Sunday, 8 November 2015

The Private War of a Saint

Do you have those moments of despair, moments where you feel like God is not near you. Everything was going well. You read your Bible every day, you were growing with God, doors were opening and then all of a sudden you just don't FEEL Him. 

Or, you feel like God no longer loves you and you get tired and worn down by those voices that condemn you. Or that you've hurt God more than enough times and you just don't want to any more. 

Everyone who walks closely with the Lord has gone through seasons of having a heavy heart. Some of us have gone through financial issues, issues with our families, health problems, etc. David (I know I use him a lot), he had great faith, but he grew weary at times due to the burdens that he faced. 
Have you ever been through seasons where nobody, not even a service, a message, a counsellor, can lift your burden. You try to pray, which helps, sometimes, but it does not seem to get you anywhere. It feels like God has abandoned you?

When we are saved, we are made righteous in Christ - Romans 3:22 and even as Christians and as those who seek Christ, we will be tempted and we will go through seasons of heaviness of sin, private issues, pain, problems...possibly everything. All of us as Christians, as the CHURCH, are in a spiritual 'warfare'. You have heard this before. For example, if you look to the Middle East, Christians are persecuted for their faith. In fact, we had the Barnabas Fund talk at our Church about the persecution of Christians in Iraq, Kenya and other places. Places where people are KILLED and made to choose between their faith and their life.

Pastor David Wilkerson, who I truly, deeply love, quite a while ago, he was an American preacher, preached on the persecution of Christians. He said if we truly obey the true mission of Christ to a lost world, we will be marked. He said you will find enemies everywhere. We, as Christians, have a mission and that mission is to tell men who have spent a lifetime believing that they are doing good and that they are achieving something and tell them that it's all filthy rags. 

We know that the one who walks in the Spirit and walks with God will be tempted and will be persecuted. The more spiritual you become the more intense your battles. The Spirit of God will lead you into the wilderness BUT the devil will do the tempting.

Every Christian on earth has probably faced or will face their own private war. The Bible tells us in Ecclesiastes 3:8 - "To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven. A time of war and a time of peace."

I know one Godly Man who suffered his own private war. He was a very charitable man and served God faithfully for years. He worshipped God, he was honest, he loved God's Word so much and even those who hated him knew how righteous he was. But one night, because of lust, he made another woman pregnant. Because he panicked and wanted to cover up his sin, he arranged a hit man to kill the woman's husband. He was later exposed. All his friends forsook him, he cried out because his burden became intolerable. He was ashamed and his guilt became unbearable. His soul was flooded with bitter tears and grief. Day after day, he cried out to God. You know who I am talking about, right? King David. A man after God's own heart suffered his own private war.

Paul told us that there would be a spirit of lust upon the world. We would be enticed. We cannot even think that the holier we are, the more immune we are to falling into the lusts of the flesh. Even if we are faithful to God and pray and study his Word, we will be temped. Look at David, who loved the Lord more than anybody, he was tempted fiercely and he gave in to his lust. 

But some of us have lost a battle against lust and we are in the midst of this private war. We face guilt, fear and confusion every single day. But remember, even in the midst of the war, Jesus is your Victor.

How Do We Overcome the Private War?

Psalm 18:34 - "He trains my hands for batter; he strengthens my arm to draw a bronze bow."
There is no step by step plan to this. God works in mysterious ways.

  1. David Cried Out To The Lord
Psalm 70 - 'Please God, rescue me! Come quickly, Lord and help me. May those who try to kill me be humiliated and put to shame...'
All of us will face burdens and times of heaviness because, I know you don't want to hear this, this will teach us wisdom as soldiers of God's army. He needs us in this war. You are an example to those around you. You are the one who God will use to drive back the enemy. You are the one he wants to teach how to fight.He will use you as an example to strengthen those who are weak in their faith.

    2.   Live or die I will magnify the Lord

We need to set our hearts to magnify the Lord in the midst of our war. That doesn't mean smiling and pretending to be happy, but to glorify Him regardless of what we are going through. It means to stand still in the midst of the storm and to firmly declare in our hearts, 'Lord, I believe in You.'

   3. Cast Yourself On The Mercy of God
If you look at David's testimony, David learned that God would never have allowed his distress to overcome him. By His grace, His problems would not take him down. In every struggle, God is always full of tender mercy to those who are repentant - 'The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and plenteous in mercy. He will not always chide, neither will he keep his anger forever...'

Please make this your testimony. Look at all your fears,  your distresses, your anxieties and your temptations, and say by faith, "By God's grace, I am not going down. I will not be overwhelmed by these things.'

His grace is sufficient for you!

In every private war you face, keep your eyes and your thoughts fixed on God's mercy and loving kindness which will never fail.


Pastor Wilkerson teaching on 'The Private War of a Saint'

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