Posts Tagged 'Spiritual Warfare'

Joel’s Hope: A Word of War

A Word of War

Joel 3:9-16; Eph. 6:11-17

I’ve been reading Scripture as literature lately; I’ve been focusing more on plot and character than on devotion or doctrine. One thing I’ve noticed is the overarching theme of restoration. THAT is Joel’s Hope: that God would put right what has gone wrong.

Joel’s Hope Is Our Help

* Warn the World… ~ Joel 3:9-12

  • 9 context: this is a warning to the world, not God’s people
  • 10 riff on Isaiah 2:4; the world will fight against God anyway it can BEFORE the day of the Lord
  • 11 notice voice change: first part is Joel warning; second is Joel praying
  • 12 third part is God responding; make no mistake: God WILL judge the nations, even those who claim not to know or follow Him (THAT is why we share)

* To Weigh Their Worth ~ Joel 3:13-16

  • 13 back to Joel’s prayer: calling for the “harvest/judgment” of the nations; Jesus referenced this: Matt 9:38 (“pray the Lord to send workers”)
  • 14 “valley of decision” is a metaphor for being stuck, and needing to choose; DO YOU FEEL STUCK IN YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD?
  • 15 another metaphor: try to live without God, and you’re stuck in the dark!
  • 16 Our choice: thunder and trembling away from God; or a refuge and stronghold WITH Him.

* Wage the War ~ Eph. 6:11-17

  • 11/12 We are not fighting PEOPLE; we are fighting spiritually
  • 13/14 STAND actively, not passive; we are on OFFENSE
  • 15 Are you ready to move? When God says GO, what’s your response?
  • 16/17 Roman shield USED IN CONCERT; not as individuals but AS A UNIT

Make no mistake: we ARE in a spiritual war. How are you engaged?

Out of the Ordinary: Offense or Defense?

Out of the Ordinary: Offense or Defense?

Luke 11:14-23

A famous Methodist evangelist named Peter Cartwright was known for his uncompromising preaching. However, one day when the President of the United States, Andrew Jackson, “Old rough and ready,” came to Cartwright’s church, the elders warned the Pastor not to offend the President. In those days, the President had great power to influence a denomination for good or bad. Content, that their Pastor would not say anything to discredit their church, the elders retired to the back of the sanctuary.

When Cartwright got up to speak, the first words out of his mouth were, “I understand that President Andrew Jackson is here this morning. I have been requested to be very guarded in my remarks. Let me say this: “Andrew Jackson will go to hell if doesn’t repent of his sin!” The entire congregation gasped with shock at Cartwright’s boldness. How could this young preacher dare to offend the tough old general in public, they wondered.

After the service, everyone wondered how the President would respond to Cartwright. When Andrew Jackson met the preacher at the door he looked at him in the eye and said, “Sir, If I had a regiment of men like you, I could conquer the world!”

The States Of Spiritual Warfare

Confrontation ~ Luke 11:14-16

  • 14 here, Jesus confronts a demon, driving it out
  • 15 instead of rejoicing, people accuse Jesus of **evil** the world is NOT on God’s side, and they’ll even accuse the Godly of being against God
  • 16 why are they testing Jesus? Who’s the authority? When our worldview is challenged, we don’t appreciate it: who are YOU to say that to me???

Confusion ~ Luke 11:17-20

  • 17 infighting is unstable
  • 18 WHY would the devil ever drive out the devil? This is an nonsensical accusation, and Jesus calls them out on it:
  • 19 if confronting evil is EVIL, then what is it when your own side does it?
  • 20 if confronting evil is GOOD, then why refuse to recognize that Jesus is God among you?

Conclusion ~ Luke 11:21-23

  • 21/22 make no mistake: we’re at war with the kingdom of darkness cf. Colossians 1:13 “God has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son.”
  • 23 which side are you on? Not Lord’s side versus the Devil, but offense or defense? cf. Isaiah 5:20

Matthew 16:18: And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.

The only weapon the Devil has is the LIE. If the Adversary can get your eyes off of Jesus, and onto anything else, you’re on the defensive, and being pushed further into the darkness all the time.

The only way to combat a lie is with THE TRUTH. It’s time for us to go on the OFFENSE – and make no mistake, the truth often is **offensive** to those who would rather live with a treasured lie.


Pastor Ed Backell

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