“For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost.” Luke 19:10 (NLT2) And it is not without brutal conflict! “We know… that the world around us is under the control of the evil one.” 1 John 5:19 (NLT2)

That is why there is no possibility of avoiding real life conflicts, real battles, or crisis situations in this world. It is no secret! “For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.” Ephesians 6:12 (NLT2) God does not offer short cuts to maturity in preparing for the battles ahead for the Christian.

But God promises to:
1/ bring those He calls through the battles

2/ bring them to a new understanding of Him

3/ shape their character in new and fresh ways

Real battles by real enemies provide opportunities for God to develop character and trust. But be warned, do not be like Lot, who was a believer of God, but still chose to live where God had not directed, and endangered his family by moving to where sin reigned.

If you choose to live where God has not directed…
1/ sin reigns (Romans 14:23 “… for whatever is not from faith is sin.”)

And remember, faith is believing God and obeying Him before you understand why.

2/ you must be prepared to accept the consequences

Defeat, loss, and destruction are a high price to pay for you and your family.

Every man must have a battle to fight, A GREAT MISSION that transcends his home and family! And YOU DO!!!!! God created you to be his close friend and ally and join Him in His great battle. You have been given a mission!!!! “And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force.” Matthew 11:12 

This is the reason you must hear from God like Abram for your true new name, in it is the mission. If you walk out of your place in the battle line it will remain empty and weaken the church and its mission for the Lord Jesus Christ

Jesus prayed: “I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one. [16] They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. [17] Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth. [18] As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. [19] And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also may be sanctified by the truth.” John 17:15-19 

Your initiation from your past life into true discipleship is as Christ prayed, putting you into the front lines of the Great Battle for the Kingdom of God. To pull off the control the devil has on people we must do “it by force.” This is not a battle with people but unseen beings of great power. Jesus, the Lord of Hosts, wants to develop and release the qualities of every warrior…and open their eyes to a clear awareness of the enemy.

The qualities of every warrior…
1/ Above all he has a vision, a cause greater than self-preservation. Remember our whole defeat was seeking to save our self respect, reputation, our value, etc

Mark 8:35
“For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it.”

This does not mean to be willing to die for Christ someday! Jesus explains, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.” Luke 9:23

John Eldredge:
“For years all my daily energy was spent trying to beat the trials in my life and arrange for a little pleasure. My weeks were wasted away either striving or indulging. I was a mercenary. A mercenary fights for pay, for his own benefit; his life is devoted to himself.”

2/ A lie of the devil is that you are insignificant, but your name and significance is locked in your spiritual gift

Your Three Enemies:  World, Flesh, the Devil

1/ Flesh – Traitor Within
flesh, old man, sinful nature = that bent inside that always wants the selfish and easiest way out

Your flesh is a weak, selfish pig… but NOT your true heart (spirit)

Romans 7:18-24 (NLT2)
18  And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. I want to do what is right, but I can’t.
19  I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway.
20  But if I do what I don’t want to do, I am not really the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it.
21  I have discovered this principle of life—that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong.
22  I love God’s law with all my heart.
23  But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me.
24  Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death?

BUT keep reading! The next thing Paul writes explains the solution to his past enslavement to sin. As a Jew he only had the Law that told him what sin was, but Jesus paid the price for sin, and then He gives Christians a new obedient heart.

Romans 8:1-3 (NLT2)
1  So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.
2  And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death.
3  The law of Moses was unable to save us because of the weakness of our sinful nature. So God did what the law could not do. He sent his own Son in a body like the bodies we sinners have. And in that body God declared an end to sin’s control over us by giving his Son as a sacrifice for our sins.

Ezekiel 36:26-27 (NKJV)
26  I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.
27  I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them.

1/ You are not just a sinner saved by grace

Any warrior will give up if deep down he thinks he is a traitor, no victory will ever happen, he is just a sinner anyway. But…

2/ You are a new creation, a saint with a brand new heart!

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” 2 Corinthians 5:17

You are a saint!
You are a holy one!
You are a son of God!

Revelation 14:12 (NKJV) Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.

1 Peter 2:5 (NKJV) you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

Galatians 3:26 (NKJV) For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.

Your flesh is that false front, phony self you lived for all those years before Christ saved you. Crucify it, not your heart!

2/ The World

The world offers counterfeit love
The world seeks counterfeit beauty
The world offers counterfeit battles such as to battle your way to the top in business and you think you are a man. But why are they the most empty, frightened, prideful of people?

The world offers …

false sense of security
false sense of power
false sense of acceptance
addictions, abuse, etc
knowledge for prestige

But the Lord Jesus says…

Christ says give it up…
“Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ.” Philippians 3:8

3/ The Devil

An example of the power of the devil is in the story of Job. The Chaldeans led by the devil stole Job’s property and killed his servants. (Job 1:12, 17) Are they the terrorists of today?

Another example…

Poor woman suffered physically for 18 years
“So ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has bound–think of it–for eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath?” Luke 13:16

Ananias and Sapphira
But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and keep back part of the price of the land for yourself? Acts 5:3

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