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A Winnable Battle

Living in the Light / Anne Graham Lotz
The Truth Network Radio
October 11, 2020 3:00 pm

A Winnable Battle

Living in the Light / Anne Graham Lotz

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Welcome to Living in the Light with Bible teacher Anne Graham Lotz. There's only one name given under heaven among men whereby you can be saved, just the name Jesus.

Don't let anybody move you from that. Anne's message this week is from Daniel chapter 10, but let's begin in 1 Peter chapter 5 verse 8 describing our adversary, the devil. We have an invisible adversary and I'm going to go outside this passage for a moment and describe him. 1 Peter 5 says he's a lion and Peter says, be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.

So a roaring lion tells me that he's hungry. He's motivated to hunt us down. He is not complacent, ever. He prowls. He's activated to defeat you.

He's not lazy. He's looking dedicated to defeat you, destroy your relationships, your witness, your families, your ministries. He's not a gentleman. He doesn't consider anything off limits and he wants to devour you, which means to render you totally useless to God, ineffective in your prayers, make sure you don't finish your life's work. And if he can't keep you from being saved and he'll fight to keep you from being saved, but once you're saved he's going to try to render you so ineffective that when you get to heaven you have nothing to show for your life here.

You bring no glory to God. He's a lion. The Bible says resist him. Stand firm. He'll flee.

He's like a toothless lion, but he can roar pretty loud. Secondly, he's a liar. In John 844 Jesus said he's the father of lies. Be not deceived. Jesus said Matthew 24, four times, be not deceived, be not deceived, be not deceived, because in the last generation there's going to be a spirit of deception that even if it were possible the very elect would be deceived.

Be not deceived. And in these last days I believe Satan has unleashed his demons on God's people, especially the leaders of God's people, especially the families of the leaders of God's people. Jesus said the devil had come to him, but he could find no hold on him because Jesus had no sin.

Satan couldn't latch on to anything. So I say this to you because I'm challenging you. Guard your heart. We're facing an invisible adversary and he will deceive you into thinking what if I were the enemy? You know what I'd do? I'd deceive you into thinking I was a little guy in a red jumpsuit with horns and a pitchfork and I'm stoking the fires of hell and not take him seriously. I'll think he's a joke, but he is no joke.

So I'm just telling you for your own protection, your own good, your own freedom, let those things go. So we have an invisible adversary who's a lion, he's a liar, and he's an angel of light. Second Corinthians 11 14 says that false apostles and deceitful workmen masquerade as angels of light.

They just come looking like the real thing, but it's the devil dressed up as an angel of light. So he can be very deceptive. And Ephesians 6 says that he throws flaming arrows, he's a schemer, he's subtle, he's sharp, he's convincing. Don't be deceived. Don't be deceived.

Don't be deceived. The devil is alive and well. We have an invisible adversary, we have invisible armor. Praise God. Chapter 6 of Ephesians, I expect you know this, in fact I know you know it, but I'm going to read it. Verse 13, therefore put on the full armor of God so that when the day of evil comes you may be able to stand your ground. And after you've done everything, stand. Verse 14, stand. Three times in that two verses it says stand, stand, stand. It's just so interesting he doesn't say fight, fight, fight.

He says stand. And I love the fact we put on our armor and we just suit up and show up and we stand. The battle is the Lord's.

You know that? We hold on to our sword which is the Word of God and we pray which are two offensive weapons. But let me go through the armor, ok? You stand, stand your ground. After you've done everything you stand, stand firm then with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, the breastplate of righteousness in place, your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the Gospel of peace. In addition to all this take up the shield of faith with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God and pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayer and requests.

With this in mind be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints. And he goes through our pieces of armor. Belt of truth, you know this?

It's the first piece of equipment that the Roman soldier put on because everything else hooked to it. You've got to know the Word of God. Your whole life needs to be reoriented according to the Word.

And can I just say that means your world view also. Your whole life hooks on now to the belt of truth which is God's Word. You're to be encircled by it. You're to be saturated in it.

And then the breastplate of righteousness that covered the breast, it covered the heart. And that means right living. That means you're right with God and you're right with others as far as you know. If you're not right with somebody else then you try to get right.

Maybe they won't reconcile but you do all you can to reconcile with them to make it right. And you have to have a clear clean conscience if you don't. And if you're harboring something down, a little root of bitterness, a little anger, just something you love, whatever, then you're vulnerable to the enemy and your breastplate's not in place. So you need the breastplate of righteousness.

You need cleated sandals. Stand firm on the gospel. And in this day and time you just dig your heels in. Don't let anybody move you from the truth of the gospel. God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him, anybody, anywhere, they put their faith in Jesus. They will not perish but they'll have everlasting life. But if you don't put your faith in Him you will perish and you'll go to hell.

All right. God doesn't want anybody to go to hell. That's why He sent Jesus to save us. But if you don't put your faith in Jesus you'll, it's not God that condemns you to hell, it's your own sin that condemns you there. There's only one name given under heaven among men whereby you can be saved, just the name Jesus.

Don't let anybody move you from that. And it's the gospel of peace. It brings peace with God, brings peace with others. You want to bring peace to the Middle East? Then you just let the gospel be preached in Israel and the gospel be preached in all those Arab nations.

And it is being, right, undercover, you know. But oh Jesus is showing up in the Middle East in the most thrilling ways. If you want to read some stories, read Tom Doyle's Dreams and Visions. Read his Killing Christians. Story after story after story happening right now in the Muslim world. There's a revival in the Muslim world.

In fact I have this picture of ISIS coming to behead us and fight us and behind them there's nobody following because they're all going to Jesus, you know. And Claudia can tell you about the streets of Jerusalem and Israel and Jews that are coming to Christ and people who are putting their faith in Jesus and when they do. I've been there seeing Jews and Arabs who are now brothers and sisters in Christ and that wall of partition is broken down. There's now no more Jew or Greek, male or female, slave or free. We're all one in Christ Jesus. Put on the gospel of peace.

Be ready to take it to share with others. And then the shield of faith. And that was the shield that was as big as the man. It was only as effective as how close the soldiers stayed to the shield. If he was at a distance from the shield then of course the enemy could get him. So he had to be very close to his shield but the shield protected his entire body and that's your dependency upon the Lord. Absolutely totally dependent on him and you stay close to your shield.

And if the enemy attacks and gets through you know it's gone through your shield first. Therefore I don't take it from the enemy, I take it from my Father's hand. And I know he's allowed it to come into my life for his own purpose, for my good and for his glory. When Jesus went to the cross and he took the cup that represented his death on the cross which was the enemy attack, you know, on steroids, he took the cup and he thanked his Father for it. So he took that knowing that his Father was sending him to the cross.

It wasn't the enemy. The enemy thought it was but Jesus was going in obedience to his Father's will to give his life for you and me. So put on that shield, take up the shield of faith and then the helmet of salvation. You're assured of your forgiveness and your salvation. You don't go around doubting your salvation. If you do that the enemy's got you. You'll be weak.

You won't be able to stand. You can't take the gospel to others because you're not sure of it for yourself. So you put on the helmet of salvation so you know that you know that you know you're saved.

And then pick up the sword of the Spirit. You read it every morning. What does it say? What does it mean? What does it mean in my life? But you take away and you live it out.

You love it. You take up the sword of the Spirit. You're ready to share it with others. You don't wield it, you know, like you're going to slaughter other people but you clothe it in prayer and the precious love of the Holy Spirit and you're ready in season and out of season to give a word from the Lord. And then Ephesians 6 18 says that's when you really begin to pray. You pray in all kinds of prayers.

You can put on music. I do that when I stretch actually. I listen to worship music while I stretch and so while I'm stretching I'm just praising the Lord. It's my worship time and you can go for a walk.

You can sit outside when the weather was warmer. I'd go outside and sit and just have my quiet time and put the dog up so I wasn't distracted and memorize a list of his names, alphabetical names of Jesus. We do that sometimes in the car when we're traveling with the children and we'll just start with A. You know he's the alpha. B. He's the beloved. C. He's Christ. D. He's the deliverer.

E. He's Emmanuel. And just, you know, go through and just worship him in his names. His names all reveal something about his character and there's so many ways that you can pray and so many things that can help you stay focused. So if I were the enemy I would try to get you to think that you have to hide from him in the face of his power, that he's greater than you are. And actually, you know, he is in our flesh. He would be greater than we are.

But the one who is greater in us is greater than the one that's in the world. So he doesn't have power over us like that. So don't let him convince you that the armor is useless. Don't let him convince you that this is just a sort of a poetic picture of a Roman soldier and it's for back then and it's sort of quaint and it's sort of what people give, you know, super spiritual people and they come out with this little chart and all these and, you know, put it on.

If you're not armed and you're going out there then you're vulnerable. So put on your armor. Don't be running around wondering what pieces go here and what pieces go there. You learn it, you go through it, you think about it and then you put it on.

You have invisible adversary, invisible armor and then thirdly you have an invisible ally. Oh and I love this. Verse 10, a hand touched me and set me trembling on my hands and knees and he said, Daniel, you're highly esteemed. Consider carefully the words I'm about to speak to you. Stand up for I've now been sent to you.

And when he said this to me, I stood up trembling. Then he continued, don't be afraid, Daniel, since the first day you set your mind to gain understanding, to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard and I've come in response to them. Heaven responds.

You hear that? God answers prayer and when you pray, heaven is moving. Our prayers move heaven, especially the reverse thunder type prayer. When you receive a promise from God and you're praying it back to Him and heaven is moving, heaven responds and heaven rallies. In verse 13, the prince of the Persian kingdom resisted me 21 days and then Michael, one of the other chief princes, meaning another angel, came to help me because I was detained there with the king of Persia and I love the fact that Gabriel was in trouble and here comes Michael to help him. You know, so heaven is rallying. Daniel's prayer has stirred up a mess in the heavenly world and I would just point out to you something that the king of Persia, the prince of Persia, has risen up again.

You realize that? The ancient demon, Persia is Iran and he's risen up again and Michael is the prince of God's people. He's the one to protect Israel. So you know right now in the Middle East there are all sorts of battles taking place in the invisible world and when we pray and when we pray for the peace of Jerusalem and we pray for our nation, heaven responds and heaven rallies and heaven replies. In verse 14 he got his reply, now I've come to explain to you what will happen to your people in the future for the vision concerns a time yet to come. Oh Daniel, God has heard your prayer and He has moved heaven and earth to send me to bring you the answer. Sometimes I think our prayers are delayed because of something going on in the invisible realm and we think it's just that God hasn't heard us. In fact if I were the enemy I'd convince you that heaven is silent because God doesn't really love you. You haven't prayed the right way, you haven't fasted long enough, you're really helpless, you're insignificant and heaven is busy with more important things and you know if I were the enemy. So heaven responds and heaven rallies. God moves heaven and earth. When His people pray and when you're reversing the thunder things are happening but you just can't see it.

Invisible adversary, invisible armor, invisible ally. The battle is personal, emotional, invisible and listen to me it's winnable. The battle doesn't get easier as it progresses, it requires stamina, courage, perseverance. First John 4-4 reminds us, greater is he that's in you than he that's in the world and in the end Daniel was empowered. He was given strength. Verse 18, the one who looked like a man touched me and gave me strength and he was strengthened, empowered and Zechariah 4-6 says it's not by might it's not by power it's by my spirit says the Lord and there are times when we just need a fresh touch from heaven and I think being in God's word and being in prayer and coming to the cove and I pray God would give you a fresh touch here and He just reaches down in heaven and you think you can't make it one more day and then He'll speak to you when you open your Bible and I pray in the morning when you open your Bible and you read it and you begin to meditate on it what does it say what does it mean what does it mean in my life and when He speaks to you and suddenly a verse leaps up off the page and He's addressing something that was in your heart and you hadn't even expressed it to anybody you hadn't told anybody but God is saying something to you about it it lifts your spirits makes all the difference in the world when you hear God speaking to you in the language of your own life and He strengthens you Daniel was empowered and he was encouraged don't be afraid oh man highly esteemed Daniel had already been told that once in this passage he was told that once in Daniel 9 but twice in this passage so that makes me wonder did Daniel think he wasn't highly esteemed did he think that when everybody went back and the temple wasn't rebuilt and the city wasn't restored that somehow it was his fault he didn't pray enough he didn't fast enough he didn't do it right and then he's praying now he's gone three weeks of mourning and fasting and praying and he still hasn't heard anything did he think somehow he had fallen out of favor with God that he was just too old now that he was set aside he was you know a has-been did he think he wasn't blessed anymore that he just didn't have that prophetic gift anymore you know oh Daniel you are highly esteemed saying it to him twice I think he needed to hear it again because I think he he must have felt discouraged because he was so encouraged in fact when it says don't be afraid don't be afraid peace I think he was terrified terrified and discouraged and not knowing which end is up and he keeps falling on his face in fact you know Ephesians tells us to stand and in this passage all you see Daniel he stands up and he falls down and then he goes to sleep and he stands up and he falls down and then his knees are trembling he can't stand up and so you know you don't have to be some great big macho person to do this he's an obvious example that's all we need to do is just to be available to the Lord and the Lord will work through us the battle is the Lord's and he can use the weakest ones of us and then it wasn't the weakest one but physically this was laying him out and if I were the enemy I would tell you the reason God hasn't answered your prayers because you're just not blessed like others you just don't know how to pray like others you're not special enough like others if I were the enemy and thirdly Daniel was not only empowered and encouraged he was enlightened God had said that after 70 years I'll take your people back the temple will be built the city restored and after 70 years the people went back so God fulfilled that and that was 70 years from the first deportation when Daniel was taken into captivity so 70 years from the first deportation when Nebuchadnezzar came in and took those 200 300 young men back to Babylon then 70 years from that point is when Cyrus king of Persia says all right now you can go back and 42,000 did but 70 years from the third deportation when the temple was destroyed and Jerusalem is destroyed 70 years from that point was 20 years later and that's when the temple was rebuilt and the city was restored so sometimes prophecies have layers don't they in one verse of prophecy you can have several different fulfillments and patterns if you look out at the mountain and if you get close to them you'll find that those peaks are separated by miles and you can look at one verse of prophecy and it looks one dimensional and you think it's all going to be fulfilled 70 years after that first deportation everybody will go home but actually within that prophecy there there's a dimension to it there's some separation so there's going to be 170 years when the people go back and there'll be 70 years from the third deportation when the temple is rebuilt and the city is restored so I'll just tell you that so I'll just tell you that God's ways are not our ways and his word has depth to it and sometimes it's just beyond understanding but the angel comes to give Daniel the understanding that he lacked and we won't go into it all but in verse 20 he says do you know why I've come to you I want to point out soon I'll return the fight against the prince of Persia the battle goes on you fight this battle you have a victory and you face another battle and all I know is that God knows when enough is enough and sometimes he gives us a little respite doesn't he he gives us what I call a derby do you remember after Paul went to town after town he was beaten stone you know whatever and then he finally got the derby and nobody bothered him and he could have a little rest before he went back to all these other towns where he's beat up and stoned and whatever and and so sometimes God gives us a derby just a rest and we resist the devil and he'll flee from us for a while and then he comes back so he enlightened Daniel about the warfare and in the end about the word of God first I will tell you what's written in the book of truth and the angel gave Daniel the understanding that he had prayed for and that's chapter 11 and we won't go into chapter 11 and 12 but Daniel received the answer to his prayer because he persevered and Daniel and battle and prayer is a battle that's personal and it's emotional because you care so much and it's invisible but it's winnable and the end we win and God gives us the victory but the battle won't end really the battle after battle after battle until you know what the sky unfolds and Jesus comes back riding on that white horse faithful and true his name is the word of God sort of the spirit coming from his mouth and the antichrist and all his enemies look up and they see the lamb who was slain coming back to rule the world and they aim their guns at him and their missiles and their bombs and he just says a word and they all drop dead and he sets up his millennial kingdom and we reign with him and there are no more battles until then I just want you to have a heads up we're in a battle especially when we're on our knees so what's the devil been saying to you if I were the enemy I'd say that he would tell you prayer is so hard it's too hard so quit but when it regards prayer don't quit you persevere until you come through with that encouragement and that empowerment and that enlightenment and God gives you the answers that you see and if he doesn't ever answer your prayer the way that you seek it then I can tell you something you'll learn a lot about him and you'll grow in that intimate relationship with him and you'll know him better and you'll love him more and it'll be worth it Ann has reminded us today that when we think God hasn't hurt us the truth is God moves heaven and earth when we pray and the battle is personal emotional and winnable here's Ann with this closing encouragement Jesus promised in John 14 13 and 14 that I will do whatever you ask in my name so that the son may bring glory to the father you may ask me for anything in my name and I will do it but Jesus also warned his followers that in this world you will have trouble but take heart I have overcome the world and because he has overcome you and I will overcome also the battle is the Lord's listen to me when you stumble in your commitment to pray don't quit when you struggle with concentration in prayer don't quit if your prayer remains unanswered don't quit persevere as you trust God to know best and keep on praying until he either answers your prayer or releases you from the burden of it for the glory of his name this has been living in the light please take advantage of all the free resources at anne gramm to help and encourage you in your walk with God and in your study of his word join us here each week for living in the light
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-02-05 16:03:19 / 2024-02-05 16:13:02 / 10

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