11/8 Family at its Best series: Dealing Effectively with the Battles You Face 1 John 4:1-6
The question was asked Sunday, What are some of the battles you are facing? We all face them. Some are easily conquered, just a little inconvenience or disruption to the norm. Others are not so small. There are battles in relationships, finances and/or health, to name a few. Are you captive, caught within a battle of your own doing, an addiction, or sin in your life? Does the battle involve others leading to a dispute of some kind? Possibly you are a victim of life choices made and the effects thereof. These are all part of the Battlefield of Life. Sin entered our world way back when and all people have had to deal with the effects of sin in one way or another. Battles of who’s right and who’s wrong, I thought I could handle the enticement battle, or it’s not my fault battle of reasoning, name your battle, there are many. I’m in control of my life. Really? Then why do the battles rage on? This week we are going deeper into Dealing Effectively with the Battles You Face. It’s always a good practice to look into what scripture has to say to deal effectively in anything. The Bible passage this week is from 1 John 4: 1-6 titled Testing the Spirit. Within this passage we read that there are two spirits, the Spirit of truth (motivated by God) and the spirit of error (motivated by Satan) that speak to us. Verse 1 tells us “…do not believe every spirit but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.” The false prophets are the spirit of the antichrist who now is in the world already, also referred to in this passage. The Spirit of God we read of in verse 4 says “…you are from God and He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.”, it’s the Spirit of truth living in us. Which spirit are you listening to, which has control of your life?
One of our studies viewed in Right Now Media this week is Fight by Craig Groeschel. He referenced Galatians 5: 16-17 that says “But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.” Sounds like a war going on to me. Our life is the battleground. Who are we fighting? It’s those giants, metaphorically speaking. Giants are problems in life like temptations or sin. Craig Groeschel went on to say, our spiritual enemy loves to make strong men weak, our God loves to make weak men strong. Godly strength, says Groeschel, shows a man reflecting the goodness of God the warrior. We fight in prayer, fight on our knees, giving it a spiritual punch. He referenced Exodus 15:3 “The Lord is a warrior. The Lord is his name.” Every warrior has a cause to fight for. A warrior without a cause to fight for will find the wrong thing to fight against. Pastor George says our feelings are not always a reason to act, be discerning, emotions cause you to fight the wrong battles. A warrior fights to win the battles that matter most. We as warriors call on the name of the Lord. In battle know the Lord is there. When your need meets your God, your God will meet your need. You are only as strong as you are honest, says Groeschel, God’s grace is there for you. Pastor George reminded us that your sense of purpose, God, family, self, relationships, …keep those before you, the renewing of your mind where we gain strength through faith.
In the session on Warrior Women by Bianca Juarez Olthoff in RNM she gives warrior this definition: an ordinary individual who finds the strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles. A child of God is all you need to be, she says. In Proverbs 3:26 it says, “for the Lord will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being caught.” A great warrior knows great restraint from his God. Bianca shared that Satan knows your name, but he calls you by your sin – God knows your sin but calls you by your name, child of God. Our sin does not define us when we confess and turn from it. She said what you’re born into does not determine what is in you. God is bigger than our history and more concern with our destiny. Pastor George prayed for us Sunday to know the peace God offers from demons, from battles, from antichrists that want to lead us astray. He says to remember What’s your why? We will all have things seemingly to distract, derail us, to take away our why. Remember eternal love, for His love to not be distant from you but to respond and claim all that He has offered to us. In the Warrior Women series, we heard – Internally we trust God, willingly obey Him, externally taking steps forward, using the weapons God gave you. You will face battles on this battlefield of life but remember, “He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world”, 1 John vs.4.
Family by any and all definitions work best when we keep God in our lives. Bianca said in her series Warrior Women, God uses multiple people. I can be a warrior through the power of God living in me. Its ordinary people used in extraordinary ways; she says. It’s being obedient to God, being used to the glory of God. Listen to His voice, hasn’t God told You????, never be people who ignore the voice of God. Listen, willingly allow the Holy Spirit to have full reign in your life. Our life in any and all family situations, to be used by the Spirit, regardless of our experiences so that God can move, and we can witness His power at work in us or through us. Letting go of our desires and letting God our warrior lead the battles we face will in His time give us victory over them.
Larry and Darlene