Victory Over Our Enemy
Transcript of a sermon
delivered at GOSPEL LIGHT CHRISTIAN CHURCH
Sunday morning 9am and 11am English services
on 7 June 2009 by
Pastor Jeff Redlin
Good morning. It’s good to be with you. If you have your bible, please turn with me to 2 Chronicles 32. Let’s look at some verses from it and I hope that it would be a help. The bible has always been intended to be a help - to give us instructions that we need, and to show us the pattern for our lives.
Every time you take the bible and do what it says, you are going to experience success! In other words, your life is going to be walked in a pattern that it’s always going to succeed. Nobody necessarily in life desires or plans to be a colossal huge failure. However, few people realise that if you do what the bible says, it will always produce success. So, as we look into the bible this morning, let us be determined right now to do what the book says and it will result in success for your life.
Now, I know I need God’s help to say what I should say, and I know you need God’s help to hear and do what you should hear and do. Please join me in prayer as we ask for God’s help. Let’s pray.
2 DAVID HAD VICTORY OVER GOLIATH
A The Story of David and Goliath
2 Chronicles 32 is nothing more than a story in the Old Testament, but it is a story that is given for our benefit. There’s no story in the bible that is given without purpose.
You remember the story of David and Goliath? For many people, this is their favourite story in the bible. There was the valley of Elah, the giant in the valley of the Philistines, and David who was just a kid showed up against the giant! The story was exciting and we knew how the giant came up and cursed the God of Israel, and he thundered out in a big way- kind of like “I’m real big and you’re dumb!” He said to David, “This day, I’m going to feed your flesh to the beast of the field, and I’m going to feed your body to the fowls of the air!”
David responded by saying, “This day, the entire world will know that there’s a God in Israel!” The kid said to the giant, “This day, I’m going to feed your flesh to the beast, your bones to the fowls of the air, and I’m going to remove your head off your shoulders.”
He took a stone and a sling, swirled it round and it flew and struck the giant on the forehead. The bible said the giant fell forward, David removed his head off his shoulder and the entire world understood that there was a God in Israel.
Just as David had victory over his enemy, the story is to teach us that we too ought to have power over the enemy. Is it reasonable to think that a kid is going to defeat a giant ? Is it of his own power? Is it reasonable to think that any person with power beyond himself can claim victory over the power of the giant?
B Do you know you have an enemy?
How many of you know that you have an enemy who is seeking your fall and he is seeking it every day? The enemy is the devil. He wants us to fall.
The bible calls Satan a roaring lion, seeking whom he can devour. In other words, he is always looking for opportunity to pounce on you, to chew you up and to spit on you! He wants you to fall! So, how do you fight such an enemy? Have you wrestled with a lion before? Well, not that kind that has the water coming out of the mouth, but a big lion! Do you just say, “Come here, kitty, kitty, kitty...!” If you saw a lion which was not in a cage, what would you do? I’d get out of there as I wouldn’t want to mess with a lion! The bible says that your enemy walks about as a lion seeking whom he may devour! He wants to consume you.
Jesus said to Peter regarding Satan’s plan for his life. “Peter, Satan has desired you that he may sieve you as wheat!” He wants to put you between two grinding stones and tear you up so that there’s nothing left. Do you understand what Satan wants to do to you? By the way, Satan doesn’t care if you have had a bad day. He doesn’t say, “Oh, he had a bad day today, I’ll give him a break today and start again tomorrow!” In fact, if he can gain a little space to get into your life because of your weakness, he’ll use it. He won’t give you a rest or a break because he wants to see you fall and he wants to see your life destroyed.
3 KING HEZEKIAH
The passage in 2 Chronicles 32 helps us to have victory over that kind of enemy. It is not a victory you can have of yourself apart from another’s strength. You need strength that you don’t have and it’s available.
A What kind of king was King Hezekiah?
Let’s start from 2Chron 31:20, 21 to see what kind of a guy Hezekiah, the king of Judah was.
The bible says these words in 2Chron 31:20, 21, “And thus did Hezekiah throughout all Judah and wrought that which was good and right and truth before the LORD his God. And in every work that he began in the service of the house of God, and in the law, and in the commandments, to seek his God, he did it with all his heart, and prospered.”
Hezekiah’s greatest desire was to do what God wanted him to do. When he put his hand to do the work of God, he gave himself completely to do it. He didn’t approach it haphazardly or casually. He did it with all his might.
OK, let’s try this! I’ll say 123, and you’ll say “AMEN”. Now, when I count to three, you say “Hallelujah”. When I count to three, you say “Glory”. See, we’re programmed to think that if everybody does it, then I’ll do it.
Let me tell you what Hezekiah did. He didn’t care what everybody did, and he didn’t bother about what the kings before him had done, he wanted to serve God with all his heart! He said, “If I put my hand to it, I’m going to put my hand to it with all my might!”
The bible said in Corinthians, “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God” (1Cor 10:31). The bible says we are to give ourselves fully to do those things He wants us to do. Listen, if God saves your soul and you know you are on your way to heaven, give yourselves to it. Do it with all your might and with all your strength. Don’t just serve God on Sunday and say, “I’ve done my duties and I can do what I want on Monday!” Isn’t He a King who’s worth serving with all your hearts?” Hezekiah gave himself to it and served Him with all his might.
B What would happen when we start to serve God?
Let’s turn to your bible now and let’s look at 2 Chron and let’s start with verse 1. “After these things, (After what things? After he had served God) and the establishment thereof, Sennacherib king of Assyria came, and entered into Judah, and encamped against the fenced cities, and thought to win them for himself. And when Hezekiah saw that Sennacherib was come, and that he was purposed to fight against Jerusalem, He took counsel with his princes and his mighty men to stop the waters of the fountains which were without the city, and they did help him. (So many people were gathered to stop the fountains and the brooks that ran through the midst of the land saying, “Why should the king of Assyria come and find much water?”
What happened was Hezekiah was serving God in his life. He was serving him with all his strength and might. In the midst of that, the enemy said, “I’m going to chew you up, and spit you out. I’m going to do to you as I desire to do to the Apostle Peter years later! I want to sieve you as wheat!”
Sennacherib’s army up to this point had been undefeated. If he showed up with his host of army, he won. Nobody could stop him. Sennacherib’s army seemed undefeatable. So what did Hezekiah do? Hezekiah’s enemy was knocking at his door. Listen, when the enemy knocks at your door, Satan is more powerful than you. He’s the roaring lion that walks about and not you. What are you going to do? How can you have victory over that kind of a force, over that strength of the enemy!
4 THE THREE THINGS HEZEKIAH DID
A The first thing Hezekiah did : Stop the waters
The things that Hezekiah did was firstly, he did not provide for the enemy. That makes sense doesn’t it? Can you imagine if your enemy pulls a gun on you, and instead you ask him, “Do you have any bullets for your gun and do you want some?” Does anybody give the bad guy the bullets for the gun? Nobody would do that!
What did Hezekiah do when he found that Sennacherib came to destroy him? The first thing he did was to remove all the waters of the fountains. Doesn’t it make sense that we don’t provide for the enemy?
Have you provided for the enemy before? Ok, if you have some problems or struggles, do you think Satan would try to capitalize on your struggles? Sure, he does.
Do you know we at times set the table for the enemy? We provide for him. If I want to have victory over Satan, why in the world would I want to provide for him? Why should I help him with his course?
If somebody struggles in his mind with what they are thinking, does it make sense they shouldn’t read books that communicate some of the trash that they are struggling with in their minds? Does it make sense to you that they ought to get rid of the book if they want victory in their mind? Doesn’t that make sense? If a person struggles with alcohol, doesn’t it make sense to get rid of the drinks from the home, so that he won’t struggle with it? A person who struggles with anger, doesn’t it make sense if they remove things from their lives that bring on such fits of rage and begin to place into their lives those defences that will give victory over their enemy?
If you are to put on a piece of paper one thing you struggle with and the devil knows it, he will hit you over and over again. Is there anything you do today to provide help or fuel to the enemy? Won’t it make sense to get rid of it? Does God the Holy Spirit right now say to you, “Hey, why don’t you deal with that thing?” Why don’t you surrender that thing? Why don’t you remove that from your home? Why don’t you clean that out? Why don’t you stub that out and stop providing for the enemy?
The first thing that Hezekiah does knowing that the enemy is coming, he says, “hey, if he’s coming, I’m not going to take care of his provisions”.
The bible told us that we are to make no place for the enemy. So stub out the well if you want victory! The first thing Hezekiah did was to refuse to provide for his enemy .
B The second thing Hezekiah did : Rebuild the broken wall
What was the second thing he did? 2Chron 32:5 “Also, he strengthened himself, and built up all the wall that was broken, and raised it up to the towers, and another wall without, and repaired Millo in the city of David and made darts and shields in abundance.”
The first thing he did was he stopped all provisions for the enemy. The second thing he did was to rebuild the walls of separation. He basically did the same thing that Nehemiah did when Nehemiah returned to Jerusalem years later. When Nehemiah returned, he walked round the wall to make observations. He said, “This part of the wall is still pretty good and this part of the wall is very bad.” He kept walking to make observations about the walls of Jerusalem.
Would there be part of your wall of protection that would be fairly strong walls? In other words, it is that part of your life that you don’t necessarily struggle. Ok, we thank the Lord that these areas aren’t a source of temptation for you. For example if someone comes up to you and say, “Hey, do you want some drugs?” You say, “Oh, whatever....” Well, we thank God that that is a strong area of my life. We have some areas where the walls are strong.
But do you have some areas where your walls are weak? Well, you’ll have to look at it and say, “Oh, that part is not really strong!” Maybe after the message, you come up to me and say, “Oh, brother Jeff, thank you for the message, and that was a blessing!” And I try to be pious and say, “Thank you, oh thank you, praise the Lord!” However, my head is big and I can’t even get out of the door and I have to go sideways!” Is it possible that the pride is the matter where the wall is not supposed to be where it should be?
Hezekiah built up the wall of separation. He found out where it needed to be re-built. It wasn’t the whole wall, but only the areas that were weak. As believers, God calls us to strengthen our walls. Those are the areas which we struggle with. We need help in these areas.
The church is a body that comes together for the magnification of Jesus Christ and the edification of the body. Could we go up to a person to share about the area of our weakness and ask him/her for help? It’s humbling isn’t? Do you like to go up to somebody and say, “I really struggle in this area, could you help me?” We don’t feel comfortable doing that. The church is a body of believers that come together. If you have areas of weakness, parts of your walls are weak. First of all, be in church. Come to church. Gather for the strengthening of the body, for the preaching of the Word, go to your bible studies, your cell groups, and get involved and strengthen the walls of separation against the enemy.
What did Hezekiah do? The first thing was to stop providing for the enemy. The second thing was to build the wall of separation between him and his enemy.
C The third thing Hezekiah did : Set Captains of war over the people
The third thing that he did was – 2Chron32:6: “And he set captains of war over the people, and gathered them together to hear him in the street of the gate of the city, and spake comfortably to them.”
I’ve been long enough in the ministry to know that one of the main problems people have in church is to submit to authority. People say, “O, I love the church, but I mean.. ah....could I share this with you as a prayer request? It just breaks my heart about some of the things the leadership does.” And they start talking about the leadership. “ O, the leadership are good people, but I don’t agree with them!” We‘re trying to communicate subtly that we don’t agree with them.
Do you have perfect leadership in GLCC? What do we do then? The people have to be organized under a leadership but that does not mean they have perfect authority. The authority is from God and they are supposed to submit themselves to it. Gossips can destroy a church; especially when you start to gossip about your church leadership. Gossip is saying anything to anyone when the person to whom you are talking to can do nothing about the problem. Gossip is rebellion. Rebellion is to believe a lie.
Authority is set by God for our protection. Where do you hold the umbrella when it is raining? The umbrella protects you, as long as you are underneath it, from everything that’s coming down. Authority is designed by God to be the umbrella of protection. When you remove the umbrella of protection, you become open to those things that Satan has desired to do in your life. You become open to the attack of the enemy. So, why shouldn’t we keep ourselves underneath that umbrella of protection?
How many of us here are teenagers? It is a universal problem that teenagers doubt their authority. When your parents say something, teenagers would reply, “Whatever!” and they would roll their eyes. The teens don’t think their parents know what they are talking about.
What about leaders of the church or cell groups? Even adults are not exempted from rolling their eyes. We get upset because we don’t like what the authority tells us to do. The authority might be wrong, but we have to still submit to the authority.
How many of you have difficult bosses? Take your bible and turn to Gen 16. Do we obey only those who are good and gentle? The bible says we ought to submit ourselves to men’s authority because all authority comes from God.
Sarai was very upset with her handmaid, Hagar. Abram had a child with Hagar which he shouldn’t have. It was outside of God’s will. God says, “I will bless you and your wife with a child, but not with your wife’s handmaid. Abram went outside of God’s perfect plan and he had a child. When Hagar had a child, she used it against Sarai. Sarai was jealous. Hagar had the baby and maybe she glanced at Sarai. It bothered Sarai so much. She was upset and it went on and on.
So, in Gen 16:6 “And Abram said unto Sarai, Behold, thy maid is in thy hand; do to her as it pleaseth thee. And when Sarai dealt hardly with her, she fled from her face.” Hardly means harshly.
Hagar left the place. She didn’t want to submit to Sarai. Gen 16:7, “But the angel of the Lord found her by the fountain of water in the wilderness, by the fountain in the way to Shur. And he said, Hagar, Sarai’s maid, whence camest thou? And whither wilt thou go? And she said, I flee from the face of my mistress Sarai. And the angel of the LORD said unto her, “return to thy mistress, and submit thyself under her hands.”
Submit to a harsh master? Submit to someone that is harsh to me? Heb 13:17, “Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.”
If you want to have victory over your enemy, stay under the umbrella of authority; even if the authority is not perfect. God has given us not perfect authority but right authority- One who loves you, cares for you and wants the name of Christ to be magnified in you and in me. Submit yourselves; put yourselves underneath the protection of the umbrella of authority. He will use it to protect you against the enemy.
D The fourth thing Hezekiah did : to refocus their attention on God
What’s the last thing he did? Look at 2Chron 32:7-8 “Be strong and courageous, be not afraid nor dismayed for the king of Assyria, not for all the multitude that is with him: for there be more with us than with him: With him is an arm of flesh; but with us is the LORD our God to help us, and to fight our battles. And the people rested themselves upon the words of Hezekiah, king of Judah.”
Hezekiah told the people to refocus their attention on God. He told the people not to worry about Sennacherib, king of Assyria and the huge mass of people. There were more with us than with him. How could that be? It is more when we count God in with Hezekiah.
Did Hezekiah have the power, might and the strength himself to defeat such an incredible Sennacherib army? The answer is no. There were literally hundreds and thousands of soldiers with Sennacherib. There was no way that Hezekiah could go up to Sennacherib man for man to fight the battle. They would be wiped out from the face of the earth. So, how are they going to defeat them?
We have strength not in ourselves but in the strength of our Jehovah God. Our God can destroy any foe that comes up before us. The sin that we have fallen to is the sin that Christ has died and conquered.
Sennacherib says in 2Chron 32:15 “Now therefore let not Hezekiah deceive you, nor persuade you on this manner, neither yet believe him: for no god of any nation or kingdom was able to deliver his people out of mine hand, and out of the hand of my fathers: how much less shall your God deliver you out of mine hand?” Sennacherib said that nobody had victory over him and they were not going to be the first.
The bible says in Rom 8:12-13, “Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. For if ye live after the flesh ye shall die; but if ye through the Spirit do mortify (put to death) the deeds of the body, ye shall live.” In Rom 13:14, the bible says, “But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.”
What happens when we put on Jesus Christ in the power of His Spirit? When we put on Christ, there is no enemy, there is no foe, and there is no sin that the power of Christ cannot conquer. When Jesus Christ died on the cross of Calvary, He rose as the ultimate victor over sin. There is no sin that can defeat me now because Christ is the one who fights for me and He is the one in whom I have all victory.
God gave a powerful reminder to a man named Job. Job assumed he had done right and that the victory was his and the strength was his.
God reminded Job that he was not God. If you have victory through your strength, you’ll get the glory.
Listen to the conversation in Job 40:7-14 that God had with Job, “Gird up the loins now like a man: I will demand of thee, and declare thou unto me. Wilt thou also disannul my judgment? Wilt thou condemn me, that thou mayest be righteous? Hast thou an arm like God? Or canst thou thunder with a voice like him? Deck thyself now with majesty and excellency; and array thyself with glory and beauty. Cast abroad the rage of thy wrath: and behold every one that is proud, and abase him. Look on every one that is proud, and bring him low; and tread down the wicked in their place. Hide them in the dust together and bind their faces in secret. Then (if you can do that, Job) will I also confess unto thee that thine own right hand can save thee.”
Did Job have a strength and arm that could save himself? Absolutely not! Does God have an arm of strength that can save you? Absolutely.
Let me ask you, “Is Satan, your enemy, having victory day after day? Is he? It is not in your strength that you can have victory. With God’s strength, you can stop providing for him; you can rebuild the wall of separation to throw out his attack; you can put yourself underneath the umbrella of protection; you can look unto Jesus, the author and finisher of your faith who for the joy that was set before him, endured the cross, despised the shame, and now sat down at the right hand of the Father. It means He sat down saying, “It’s finished!” There is no more work to do. All that is necessary has been completed and I am your victor! Rest in Him.
God, I focus my attention on you as I don’t have the might and I don’t have the strength. If I look at my enemy, he is greater than I; his power is much more than mine. I look to you, the one who has all victory. I claim your victory as my own.
You, my friend, if you know Christ and are crucified with Christ, nevertheless you live, not you, but Christ lives in you. Claim that victory, His victory as your own. Let’s pray.
Transcribed by Sheermen Leng; Edited by Catherine Ho.