Series: Spiritual Warfare
Sunday am 31st July 2016 – Kobus Swart
Matt. 13:3-9; Amos 8:11; Matt. 13:18-23 (Message Bible); (Acts 7:51); 2 Tim. 1:5-7; Isaiah 55:11; (John 1:14); (John 20:21); (John 6:63); Ps. 119:165; (Gen. 3:15); Rom. 16:20; Eph. 6:12, 17; 1 Tim. 6:12; 2 Tim. 2:23-26; Rom. 10:17-21
What is the real war in the realm of the spirit? We all face battles and challenges at some stage of our lives and often ask questions like: “God if you so love me why is this happening to me?” That is a question that is multiplying even in the Christian community.
What do you think Satan fears more than anything else in your life? What is spiritual warfare all about then? What is our strongest weapon against him? Listen to the words of Jesus: “Behold, the sower went out to sow; and as he sowed, some seeds fell beside the road, and the birds came and ate them up. Others fell on the rocky places, where they did not have much soil; and immediately they sprang up, because they had no depth of soil. But when the sun had risen, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away. Others fell among the thorns, and the thorns came up and choked them out. And others fell on the good soil and yielded a crop, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty. He who has ears, let him hear” (Matt. 13:3-9). Many pastors often ask themselves this question at some stage in their lives, “Lord, what I am trying to achieve by preaching a message on Sunday? Is my preaching helping people to live a better life, to live the overcomer’s life or are they just taking it as a sermon or spiritual backrub to make them feel good until next Sunday?” Why is it that some people battle the same problem year after year? Is this perhaps the problem:- In the last days there will be a famine for a hearing of the word (Amos 8:11).
Matthew 13:18-23 explains how the evil one fears you hearing the Word. We need to get an understanding of who and what the devil really is because we have given him a status he really does not have. Notice how the evil one fears you hearing the Word. Study this story of the farmer planting the seed, when anyone hears the good news or the gospel of the Kingdom and does not take it in it just remains on the surface and so the evil one comes along and plucks it right out of that person’s heart. We can have the most powerful delivery of a living Word, but if you do not have ears to hear that Word and that Word does not take root in your heart, the enemy will be quick to pluck it out because he fears the Word that has taken root in our hearts. Are you good soil this morning into which the Word falls? Or is it falling at the road side? (Matt 13:18-23 – Message Bible). Weigh yourself in this word. Why are certain problems repeated in your life? We are living in a world full of challenges and pressures in every realm.
The war is over the hearing of the word. What we need is circumcised ears (Acts 7:51). The Holy Spirit is the only one who can do that, so we can hear effectively for it to bear fruit in our lives. The purpose of preaching is to bring a penetration, a Word that confronts and searches the heart and mind. Be open to a Word that confronts.
But the goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. For some men, straying from these things, have turned aside to fruitless discussion, wanting to be teachers of the Law, even though they do not understand either what they are saying or the matters about which they make confident assertions (1 Tim. 1:5-7).
We need to see the saints equipped for service, equipped to live the victorious life. For that to happen the Word that comes must be written on your heart. That is what the living Word does, it cuts. It is like a two edged sword, it discerns between soul and spirit. It searches the depths of the heart (Heb. 4:12). It has to be written on our heart so that we can become living epistles (2 Cor. 3:1-3). So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth; It will not return to Me empty, Without accomplishing what I desire, And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it (Isaiah 55:11). The adversary is dead scared of the Word because he knows who the Word is. The Word of God was sent out in the person of Jesus, the Son. The Word became flesh and went into the neighbourhood (John 1:14 – Message Bible). Jesus said, “Just as I was sent, I am sending you” (John 20:21). That Word will not return void one day because that Word will become living epistles.
Right in the Garden of Eden at the origin of sin, what was Satan’s biggest concern when he approached Adam and Eve: “Has God said?” (Gen. 3:3) He challenged them on the Word. He was very clever in bringing them down to the point of transgressing. We must counter Satan’s effort to make us stumble and doubt the Word. We must be able to say like Jesus after fasting for forty days in the wilderness; He said, “It is written!” Satan quoted Scriptures to Jesus, but Jesus answered him saying, “It is also written”, as saying, “It is written! I am that Word! ”. Then satan left Him. It is not enough to quote Scripture; you have to be able to say, “It is written here, on my heart.” Then satan will leave you alone. If we quote Scripture from memory or from the mind, it is not going to help you. It must be spirit and life like the words of Jesus (John 6:63). It must come from a power on the inside driven by the Holy Spirit.
God made a promise in Genesis 3, after the fall of man. (Gen. 3:15). This is talking about the ultimate war, the final war between God and the evil one, and how God is going to do it. This is where you and I feature in this war. “And the God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet”- talking to the Church (Rom. 16:20). You can summarize the entire battle of the believer around the Word of God. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places (Eph. 6:12). And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God (vs. 17).
Fight the good fight of faith (1 Tim. 6:12). Satan will challenge us as believers in our faith in God. We must never lose our faith. We need to keep the faith. Faith comes only one way, by hearing the Word of Christ (Rom. 10:17). How many will stand in the final test of faith? Satan knows that everything that was created came by the Word of God and he fears the Word. Do you have a Word from God? Has God spoken a Word to you? Expect a small voice asking, “Has God really said?”
I want to release you to know who you are and what you carry in your heart. You have the biggest, strongest weapon of all if you have the Word of God written on your heart. No lie can stand against you; no opposition can conquer you if you stand in truth by revelation. Do not let people talk you into chasing demons. Satan is conquered, but he is still the deceiver. He comes as a lying spirit, a religious spirit, in fact as an angel of light, but in effect he is a conquered enemy. You and I must finalise that by crushing him under our feet in the name of the Lord. Let us be a conquering victorious Church. Face the world as conquerors and not as losers. When oppression and negativity hits, get into the Word, rise above it and be an example of a living epistle.