Faithlife Sermons

Warfare 3

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Warfare 3
Your Position
Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you(James 4:7).
So far in our spiritual warfare series weve talked about Your Enemy, Your Weapons, and today I want to talk to you about Your Positionhow we are to position ourselves for the battle.
ILLUS: In all combat training, the fighter is taught positionhow to position themselves to win the fight, how to stand, how to place their feet, how to position their body to give them the greatest advantage
Its the same in spiritual warfare!
The Bible tells the believer exactly how to position himself to win the fight.
Paul wrote about our position in the battle in Eph. 6
3 times he talks about STANDING—“that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil,” “having done all, stand,” “Stand therefore…”
And in our text, James gives us the primary position were to assume prior to engaging the devil in battle
He says,
The position of submission
Therefore submit to God…”
The position of submission is crucial to winning your spiritual battles!
The word SUBMIT means to humble yourself before God.
Submission to God is the mark of humility, and it positions you for Gods help
The Apostle Peter wrote, For God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.(1 Pet 5:5)
One thing you DONT need during a battle is God Himself resisting you because youre too proud to humble yourself before Him!
One thing you DO need is Gods grace in the battle, empowering you to win!
Submitting to God means to humble yourself under His Lordship; it is to say, I cant win this battle without you!
The Bible says, Be strong IN THE LORD, and in the power of HIS might,not your own will power or strength!
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In the OT, King Jehoshaphat was told that a huge army was coming against him to destroy the entire city.
The Bible says he humbled himself before God and prayed a great prayer!
O our Godwe have no power against this great multitude that is coming against us; nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are upon You
Listen to his humble statements: 1.)Were powerless without You, 2.)we dont know what to do, 3.) Our dependence is on you, were looking to you!
And in response to his humility, God said to him, You will not need to fight in this battle. Position yourselves, stand still and see the salvation of the Lord…” (2 Chr. 20:17)
Now, God told them here to position themselves, and look at how they positioned themselves next:
And Jehoshaphat bowed his head with his face to the ground, and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem bowed before the Lord, worshiping the Lord(20:18).
We see Humility with total submission to God prior to the battle!
As I mentioned last time, Jehoshaphat placed his praise team at the front of the battle to worship God.
We read that the enemy was completely routed and destroyed, and the king and city were spared!
Humbling ourselves before God positions us for His help.
The Bible says, Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time(1 Pet 5:6)
You cant win a battle with Gods help when youre not submitted to the God whose help you want!
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Which leads me to the 2nd part of what a ready positionfor warfare consists of
We must,
II. Keep a clear conscience
Paul wrote to his son in the faith, Timothy, about this very thing:
1 Tim 1: 18-19 This charge I commit to you, son Timothy, according to the prophecies previously made concerning you, that by them you may wage the good warfare.
And what is the charge that Paul said would help Timothy wage a good warfare? He says next,
Cling to your faith in Christ, and keep your conscience clear. For some people have deliberately violated their consciences; as a result, their faith has been shipwrecked.
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You cant fight the devil with a sullied conscience
Notice how, right after instructing us to submit to God and resist the devil, James says, Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded(4:8).
The command to 1.)get close to God, 2.)cleanse your hands and 3.)purify your hearts all have to do with getting your conscience clear.
Paul the Apostle thought this was so important that he testified, I strive always to keep my conscience clear before God and man(Acts 24:16).
A sullied, guilty conscience robs your joy, steals your peace, and most of allit strips away your boldness and confidence before God.
In the middle of a battle we have to be confident that God is fighting on his behalf, and our confidence is affected when our conscience is sullied.
Soaside from humbling yourself before God, the position of submission also includes being right with the Lord in every area we know of
AgainYou cant win a battle with Gods help when youre not submitted to the God whose help you want!
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One humorous example of this is found In the Book of Acts where we read of seven men who were the sons of a man named Sceva.
These 7 men had been watching Paul and his team casting devils out of people.
They decided this was a great idea and they wanted to try it for themselves.
The Bible records that they, “…tried to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus over those who were demon-possessed. They would say, In the name of the Jesus whom Paul preaches, I command you to come out.15 One day the evil spirit answered them, Jesus I know, and Paul I know about, but who are you?16 Then the man who had the evil spirit jumped on them and overpowered them all. He gave them such a beating that they ran out of the house naked and bleeding(Acts 19:13,15-16).
Their problem was they were trying to use the NAME of Jesus without having their sins forgiven BY Jesus!
And they were soundly defeated!
If we want to win in spiritual warfare we must be submitted to the Lordship of Jesus, and have our consciences cleansed by His blood.
This places us in a POSITION to win!
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Then James says
Once youve positioned yourself by submitting yourself to God and getting a clear conscience, THEN.
III. Resist the devil
RESIST: is to take a complete stand against. To thoroughly oppose. To hold your ground. Refuse to be moved.
This is where Pauls words come in to, Having done all, stand.” “Stand therefore.
In a nutshell, RESIST means, fight back!
Were to FLEE temptation, but RESIST the devil!
The Apostle Peter wrote about this same thing, 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…” (1 Pet. 5:8-9)
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People who have studied lions in the wild will tell you never to turn your back and run from a charging lion.
Lions are accustomed to their victims fleeing, but standing firm and facing them bewilders and confuses them.
In most cases the charging lion will stop short and turn away.
Peter said, Resist him and he will turn and flee from you!
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Stand your ground in dependent humility toward God
Stand your ground with a clear conscience
Stand your ground holding forth the Word of God
And the devil will FLEE from you!
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