Sr. Pastor Darrell G Vaughn
Faithfulness – A Key Step to Happiness
Feb 24 2013; “Lifted Up!” Pt7 1 of 2
Sun PM Worship The Final Showdown.
Text John: 12:31-50 (King James Version)
“Father, I am your servant, willing and desiring to be used to bless your people.”
The Fields are
white and the laborers are few!
C.H. Spurgeon said, “If God does not save a man by truth he certainly will not save them by lies, and if
the old gospel is not competent to work a revival, then we will do without the revival;”
Only eternity will reveal
the number of Christians who have led unproductive lives because of their
unwillingness to fight evil in the spiritual realm.
Only eternity will reveal the number of Christians who have forsaking their ministries due to the attacks of the enemy.
Joh 12:32 And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.
Joh 3:14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:
Joh 3:15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.
Joh 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
How do we lift him up?
1: with our Praise and Worship.
2: With our Testimony
3: With our Obedience
4: with our Humility and part 2
6: With our Gifts of the Holy Spirit
7: The Final Showdown.
A Fight of Faith “ The Battle of All Battles!”
1Ti 6:7 For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.
1Ti 6:8 And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.
1Ti 6:9 But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.
1Ti 6:10 For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
1Ti 6:11 But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.
1Ti 6:12 Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.
1Ti 6:13 I give thee charge in the sight of God, who quickeneth all things, and before Christ Jesus, who before Pontius Pilate witnessed a good confession;
1Ti 6:14 That thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukeable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ:
1Ti 6:15 Which in his times he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords;
1Ti 6:16 Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen.
1Ti 6:17 Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy;
1Ti 6:18 That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate;
1Ti 6:19 Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.
1Ti 6:20 O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called:
Let’s pray. Father, Open my eyes so I can see Your truth.
Open my ears so I can hear
Your voice. Open my mind so I can understand Your Word.
And open my heart so I may receive all that You want me to receive. AMEN
We do not have a spirit problem if we are born again. We have a soul problem.
It is what the apostle Paul called walking in the flesh is to have a carnal mind (Romans 8:5-9).
And a carnal Christian is one who follows.... animal impulses.
Heb 10:37 For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry.
Heb 10:38 Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.
Heb 10:39 But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.
Heb 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
2Co 5:7 (For we walk by faith, not by sight:)
Gal 5:25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
Our enemy is committed to
doing everything possible to make us ineffective ....in our personal lives ...
and in our personal ministries.
If we are ineffective,.... we hurt others; ....we hurt the church ....... and in essence we help the devil!
Satan knows full well that he has already been defeated at the Cross ..... that his time is limited.
Only eternity will reveal the number of Christians who have led unproductive lives because of their unwillingness to fight evil in the spiritual realm.
Only eternity will reveal the number of Christians who have forsaking their ministries due to the attacks ..... of the enemy.
Peter informs us (1 Peter 5:8-9,) BIBLE "Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion seeking someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith..." END
But far too many people have the wrong idea concerning the word "Resist".
Somewhere along the way resisting Satan was changed to ignore Satan or the belief ....that he does not exist at all!
Rom 6:12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.
Rom 6:13 Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.
Rom 6:14 For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.
Rom 6:15 What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.
Rom 6:16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?
Rom 6:17 But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.
Rom 6:18 Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.
Rom 6:19 I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness.
Rom 6:20 For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness.
Rom 6:21 What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death.
Rom 6:22 But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.
Rom 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Where did we ever get the idea ...that the best approach to dealing with the enemy ....is to dismiss and ignore him as nothing more than a fantasy or theological myth?
Passive neglect is a poor tactic to use against any adversary.
Standing against the enemy’s challenge to combat is not a task to be taken lightly.
Satan is a cunning .... and a relentless adversary.
His mastery of evil ...enables him to fashion lewd temptations ....or fling fiery darts with amazing accuracy.
Job, Joshua, Daniel, David and the apostle Paul were men who had real and convincing experiences that proved that they were not immune to the wiles of a very real Devil.
If these great saints of the Bible were vulnerable to Satan and his demonic army ...why would we think .....that we should expect anything less?
The greatest example of all is the audacity of Satan to tempt the son of God .... in the wilderness.
If Satan is brazen enough to get in the face of Christ why should we expect him or his army steer clear of us?
The writer of Hebrews lays before us this truth: BIBLE "For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weakness, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin." END
Satan wants to keep you from fulfilling the purpose for which you were created.
He wants to keep you from using the power of God ... to overcome his attacks.
He wants the human race to stay in bondage and in defeat.
Christians are called to be the spiritually commissioned and empowered army of God; demonstrating the power of God by living: .... victorious, fruitful, and godly lives.
Satan and evil forces in the heavenly places are seeking to neutralize the followers of Christ ....at all cost.
This is the whole reason why Satan is on the attack against Christians, ....... especially those Believers who are responding to God’s call.....Those that are pressing the spiritual battle on the front lines.
Although we will never be immune from the attacks from the enemy; .... there are things we can do to be prepared to do battle in the spiritual realm.
First, we must cultivate humility and obedience.
Scripture presents humility as a divine requirement and an endearing characteristic for all Christians.
The prophet Micah (6:8), shares this truth BIBLE "... The Lord is already told you what is good, and this is what he requires: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God." END
Pride was the lethal poison that sent Lucifer falling from the sky ....like lightning.
This is why, Peter warns us (5:5), ......... God abhors pride and is drawn to humility.
If we want to resist the devil..... we had better first make sure that we are not putting "up" a barrier with God due to pride in our life!
Humility comes from acknowledging that Satan’s power is such ..... that we cannot defeat him in our own strength....... Ever!
Humility comes from acknowledging that Christ’s power is such that Satan cannot defeat him ....in his own strength... Ever!
Under-estimating either of these two supernatural truths .... will lead to certain defeat. (Pause)
Humility must be combined ....with obedience.
The prophet Samuel declared that (Slow) "to obey is better than sacrifice" .
Why?....for one simple reason: with sacrifice (Slow) We decide what God will get.
With obedience, .... we give to God... What he has asked us to give. To obey is better than sacrifice.
A second protection for the spiritual battle that lies before us... is our spiritual armor accompanied by spiritual accountability.
It is astonishing to learn how many Christians go throughout their lives .... without wearing their spiritual armor.
The most common reason seems to be ....simple carelessness.
People just do not think about putting on their spiritual armor.
Yet Paul is clear: Spiritual armor is not an optional accessory.
Those who choose to dismiss it .... do so at their own risk.
Paul summed up what we are to do each day ..... in four simple words.
“I die every day!" (Repeat)
Putting on the full armor of God is Synonymous with dying to self, .... With dying every day, ....With turning over our life daily to the Lordship of Jesus Christ.
Rather than visualizing literal helmets, breastplates and shields .... simply dedicate your first conscious thoughts each morning to the will of God.
Spiritual armor becomes a lifestyle when we choose to walk in the consciousness of God’s presence.
But spiritual armor must be accompanied with spiritual accountability.
One of the unhealthiest habits of a Christian is trying to live as .... a spiritual Lone Ranger.
Those who adopt this mentality are only inviting Satan ..into the deepest recesses of their very beings.
While we are entitled to our perspective on things, .....we must also be willing to admit that our view .... is limited.
By habitually rejecting counsel and insight, we become easy targets for the master of all deception.
Spiritual accountability with each other helps to establish guardrails, .....a safety line ....in case we stumble.
The Scriptures state this clearly in Hebrews (10:25), "and let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage and warn each other..."
Have Humility, Put on the Armor of God and be accountable to one another.
And Thirdly: a faithful prayer life must be a part of the battle plan.
Nothing of eternal significance is ever accomplished apart from prayer.
I am convinced that all .... or nearly all of our failures ....are prayer failures.
Prayer in a way is the fitness center for the soul. We need to go ... and "workout" every day.
It is been said that "seven days without prayer makes one weak. That is: "W. E. A. K."
We need to stop praying generic and vague prayers.
Battlefield prayer requires us to move in faith to: "not my will, but thy will be done."
The final protection .......is to take godly risks.
Many Christians overlook this .... because they think of "Risk"... as something to protect ourselves against.
When it comes to taking godly risks the real danger is often found lurking ... in the realm of status quo.
If we are to succeed on the spiritual battlefield, we must learn to walk in Faith.
And For the Christian, faith is not spelled "F-A-I-T-H" it is spelled "R-I-S-K."
Beloved....If something is not a risk,... Then it really does not require faith. (Repeat).
And The Scriptures are clear: "without faith it is impossible to please God". (Hebrews 11:6).
A risk-free life ... is a victory free life.
It means a lifelong surrender to the mediocre, which in a way is the worst of all possible defeats.
It is time for Christians to break free of being mediocre... Of being stationary .... Of not growing in their faith.
Satan and his army are a present reality in our lives whether we believe it or not. (Pause).
Beloved,... We are engaged in a spiritual war... A serious battle.
Paul told young Timothy: "fight the good fight of faith ... lay hold of eternal life."
The war we are involved in... Is that good fight.
Are you prepared for the battle? There is no time of idol sideline watching.
Satan and his army are
scattering and destroying,... Jesus Christ is gathering and building.
Are you standing with Jesus? Are you involved in building the kingdom; Are you involved in gathering the lost?
It is impossible to be neutral in this spiritual war.
I pray... That we all will boldly proclaim as the prophet Joshua... "As for me and my house we will serve the Lord".
Let us pray
O’ Heavenly father, prepare me, prepare us for the battle that lies ahead; Kindle in us the fire of your love; a fire for the saints and for the lost. Strengthen us and give us a heart to step out in faith, to step out and risk all of who we are .... To yield totally to your will; to step out and risk all for the gospel. O father not mine but thy will be done.
Amen and Amen!