God's truth for today's world

We are currently in a message series on Spiritual Warfare. Jesus’ ministry on this earth was all about spiritual warfare. When you read the Gospel accounts, you find Jesus confronting demons and evil spirits on every other page.

Acts 10:38 (NIV2011)  how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him.

In this verse, Jesus’ ministry is summarized as “healing all who were under the power of the devil.” In Jesus’ ministry healing of the sick and casting out of demons were often intertwined. When Jesus set someone free from the power of Satan, they were healed. Jesus’ ministry of spiritual warfare was continued by the early church as recorded in the book of Acts. Yet, today, churches seldom speak of demons and setting people free from the power of the devil. In fact, most people today do not believe that Satan and his demons are real.

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While growing up in Ohio, Sarah Mourer kept a secret she refused to divulge to anyone: she felt like a boy trapped in the wrong body.

Although those feelings eventually dissipated, the sensation of gender confusion and being different didn’t.

“I felt like something was terribly wrong with me,” Mourer says.

On the surface, Sarah seemed to have it all together as a straight-A student who finished first in her class. No one at the local Assembly of God church she and her family attended had a clue that the girl involved for three years in Junior Bible Quiz as well as youth group had serious problems.

As early as her elementary school years, Sarah battled suicidal thoughts. In high school she went binge drinking with friends. When she began injuring herself in college by cutting, friends convinced her to seek medical treatment.

In counseling, a psychiatrist prescribed antidepressants. However, Sarah didn’t reveal the homosexual feelings behind her struggle. Her parents, Duane and Marla Mourer, never suspected anything amiss.

Read more of the incredible story of Sarah Mourer, who was delivered from same-sex attraction through the power of Jesus Christ. As her lesbian wedding approached, Sarah Mourer says Jesus instantly saved her from a destructive path. Source: Deliverance from Same-Sex Attraction | PE News

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We are currently in a message series on Spiritual Warfare. When we talk about spiritual warfare, we may think about our decadent society. Or we may think about people whose lifestyles are sinful and rebellious toward God. We learned last Sunday that are struggle is not against people, but against evil spiritual forces.

Ephesians 6:12 (NIV2011)  For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

So, it is these evil spiritual forces that are leading our nation and its people astray from God. We battle theses forces with prayer and the truth of God’s Word. Yet, oftentimes we see the battle of spiritual warfare as external, when in reality, each of us fights battles within ourselves. That’s what we’re going to talk about today.

My message is entitled “The War Within.” Each of us engages in spiritual warfare within our own minds and hearts.

James 1:14-15 (NIV2011)  but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed.  Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.

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Today we’re continuing in our series on Spiritual Warfare. Last Sunday, we talked about temptation in the message “The Serpent’s Strategy.” We looked at the very first temptation in the garden of Eden, where the serpent tempted Eve to eat of the forbidden fruit. Many people today regard the story of the first temptation as a myth and think that it really didn’t happen. Yet the Bible records and comments on it as a very real event, the first instance of spiritual warfare. Who was involved in the spiritual warfare? Human beings, Adam & Eve, and the tempter or serpent, Satan.

Several weeks ago, we spoke on Jesus’ temptations by Satan himself. While many people don’t believe in Satan, the Bible tells us that Satan is a very powerful and cunning enemy who is bent on our destruction. We mustn’t be ignorant of his schemes

2 Corinthians 2:11 (NIV)  in order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes.

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We’re in a message series called “Spiritual Warfare.” Our warfare is a battle between obeying God and obeying Satan. Behind every significant decision in your life is a choice to obey God or the devil.

How does this play out? As a believer, God is speaking to you through His Spirit as you ponder a decision in life. But there is something else going on with every decision. Satan is seeking to inject his direction and ideas into your mind. He can do that in a number of ways.

Satan can directly tempt you in your mind. Or he may use something that you read or watch. Or he may use a friend or relative to tempt you to follow his guidance. Oftentimes, the obvious choice is the wrong one, the one that Satan is pitching to you. He’s hoping that you don’t take the time to pray and find out what God is saying. So, it comes down to a choice. A choice to follow God and reject the temptation. Or a choice to follow Satan and reject God’s direction.

When you choose to follow God’s direction, the result is blessing in your life. When you choose to follow Satan’s direction and sin, the result is curses upon your life.

1 John 2:16 (NIV2011)  For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world.

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