Week 8 | A Battle to Fight: The Enemy
Weather | 45° F | Humidity 80% | Wind: 7mph NNE
5 Pax continued the book study at Adventure Park at 6:15 for the eighth week of Wild at Heart. It certainly felt like the enemy was fighting us this morning. 45 degrees? really? I am happy to report that we kicked his butt, made it through our meeting, and are stronger now for it. Thank you to all the HIM that posted. All Pax are still encouraged to attend. Even if you don’t have the book, just show up to fellowship and grow spiritually with us.
The reading assignment was Chapter 8 – A Battle to Fight: The Enemy.
“Every man is a warrior inside. But the choice to fight is his own.”
The warrior is not the only role a man must play, but crucial in our movement toward masculinity.
The Warrior Heart
- Major Sullivan Ballou: A man must have a mission in life that transcends home & family.
- You have a specific mission that God made you for.
- If you think that your place is insignificant, that is a lie of the Enemy.
- A warrior has Vision and is Cunning.
- Mark 8:35 (NKJV) “For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it.”
- Whatever terrain you are called to (home, work, arts, industry, politics) you will always encounter three enemies:
- The flesh
- The world
- The devil
The Traitor Within (The flesh)
- What the scripture calls the flesh or our sinful nature, is that part of fallen Adam in every man that always wants the easiest way out.
- Its much easier to go down to the driving range and attack a bucket of balls than it is to face the people at work who are angry at you.
- Its much easier to clean the garage, organize your files, cut the grass, or work on the car, than it is to talk to your teenage daughter.
- Your flesh is not the real you.
- Romans 7:19-23 (MSG) “I decide to do good, but I don’t really do it; I decide not to do bad, but then I do it anyway. My decisions, such as they are, don’t result in actions. Something has gone wrong deep within me and gets the better of me every time. It happens so regularly that it’s predictable. The moment I decide to do good, sin is there to trip me up. I truly delight in God’s commands, but it’s pretty obvious that not all of me joins in that delight. Parts of me covertly rebel, and just when I least expect it, they take charge.“
- Ezekiel 36:26 (NKJV) “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.”
- Your sin is not you, it is not your true heart.
- We are more than just sinners saved by grace. We are a new creation in Christ.
- How do we fight against our false self? Choose against him every time you see him. Walk right into this situations that you normally avoid, with confidence and courage, and the strength of the Holy Spirit.
- Putting aside your true strength: Rich’s friends blew him off, never called him. Later he told them, “Its alright” although he was fuming inside. This is sabotage.
- Giving your strength away: Taking a bribe, trading flattery for loyalty. Refusing confrontation afraid of the consequences.
- “A man must strive long and mightily within himself, before he can learn fully to master himself.” —Thomas à Kempis
The Real Thing
- Live out your strength: Rich was told $50 for brakes on the phone, would not accept the $90 charge from the parts store. He said $50 was the price and did not back down. The parts store backed down, and Rich felt great.
- We must let our strength show up: Man had recurring dream of being chased by a Lion. He would drop exhausted and wake up screaming. When talked into revisiting it by a pastor, the Lion said to him: “I am your strength and courage, why are you running from me?”
- “I will do something bad if I let my strength show up”. WRONG. You will do something bad if you don’t.
- “Let people feel the weight of who you are and let them deal with it.”
- Good and evil are much more serious than drinking, dancing, smoking, playing cards. The scriptures never prohibit drinking and dancing..
- While there are some very godly movies out there, there are also some very ungodly churches.
- The world is a place built by all of our false selves coming together to reward and destroy each other. It is a carnival of counterfeits.
- Is there anything in your life that gives you a false sense of power? Car? Job? Money? Position? Degree? Title? Knowledge or expertise?
- If you want to know how the world really feels about you, live out your true self. Say what you think, stand up for the underdog, challenge foolish policies. The world will turn on you like sharks.
- The world of posers is shaken by a real man. They will do whatever it takes to get you back in line. Threaten, bribe seduce…. Remember, they crucified Jesus. It didn’t work.
- John tells the story of his wife suggesting a different route in the car, a shortcut on how to get there. He was fuming. A voice in his head kept pushing him: “She always does that.”, “She’s never going to change.”, “There’s plenty of other women out there.”
- Not every thought that crosses your mind comes from you.
- Satan drives, encourages and spreads the bad in this world. Do you consider satan when you have a headache that prevents you from reading scripture?
- “It is the image of God reflected in you that so enrages hell; it is this at which the demons hurl their mightiest weapons.”
Behind the Scenes
- There is spiritual warfare going on behind the scenes.
- Revelation 12:1-5, 7-9 (NKJV) “Now a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a garland of twelve stars. 2 Then being with child, she cried out in labor and in pain to give birth. And another sign appeared in heaven: behold, a great, fiery red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and seven diadems on his heads. 4 His tail drew a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was ready to give birth, to devour her Child as soon as it was born. 5 She bore a male Child who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron. And her Child was caught up to God and His throne…7 And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought with the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought, 8 but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them in heaven any longer. 9 So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.“
- Revelation 12:17 (NKJV) And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.
- Behind the world and the flesh is a deadly enemy, one we rarely speak of and are much less ready to resist.
“Enemy-occupied territory—that is what this world is.” — C. S. Lewis
“If we would endeavor, like men of courage, to stand in the battle, surely we would feel the favorable assistance of God from Heaven. For he who giveth us occasion to fight, to the end we may get the victory, is ready to succor those that fight manfully, and do trust in his grace.” — Thomas À Kempis
Homework | Read Chapter Nine: A Battle To Fight: The Strategy
Thoughts for the week:
What happens if you just ignore the Enemy? Do you spend quiet time with God every day? Have you ever noticed things get harder or more distracting the more you try and draw closer to God?