Teachings / Sermons
Reaching the City (3)
There is little doubt that people, and especially believers, do have great hardships. Some trouble is of our own doing, some is the doing of others, and thirdly Satan plays his part. Even as we are attacked by evil we could choose to battle on our own or face the enemy of our souls with fellow believers at our sides and at our backs. Is it possible that we are not to face the enemy on our own, but as families, churches, communities, cities and nations? Could we enter a more blessed time if we would only fight together and also not fight each other? There are some vital strategies for resisting the evil one’s influence and even going over to the attack.
CHANGE THE CLIMATE
Prayer is always the first step! The need for pray in every situation can never be overstated. Too often trouble drives us to anger or fear which only causes us more trouble. Trouble must drive us to prayer, for our Heavenly Father is our provider and protector.
If "peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness" are our goal, then we must follow Paul’s directive.
"I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone-- for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth." (1 Timothy 2:1-8)
The peace in our own lives will result in salvation of many others.
WALK IN UNITY
"I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name -- the name you gave me -- so that they may be one as we are one. While I was with them, I protected them and kept them safe by that name you gave me. ... I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth. ... My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me ... I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me." (John 17:11-23)
i) Jesus prays to the Father for all believers' protection from the evil one.
ii) Protection is by "His Name" and the truth of "His Word".
iii) The aim of the Father's protection is that we should remain in "unity".
iv) Our unity will show the world that Jesus was sent and loved by the Father.
WALK IN PEACE
The devil takes great delight in our lack of peace and strife at home, work, church and city. He knows that this situation is the opposite of Shalom (God-given state of blessing). Paul tells us in Romans 16:20 - "The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet." Peace is the opposite of what Satan is and does. He cannot operate in an environment of peace. Anger gives Satan jurisdiction. The right to enter, kill, steal and destroy. Paul says "In your anger do not sin : Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold." (Ephesians 4:26,27)
Unity is also a result of peace - "Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace." (Ephesians 4:2,3)
WE RESIST TOGETHER
James tells us that when we rid ourselves of anger, stand together and submit to God, the devil will be beaten and must retreat.
"What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don't they come from your desires that battle within you? You want something but don't get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight. You do not have, because you do not ask God. ... Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you." (James 4:1,2,7)
Our "out of peace" emotions result in anger and fights that are the breeding ground for demons. The peace of God however brings unity and blessing that will result in many coming to believe in the Christ.
"I want men everywhere to lift up holy hands in prayer, without anger or disputing." (1 Timothy 2:8)
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