Stand Your Ground

The Art Of War

Pastor Wes Aarum - March 1, 2020

Community Group Study Notes

  • Have someone in your group provide a brief, 2-minute summary of Sunday’s teaching. 

  • Read Ephesians 6:10-13. What stands out to you in this passage and why? 

  • Read 1 Peter 5:8 and John 8:44. Jesus tells us that Satan is hunting you and is the “father of lies”. What “lie” has Satan used to hunt you and try to get you to believe? What happens when you choose to believe it? 

  • Read Revelation 1:18; Ephesians 1:19-22; 2:6; 1 John 4:4. How do these truths help us in our fight against Satan and his lies? 

  • What one truth from this message or from your discussion does God want you to believe and live out this week? 


Sermon Transcript

Well, good morning. My name is Wes and I have the privilege of sharing God's truth with you today so I want to encourage you to grab the handout that you were passed out when you came in this auditorium or on all of our campuses because we've got a lot of notes we're going to go after today and don't worry, we're going to go through them fast and these are just so that you can reference them and study them later on this week in your community group, which is on the other side and man it is our hope that everyone who calls The Chapel a home will be in a community group. The ones I'm in, I'm so grateful for. They're so life giving to me. I just, I love them and man, we want you to be engaged and it's super easy to get in one you can go to that site, find a group and get plugged in and we want you to get involved in your own discipleship with some other people that are running the same direction so that's pretty, pretty cool.

Well, let me tell you, we're kicking off a brand new series today and I'm just going to tell you right up front, your enemy does not want you to pay attention today, wants you to be distracted. Wants your mind to wander, wants you to think about a hundred different things or if you do listen, he certainly doesn't want you to believe what you're about to hear. The good news is that we have a heavenly father. We have a king in the universe who is far greater, far bigger, loves you passionately and has arranged the details of your life to put you here. To put you in front of that screen so that he can speak a word of truth that is personal, that is real, that's exactly what you need. Because he knows what's going on in your life. He understands everything about what's happening in your life. He knows what's coming down the future for you on the road and he wants to speak into your life with that knowledge.

The only question is do we really want to hear him? And man, I've been praying aggressively that we would. That we would want to hear exactly what God has for us. Listen, our life is here and it's gone. It's a blip on the radar screen and God says, I wanted to give you a life that matters in a relationship with me. I hope and pray that you will want to hear from him today. Not from me, I've got nothing that can change your life, but God can and he brought you here so I'm praying and hoping that you'll want to hear from him.

I'm going to ask us to pray about that together. Right now I'm going to invite you to bow your heads and close your eyes wherever you are, and just silently, man, you may have never done this before. Maybe you're new to church and everything. I'm so grateful that you're here and I want to beg you to do this just silently to say, God, you got my attention. Speak to me. I want to hear from you today. I want what you got for me, and I'll respond.

Heavenly father, we bow before you and we acknowledge that you are the king of the universe. You have the words of life that we need. God so grateful that you arranged for us to be together in this place at this time. Now, Holy Spirit, please pierce our hearts with the reality of what we're going to talk about today. Lord, magnify yourself. Give us ears to hear and hearts that are quick to respond or protect us. Cover us with the blood of Christ and ask God that you would make yourself great today in our eyes. Open up our eyes that we might see you for who you really are. Thank you, Lord. May we leave this place challenged, encouraged, and brimming with hope because you are the God of the universe. We love you Jesus. Thank you for loving us. We pray this in your name, Christ. Amen.

All right. If you have your Bibles, please open to the book of Ephesians. Ephesians chapter six is where we're going to be. This is our main text. It's not going to be on the screen because I want you to have it in front of you, so either with the Bible you brought with you or on your electronic device or there's a Bible in front of you. If you're in this auditorium or another auditorium next to us, there's on one on the table, just grab that. If you're not sure where Ephesians is, that's okay. Look at the table of contents, find it and find yourself there. Ephesians chapter six is our main passage and we're going to walk through that and I want you to have in front of you.

All right, so here's how we're going to start today. I hold in my hand a bottle of hand sanitizer. How many of you are familiar with hand sanitizers? Let me see your hands. Okay, good, good, good, good. Thank you. Thank you, very much. All right. Now, you know what? It says right here, it has aloe in it, so that means it's soft for the skin. Yeah, and it's infused with ingredients that give it a pleasant aroma. I mean, the whole experience is meant to be quite a delight. I know you're like, are we in the Home Shopping Network? What just happened? All right. Yeah. Here's the thing though. That's not why we use it. We don't use hand sanitizers because it's soft for our skin, right? Oh, my hands are a little chap. I think I'm going to use any hand sanitizer, said no woman ever. Okay. That's not why we use it. We use it because of the promise that it makes right here.

It says it kills 99.99% of germs. That's why we use it, because we understand germs. We can't see them with our naked eye, but we understand that what we can't see can hurt us, right? Can make us sick, can even kill us. Well, I bring this up because what's true in the physical realm is absolutely true in the spiritual realm. What we can't see can kill us. It brings us to our passage today, Ephesians chapter six starting in verse 10. Please follow along as I read. Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. 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. 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 have done everything to stand.

Here's the big truth, right up the top, right out of the gate. Here it is. Our battle is not against what we can see, it's against what we can't see. Our battle is not against what we can see. It's against what we can't see. First and foremost, our battle is against what we can't see as believers. That is a warfare and a battle that we are in. The Bible makes that clear for us right here in this passage. You know, the Bible tells us of a spiritual realm that we would know nothing about otherwise, but God is really clear. He wants us to know what we're up against and so he lets us know about our enemy. He tells us about our enemy. Now, this is not meant to be an exhaustive study on our enemy on Satan, okay? This is just some quick hits to help us understand and give us a little framework of where we're going.

So here we go. Got your notes, who he is and who he was. Say he was a created being. Now that's great news for us and here's why, because some people think, well, you know, it's really close, God and Satan duking it out. Who's going to win. Not the truth, all right. God is God. Satan is a created being, okay? He is not infinite. He is not all powerful. He is not all-knowing, okay? Those are character qualities and attributes of God, not of Satan because he is a created being, but he is an angelic being, which means he is a spiritual being and who he was, he was a guardian of God's glory. He had a highly exalted position in the economy of God in eternity passed and he was cast out of heaven because he rebelled. He wanted to be like God, and so he was cast out of heaven.

Now these two scriptures in Ezekiel and in Isaiah, could you write those down and you can read those letters. We don't have time to go through them right now, but as you read those, they start out Ezekiel and Isaiah start out by pronouncing woes, W-O-E-S, woes against kings of the day. But then as you continue to read, they start to describe that which could not possibly be applied to any human because they are talking about the force, the being, the spiritual person behind the pagan kings of their day. This is Ezekiel and Isaiah are talking about. They describe the person of Satan. What does he do? Well, we can learn a lot about the titles that God gives him in his word.

First, Satan means adversary. You know what that means? He's against you. 24/7 he's never for you. He's never in your corner, he's never on your side. He is always constantly against you. Devil, slanderer. He wants to slander God. He wants to slander God's character. He wants to slander God's reputation. He wants to slander your reputation as a believer in any ministry and anything that you're attached to that's trying to follow God. He wants to slander that. Lucifer son of the morning. You know what that means? He can disguise himself as something that looks good. Yeah, evil one. Pure evil. You will never meet anyone as cruel and as evil as Satan. Accuser, he accuses God. He's accusing you. You know what's interesting? Satan will be the first one to tell you when you're tempted with sin. Hey, it's no big deal. Go for it and as soon as you sin, he'll be the first one right there going. You are the worst person in the world. Why? Because he's an accuser.

Thief, he's a thief. He steals, he wants to steal things. He wants to steal your strength. He wants to steal your calling because that's what he does. He steals. He is a liar. He's a professional liar and he's a murderer. John 10:10, Jesus just rips the cover off and exposes him when he says... Jesus says the thief, speaking of Satan, comes only to kill, steal and destroy. Only kill, steal and destroy. He doesn't have any other agenda. He doesn't have any other side hustles. That is his mission in your life. That is who he is. We have, make no mistake. We have a formidable foe against us, and if we think otherwise, we're fools but the good news is that God knows all that and he tells us some incredible things here in Ephesians six. Again, verse 10, finally be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Not in your power, not in my power. The natural can't beat the supernatural. We stand in God's power. If you're a believer, if you're a Christ follower, if you've invited Jesus into your life, this is you.

Finally be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Why? Point one in your notes, it says, Satan is a defeated foe. He is a defeated foe. Look at this truth in Colossians. When you, all us, when you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. When you invited Christ into your life, this is what happens. Made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, the things that were against this, God took them away. Cleaned the slate, man. Past, present, future sins, paid for which stood against us and condemned us. That's why there's no more condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, Romans 8:1. He, God has taken away, nailing it to the cross and look at this and having disarmed, okay. Not just wounded. Disarmed. Hey, here's your weapon. Boom. Not anymore. Disarmed the powers and authorities. He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross. A public spectacle.

When Roman armies would defeat their enemies, they would take their captives and they would come back to Rome and they would parade them through the streets. They'd march them through the streets. The big victory parade because there was no mistake who was the one who conquered and who was the one who had been conquered. There was no mistake. There was no question that the Roman army, they were the triumphant conquerors and here's the enemy that they had conquered. That's the picture that we're given here in Colossians. Jesus said, there's no mistake who is a conquering king? He said I. I am. I've conquered. Satan is the defeated foe. Ultimately he is a defeated foe. Now let me tell you why that's so exciting for us as believers, because the next point, next point is this.

As believers in Christ, his victory becomes our victory. As believers in Christ, his victory becomes our victory. Take a look at this truth in Ephesians. That power is the same as the mighty strength he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms far above all rule and authority, power and dominion and every name that is invoked not only in the present age, but also in the one to come and God placed all things under his feet and appointed him Christ to be head over everything for the church.

Jesus is at the highest place possible all the universe. Above all realms, all powers, all authorities. That's Christ. There is no one greater, no one higher. When you pray, by the way, you're going through the highest authority in the entire universe. Now, look at this, and God raised us, believers, Christians. He raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus. He seated us with Christ. When you become a believer, some fantastic things happen. Instantly, your sins are forgiven, right? You move from darkness to light, from death to life. All right. You are reunited and reconciled with God, your heavenly father. He's with you. He will never leave you and you get to spend eternity forever with him in heaven.

Alongside all of that is that you are placed in a position of authority with Jesus in the heavenly realms. Right now if you're a believer, that's what you have. You know what that means? His strength is your strength. His power is your power. His authority is your authority. That's what that says. His authority is your authority. It's like a policeman. If there is a truck driver, he's driving a truck coming down the road and all of a sudden a policeman stands out. Just stands in the middle of the road and goes like this, all right.

If the truck driver knows what's good for him, he'll stop. Why? Not because he needs to. Goes, oh my gosh. If I go up against this dude, he might wreck my truck. No, it's a truck. It could mow right over the policeman, but he stops because he understands the authority that the policeman has, right? The authority that he represents. As a believer, you represent the authority of Jesus Christ. Revelations 12 says that they overcame him, Satan, by the word of their testimony and the blood of the lamb. Because of what Jesus did on the cross, his blood now covers us. We have his authority, we have his authority. Not only has he given us that authority of his, he's also giving us gear. He's given us strong gear. Look at this point right here. God has given us powerful spiritual equipment for our protection.

He's given us powerful spiritual equipment. He wants us to gear up, again, our text put on the full armor of God. Verse 11, put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil schemes. Put on, that's something we do. We have to do. Now in the rest of the series, Pastor Jerry is going to walk through the different parts of the armor. It says we're supposed to put on the full armor, not just pieces, the full armor. We put it on, this powerful spiritual protection that God has given us. Why? Because this next point. Satan's vicious schemes and strategies targeting you. Oh yeah, and the bell right here, it says again, verse 11 put it on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. That word schemes means cunning, deceptive.

We continue on. Next verse, verse 12, for our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. That's no joke, man. That's no joke. Listen, the main point of this passage is not for us to try and figure out how all of that works. The main point is for us to wake up and realize that there is a very real spiritual force coming against us. These aren't just some random spiritual thugs, man. This is a force that is strong, that is powerful, that is motivated, that is tactical, that is not only strategic, but they are organized and they are on mission.

Satan is on mission 24/7 to ruin you, to ruin your marriage, to ruin your family, to ruin your reputation, to ruin everything about you. That's his goal and that's no joke. I mean when it says here again for our struggle, that word struggle is interesting because in ancient Greece they would have these hand to hand combat battles usually to the death. That word describes that kind of a battle. That's what we're in. Now, I know you might be sitting there going, all right Wes, that's great. When's pastor Jerry coming back because come on man, bro. Spooky, spooky. What's going on.

Listen, hey, if you're in the occult, there's a real battle there. I get it. Okay. Which is worse, all that's... but me, I'm, just a regular person, man. I'm a mom at home or I'm a student going to campus, all right. I'm a dude with a job. I mean come on. There's no big battle. Really? There's a lot of places I could go to, but I'm going to just go real quick. It's not on the screen. We're going to go into the Old Testament book. Book of Proverbs of all places, chapter six four verses 16 through 19. Let me read these things. There are six things the Lord hates, seven that are detestable to him.

I can't even begin to help us understand how strong that language is in the Hebrew. God hates these sins. They're detestable to him. They turn his stomach. Here they are. One, haughty eyes. That's pride. That's arrogance. I'm going to do things my way. I'm going to be all about me. I'm going to maneuver my relationship so the focus gets on me. Haughty eyes. A lying tongue, someone who speaks words that are not true either in part or in whole, they're not true. God says, I hate that. I hate that. You exaggerate. Try to twist things. I hate that. Hands that shed innocent blood. Fits of rage. Fits of anger. A heart that devises wicked schemes, a heart that devices wicked scheme. In here when the temptation comes, you're in here and you're thinking, how can I do that without anybody finding out? How can I click on that image so that no one knows. Feet that are quick to rush to evil.

When the temptation comes and the heart devices it you figure I'm going to do it. I'm going to go after that. How can I do it behind my parents' back, behind my spouse's back there? How can I get away with this? I'm going to do it. A false witness who pours out lies. False witness speaks to try and make things look this way, but in reality they're completely different way. It's false, and seven, a man who stirs up dissension among brothers. Among brothers, the family of God, stirs up dissension, conflicts, divisions, factions. God says, I hate this stuff. Any of this familiar to you? Do you ever experience any of this? If God hates it, guess who loves it? Satan, he's loving. Who do you think is cheering this on when it's happening? Who is the one on the silence going, yeah. Who wants to be right in the middle of it, stirring it up?

Hey, next time you get in conflict with your spouse, maybe just maybe Satan is right there giving you bombs to unload on each other. You're not on a neutral playing field, you're on a spiritual battle ground man. He loves this stuff. Ever experience it. You're in a battle man and listen, if you're participating in this, if you're a participant, you're getting played by the enemy. He is playing you and using you to accomplish his agenda. Whenever I buy into some of this stuff Satan's playing me, man, and you know what he'll do? He'll lie to you about it so you don't even see it.

Oh man he is a master deceptor. He lies about it, he wants us to think that this is just how things are. He wants us to be blind to the outcomes, to the horrific consequences. That's how he operates. He uses lies and deception to do that. Oh man. There's example after example after example in scripture. I mean, think of King David. You know what Satan never did? Satan never came to King David and said, okay, hey David, here's the deal. You just need to know I hate you and I have an awful plan for your life. I want to destroy you. I want to store your family, I want to destroy your kingdom and we're going to get after this. We're going to after this. Here's how we get the ball rolling, David. I want you to cooperate with me and I want you to commit adultery with Bathsheba because that's going to kick off a whole string of really awful consequences and really stupid decision making on your part. All the dominoes will fall, right? He never did that.

He lied to David and he kept the consequences and the destructive outcomes in the shadows. It's what he does. It's what he did with David. That's what he does with us. Oh yeah. His strategic plan is to give you what you want now so that eventually you'll end up what he wants you to have later. Yeah. You know what it reminds me of? Reminds me of this right here. This is a mousetrap. Now, maybe you can't see it real well, but it's a mousetrap. Okay. You understand how mouse trap work, right? Yeah. Is a mouse trap.

It holds out the promise of fulfillment and a wondrous time for the mouse while keeping the consequences hidden. Right? I mean, a mouse comes along and he sees the cheese. Woo, right, this little mouse brain. Oh my gosh, he doesn't understand how the trap works. All they can see is the cheese and he wants it. I mean, look at it. It's even displayed on a golden little platter. Come on. It's perfect, right? It's also perf... no one's around. No one's round. I can have it. It's ideal. It's wondrous. It's all so perfect right up until. Right up until it's not.

So Satan wins. He sets traps and he wants the consequences to be hidden from us. He wants us to be oblivious to the destructive outcomes. He wants us to think that's just how things are. That's just how the culture operates. That's just how things go and while we are oblivious, he is executing strategic plays in the spirit realm against you to destroy you. Behind every trap there's a trapper, behind every lie there is a liar and maybe for you, the lie that Satan use sounds like this. You're a mess. No one will ever want you or love you, and so you believe the lie and so you build an ongoing case against yourself, sabotaging any hope of any future healthy relationship and the trap snaps or maybe for you it's the lie sounds like this.

You're never going to get over this. You're never going to break free of this. This owns you. Just give up and give in and you believe it. So you build an ongoing case against any hope of freedom in your life. The traps snaps or maybe for you the lies this, you can't trust God. He is obviously not good. He's holding back from you. Look at you, prayed about this and it didn't happen. It got worse. God's not real and you believe it. So you build an ongoing case against God moving further and further and further away from the one who actually loves you and actually has the power and ability to heal you and is working behind the scenes even though you may not see it in the moment.

Or maybe for you, the lie is, hey, if I just get a little bit more, just a little more money, if I just have the latest, greatest thing, if I just get a little more stuff and you believe it, so you jump on a treadmill and you run and run and run chasing this thing that you think will satisfy you but it doesn't have the power to satisfy you and so you end up choking the life out of yourself and being eaten alive from the inside out. The trap snaps. It's a lie. It's all based on a lie but listen, listen, listen, listen. If you believe his lies, then his lies will become your truth.

If you believe his lies, his lies will become your truth and you'll build narratives around it and you'll start to look through everything, through that lens and you'll start to try to support it with circumstances and your own feelings, which by the way, feelings can't create truth. They don't have that ability. They weren't designed to do that and you'll end up wasting entire seasons of your life based on a lie and if you still don't believe that he's after your destruction and lies to get you there then just a little while, when we dismiss, if you go out, I want you to get in your car. I want you to drive to the nearest cemetery.

I know it's a little cold, but park there. Get out. I want you to walk through the cemetery. I want you to look at all the headstones and then as you're standing in that cemetery, I want you to recall the first promise that Satan ever made as recorded in scripture. He made it to Eve when he's trying to get her to eat the forbidden fruit and Eve said, no. If we do, we're going to die and Satan says these words, you shall not surely die. You're not going to die. You're standing in the middle of a cemetery. Look around. He's a liar. You're surrounded by death. He's a liar because that's all he can do and he wants to lie to you and he wants you to make that your truth, so let you follow him.

How do you beat a lie? You drag it out into the light of truth. That's why this passage is so powerful and just stoked with hope for you and for me, because of what it tells us. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. 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 to stand. Here's the truth. It's the next point in your notes. We battle not for victory, but from victory. You don't battle for victory, you battle from victory because God has already won. Because Jesus has already had the ultimate victory. We can have daily victory. We can stand. Stand your ground means to draw a line in the sand. It's a military term, means to hold the line. You're right there. You ain't moving. You can stand your ground.

Look at this scripture. For he's rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the son he loves. When you became a Christian, God took you from the dominion of Satan. You are no longer under his dominion now. The dominion you are under now is that of “the Son He loves” - He’s a conquering King, and look at this in Revelation. I am the living one, is speaking of Jesus. I was dead and now look, I am alive forever and ever and I hold the keys of death and Hades. Keys represents authority. You know what that means? Jesus said, I hold the authority over everything that can come against you in the spiritual realm. Everything that can discourage you, everything that can frustrate you, everything that can defeat you, I hold authority over that. Boom. That is what is true.

This is what we've got to remember right here. Remember who you are and whose you are so that you can stand your ground. Remember who you are and whose you are so that you can stand your ground. Who are you as a Christian? You are forgiven, accepted, totally, passionately, eternally, perfectly, unconditionally loved child of the all powerful, all victorious reigning king of king. That's who you belong to. When Satan comes along and lies to you and says, give up, don't do it. Don't do it. Don't be a reason for Satan to celebrate. Don't do it. Listen, listen to the truth, what your king is telling you.

Found an illustration. When I grew up, I played sports. Loved playing sports, and for those of you who played sports, you can understand this, that when you're on that playing field, on that court, wherever you happen to be, there are fans in the stands that are against you and they are trying to shout you down. They are trying to discourage you. They're trying to intimidate you, they're trying to frustrate you and if I had listened to them, I just gone over and just sat down on the bench and say, I'm done. I didn't listen to them. Who would I listen to? My coach. I listened to my coach. Why? Because I trusted him. I knew that he knew what I needed and he was way smarter than those guys in the stands. Who you listen to on the sporting field makes all the difference. Who you listen to on the battlefield makes all the difference. Who you listening to? Who are you listening to?

God wants us to listen to him. He wants us to listen to his voice, so when the battle is raging and you're standing there and the enemy is just, he doesn't play fair. He just coming at you from every possible angle, you can hear the voice of your commander in chief, your loving heavenly father who's the king of kings, speak words of power and encouragement and truth to you. As he says, I am the king. I have defeated thee. I have you. You belong to me. You are mine. I am with you and you can stand. That is what is true. That is what is real and that's what God wants you to know. The only question is will you believe him? Will you believe him? Let's pray it again.

Keep your heads bowed and your eyes closed just for a moment. This is the critical point right here. What did God speak to you about and what are you going to do about it? I have two closing questions. One, if you're here today and you don't know Jesus Christ, if you died today and you are not 100% sure that you'd be in heaven, if you don't know Jesus, you are under the dominion of the evil one. He wants to destroy and ruin your life and ultimately he wants to take you to a place of justice and judgment called hell where you will spend eternity with him. That is what he wants for you. That is not what God wants for you, and so Jesus came, died on the cross to pay for your sins. The penalty of rebellion against God.

John 3:16, for God so loved the world that he gave his only son that whoever, wide open invitation, whoever believes in him, that means commits to him, surrender to him, pours life out. Say, Lord, I'm yours. I believe in you. I trust you. I turn from my sin. I'm yours. You don't need a life coach. You need a savior. Whoever believes in him will not perish, but will have eternal life. A home and having a relationship with God. You become his and you were rescued from the dominion of darkness. The kingdom of light. If that is you, say Wes, I want that man.

I need Jesus in my life. I want that. Then tell him right where you are, right where you sit silently quietly tell him. In fact, let me give you some words because somebody loved me enough to give me some words one day. Just sound and just pray something like this. Say, dear Jesus, I'm a sinner. I get it. I know I can't save myself. I need a savior. I believe that you died for me, that you have life to give me. I want that. I want you. I turn from my sin. I repent. I don't want it anymore. I turn to you. Come into my life. Forgive me my sins, rescue me. I believe in you. I trust you. I'm all yours. I'm all yours.

If you prayed that prayer or something like it, I'm not going to call you forward, but I want to remember you in a closing prayer. If you prayed it and you meant it, say, man, I just gave my life to Christ. No one looked around. I want you to raise your hand nice and high and look at me just for a moment. Say Wes, I pray that prayer and meant it. Here's my hand. Pray for me. God bless you. I see it. Hold up nice and high. I don't want to miss anybody. I'm seeing... God bless you. I see it. Awesome. Right on, right. For those of you who have your hands raised, listen to me for a moment. Listen to me. I'm going to pray for you in just a second. Here's what I want to ask you to do. In just a moment when we dismiss, I want you to go right across the atrium to the fireside.

The first lie, you're going to hear from the enemy right now as you sit in your seat, he's going to tell you not to do it, that you don't need to do it. Blow it up, blow it up. Don't start your new life with Christ. Believe in lie of the enemy. Blow that out and come over. I want to meet you in the fireside room. I want to shake your hand. I want to give you some material that's going to help you. It's the most important decision you'll ever make. If you just made that decision, Christ, come on over. Let me spend 10 minutes with you. Give you some stuff that'll help you. Let me pray for you.

Heavenly father, I see hands. You see hearts. You know what's going on. Make it so real in their lives. Help them to know that you are always good to your word, that you've moved in. You've rescued them, Jesus. Thank you for that. You put your hands down. Last question. Heads bowed, eyes closed. No one looking around. If you're here and you are in the battle. I mean you're sitting here and you feel the battle raging. You're a believer, you're a Christ follower and you feel the battle raging against you. You feel it raging and you're on the edge of man being tempted to give up, but you know the truth of Ephesians six and you're like, I'm going to believe. I want to stand my ground. If that is you, I want to pray for you.

If you're here today and you're like, I feel the battle is raging against me. It's someone in my family it, man, I feel it and it's hard, but I want to stand my ground. I'm going to believe God and stand my ground. If that's you, I want to pray for you and here's... but no one look around. I'm going to ask you to stand your feet right now. I want you to stand to your feet right now. If you're feeling the battle and you're feeling the heat, I want you to stand your feet right now because I want to pray for you. We should not be embarrassed in the church of Jesus Christ to ask for prayer for one another. It's crazy.

You're standing as a symbolic gesture to say, I'm going to stand my ground. Jesus I need your help. I feel the heat. I don't want to stand my ground. If that's you, I'm going to invite you to stand because I want to pray. Listen, I get it, man. I'm the first one standing up here and I mean I totally get that. I get what you're experiencing. I want to pray for us. Last call. If that's you, I want you to stand because I want to [inaudible 00:40:30]. No one looking around except for those of you who are standing, would you open your eyes just for a moment? Would you just look around? You know one of the biggest lies that Satan is going to tell you that, you're alone. You're the only one. It's a lie. Look around. It's a lie. You got other people around you there, if not only going through the same thing, they'd have the same heart that you have. You want to stand for Jesus. I want to pray for us.

God, I thank you for my brothers and sisters or during the battle when they feel the heat. God. I'm thankful that you tell us the truth, that you are the victorious king. You are our heavenly father and we don't have to listen to the lies of the enemy and God where the circumstances are, he's trying to use against us in our emotions he's trying to use against us. Lord, I pray that you would help us to lock on to what is true and your word, because that's what's real. What I pray for my brothers and sisters, that you'd encourage them, God, you'd flood their life with hope that you are at work even when we can't see it, that you have got them and that you are the strong and mighty king and that you are their heavenly father. Lord breathe hope into their lives today.

I'm going to invite everyone else. Please stand your feet as we close in prayer. Jesus, thank you for your truth. Thank you for your word. Thank you for the hope and the encouragement that gives us. Lord, thank you that you tell us that even though we walk through the valley of the shadow of death, we don't have to fear evil. Why? Because you are with us. God you are with us. All right. Help us to remember that this week. Help us to remember that nothing that comes against us Lord is stronger than you, and God as we lean in your direction, as we hold on to you, we will find that you've been holding on to us the entire time. Thank you Christ. In your name we praise Jesus. Amen.

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