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Overcoming or Overcome | Standing with the Lord

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
February 16, 2024 3:00 am

Overcoming or Overcome | Standing with the Lord

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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February 16, 2024 3:00 am

Kids learn early on the playground that if a bully is bigger than them, it’s good to have a friend who’s bigger than the bully. A bully who has met his match is no longer a threat. As the Bible says, "He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world" (1 John 4:4 NKJV). Our adversary is no match for our Almighty God. We stand in victory when we stand with the Lord! A good lesson on that today on A NEW BEGINNING as Pastor Greg continues his series called "Joshua: Living in the Land of Promises."

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A New Beginning is the daily half-hour program hosted by Greg Laurie, pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Southern California. For over 30 years, Pastor Greg and Harvest Ministries have endeavored to know God and make Him known through media and large-scale evangelism. This podcast is supported by the generosity of our Harvest Partners.

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Today's episode of A New Beginning is brought to you by Harvest Partners, helping people everywhere know God.

Learn more at harvest.org. And while you're there, browse our library of free ebooks designed to help you grow in your faith. The first step to winning in this spiritual battle is to stand as close to Christ as you possibly can.

When facing a strong adversary, it's good to have a strong ally. Coming up today on A New Beginning, Pastor Greg Laurie shows us where to find our help. I'm no match for the devil.

I'm not even a match for a demon. But if I stand on the Lord and the power of his might, I don't have to be afraid, because greater is he that is in me than he that is in the world, right? This is the day when the lost are found. This is the day for a new beginning. Amazing grace, how sweet the sound. Again you hear when the angels are singing.

This is the day, the day when life begins. Kids learn early on the playground that if a bully is bigger than them, it's good to have a friend who's bigger than the bully. A bully who's met his match is no longer a threat. Well, as Pastor Greg just said, greater is he that is in us than he that is in the world. Our adversary is no match for our Almighty God. We stand in victory when we stand with the Lord. A good lesson on that today on A New Beginning as Pastor Greg continues his series, Joshua, Living in the Land of Promises. This is the day, the day when life begins.

Okay. Grab your Bibles and turn to Joshua chapter five. And the title of my message is Overcoming or Overcome. And we're looking at the story of how Israel came into the promised land. The land that God had given them.

Make no mistake about it. God has given to the Jewish people the land of Israel. And He's given to them Jerusalem as their capital. But here now in the book of Joshua, the wilderness wanderings have come to an end. That first generation that doubted God are not entering into the promised land, but their children are. They're poised now to enter into Canaan's land, the land flowing with milk and honey, the promised land, modern day Israel.

And so that's where we pick this story up. And this is something that speaks to us. Because we might wonder why do we have such a place given in the Word of God, giving us a record of the military victories and sometime defeats of the Israeli army in the conquest of Canaan.

Answer. Because we too are at war. We're in a spiritual battle. The moment you become a Christian you enter into this war. It's not a choice of being in the war or not being in the war. It's just a choice of winning or losing, gaining ground or losing ground, being overcome or overcoming.

It's really up to us. It's been said the Christian life or conversion rather has made our hearts a battlefield. And the Christian life is not a playground.

It is indeed a battleground. Why? Because the devil doesn't want you to follow Christ. So the moment you put your faith in him he's going to oppose you. He's going to tempt you. He's going to harass you.

He's going to try to pull you away from this commitment that you have made. But thankfully God won't give us more than we can handle. Because 1 Corinthians 10 13 promises that when the temptations come our way there's always a way of escape that we may be able to bear it.

But the battle will indeed rage on in life. How did Satan even become Satan? Why would a loving God create someone as horrible as the devil?

Answer. He didn't. The Lord created a magnificent spirit being, an angelic creature known as Lucifer the son of the morning. But Lucifer rebelled against God. You know it's interesting the Bible never tells us how old Lucifer was when he did rebel against God.

I figure he was around 16 years old. It was teenage rebellion. The Lord told him to submit and worship and Lucifer said whatever.

I heard one comedian make this statement quote I believe teenagers are God's revenge on mankind. He said I think one day the good Lord looked down in creation and said let's see how they like it to create someone in their own image who denies their existence. Good point.

So we don't know anything about that of course. But the devil rebels against God and he took one third of the angels with him. Those fallen angels are now what we would call demons. So one third of the angelic forces sided with Lucifer and the other two thirds are on the Lord's side on our side. And what is the purpose of demons?

It seems to be twofold. They want to hinder the purposes of God and extend the power of Satan. So we are in a war. When you are in a spiritual war you need to put on spiritual armor. And Ephesians 6 tells us this. Put on all of God's armor so you will be able to stand firm against the strategies of the devil for we are not fighting against flesh and blood enemies but against rulers and authorities of the unseen world. Against mighty powers in the dark world. Against evil spirits in the heavenly places. Therefore put on every piece of God's armor so you will be able to resist the attack of the enemy in the day of evil. Here is the thing.

The devil usually comes to us in the realm of our mind and imagination. He comes and says take it out for a spin. Take this free sample. Try this thought on for size. Of course you would never act on this thought but take a trip to Fantasy Island and just pretend you would do it. Because he knows that is the first step to actually doing it. And that is how he is going to come to you.

That is how he is often going to tempt you. 2 Corinthians 11 says I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent's cunning your mind should somehow be led astray from your sincere devotion to Christ. So in your mind the hardest part of the spiritual battle is winning the battle of the mind. The Bible says in Proverbs 23 7 as a man thinks so is he. Because the thought can then give way to action.

That is why we must action. That is why we must guard our minds. Every day we think thousands of thoughts. Experts say our brain processes around 70,000 thoughts every single day. Think about that. 70,000 thoughts. That is basically 35 to 45 thoughts per minute running through your mind.

Right? And in our minds we think of the future. We think about the past. We resolve conflicts.

We dream. And of course we can allow our imaginations to be misled. We must guard ourselves there. 2 Corinthians 10 says from the Phillips translation the very weapons we use are not those of human warfare but powerful in God's warfare through the destruction of the enemy's strongholds. Our battle is to bring down every deceptive fantasy and every imposing defense that men erect against the knowledge of God.

We fight to capture every thought until it acknowledges the authority of Christ. Listen to this. You are the air controller of your mind. So the air controller decides what flight takes off and when. What flight lands.

What altitude they have. And that's their job. You are the air controller of your mind. You decide what thought comes in and you decide what thought stays out.

And just because you have a bad thought come to your mind. Whatever it may be doesn't mean you have sinned. The sin of temptation is not in the bait. It is in the bite.

See? Just because I have a piece of bait dangled in front of me doesn't mean I have sinned. It is when I bite the hook. When I take the bait. And in the same way just because a bad thought comes to you you can reject it. You can say I reject that in the name of Jesus Christ. Get behind me Satan.

As Jesus said when he was being tempted in the wilderness by the devil. Reminds me of a story of a lady that loved to shop. And don't they all?

No. They don't all. My wife doesn't like to shop believe it or not. I think I like to shop more than my wife does.

Isn't that a weird admission from a man? But anyway. So this lady she loved to shop and every time she went to the mall she bought something. So she's on her way to the mall and her husband says honey where are you going?

She goes I'm going to go to the mall. No no no. We can't afford any more clothes. Every time you go you buy a new outfit. I'm not going to this time. I'm just going to browse and window shop. No no you'll always buy something.

No I won't this time. Okay she comes back two hours later with a brand new dress. He says I told you you would buy something. She said but you don't know what happened. He said okay what happened? She said I'm walking through the mall. I see this really cute outfit on a mannequin in the window.

And so yes I do walk into the store and yes I tried it on. Okay. And guess what happened then? What? She said the devil himself appeared to me.

What? Satan appeared to me in the dressing room. What did he say? She said he said you look good in that outfit. He said you should have said to the devil get behind me Satan. She said I did and then he said hey it looks good from the back too. Don't have conversations with the devil.

See that's the problem. Capture every thought. Pastor Greg Laurie will have the second half of his message in just a moment. Hearing about listeners who are impacted by Harvest Ministries is so encouraging. This wonderful 44-year journey I continue to be amazed by the power of God's word. I also love seeing your Harvest Crusades. It's amazing to see all the young people worshiping the Lord. I love being a Harvest partner in support of Harvest Ministries.

Thank you Pastor Greg and Kathy for all you do. It's a privilege to provide so many resources through Harvest Ministries. Check them out for yourself at harvest.org. And would you consider becoming a Harvest partner? If so you can make a donation at harvest.org.

Again that's harvest.org. Well glad you're joining us for our series in the book of Joshua. Today's message from Pastor Greg overcoming or overcome. Coming back to our story here they are Israel ready to enter the promised land. But there's one problem the Jordan River. So God's going to do a miracle just for them. Oh yeah he did a miracle for their parents when he parted the Red Sea but they weren't around for that.

So the Lord says I'm going to do a miracle just for you. And the mighty Jordan River in flood season opens up as they step into the water and get their feet wet. They get over to the other side now. Now they're officially in the promised land.

And they erect a bunch of stones as a memory of what God did. And now this next event happens in Joshua chapter 5 verse 13. When Joshua was near the town of Jericho he looked up and saw a man standing in front of him with sword in hand. Joshua went up to him and demanded are you friend or foe?

Neither one he replied. I am the commander of the Lord's army. And Joshua fell at his feet to the crown and reverence. I am at your command Joshua said. What do you want your servant to do? The commander of the Lord's army replied take off your sandals for the place you are standing is holy. And Joshua did as he was told.

Wow. That brings us to point number one. If you're taking notes to enter the land of promises we must encounter and follow Jesus Christ. We must encounter and follow Jesus Christ. Here is this massive strapping soldier with a large sword. I kind of am impressed by the boldness of Joshua.

He walks right up to him. Okay are you friend or foe? What are you going to fight this dude? Joshua is pretty courageous. I'm the commander of the Lord's army.

Oh well since you said that what do you want your servant to do? Now who was this powerful soldier that Joshua encountered? Was it an angel?

It could have been. I actually think it was Jesus Christ himself. That is called a Christophany. When Christ appears in the Old Testament we call them Christophanies. And there are many appearances of the Lord in the Old Testament. And I think this is one of them.

Why do I think it? Because he is commanded to take off his sandals because he is standing on holy ground. This is reminiscent of the encounter that Moses had with God at the burning bush. Remember and the Lord said take off your sandals.

Same thing. So this was Joshua's encounter with the Lord. I believe Jesus himself reminding us the first step to winning in this spiritual battle is to stand as close to Christ as you possibly can.

Be as close to him as you possibly can. Have you ever walked in someone's shadow? You have to stay really close to be in their shadow. Right? And that is what we want to be.

We want to be in the presence of God in the shadow of the Almighty. I remember years ago I was living on the East Coast in New Jersey. And I was given a gift of two cap guns and little holsters and a little cowboy hat. And I was feeling pretty cool walking down the street firing off my cap guns. And a bunch of hoodlums come up to me.

They are a little bit bigger and older than me. They started laughing at me. Pushed me to the ground and stole my cap guns.

So I went home and I got my brother who was five years older and quite a bit bigger. And I said help me get those guns back. So I went back and found that group of kids and went up to them and all of a sudden I was pretty bold and pretty tough. I said give me my guns. I pulled them back. Strapped on my holster again. Walked off in a cowboyish way you know. Why was I so brave?

Because I had my brother with me. If they tried anything they would have to face him. In the same way in spiritual battle I go in standing close to the Lord. I am no match for the devil. I am not even a match for a demon. But if I stand close to the Lord and stand on the Lord and in the power of His might I don't have to be afraid because greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world.

Right. So now we come to Jericho. And the Lord is going to give him the battle plan.

And it is pretty interesting. I wonder what Joshua is thinking. Ok Lord how are we going to do this.

First city. How is it going to go down. Put a bunch of ladders up. We will scale the walls. Attack them in force.

Overwhelm them with force. The Lord said I had something a little different in mind. Joshua chapter 6 starting in verse 1. I am reading from the New Living Translation. Now the gates of Jericho were tightly shut because the people were afraid of the Israelites.

No one was allowed to go out or in. And the Lord said to Joshua I have given you Jericho the king and all of its mighty warriors. Your entire army is to march around the city once a day for six days. Seven priests will walk ahead of the ark each carrying a ram's horn. On the seventh day you are to march around the city seven times and then the priests blow their horns. And when the people hear the priests give long blasts on the horns then you give a mighty shout and the walls of the city will collapse.

And then you can just charge right into the city. Do you think God ever just tries to mess with our minds a little bit. I mean what kind of a battle plan is this. It is God's battle plan. And there was a reason for it.

Bringing me to point number two. God will work in different ways in different situations so we look to Him. Again God will work in different ways and in different situations so we look to Him. And this was a kind of a thing where if God didn't come through they were in big trouble. It reminds us of the story of Gideon. Here is Gideon who God chooses to lead Israel into battle against their enemies the Midianites that have been oppressing them. First of all Gideon's army wasn't that large but the Lord said your army is too big.

Say to your soldiers if you are fearful and afraid go home. And most of his army went home. He is left with 300 men. Now he is vastly outnumbered. The Lord says here is the battle plan.

Here is how you will defeat the Midianites. I want you all to get a little torch you know. Light the flame.

Put a clay pot around it. Then you run down this hill and you scream the sword of the Lord and of Gideon and you crack the pot open and they see the flame and they will all die. Crack the pot.

I think I am a crack pot if I do this. And that is exactly what they did and the Midianites were so freaked out and disoriented they thought they were already under attack and they attacked each other. And that is how the battle was won. But the Lord often does things like this. He uses human weakness to display His strength. To us it might seem random but there is a method to the madness if you will because it is not madness at all. It is just God's way of keeping us looking to Him. Are you in a situation where there is no way out but God? In other words if God doesn't come through for you there is no way out for you. If you are understand God specializes in taking circumstances like that and using them for His glory. Think of the various ways that Jesus healed people.

He was always changing it. Sometimes He would touch the person and they would be healed. Other times the person would touch Him and they would be healed. On even other occasions He would speak the Word and they would be healed.

One guy who was blind saw Jesus spit in the dirt and then wipe the dirt mixed with spit in the guy's eye. How weird is that? Can you imagine if you came for prayer, Pastor Greg would you pray for me? Sure. Hold on. Wait. What?

It is in the Bible. Deal with it. I won't do that.

Don't worry. But why does God do this? So we will see it is God doing it. Because we are so prone to give the credit.

Oh the doctor did it or my bank account did it or my friend came through for me or something else happened. The Lord will put you in a situation where you have to say that was the Lord and you give Him the glory. Take Naaman as an example. Naaman was a powerful Syrian general.

Admired and respected by his troops. But he had a problem. He was a leper. Leprosy was a lethal fatal disease. It slowly destroyed your body.

There was no cure for it. But he heard that there was a prophet in Israel named Elisha that God did miracles through. And he was told if he went to Elisha he could be healed of his leprosy. So General Naaman shows up at the doorstep of Elisha. You can just see Naaman in this beautiful chariot surrounded by bodyguards and they knock on the door. General Naaman is here. Elisha doesn't even come to the door. He sends out his servant Gehazi.

Hey what's up? Elisha says if you want to be healed go to the Jordan River. Immerse yourself seven times you'll be healed.

God bless. Bye. Shut the door. Naaman is thinking does he know who I am? I'm General Naaman. I'm not going to go immerse myself in the dirty Jordan River.

We have better rivers back in Syria. But then he thinks oh what have I got to lose? So he goes down to the Jordan River and with all of his men watching he reveals what they've never seen before. He takes off his helmet. He takes off his breastplate. He peels off the rest of his armor and they realize he's a leper.

They didn't know that about him. He had to humble himself. And then he goes into that Jordan River and he immerses himself the first time. Comes up still a leper. He does it the second time. Still a leper. The third, the fourth, the fifth, the sixth time. Still a leper.

The seventh time down he comes up. No longer a leper. Healed just as God said. In fact the Bible says he had the skin like that of a newborn baby. Have you ever looked at the newborn baby's skin? So beautiful. Have you ever looked at your skin? Not so beautiful. Especially in a magnifying glass. Oh that's horrifying.

Right? Why this unusual and humbling prescription? Because Naaman was a proud man and God wanted him to strip off his armor that he normally hid behind and expose himself as a leper. The same reason that God wants us to confess our sins. Listen we don't come to Christ because we're good people and we want to be a little bit better. We come to Christ because we're sinful people and we need a Savior. And that's the only way we can be forgiven. Important spiritual truth today on A New Beginning. Pastor Greg Laurie is bringing us a lot of insight from the book of Joshua and there's more to come. Now Pastor Greg just said that we come to Christ because we're sinful people and we need a Savior.

That's the bottom line. So it begs the question have you come to Christ to have your sins forgiven? That's the only way you can know for sure that you'll go to heaven when this life is over. Pastor Greg what would you say to the person who wants to take care of that right now?

I would say that God is just a prayer away. You know it doesn't take years to become a Christian. It doesn't take months. Frankly it doesn't even take hours.

It can happen so quickly. It just starts with you saying to God I know I'm a sinner. I know that you love me. I know that you sent Jesus to die on the cross for my sin and pay for those sins and then to rise again from the dead and I want him to come into my life. So here's my question to you.

Have you done that yet? Because Jesus who did die on that cross and rose again from the dead three days later is alive and standing at the door of your life right now and he's knocking and he's saying if you'll hear my voice and open the door I will come in. Why don't you just stop whatever it is you're doing and pray this prayer with me. Say Lord Jesus I know that I am a sinner but I know that you are the Savior who died on the cross for my sin and rose again from the dead. I'm sorry for my sin and I turn from it now and I choose to follow you from this moment forward. I ask all of this in Jesus name.

Amen. Listen if you just prayed that prayer the Bible promises that God has heard your has heard your prayer and has answered that prayer. The Bible says that we will confess our sin he's faithful and just to forgive us our sin and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. So God bless you you've made the right decision the decision to follow Jesus Christ. Yeah that's right and as you begin to live this new life we want to send you something to help you get started off right. It's Pastor Greg's New Believers Bible. It's in an easy to understand translation plus it features hundreds and hundreds of study helps especially for those who are new to the faith. Millions of people have been helped by this resource. So get in touch for your own New Believers Bible.

We'll send it free of charge just call us at 1-800-821-3300. Again 1-800-821-3300 or go online to harvest.org and click know God. Well we're so excited for you to see the new animated series called The Adventures of Ben Born Again and Yellow Dog. So Pastor Greg you've drawn countless cartoons over the years.

Yeah. Take us to that moment when you first saw The Adventures of Ben Born Again and Yellow Dog come to life through animation and hearing those characters speak. Take us to that take us to that moment when that was first unveiled for you. Yeah well it's been very interesting to see how it happens because now with a computer technology you can take a character and completely create him. So when we took my original drawings and then they were reimagined a little bit by an animation studio that we're working with you have a fully dimensional Ben Born Again and now we get to that part we can start animating him and putting him against animation backdrops which are very important as well. Then you add music which is a very important part of creating the scene and then you have sound effects and then you have of course their voices and we have a very talented voice actor who actually does both Ben Born Again and Yellow Dog.

So no kidding. Yeah he's very skilled he does all of these voices and and many more and uh and all of it comes together and then it becomes that animated experience that we've all come to uh enjoy and so it was very exciting even when I saw just sketches of how he was going to look but when I saw a fully animated version I have to say I was very excited about that and I'm really excited to introduce this to a lot of people because this is something we've never done before this is brand new but we like to try new things so the Lord is blessed as we've done these films and we've been able to reach entirely new audiences around the world especially with the Jesus Revolution film and we've just launched a special platform called Harvest Plus it's sort of like our Harvest content meets Netflix it's very easy to navigate and you can watch all of our documented films now we're going to have a whole section for kids featuring the Ben Born Again animated adventures it's actually called the adventures of Ben Born Again and Yellow Dog and they're we're working on new ones as well but you can watch them right now if you just go to harvest.org or download that Harvest Plus app you can have it on your phone on your tablet on your tv at home and you can start watching this content it's there on demand there's no charge for it I encourage you to watch these cartoons with your kids or with your grandkids and it can be a great way to start a conversation about Jesus oh absolutely and you know what kid doesn't like a good cartoon and what parent or grandparent doesn't want good values taught to them while they're watching so find the adventures of Ben Born Again and Yellow Dog using the Harvest Plus app or at harvest.org and we hope you'll partner with us so we can continue reaching out with the gospel in innovative new ways it's more expensive than you might imagine to produce an animated series so your investment couldn't come at a better time and Pastor Greg would like to thank you tangibly with a little gift a copy of the redesigned living water tract it comes in comic book form and was the first thing Pastor Greg drew as a new believer way back when we'll send it to say thank you for your donation you can call us at 1-800-821-3300 that's 1-800-821-3300 or go online to harvest.org hey everybody I want to encourage you to join us for something we call Harvest at Home it happens every Sunday at harvest.org and on our brand new app Harvest Plus which is available on your mobile tv devices download it now and you can watch Harvest at Home with Christians from around the world as we worship together and study God's word so again join us for Harvest at Home at harvest.org or on Harvest Plus Well next time Pastor Greg offers more insight on walking in the victory Christ has already won. Join us here on A New Beginning with pastor and Bible teacher Greg Laurie. Thanks for listening to A New Beginning with Greg Laurie, a podcast made possible by Harvest Partners, helping people everywhere know God. Sign up for daily devotions and learn how to become a Harvest Partner at harvest.org.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-02-16 05:25:53 / 2024-02-16 05:37:15 / 11

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