HIM TO FLIGHT. NO FIGHT, NO FLIGHT. IF YOU WON’T FIGHT, HE WON’T RUN. IF YOU DON’T START FIGHTING, HE WON’T QUIT FIGHTING. Brethren, YOU’VE GOT TO FIGHT IF YOU WANT THE DEVIL TO STOP HASSLING YOU AND MESSING WITH YOU. And this brings me the fifth thing that I’d like for you to see from Scripture.

FEAR WILL KEEP THE DEVIL COMING BACK AND MESSING YOU UP EVEN MORE

1 Samuel 17:16,  And the Philistine drew near morning and evening, and presented himself forty days. Twice a day, for over a month, Goliath came out for a fight. HE KEPT ON LOOKING FOR A FIGHT. HE KEPT ON ASKING FOR A FIGHT. AND HE DIDN’T QUIT ASKING UNTIL HE FINALLY GOT HIS FIGHT.

THE DEVIL, BRETHREN, DOESN’T GIVE UP WITHOUT A FIGHT. HE DOESN’T GO AWAY WITHOUT A FIGHT. HE DOESN’T LEAVE YOU ALONE WITHOUT A FIGHT. HE DOESN’T QUIT MESSING YOU UP UNTIL YOU FIGHT. The Devil’s come for a fight and HE’S GOING TO KEEP ON MESSING WITH YOU, HASSLING YOU, STEALING FROM YOU, KILLING YOU, DESTROYING YOU, DAMNING YOU; UNTIL YOU DECIDE ENOUGH’S ENOUGH AND GET OUT OF THE FOXHOLE AND FIGHT.

You see, friends, THE DEVIL IS GOING TO DO WHATEVER YOU LET HIM DO TO YOU. If you don’t stop him, he’ll keep on doing what he’s doing to you. And HE’LL KEEP ON DOING IT FOR AS LONG AS YOU LET HIM DO IT. YOUR REFUSAL TO FIGHT HIM, BRETHREN, IS WHAT KEEPS HIM COMING BACK.

That’s why THINGS ALWAYS GET WORSE WHEN YOU’RE NOT FIGHTING. THE LONGER YOU STAY IN THE FOXHOLE, THE MORE THE DEVIL WILL MESS YOU AND THE MORE YOU’LL HURT. Are you tired of seeing him? Tired of letting him have his way with you? Tired of letting him mess you up? Then fight! THE ONLY WAY YOUR BATTLES AND STRUGGLES ARE GOING TO END IS IF YOU PUT THEM TO AN END.

Well, my time’s up and I’ve gotta go. I’d be back in a month with another Goliath blog and I guarantee  you’ll really get pumped full of faith and courage. It’ll be your Goliath’s turn to start shaking in his boots! Hope to see you then. God bless and keep you.

FIGHTING OUR GOLIATHS PART 1

INTRODUCTION

I’d like to talk to you about FIGHTING OUR GOLIATHS. Some of us have fought our Goliaths and won. Some of you are fighting your Goliaths right now. You’re in the fight of your life. And the Lord has His strong arms uplifted for you. He’ll keep them up until the battle’s won.

Some of you may not have ever fought against a Goliath. You will. One day. You’ll walk into the Valley of Elah, and unbeknownst to you, you’ll find a Goliath waiting for you. Waiting to tempt, ensnare, and enslave you. Waiting to kill you. Waiting to damn you. And your job will be to face him, fight him, and beat him. It can be done with God’s grace. And God’s here today to show us how—how to fight what looks like an unbeatable foe and beat him with God’s help. That’s the theme for today’s lesson. Our text will be the familiar story of David and Goliath.

WE’RE AT WAR!

1 Samuel 17:1a,  Now the Philistines gathered together their armies to battle. The first thing that I’d like for you to see from the verse of Scripture is the fact that we’re at war. We have an enemy, named Satan. He has a host of demons under his command. And he’s gathered his forces against us to wage a life-and-death struggle for our very soul.

There’s a war going on all around us. You may not like the fact that we’re at war. You may not believe there’s a war going on. You may choose not to fight or participate in the war.  But  the  fact of the matter is, whether you participate in the war or not, we’re at war. The Devil’s on the move. He’s on the prowl. And he’s brought the war to our home, to our doorsteps. He’s got Christian casserole on the menu today and he’s hoping we’re in it.

But I got news for you. We’re not going to be in his casserole because we’re going to do what the Bible tells us to do, and that is, be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour, (1 Peter 5:8).  The Devil’s brought his war to us. And that’s the second thing that I want you to see.

WE’RE UNDER ATTACK!

1 Samuel 17:1,  Now the Philistines gathered together their armies to battle, and were gathered together at Shochoh, which belongeth to Judah, and pitched between Shochoh and Azekah, in Ephesdammim. Notice where the Philistines were at. They were at Shochoh, which belongeth to Judah. In other words, the Philistine army has invaded Israel, starting here at the town of Shochoh. So what we have here is an invading, attacking force. 

Like I said, THE DEVIL HAS BROUGHT THE WAR TO US AND WE’RE UNDER ATTACK! Do you wonder why, all of a sudden, out of the blue, you’re going through this trial? Do you marvel or despair at the intensity and duration of the trial? Have you found yourself, as of late, dealing with one problem after another? Do you find yourself faced with situations you thought you would never face? Problems in the family. Problems with your friends. Problems in the church. Problems with the job.

Wonder no more, my friends.  The Devil’s attacking you! The Devil’s got your number and he’s doing his level best to kill you and damn you. If not that, he’s going to steal what you’ve got: your health, your money, your family, your job, your peace, your joy, your close walk with the Lord. In Jesus’ words,  the thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy (John10:10).

This Philistine invasion of Judah tells us that our enemy isn’t a passive, peaceable foe. He’s bold and daring. He attacks. We’re a people of peace. We don’t want war. We’re busy minding our business in Judah. But, to our alarm and dismay, the Philistines have invaded us without cause. Brethren, we have been thrust into a spiritual war and it is our duty as Christians to fight back and repulse this Philistine invasion. WE ARE AT WAR!  And we must fight!

Why fight? Brethren, look at everything we’ve got to lose. The Philistines of old came looking for new lands to conquer and possess. New vineyards and flocks to possess. New riches. New homes. New slaves.

The Philistines of the spiritual realm have come to take us on a detour away from Heaven and get us rocking, drinking, doping, drugging, fornicating, gambling, cheating, stealing, lying, and more, on the road to Hell. The Philistines have come to steal what is rightfully ours by way of inheritance. To sicken and infirm us. To plague and disease us.  To divide marriages and destroy homes. To alienate a husband from his wife. To alienate the children from their parents. To divide churches. To keep brethren apart. To make brethren adversaries of one another. To malign and spread slander and lies about us. To give the world a wrong and evil impression of Christ, the Church, and Christians. To outlaw Christianity and forbid the free exercise of our religion. To tempt. To persecute. To kill and to destroy. To damn our souls.

In view of everything that’s at stake—our bodies, our lives, our marriages, our homes, our children, our churches, our liberties, our souls, our future, and our eternal rewards—we cannot remain passive and complacent about the war that has been thrust upon us. There’s a lot at stake and we simply can’t go on with life as usual. We’re at war! And we’ve got to start fighting the Devil back. Not ignore him. Or befriend him. Not go into league with him. Or pacify him and serve him. Not live in peace with him. But fight him and win the war! And this brings me to the third thing that I’d like for us to see.

WE’VE GOT TO TAKE A STAND AND FIGHT!

1 Samuel 17:2-3,  And Saul and the men of Israel were gathered together, and pitched by the valley of Elah, and set the battle in array against the Philistines.[They were dressed and armed for battle; they formed their front line and got ready to fight.] (3)  And the Philistines stood on a mountain on the one side, and Israel stood on a mountain on the other side: and there was a valley between them.

The Israelites started off doing the right thing. They rushed their army to the Valley of Elah to take a stand and stop this Philistine invasion. Unfortunately, that’s where the fight stopped. It never even got started. Instead of attacking, they stood still and were aghast! Without firing a single shot, the Philistines stole the Israelite army’s courage and faith and filled them with fear instead.

Reminds me a lot of ourselves. We start feeling sick. Or we get a prayer request. And we immediately rush to the Valley of Elah and go to prayer. That’s a good thing. But as soon as we find out what we’re dealing with, what we’re up against; as soon as we put a name on the sickness or hear the diagnosis and prognosis; we come to a screeching halt and, like the Israelites, stand aghast as the enemy steals our courage and faith and renders us unable to fight because of cowardice and fear.

Coming Up On My Next Blog, Part 2. A look at the Goliaths that frighten us. Join me, won’t you? I’d love to have you!