It's easy to look at the adverse circumstances that are coming against us and wonder, how am I going to be victorious? We might even doubt we'd heard God right in the first place.
Greetings mighty men and women of God! This week's teaching comes from Part 6 of Pastor Richard's teaching entitled 'Spiritual Warfare'. If you've missed any of it, do go back and review the previous blogs as they're all super powerful and really helpful in our fight of faith. And so, to Part 6...
The Israelites in Exodus thought they'd missed God by leaving Egypt. They've just been delivered from slavery in truly miraculous ways. But then they get to the Red Sea. They appear to be 'stuck' between the devil and the deep blue sea (well, red actually).
Look at this. Exodus 14:1-4 says Now the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: “Speak to the children of Israel, that they turn and camp before Pi Hahiroth, between Migdol and the sea, opposite Baal Zephon; you shall camp before it by the sea. For Pharaoh will say of the children of Israel, ‘They are bewildered by the land; the wilderness has closed them in.’ Then I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, so that he will pursue them; and I will gain honor over Pharaoh and over all his army, that the Egyptians may know that I am the Lord.” And they did so.
The Lord had told them to camp by the sea. He'd also warned them that Pharaoh would be after them, but that God knew this and would have glory from it. Surprise surprise, what God said actually happened! And when it did, the Israelites began to panic saying 'You've brought us out here to die!' They looked at the natural circumstances and not at the Word and the Promises of God.
So, they're all freaking out and Moses says this; “Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will accomplish for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall see again no more forever. The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace.”
And then God says this to Moses; Why do you cry to Me? Tell the children of Israel to go forward.
That's amazing! God is literally saying, why are you crying out to me when I'd already told you to do this? Now stand firm and walk forward in your faith and watch me work. And boom, the Red Sea parts before their very eyes. They had a word from the Lord, but they had to stand and move forward. How do we stand and move forward? Look at Ephesians 6:11-14.
Paul tells us to 'stand' 4 times in that short passage. The Greek word for stand means to establish your place. We must put on the armour of God and stand firm in our place. What is your place? According to Ephesians 2 it's seated with Christ in heavenly places.
We've spoken before about the importance of understanding that the battle is already won. Jesus defeated the enemy. So, how do we enforce what Jesus has already won for us? Let's look at another passage from Number 14:39-45. Moses has just delivered the Lord's message to the children of Israel after they refused to enter the Promised Land. The Lord has told them that only Joshua and Caleb will enter the land, but the rest will die in the wilderness. They didn't like this and suddenly change their minds!
When Moses reported the Lord’s words to all the Israelites, the people were filled with grief. Then they got up early the next morning and went to the top of the range of hills. “Let’s go,” they said. “We realize that we have sinned, but now we are ready to enter the land the Lord has promised us.” But Moses said, “Why are you now disobeying the Lord’s orders to return to the wilderness? It won’t work. Do not go up into the land now. You will only be crushed by your enemies because the Lord is not with you. When you face the Amalekites and Canaanites in battle, you will be slaughtered. The Lord will abandon you because you have abandoned the Lord.” But the people defiantly pushed ahead toward the hill country, even though neither Moses nor the Ark of the Lord’s Covenant left the camp. Then the Amalekites and the Canaanites who lived in those hills came down and attacked them and chased them back as far as Hormah. (NLT)
'Because the Lord is not with you' said Moses. Listen to me now church. The only way to win spiritual warfare is with God's power, not yours. That might sound obvious but how often do we see the devil win a skirmish with a Christian and wonder why? We cannot approach spiritual battles in our own strength, church. God had told them to take the land. They had a Word from God! So, what has God told you? According to the Bible, who are you in Christ? The Bible says you are more than a conquerer. Romans 8:37; No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.
Imagine if David had used Saul's armour and sword. Imagine if he'd gone forth into battle using conventional means. He would've been killed, instantly! The point is, in the natural David did not have what it took to defeat Goliath. Goliath knew that. Saul and all the Israelites knew that. Even David knew it! But David wasn't only looking at the natural. And that's why he won.
The Israelites had God with them, they had a Word from the Lord that they would possess the land. But, they looked at the giants in the land, they listened to the bad reports of natural circumstances and chickened out of the fight. Then, when God wasn't with them, they desperately tried to fight and ended up utterly defeated and humiliated.
We must remember that the Battle Belongs to the Lord! 2 Chronicles 20:15 says this; And he said, Hearken ye, all Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem, and thou king Jehoshaphat, Thus saith the Lord unto you, Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God's.
There are so many more examples of this in the Old and New Testaments. People who had figured out that depending upon their own strength, their own wisdom, their own power, their own anything, was ultimately going to fail. Think of Samson, Gideon, the man at the pool of Bethesda, the woman with the issue of blood, on and on the list goes. All these people knew that without God they were nothing, hopeless, powerless to change anything. You are nothing without Jesus! But church, I have good news for you today: you are not without Jesus. Hallelujah!
If you're trying to do things in your own strength, you're going to get hurt. We have to realise that spiritual warfare is not won in our own power. You cannot make the victory you seek happen in your own strength. But, God has already given you the victory and when you attack the devil from that place, then the power of God begins to flow.
So, when the circumstances come against you, when the situation becomes tough, don't look at the natural, go to the Lord. What is the Word He gave you? Who are you in Christ? What are God's promises to you? Stand firm on these things and you will see the devil flee and the circumstances change. Amen!
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