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December 2, 2021 2:00 am
People play games for different reasons. Some play for enjoyment or to prevent boredom, but most play to win. In the message "The Game You Must Win!" Nate shares an important truth with you about the battle against the Devil.
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Satan. When you're down. Satan wants you dead Satan. When you look he wants you to lost and if we are daily making a conscious effort to do what God has called us to do to be steadfast to stand knowing that this theory is by believers will actually begin to do, Satan knows that a mess, especially spiritual warfare when it comes to battles with men something to look ahead to the going today on connect with Skip Skip Sunday shares while your ultimate victory with the enemy is guaranteed right now want to tell you about a resource that will help you grow in your relationship with God as you apply his word life with 19 pandemic caused the reevaluation of priorities like choices and the path forward this question might want out of life care skip. I think with thoughts on priorities that we all want the life with a happy ending life marked by growth life marked by productivity and refreshment and God's touch of blessing and prosperity and maturity.
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I see the horizon.
Things look good. Things are going my way things are just going up and up and up and up and then finally, Satan comes in and knocks your legs out from under you and you hit the ground. Some tragedy happens something happens in your family you lose that job, your health goes out the door. Temptation comes a new sin comes and it takes your breath away knocks you out to be in the spiral you begin to question all those things you are so sure of before, or maybe God's plans for me or not of good.
Maybe his plans were actually evil. Maybe God's doing this to me everything is going wrong.
Nothings ever get a bit better would be into spiral and spiral and spiral it psychological to be just fallen into Satan's game plan. Instead of playing our game plan. Instead of saying steadfast instead of standing firm will allow the psychological effects of the exchange to bring us down, rising and falling, going up and down losing and winning what you think of David. Two other names come to mind.
David and Goliath and David and Bathsheba.
One represents his greatest victory. The other is greatest defeat one. His greatest moment of faith.
The other is greatest moment of failure and times of greatest temptation often follow times of greatest triumph.
We see this throughout the entire Bible.
We need to remember though that the suffering we experience this exchange is not isolated to you. Every Christian who was ever lived on earth has experienced this. All the greats in the Bible all your brothers and sisters sitting in the seat. All the people who come to church, pretending they're perfect and don't experience this experience. This suffering is universal. Right after the father said this is my beloved son, the devil was there to tempt him. The devil always opposes those who God approves those who are obedient and are faithful to God become the biggest targets of Satan and many times in our lives the most difficult trials, after the greatest triumphs after Jesus had his mountaintop experience of being transfigured with Moses and Elijah, a demon possessed person was waiting at the bottom of the hill David right after slaying Goliath was met with praises from the people and a big old spear from King Saul Sampson after he destroyed a thousand enemies met a girl named Delilah Peter who boldly stood for Christ and even hacked the ear off of a soldier only hours later was ashamed to even acknowledge he knew Jesus Christian.
Sometimes our successes are wins can cause us to feel invincible.
We can let our guard down and then when Satan comes with the exchange and takes a piece were not ready for in the contest between Elijah and the 450 prophets of ball God personally worked in a powerful and tangible way. Elijah literally call down fire from heaven like man if I ever did that I would never doubt God again.
Yet only a week later Elijah was running scared from his life depressed and he even asked God to take his life. No sooner had Israel been delivered from Egypt and Pharaoh came pursuing them with his army.
No sooner had Paul had an abundance of revelations that he was hit with a thorn in the flesh by a messenger of Satan look whether you're 15 or 50, you need to hear this.
Whether you been a Christian for three months or 30 years. This is for you, because the most intense suffering the most intense temptation comes in the beginning and the end of the Christian life. In the beginning of your Christian life because he wants to derail you from walking with God. He wants to deter you from ever making an impact from ever being used by him and so he hits you in predictable ways with heavy duty temptations or suffering offering you all the kingdoms of the world, so to speak. If you just leave Jesus if you just leave the church, he causes you to doubt your salvation, but it's also at the end the greatest attacks come because if he can get you to fall in your last lap he can discredit all the years of faithful running all the years of faithful service. Just ask Ravi Zacharias who after decades of faithful service.
Decades of being the greatest apologist it in our modern history. A guy who brought so many of faith with his arguments for the Scripture on his last lap. He fell and he fell hard and it discredited all the years of faithful service. There are those in this race who do not finish well. We lower our guard. We put our spiritual lives in cruise control, but we don't realize that we don't have our seatbelts on, and Satan would love nothing more than a scrape, your dead body off the pavement. Satan will stop when you're down. Satan wants you dead Satan. When you look he wants you to lost and if we aren't daily, making a conscious effort to do what God has called us to do to be steadfast to stand firm, knowing that the suffering we experience is experienced by all believers that we will naturally begin to do what Satan knows we should. So what's the solution. How do we fight against Satan. Well, as we've all heard the best defense is a good offense.
I believe that instead of focusing on not doing the things you shouldn't. Some people spend so much time saying I shouldn't do this. I shouldn't do this.
I shouldn't do this instead of focusing on what we shouldn't do. I believe that each and every day we should get up and focus on doing the things that you should do do the things that you showed to build a habit wake up every day and do the things God has called you into doing bill that so becomes a hedge of protection around your life. And naturally you find yourself not doing the things that you should it'll be like a top-performing athlete, you spend so much time training, dieting, perfecting your craft that when someone offers you a doughnut. A bad habit you're like none I brought good because I like you myself in tip top shape. I want to keep the good habits I created so I can win the race. It's so important for us to build those good habits just like the exchange. Don't let the suffering or the loss throw you off of your game plan. Don't let the pieces Satan takes throw you off of your game plan in order to win the game, you lose some ponds play your game.
Stay steadfast, stand firm, knowing the suffering.
Knowing the temptation. Knowing the pain is universal. Just ask Frank Reich in the 1993 Buffalo Bills somebody doesn't know what I'm talking about going to Google this and find out later when difficulty tackles you on the field of life. Don't sit on the sidelines thinking about how things should've gone to pick up your ball and run the race because it's not over until it's over and with Jesus Christ Christian there's always another doing over so turn your fear into faith because God wants to turn your interruption into an opportunity. Stop looking at what happened and start looking at what's happening because Jesus Christ wants to use your painting your suffering is an opportunity to show himself strong on your behalf. The most important thing to do when you fall is to get back up. Come on Christians, we tell our kids this all the time growing up. Why do we forget it is adults you fall down back up. After all, what is God's attitude towards us.
We mess up is he out to get us.
Is he angry with us if you love someone set them free. If they don't return hunt them down and kill them. Maybe for your psycho acts but not God know God's attitude toward you is like the shepherd with the lost sheep you will search for you. You will find you or is the father of the prodigal son story, God misses you.
He yearns for a relationship with this game you must when you need to know your adversary, you need to recognize that to win the game, you lose some ponds.
And finally, you need to play the endgame three verse 10, but but may the God of all grace, who called us to his eternal glory by Christ Jesus. After you have suffered a while, I want to pause there because I really hate the word while because it doesn't give us an end doesn't say a little while. This is a while.
How long is a while could be a day could be a week could be a month could be a year could be the rest of your life. But guess what, in comparison to eternity in heaven even a lifetime of suffering is just a while until we get to experience joy after you have suffered a while, he will perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you know through the years I found that so many of us think that God will forsake us, because while people have for soaking us people have left us. Maybe your parents left you when you were a kid. Maybe abandon you.
Maybe your mom or your dad walked out on you.
Perhaps you are a victim of your parents having a divorce and that's left this hole in your heart you feel forsaken. Maybe your spouse has forsaken you.
Maybe you're a victim of infidelity in your household and now you have this whole you feel like you can't be loved.
Maybe you feel alone and sad, hopeless. There is no future for you. You need to realize that although people might forsake you. Although people might let you down. God never will.
He will never leave you.
He will never forsake you. He is with you. He loves you. He cares for you if you want to cook things for your life. You do not serve and follow a God who is just interested in your life.
This is not Bruce Almighty God is not a big bully with a magnifying glass burning ants on the anthill in romance know that's not who our God is. He is compassionate, caring, concern, and he wants to help you in your pain-and-suffering cast all your cares upon him.
Why is he cares for you know for honest, most of us would prefer to avoid the fight with our adversary the devil if we were asked given an option to either fight and win or avoid the fight altogether be left alone by Satan. I think fraud is we don't use just be left alone. I don't need to win. I just want to lose. In fact, we prefer to Skip the suffering and loss, and instead just experience the success in the triumphs we preferred of the Lord would drive us in an air-conditioned Escalade from Clearwater to green pasture Lord keep the ACL just avoid the valleys lesser Phoenix Suns fan that you like the Valley, but God is with us in the valley God is with us in the pain.
God is with us in the suffering in the suffering. Guess what he has his eye on the thermostat in his hand on the dial and he is watching you. He is waiting for you, and after a little while.
He's in a come in and he's in a bring that refresh. He's in a bring that piece is in the settle you is in a protect using the strengthen you. Isaiah 43, two says when you pass through the waters, I will be with you when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you when you walk through the fire, you will not be burned, the flames will not set you ablaze.
Hebrews 13 five through six says I will never leave you nor forsake you so that we may boldly say the Lord is my helper, I will not fear what can man do to become on somebody this is the courage, the next generation needs.
This is the room years of the Lord's army. But the next generation neatly said I don't care what you throw at me. I don't care what the world throws at me. I don't care what pain or suffering I experienced. I don't care what culture cancels because not part of this culture. I'm part of the heavenly culture. I don't care what the world brings. I will not fear because what can man do to me.
My securities in heaven.
I'm a child of God. We need to train our kids up to be warriors in the society. With that kind of a courage, not with this fear.
The world wants to impose look before the avengers.
The endgame didn't refer to a superhero movie but referred to chess this is my favorite part of a message. By the way, but maybe don't care like okay great I don't care. This is my Fairborn my message the endgame in chess often occurs right after the exchange that we talked about before your trading pieces with somebody back and forth.
It happens after the quick flurry of the exchange. When one of the opponents finally gets the advantage because they strategically played the other opponents into falling into their endgame, usually with a big sacrifice.
Perhaps they sacrifice their queen and the other opponents just can't resist taking that Queens they take that queen, not realizing that taking that queen just played right into the other person's game and now they're in trouble. The player who is There cool the player who is stuck to their strategy throughout the game. Finally gains control even though losing pieces along the way will force their enemy to make a mistake and in this moment, it becomes clear to the opponent that the outcome is inevitable now in professional chess.
When this happens the player who is behind often takes the honorable approach and resigns, knowing the cause is futile. They will play it out to checkmate the just resigned because they recognize they've lost they've been played into the endgame.
Notice that it says in verse 10, but the God of all grace, who called us Matthew question.
Who is it that perfects, establishes, strengthens and settles God on ASU this. Who is it that wins this game whose game is this actually is us versus Satan no it's us and God versus Satan. This is where the plot shift happens in the game of chess with our adversary the devil.
This is when we and he realizes it's not us versus Satan like he's thought all along. It's us and God versus Satan.
This is the endgame where Satan realizes that were not alone, that every move is been made from the beginning of time in the garden when Adam and Eve that fruit has all been made for his defeat even the moments were Satan thought that he was on top.
Even the moments when he exchange and got those pieces in your life. It was all part of the grandmasters plan and they were all made to put Satan into a corner and in this moment, he realizes that he's lost José LeBlanc of the author of chess fundamentals wrote this and I want you to hear these words and I want you to think of them in relation to your virtual game. Your spiritual life. He said to improve your game, you must study the endgame before everything else. For whereas the Indians can be studied and mastered by themselves. The middle game and the opening game have to be studied in relation to the endgame Christian what if you started looking at your sufferings, but if you start looking at the exchange and the pain in your life through the lens of the endgame through the lens of the final countdown the final match the final move me tell you something the devils want you to know and that is that he was soundly defeated at the cross. 2000 years ago. Remember when Jesus cried out the words.
It is finished to tell a site. It is accomplished what was finished what was accomplished the work the father gave him to do.
Finished was Satan's death clutch on humanity prior to his crucifixion on the cross, Jesus said, now is the judgment of this world now shall the prince of this world be cast out through his death, Jesus destroyed him had the power of death, that is, the devil Colossians 214 says, having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which were contrary to us. He took out-of-the-way mailing it to the cross. Therefore Christian. We are not fighting to obtain victory in the AA to hear this Christian were not fighting to obtain victory know we are resting in the victory that he has already obtained. We will fight for victory. All give me victory in the solar take away the suffering Lord, take away the temptation know we fight from victory. Lord I thank you that you've already run. I think you that the devil is defeated and I'm not under his weight for his chains or his bondage.
I think you there is victory in your name and I thank you that you will give me more than I can handle it. Until that I can trust in your name and give you praise still to tell a sty it is finished now want to share with you something that blows my mind innumerable years. Maybe you've heard everything but this blew my mind the first time I discovered this to tell a sty in the Greek and this is why Greek is so important is a perfect tense verb that might not mean anything to you. What that means in the Greek is that when Jesus said it is finished, she wasn't saying this one task is finished. Now in this moment, he was Satan. It is finished. It always has been finished from the beginning of time it has been finished and it always will be finished until the end of days to tell a sty it is finished. This is the endgame that God planned from the beginning of the battle in the garden until now even prophesied of it to Satan's face and he didn't realize what was happening in Genesis 315 I will put enmity between you and the woman between your offspring and hers. He will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.
The second Adam and Eve into that fruit. God began arranging the pieces and put into place his endgame, and let me tell you something Christian. Jesus has been studying his endgame above everything else. And will Satan has gotten caught up in the exchange and trading pieces with you. He missed the most important group of all when Jesus cried out to tell a sty. Satan thought it was checkmate. He thought he had one, but it wasn't his winning. It was just the final exchange move by Jesus Christ exchanging himself the most powerful piece on the chessboard so that you and I the ponds could become coheirs with Christ, so that you and I could become royalty and in that moment Satan thinking he had one was actually himself put into checkmate.
This is where his head would be crushed.
We must never lose sight of one vital truth.
This Christian is not our battle.
This is the Lord's battle. This is his chess game versus Satan.
And guess what, Satan just been outplayed is not us versus the power of hell is not our personal war were simply individual soldiers in a vast army were to obey the directions given to us by the captain of our salvation. But remember the simple truth is we close I said before the end chess when you're put in the endgame and you realize or to lose a gentleman, a professional resign, it will carry the game out. You need to know Satan is not a gentleman just because he's lost and he knows he's lost as a means in resign know he's in a take as many pieces as he can until his head is finally crushed once and for all and Jesus Christ returns he wants to bring as much suffering as he can.
He wants to deter you and pull you away from the victory that you have in Jesus Christ. Satan will always seek to drive you away from the very thing where your victory is found that is the cross. The Holy Spirit will always draw you to it. Sure the devil will say you're not worthy to approach God.
Not after what you've done your response to Satan should be my access to God's throne has nothing to do with you or me or what I've done and everything to do with what he's done and what he is doing through his son Jesus Christ.
Remember Jesus said to Peter, Satan has been asking for you but I have prayed for you.
Our defense against accusations of the devil is the interceding son of God.
First John 21 my little children, these things I write to you so that you may not sin.
If anyone sins, we have an advocate with the father, Jesus Christ the righteous. Romans 833 who will bring any charge against those whom God's chosen is God who justifies. It is he who is he that condemns Christ Jesus who died more than that, who was raised to life is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Christian don't let a liar and a loser at that keep you from the victory of the cross, and keep you from repenting for your sin and experiencing the work of conclusory message from the series now Street. Now here's to share how you can keep this broadcast going strong connecting you and others around the world with the gospel. Nobody can come to know God the father except by going through his son the Lord Jesus Christ and as the apostle Peter said there is no other name under heaven given by which we must be saved. That's a message of hope and salvation and we want to share that with as many people as possible.
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