Week 9 | A Battle to Fight: The Strategy
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4 Pax continued the book study at Adventure Park at 6:15 for the ninth week of Wild at Heart. 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 9 – A Battle to Fight: The Strategy.
We are all under serious attack from the devil. Are there some times in your life that you now recognize you were under attack from the enemy?
In the WWII invasion of France, men were dropped behind enemy lines to cut off reinforcements. Some of these men hid in houses and got drunk. Failing to realize the seriousness of the situation, and taking the cowardly and selfish way out. Could this be an analogy for churches in the West? Are we in denial that anything dangerous is going on? Then the enemy has already won by blinding us to the danger.
Stage One: I’m Not Here
- The enemy’s first line of attack is to make us think that he’s not there. You can’t fight a battle that you don’t know exists.
- 1 Peter 5:8-9 (NKJV) “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. 9 Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.“
- Ever believer is under some form of unseen assault.
- Author provides an example of a ministry partnership dissolved. This ministry spread the gospel to cities around the US. It was very impactful. However, it was under attack of the enemy and fell apart over personal issues. There was not one mention of the Enemy. Ignored. Enemy attacks were even dismissed as a possibility. Successful Silent attack.
- The enemy delivers common message to married spouses: “You are blowing it.” or “They don’t _____ you”
- Commit yourself to prayer every morning for 2 weeks, see what happens. It is likely your mornings will be filled with distractions to try and prevent this.
- Satan puts thoughts in our head: “You’re a loser” “You’re a failure” “They all hate you”. Make no agreements with these thoughts, they are not from your true heart.
- Every man, marriage, ministry naturally has struggles, however, the devil throws gasoline on them.
Hanging on the the Truth
- When we are under attack, hang on to the truth.
- Christ answered the devil with the Truth (scripture) and so should we. Sometimes this could feel like hanging on to a rope while being dragged behind a truck.
- Proverbs 4:23 (NIV) Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.
Stage Two: Intimidation
- The enemy once discovered does not go away without a fight. Sometime praying against physical ailments or anything negative (finances, depression, co-workers) can often times make things worse (before they get better). Hold your ground.
- When we begin to recognize the enemy, he steps up his attack.
- “Do I really want to get into all of this super spiritual warfare hocus pocus?” Satan is hoping that you don’t. Satan is hoping that you just sit back and ignore it.
God is With Us
- Joshua 1:6-7,9 (NLT) “Be strong and courageous, for you are the one who will lead these people to possess all the land I swore to their ancestors I would give them. 7 Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the instructions Moses gave you. Do not deviate from them, turning either to the right or to the left. Then you will be successful in everything you do… 9 This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
- Matthew 28:20 (NLT) “Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
- When a man’s life is given over to transcendent cause, Satan can’t appeal to his self-preservation.
- “All men die; few men ever really live.” Do you want to play it safe or go down swinging?
- The less we are trying to save ourselves, the more effective warriors we become.
Stage Three: Cutting a Deal
- “Another Christian leader has fallen to sexual immorality.”
- This was not his plan, it was plotted by the enemy. Usually long and subtle plan to wear down his defenses.
- David sent others to do fighting for him. Bored and looking for amusement…affair w/ Bathsheba.
The Weapons of War
In war against the flesh, a warrior uses discipline.
- Quiet Time – Time with God each day is not about academic study or scriptural race, it is about connecting with God and keeping the spiritual lines of communication open.
- “The believer is in spiritual danger if he allows himself to go for any length of time without tasting the love of Christ.”
- Put on the armor of God everyday.
- Ephesians 6:13-18 (NLT) Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. 14 Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. 15 For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. 16 In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. 17 Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18 Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.
- Do Not Attempt the Battle Alone – Men need the fellowship and help of other men.
- Mask of Zorro — Master prevents his young drunk apprentice from attacking the enemy. “You would have fought bravely, and died quickly.”
- We don’t need a meeting of really nice guys, we need a gathering of really dangerous men.
- There is never a more devoted group of men then those who have fought alongside each other. We need a band of brothers willing to shed their blood with us.
- You will be wounded and the wounds can be more ugly than a firefight.
- It is an honor to be wounded in service of the Lord.
- Boys are proud of their scars.
- Soldiers earn a purple heart, no spiritual equivalent…here.
- Matthew 11:12 (NASB) From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and violent men take it by force.
- There is a deep and holy goodness to masculine aggression.
- Contrast: The kingdom of heaven is open to passive wimpy men who enter by lying on the couch and watching tv.
- Things are going to get fierce to make it to the kingdom of heaven.
Download and read the daily prayer in the appendix. A link to it is below. It is a very good template for your prayers, and includes things that you should be praying for every day. Whether you recite it verbatim every day or not, please take the time to read it, and use it to help you in your daily conversations with God.
“She was right that reality can be harsh and that you shut your eyes to it only at your peril because if you do not face up to the enemy in all his dark power, then the enemy will come up from behind some dark day and destroy you while you are facing the other way.” — Frederick Buechner
“Gird your sword on your side, you mighty one; clothe yourself with splendor and majesty. In your majesty ride forth victoriously in the cause of truth, humility and justice; let your right hand achieve awesome deeds.” — Psalm 45:3-4
“As part of Christ’s army, you march in the ranks of gallant spirits. Every one of your fellow soldiers is the child of a King. Some, like you, are in the midst of battle, besieged on every side by affliction and temptation. Others, after many assaults, repulses, and rallyings of their faith, are already standing upon the wall of heaven as conquerors. From there they look down and urge you, their comrades on earth, to march up the hill after them. This is their cry: ‘Fight to the death and the city is your own, as now it is ours!’” — William Gurnall
Homework | Read Chapter Ten: A Beauty To Rescue
Thoughts for the week:
Are women targeted by the enemy in the same way men are? What are women’s worst fears? Do you fight for your woman? What cost are you willing to pay for your beauty?