FIVE PRINCIPLES FOR SPIRITUAL VICTORY

Posted by Perry


JOSHUA 5:13-6:21


Joshua facing battle of Jericho…
Survey situation before the battle…
Have a heart check-up before battle…
overcome challenge of past failures
failure 40 yrs ago disobedient nation…
Phil 3: (Paul says…)
V12 no one escapes failure of some kind
V13 leave the past where it is…in the past
V13 focus on those things you can do something about
#1 BATTLE WON BY REMEMBERING WHO’S IN CHARGE (V.13-15 & 6:2)
friend or foe… “NEITHER”…?
God doesn’t take sides
God takes over!
Don’t ask if God is on our side…
Ask if we are on God’s side!
Physically, emotionally & spiritually
Israel had tried to take the land on their own previously…
w/out God they failed miserably
Must encounter Jesus Christ
fell on face & worshipped Him
angels don’t allow us to worship them
What are my instructions?
Take off shoes, you're on holy ground (heard that before?)
battle won, past tense (B4 it ever started…)
#2 GOD’S METHODS R NOT MAN’S METHODS BUT GOD’S R ALWAYS RIGHT (V. 3-9)
strange instructions for battle
march around city for 6 days
ark of covenant (presence of Lord) out front of procession
people shouted & walls fell??
God sometimes puts our contributions on sideline so people can see GOD!
2Co 4:7 We are like clay jars in which this treasure is stored. The real power comes from God and not from us.
#3 THE BEST WAY 2 HEAR FROM GOD IS 2 BE QUIET (V.10)
don’t shout, yell, talk or respond to those on the wall…
by 6th day everybody was on the wall watching, heckling, spitting…
control our tongue & let God do the speaking
Exo 14:14 The Lord will make war for you, you have only to keep quiet.
Psa 46:10 Our God says, "Calm down, and learn that I am God! All nations on earth will honor me."
Psa 46:11 The LORD All-Powerful is with us. The God of Jacob is our fortress.
#4 VICTORY IS OURS IF WE DON’T QUIT (V. 16, 20)
picture this…2 million people marching 7 times around a walled city…the lines began to overlap until the city was surrounded on all sides by multiple lines hundreds deep…
SHOUT! And the people shouted
Wall fell flat (w/ crowd on top)
God honors “obedience”...
Not our strength, intelligence, good looks…
Victory doesn’t usually come in the first round…
#5 DON’T BE FOOLED A DAY OF JUDGMENT IS COMING (V. 17, 20)
everyone in city killed, young & old
Jericho had 40 yrs to repent
While Israel wandered in wilderness
2Pe 3:3 But first you must realize that in the last days some people won't think about anything except their own selfish desires. They will make fun of you
2Pe 3:9 The Lord isn't slow about keeping his promises, as some people think he is. In fact, God is patient, because he wants everyone to turn from sin and no one to be lost.
2Pe 3:10 The day of the Lord's return will surprise us like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a loud noise, and the heat will melt the whole universe. Then the earth and everything on it will be seen for what they are.
2Pe 3:11 Everything will be destroyed. So you should serve and honor God by the way you live.

WHAT TO DO WITH YOUR BURDENS

Posted by Perry


GALATIANS 6:2-5
CBC 1/17/10 SM
We all have burdens
· physical handicap
· chronic sickness
· abnormality U can’t change
· spiritual burdens
o hurricane Satan
o storm surge of sin
o suffering spiritual consequences
· emotional burdens
o depression
o anxiety
o heartache over loss
o financial reversal
ILL: Chinese woman lost her son/could not find comfort/went to wise old man/”go to a home that has not sorrow or grief, and bring back a mustard seed, and I will restore your son”/after several days woman returned/”I have been so selfish in my grief…sorrow is common to every home.”
SOME BURDENS ARE MEANT TO BE SHARED [BY OTHERS]
· Gal 6:1 Brethren, even if a man be overtaken in any trespass,
o Not someone who [CHOOSES to live in sin]
ye who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; looking to thyself, lest thou also be tempted.
o Rather than pointing accusing fingers
o Rather than shooting the wounded
o Reach down & give them a helping hand to lift them up
o Help them get back on track
o Supposed to encourage/strengthen one another when it comes to faults & failures
Gal 6:2 Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.
Gal 6:3 For if a man thinketh himself to be something when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself.
· What keeps us from bearing another’s burdens?
o Thinking ourselves above ever need this kind of help
o Self-righteousness – “value by comparison” [better than those that have inconsistencies]
o That’s SELF-DECEPTION
§ All need each other @ times
ILL: preacher preaching this sermon & asked if anyone had ever heard of a perfect person other than Jesus/man in back raised his hand/ “I don’t know him, but I’ve heard a lot about him…my wife’s 1st husband!”
· Sorrow and Grief
o @ any given time @ CBC we have someone under a heavy load of grief
Rth 2:13 Then she said, Let me find favour in thy sight, my lord; for that thou hast comforted me, and for that thou hast spoken friendly unto thine handmaid, though I be not like unto one of thine handmaidens.
· she was stranger in a foreign land
o an outcast
o expected to be ostracized
o expected to do without
o someone came into her life and gave her comfort
· whom have you “comforted” lately?
o Who has comforted you?
o 1 reason God allows suffering
§ so we can comfort
§ so we can be comforted
2Co 1:4 Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.
ILL: George W. Truett, 1st Baptist, Dallas gave counsel to a lady who had lost a baby. Hours of counsel didn’t seem to help the woman. He enlisted the help of another lady who had been through it before. She did more in 5 minutes than he ever did.
· Don’t wallow in self-pity & allow ur tragedy to be wasted
o God wants to use them for good in others
o You have been through things I can’t help people with
· be patient, kind & understanding b/c everyone has burdens
o lift a burden w/ a note
o lift a burden w/ out-loud prayer w/ that person
SOME BURDENS ARE MEANT TO BE SHOULDERED ALONE
Gal 6:5 For every man shall bear his own burden.
· Consequences of personal sin
o People want to sin & ignore the consequences
o Attitude today is: “it’s somebody else’s fault
St. Louis Post-Dispatch report
· Killers become killers for 2 reasons
o Difficult delivery @ birth
o Rejected by their mother
o Don’t forget we still have FREE CHOICE!...
o Parents lifestyle may have exposed U 2 certain sins, but you still have FREE CHOICE
We like to play the blame game
· Started w/ Adam & Eve
o When R we going 2 grow us & fess up & say, “I’m responsible”
· we can choose sin, but we can’t choose consequences
o we have free will, so does God when He READS OUR METER
Gal 6:7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.
Gal 6:8 For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.
Judgment is Serious
* everyone will stand before God some day
SOME BURDENS ARE MEANT TO BE SHED
Psa 55:22 Cast thy burden upon Jehovah, and he will sustain thee: He will never suffer the righteous to be moved.
Jesus is our great burden bearer
· we cling to burdens we should give to Him
o deceived thinking He wants us to carry them
Mat 11:28 Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Mat 11:29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
Mat 11:30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
· THE LORD WILL LIFT THE BURDEN
o PS 55:22 said, & He shall sustain the burden???NO!
o said, “& He shall sustain thee”
I must tell Jesus, all of my trials, I cannot bear these burdens alone, in my distress He kindly will help me, He ever loves and cares for His own.

Rx For The Soul...Depression

Posted by Perry


1 Kings 19:1-18
CBC 1/10/10 SM
INTRO: Name the Opposites…
Joy – Sadness
Depression – Elation
Woe – “giddy up” …lol
Psychiatrists Minrith & Meier… “Majority of Americans suffer from a serious, clinical depression @ some point in their lives. Most never get help…they just fight this battle on their own.”
Depression is wide-spread
50,000 people/wk @ Minrith-Meier Clinics
Depression Case Study in I Kings 19:
CLASSIC SYMPTOMS
· Fear – 1Ki 19:3 Then he was afraid, and he arose and ran for his life
· Suicidal tendencies – 1Ki 19:4 But he himself went a day's journey into the wilderness and came and sat down under a broom tree. And he asked that he might die, saying, "It is enough; now, O LORD, take away my life, for I am no better than my fathers."
· Excessive tiredness – 1Ki 19:5 And he lay down and slept under a broom tree.
· Feelings of rejection – 1Ki 19:10 He said, "I have been very jealous for the LORD, the God of hosts. For the people of Israel have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword, and I, even I only, am left, and they seek my life, to take it away."
PREVIOUS EVENT
· victory on Mt. Carmel
· exposed 400 prophets of Baal as fake
· experienced “fire from heaven”
· experienced “drought breaking rain”
· v-i-c-t-o-r-y
· why would a man who had preached an impressive message & experienced displays of God’s power…
o be crippled by fear?
o Exp. Hopelessness & despair?
o Run away into desolate corner of world & seek to die?
· probably all kinds of reasons
o fact is it happens all the time
o not a mark of a lack of faith
o not necessarily a mark of an immoral lifestyle
§ Elijah was THE man of God in his day
§ Now he’s down in the depths of despair
THAT’S NOT WHERE GOD LEFT HIM
God didn’t say, “well sorry Elijah – you have a chemical imbalance, and Paxil hasn’t been invented yet – so I can’t help you!”
· long before psychiatry
· before pills
· God healed a man of depression
NOTICE WHAT GOD DID
· God recognized Elijah’s depression was not an imaginary problem
o Didn’t tell him to increase his “faith”
o Didn’t treat him roughly
o In answer to Elijah’s prayer to die, God just lets him sleep.
o Then an angel feeds him & lets him sleep some more
o Then God sends him down to the desert in the South for 40 days & nights.
o In all that time God doesn’t say a word
o God doesn’t offer any council
o God doesn’t set him down for a face to face talk
o Elijah is left alone and given time to rest and think
GOD’S PRESCRIPTION FOR ELIJAH
· First, God sent him to church
o Mt. Horeb – mount of God in the peninsula of Sinai where the law was given to Israel.
o Church one of best places to deal with depression Gal 6:2 Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.
o Duke University – study of 4000 older adults. “Attendance at a house of worship is related to lower rates of depression and anxiety.”
o Time alone w/ God in prayer and meditation
o Andrew Newberg, Dir. Clinical nuclear medicine @ Univ. of Pittsburgh used SPECT technique, prayer & meditation lower risk of depression & improve immune function.
· Second, God had Elijah tell Him what the problem was
And after the fire the sound of a low whisper.
1Ki 19:13 And when Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. And behold, there came a voice to him and said, "What are you doing here, Elijah?"

o Didn’t God know?...of course
o Elijah needed to vocalize what was wrong in his life
o Elijah needed to explain what he tho’t the problem was
o After verbalizing it…
· Third, God dealt with the false beliefs that were fueling Elijah’s depression.
o Joh 8:32 You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."
o Why is that?
o b/c false ideas (esp about God) have power to put us in bondage.
o Our lives are built around what we think is true about life.
o If the foundations of that reasoning are based on wrong info or impressions the result can be devastating
o Elijah’s reply revealed what he had wrong…”he didn’t think God was doing anything” 1Ki 19:14 And he said, I have been very jealous for Jehovah, the God of hosts; for the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away.
o SW AR English – I’ve been beating my head against the wall serving you Lord. Everything seems to be falling apart…What have you been doing?
o God then corrects his thinking 1Ki 19:18 Yet will I leave me seven thousand in Israel, all the knees which have not bowed unto Baal, and every mouth which hath not kissed him.
God says, “I haven’t been doing nothing, I’m just getting started.” 1Ki 19:15 And Jehovah said unto him, Go, return on thy way to the wilderness of Damascus: and when thou comest, thou shalt anoint Hazael to be king over Syria;
1Ki 19:16 and Jehu the son of Nimshi shalt thou anoint to be king over Israel; and Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abel-meholah shalt thou anoint to be prophet in thy room.
o 1Ki 19:17 And it shall come to pass, that him that escapeth from the sword of Hazael shall Jehu slay; and him that escapeth from the sword of Jehu shall Elisha slay.

· in our depression we tend to think God isn’t doing anything
o we have no hope
o no confidence
o God isn’t easily seen
o Need to realize, GOD IS WORKING IN OUR LIVES…even when we can’t see Him
CONCLUSION
· God got Elijah to church
· He got Elijah to tell Him what was wrong
· God corrected some of his false thinking & beliefs
· And lastly, God gave Elijah something to do.
Dr. Carl Menninger was asked, “What would you advise a person to do if that person felt a nervous breakdown coming on?”
Answer: “Lock up your house, go across the railroad tracks, find somebody in need, and help that person.” To overcome discouragement, “Don’t focus on yourself, get involved in the lives of other people.”