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Put Your Armor On

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PUT YOUR ARMOR ON

Ephesians 6:10-18

612 Opening Song

618 Closing Song

Judg 7:1-8

CHAPTER 7

1   Then Jerubbaal, who is Gideon, and all the people that were with him, rose up early, and pitched beside the well of Harod: so that the host of the Midianites were on the north side of them, by the hill of Moreh, in the valley.

2   And the LORD said unto Gideon, The people that are with thee are too many for me to give the Midianites into their hands, lest Israel vaunt themselves against me, saying, Mine own hand hath saved me.

3   Now therefore go to, proclaim in the ears of the people, saying, Whosoever is fearful and afraid, let him return and depart early from mount Gilead. And there returned of the people twenty and two thousand; and there remained ten thousand.

4   And the LORD said unto Gideon, The people are yet too many; bring them down unto the water, and I will try them for thee there: and it shall be, that of whom I say unto thee, This shall go with thee, the same shall go with thee; and of whomsoever I say unto thee, This shall not go with thee, the same shall not go.

5   So he brought down the people unto the water: and the LORD said unto Gideon, Every one that lappeth of the water with his tongue, as a dog lappeth, him shalt thou set by himself; likewise every one that boweth down upon his knees to drink.

6   And the number of them that lapped, putting their hand to their mouth, were three hundred men: but all the rest of the people bowed down upon their knees to drink water.

7   And the LORD said unto Gideon, By the three hundred men that lapped will I save you, and deliver the Midianites into thine hand: and let all the other people go every man unto his place.

8   So the people took victuals in their hand, and their trumpets: and he sent all the rest of Israel every man unto his tent, and retained those three hundred men: and the host of Midian was beneath him in the valley. (KJV)

Well the Bible depicts in the book of Ephesians that the spiritual struggle of the great controversy between Christ and Satan is a warfare.

Usually in warfare dirty tactics are involved the enemy is trying to wipe your carcass out of existence.  And when you’re involved in warfare you got to know what the other guy is doing.  And when you come head to head you want to make sure you get him before he gets you.  In warfare only the strong survive.

As a matter of fact the writer to the Ephesians says

Eph 6:10

10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. (KJV)

The battle in this spiritual warfare is over the heart or mind.  Or the spiritual soul.  Eternal life.  And you got to be ready.  The main weapon of warfare used by the enemy is deception.

Rev 12:9

9   And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.

(KJV)

I want to ask you a question this morning do you have the wool pulled over your eyes?

Or if you know you are lost do you even care enough about your soul to know what deception is covering your eyes and leading you blindly into hell?

Somebody else said “Well I’m a Christian!”

We know today that the devil doesn’t really mind people going to church.  He’ll let you sing and preach.  Let you testify.  Just as long as he meets you outside after it’s all over.

He doesn’t mind!  If he gets you to commit to everything except one point.  He’s got what he wants.  You don’t have to be totally committed.

I can hear somebody else say

“Well I’m a S.D.A. Christian!”

I know of some Sabbath Keepers.  He had those rapped around his finger.  Until God has to trust His gospel message to the gentiles.

Paul says “you gotta be strong in the Lord!”

Eph 6:10

10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. (KJV)

This is war man! 

·        I see Gideon getting ready for warfare, I see him surprised at the calling of the Lord.

·        He was fearful to go without the approval of God.  (honey if you’re going to accomplish a great task for God that involves risk make sure it’s His voice bidding you to go!  (ostentation) (walking on water) (fasting) (Children of Isreal (Moses told them don’t go!)

·        the midianities had 135,000 and Gideon had only 32,000 men.

Pastor we don’t have no money.

We don’t have the resources—we never did it that way before!

We don’t know if that’s going to work!

There are those who are so use to failure, they failed at home, failed in their relationships, failed with their families, grew up associated with failure, became use to failure, accept failure as the norm, didn’t use failure as a building block but allowed it to become a stumbling block.  And now they associate the God of heaven as a failing God!

With failure comes negativity!  Whenever there’s a challenge or a mountain to climb “Oh what’s the use”

(You need to repent.  A change of mind Change your mind)

I can’t do this and I can’t do that there’s always some reason why people can’t accomplish success in there Christian experience.

Well you see I’m a victim of my environment, that’s why I can’t follow Christ.  I grew up surrounded by the vice, poverty, drugs.

That’s why they called Jesus the lily of the valley .  .   .

Well you know I have no husband or I have no wife .  .  .

Jesus was single

People want to give excuses for failure but

With God All things are possible

·        Boyfriend

·        Drugs

·        Job so you can keep the Sabbath

·        Mend that relationship

·        You can overcome a grievous habit

All things are possible.

Judg 7:1-3

1   Early in the morning, Jerub-Baal (that is, Gideon) and all his men camped at the spring of Harod. The camp of Midian was north of them in the valley near the hill of Moreh.

2   The LORD said to Gideon, "You have too many men for me to deliver Midian into their hands. In order that Israel may not boast against me that her own strength has saved her,

3   announce now to the people, 'Anyone who trembles with fear may turn back and leave Mount Gilead.'" So twenty-two thousand men left, while ten thousand remained.

(NIV)

Well Lord what’s going on what do you mean too many men!!  Everybody knows that in order to defeat such an army you’re going to need man-power!

Who told you that?  Why does it have to be done that way?!

I think some people realize that God can do all things but I believe they don’t realize that He can do ALL THINGS HIS WAY!

All things are possible.  But you know the other part of that don’t you?  Thy will be done or according to thy will!

(D.L. Moody)  Wine/ Beer/ all kinds of intoxicating drinks.

1 John 5:14

14 And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:

KJV

Sometimes we have something that needs to be done and we have the faith that God can do it except we want it done our own way!

I was pastoring one church and their were some folk who needed.  (I’m not saying this to point out anyone or step on anyone I’m saying this for deliverance)

(Lie)

If I have to lie in order to help I guess I’ll be no help at all!

What  about your God?  What about the ability of Jesus to deliver?  Suppose He doesn’t want you here?

Our heavenly Father has a thousand ways to provide for us of which we know nothing. Those who accept the one principle of making the service of God supreme, will find perplexities vanish, and a plain path before their feet.--The Ministry of Healing, p. 481. (1905)

And if He wants you here He’ll deliver !

But it doesn’t have to be the exact way you dictate!

After all we can’t see the future, we were not there in the beginning, we don’t have all the answers, we don’t know the plans of the enemy concerning us, we don’t know everything about ourselves, we don’t even know what is best for our ownselves—but Jesus does!

Well Lord if I just get my education, if I can get a Job, if I get married, if I get this house, when I send my kids to college, if I get my retirement!  I’ll give you my life!

Lord if you do this for me!  I’ll do that (Matt 6:33)

Direction as far as what to do about war had been given in Moses’ time.

Deut 20:1-8

1   When thou goest out to battle against thine enemies, and seest horses, and chariots, and a people more than thou, be not afraid of them: for the LORD thy God is with thee, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.

2   And it shall be, when ye are come nigh unto the battle, that the priest shall approach and speak unto the people,

3   And shall say unto them, Hear, O Israel, ye approach this day unto battle against your enemies: let not your hearts faint, fear not, and do not tremble, neither be ye terrified because of them;

4   For the LORD your God is he that goeth with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you.

5   And the officers shall speak unto the people, saying, What man is there that hath built a new house, and hath not dedicated it? let him go and return to his house, lest he die in the battle, and another man dedicate it.

6   And what man is he that hath planted a vineyard, and hath not yet eaten of it? let him also go and return unto his house, lest he die in the battle, and another man eat of it.

7   And what man is there that hath betrothed a wife, and hath not taken her? let him go and return unto his house, lest he die in the battle, and another man take her.

8   And the officers shall speak further unto the people, and they shall say, What man is there that is fearful and fainthearted? let him go and return unto his house, lest his brethren's heart faint as well as his heart.

(KJV)

I think if we are honest with ourselves after having been shown!  Sometimes the problem is not that it’s new but that God’s will and way to do things is new to us!

(Sabbath, eat right, walk right, talk right, Jewerly,)

God’s way has been documented long before we were thought about the question is after having read His will do we want to trust His will.  Do we want to trust Him! Even though it seems we may be headed for one of the worst beatings in our lives?

We don’t need no lily livered, no backbone, heart in throat, always murmuring, bibble babbling, weakneck, sissy baby Christians!

God wants Christians Who can Walk the Walk!  AND TALK THE TALK BY HIS POWER!

All over the Bible God speaks to His children concerning fear.  There are phrases like.

Do not fear, or don’t be afraid, or fear not or be not afraid of there faces.  Whatever situation we may find ourselves as Christians (we may face insurmountable odds ) God wants us to know that He is a majority all by Himself!

You got to be fearless when you are in His army!  ‘Cause you understand who is the General who is in charge.  You don’t have to worry or fear because the battle is not yours it’s the Lord’s!

Judg 7:4-7

4   And the LORD said unto Gideon, The people are yet too many; bring them down unto the water, and I will try them for thee there: and it shall be, that of whom I say unto thee, This shall go with thee, the same shall go with thee; and of whomsoever I say unto thee, This shall not go with thee, the same shall not go.

5   So he brought down the people unto the water: and the LORD said unto Gideon, Every one that lappeth of the water with his tongue, as a dog lappeth, him shalt thou set by himself; likewise every one that boweth down upon his knees to drink.

6   And the number of them that lapped, putting their hand to their mouth, were three hundred men: but all the rest of the people bowed down upon their knees to drink water.

7   And the LORD said unto Gideon, By the three hundred men that lapped will I save you, and deliver the Midianites into thine hand: and let all the other people go every man unto his place.

(KJV)

(example of lapping)

Watch and pray!

Matt 26:41

Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak."

NKJV

Mark 13:33

Take heed, watch and pray; for you do not know when the time is.

NKJV

Luke 21:36

6 Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man."

NKJV

(explain)

The Apostle Paul says Pray without ceasing!

Wait what do we have here!  Solidiers who are overweight. 

Feasting and goring on candy bars and soda pop of inactivity!

Bulgin bottoms impressed with the marks of the church pews they’ve been sitting in for years without doing no work for Jesus!  Thighs all dangling and belly’s bursting from just eating and not working

Ain’t nothing but overweight privates!  Who may have been in this church for years but still haven’t grown a bit.  They haven’t advance in this army just been taking up space.

“Those who endeavor to maintain Christian life by passively accepting the blessings that come through the means of grace, and doing nothing for Christ, are simply trying to live by eating without working. And in the spiritual as in the natural world, this always results in degeneration and decay. A man who would refuse to exercise his limbs would soon lose all power to use them. Thus the Christian who will not exercise his God-given powers not only fails to grow up into Christ, but he loses the strength that he already had.” SC pp. 81, 82

Holy Ghost is trying to say Attention!  Get up get in line! Wake up! Shape up! 

(parable of the fig tree—Jews  What good are you? I’ve got people out there that I love!  That I died for I want them to be saved!  What good are you to me if you can’t make a difference)

(Latter Rain will result in fruit)

Eph 6:18

18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

KJV

Some make prayer a opportunity for ostentation!

Your own closet!

Make a difference in somebody’s life!

Too many getting fat!  Some of them loaded up on the fat of inactivity.  The cholesterol of no prayer life!  The harden arteries through the lard of secularism. 

Some are inactive because they are not signed up!  They are soldiers but they are not accounted for!

(Roll Call)

Got your membership in the islands .  .  . meanwhile your working for money up here.  (Car up here, but your inactive!)

(Why do people do that?  Maybe they don’t want to be identified as soldiers!)

Getting fat off the blessings of God.  And doing nothing for Him.

He has blessed us and we have not returned to Him.

(Not the marks in our Bible but the ones in our checkbook)

Tithe and Offering

This earth is not our home!

“ In a special sense Seventh-day Adventists have been set in the world as watchmen and light bearers.  To them has been entrusted the last warning for a perishing world. On them is shining wonderful light from the Word of God. They have been given a work of the most solemn import--the proclamation of the first, second, and third angels' messages. There is no other work of so great importance. They are to allow nothing else to absorb their attention.”  LDE pp. 45,46(9T p.19)

This church was built for service.

PARABLE OF THE CANDLES

 There was a blackout one night. When the lights went out, I fumbled to the closet where we keep the candles for nights like  this...I lit four of them.

   I was turning to leave with the large candle in my hand when I

 heard a voice, "Now, hold it right there."   "Who said that?"   "I did." The voice was near my hand.  "Who are you? What are you?"  "I'm a candle."  I lifted up the candle to take a closer look. There was a tiny face  in the wax.

 "Don't take me out of here!"

 "What?"

 "I said, Don't take me out of this room."   "What do you mean? I have to take you out. You're a candle. Your  job is to give light. It's dark out there."

   "But you can't take me out. I'm not ready," the candle explained  with pleading eyes. "I need more preparation."   I couldn't believe my ears. "More preparation?"

 "Yeah, I've decided I need to research this job of light-giving so  I won't go out and make a bunch of mistakes. You'd be surprised how  distorted the glow of an untrained candle can be...."

 "All right then," I said. "You're not the only candle on the shelf.

 I'll blow you out and take the others!"  But right then I heard other voices, "We aren't going either!"

 I turned to the other candles, "You are candles and your job is to  light dark places!"

 "Well, that may be what you think," said the first one, "You may  think we have to go, but I'm busy...I'm meditating on the importance  of light. It's really enlightening."...

 "And you other two," I asked, "are you going to stay too?"  A short, fat, purple candle with plump cheeks spoke up. "I'm  waiting  to get my life together, I'm not stable enough."

 The last candle had a female voice, very pleasant to the ear. "I'd  like to help, "she explain,"but lighting the darkness is not my gift...I'm a singer. I sing to other candles to encourage them to burn more brightly."

 She began a rendition of "This Little Light of Mine" The other  three joined in, filling the closet with singing....I took a step  back and considered the absurdity of it all. Four perfectly healthy  candles singing to each other about light but refusing to come out of  the closet.

You and the Lord are an army a majority all by yourself!  All things are possible!

When you are in this army you’ll shape up to be a victor!

Call to be a soldier, call to fight the fight of faith!

Gives of His time, temple, talent and treasure.

Leave His job, home sometimes his family to serve his country.

Don’t let God’s work for you be in vain Don’t let God’s work through you be in vain!

Be a soldier and put your armor on for 2002!

Eph 6:10-18

Don’t let God’s work FOR you be in vain; Don’t let God’s work THROUGH you be in vain!

Be a soldier and put your armor on for 2002!

Altar

Pray for one another, support one another, ask God to use us,

Slipping away falling, faith, help!  Going to feel pain sometimes –

2 Cor 4:8-9

8 We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;

9 Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed;

KJV

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