Paul said realize we are in a war. The enemy is out to destroy us by building a stronghold in our lives. The stronghold can be a habit, a sickness, drug addiction, lust, perversion, greed, rebellion to God, lack of financial discipline, anger, failing marriage. No matter what my personal stronghold is if not brought down, it will devour and destroy me.

THE SPIRIT FILLED LIFE
By Pastor Delbert Young

Stronghold War

War 

Scriptures: 1 Peter 5:8, 2 Corinthians 10:4, Ephesians 6:10-11, Ephesians 6:18

We are in a series called ‘The Spirit Filled Life.’ We have talked about ‘You Da Mam’ in that we are now what the Holy Spirit will change and work through. We have talked about ‘Fill Er Up’ meaning we must position ourselves to be filled. We have talked about ‘Are You Hungry’ showing that a Spirit filled life will not be recognized by tongues, but will include tongues. Tongues will come from a hunger for God. I was a little discouraged after last week’s lesson. I know when a lesson has done the job after preaching as long as I have preached. I didn’t feel the lesson got the job done. We are not hungry for God right now.

Why do we need and want a “Spirit Filled Life?” I hope today that we can see.

Thinking and Praying

I have been thinking and praying and talking all week about our hunger. I have been asking the Lord why it is this way. I have an answer.

There are probably hundreds of reasons why people loose their hunger for the things of God. However, there is one reason that always seems present. That reason is the hunger for the Lord is hindered when people go through stuff. At this moment in time at Life Gate Church, we have several people and families going through some heavy stuff. It is probably the most stuff at one time that I can recall in my entire years of ministry.

Serious Situations

We have people battling serious diseases such as cancer. That will take away your hunger. We have upcoming surgeries and people recovering from surgeries. That will take away your hunger. We have people in our church with parents that are extremely ill. That will take away your hunger. We have some serious family situations. That will take away your hunger. We have some serious relationship situations. That will take away your hunger. We have people making serious mid life decisions that will change everything about their lives. We have some people with financial problems. Financial problems will take away your hunger. We have parents worried about the lives and health of their children. That will take away your hunger. We have children worried about the lives and health of their parents.

Stuff has filled our church body that has taken our hunger from us. With that said, let’s read our scriptures for today and see what we can do about it.

1 Peter 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:

2 Corinthians 10:4 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)

Ephesians 6:10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.

Ephesians 6:11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

Ephesians 6:18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

The title of our lesson today is “The Spirit Filled Life and War!”

First we are told that we do indeed have an adversary that is out to destroy each of us. Then we are told that we have weaponry that will counteract and bring down any and every attack that the enemy makes upon us. Then we are told that we must use that weaponry we are given. It is interesting to me that Paul needed to tell the believers to use their weaponry.

Your Adversary

1 Peter 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:

Please notice that Peter writes “your adversary the devil.” The devil is not God’s adversary. The devil is your adversary and my adversary. I have heard some say something like, “The devil is a toothless bully.” They say that until they get bitten and devoured by that “toothless bully.” That “toothless bully” devours marriages, devours families, causes perversion, devours lives, devours happiness, finances, health, etc.

Making this passage a little more personal, each of us has our own adversary or our own demon or, as I will show in a minute, our own strongholds built by the devil. The way I am attacked is not the way you are attacked and the way you are attacked is not the way someone else is attacked. The devil is seeking a way to devour each of us with the strongholds he has established within us. No two situations are the same.

Weapons of Warfare

2 Corinthians 10:4 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)

The enemy comes and builds strongholds in our lives. That is his form of attack. That stronghold can be a habit. That stronghold can be a sickness. That stronghold can be drug addiction. That stronghold can be lust or perversion. That stronghold can be greed. That stronghold can be rebellion to God given authority and council. That stronghold can be lack of financial discipline. That stronghold can be anger. That stronghold can be something wrong in a marriage. That stronghold can be something wrong with a child. No matter what my personal stronghold is, that stronghold, if not brought down, will devour and destroy me.

I want to use an example of a man that I know. He came from a great home. His dad was a minister. This man had a beautiful godly wife. He had some of the most gorgeous children you have ever seen. He had his own business and made a lot of money. He had a several hundred thousand-dollar house. He had money set back for his children’s education. He was a church leader and greatly respected in the community. We do notice that everything that I said about the man was in the past tense. That is because he had all that, but he was devoured. He became addicted to pornography and a stronghold of lust was established in his life. He lost everything and I mean everything. He lost his wife, children, house, money, respect, and everything else once possessed.

We ask, can a church leader experience such as that? Yes. The reason is the devil is out to devour the church person. The man did not bring down the stronghold and it devoured him. Each of us have places that the enemy can develop a stronghold and if we do not bring that stronghold down and keep it down, it will devour us.

I want to give you one more example that is not “sin,” but is a stronghold in many. My brother-in-law Jimmy was not a “church goer,” but Jimmy was a very good man. He loved his wife with a passion and he loved his family, but Jimmy had a habit. Jimmy smoked cigarettes. That stronghold destroyed Jimmy. Jimmy developed lung cancer and we buried Jimmy last year. Jimmy’s smoking was not sin, but it was a stronghold that devoured him. Strongholds do not have to be “sin.”

My point is that the enemy is seeking whom he may devour by establishing strongholds. However, we have weapons to bring down those strongholds.

Put On the Whole Armor

Ephesians 6:10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.

Ephesians 6:11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

The Apostle Paul found it necessary to tell the believers to “be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.” Actually, it is a command. The Ephesian believers were going through stuff just like we are going through stuff. The solution is to “put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.” Paul said to realize that we are in a battle. The devil is out to destroy our lives, so get dressed for war.

Paul gives the analogy of the “baddest” war machine of his day. That would be the Roman soldier in full battle array. Paul said put on our salvation (helmet). Put on our righteousness (breastplate). Put on our truth (girded loins). Put on our peace (boots). Take up our shield (faith). Pick up our word of God (sword). Now we are ready, but ready for what? What do we do now? Do we just stand there guarding? No, we attack. We attack by . . .

Ephesians 6:18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

(NIV) Ephesians 6:18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.

Once we prepare for the battle, we attack and bring down strongholds through “all prayer and supplication.” Folks, we don’t pray like we should. Then when we do pray, most often it is only for ourselves.

Pray On All Occasions

Paul said pray “on all occasions.” We need to pray when things are good and we need to pray when things are not so good. We need to be praying.

All Kinds of Prayers

Paul said “all kinds of prayers.” There is praying in the natural. There is praying in the Spirit. There is binding. There are prayers that loose. There are prayers of deliverance. There are prayers of thanksgiving. There are all kinds of prayers. We need to be praying.

Keep on Praying for all the Saints

Paul said to “be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.” I suppose for the first time that part of Ephesians 6:18 hit me. Many of us are alert for what we need, but not alert about what others are going through. I am because people call me and want me to pray for them. I think they relay their prayer requests to others and they often think I relay their prayer requests to others.

Perhaps I can relay my thought this way. One man going against an enemy’s stronghold does not have the odds in his favor. However, if an army goes after a stronghold and sets siege on that stronghold, that stronghold will come down. Cancer will come down when an army sieges that stronghold. Habits will come down when an army sieges that stronghold. Perversion will come down when an army sieges that stronghold. Family problems and financial problems will come down when an army sieges that stronghold. We are an army. Let’s siege some strongholds.

Beginning Wednesday

Here is what I want to do. I know it’s summer. I know we are building. Nonetheless, I want to come here on Wednesday nights for one month and pray. If you can come for fifteen minutes, great. Come for what you can. Light a prayer candle if you like. We will take prayer requests and project them on the screen. We will sing one worship song, release prayer in the house and separate and pray. We can set the altars around or sit in a chair or kneel. We must pray.

If anyone wants to pray during the month, or any time after, please do. Light a candle if you want. However, please come by and pray. If this seems to take off, we will look at praying the first Wednesday of every month.

Other Related Sermons:

Evil One Deliver Us From – sermon video audio notes

Also see:

Sermons Change The World

Life Gate Church sermons by Delbert Young