Sermon Transcript: Three Things the Enemy Does Not Want You to Know

5/2/2021 Jon Gaus 27 min read

Well, good morning, BRAVE church. This is an honor, I so appreciate it. And for our teaching this morning we're going to begin in 1 Corinthians chapter 10, the sixth book of the New Testament. 1 Corinthians chapter 10, and we do have two supporting passages that we're going to be turning to. The second one will be 2 Corinthians chapter 10. And then we're going to all end up in the same place on the third passage, which is Romans chapter six. Now I have to tell you that the Holy Spirit gave me this message about a year ago. And I had planned a year ago to preach this at one of our BRAVE global churches down in Miami, Harvest Church of Miami. So I took this message down there a year ago, just before COVID hit and I still had some tweaking to do. And I thought on Saturday I'll stay in my hotel room, sit at the desk and I'll finish this message.

So Saturday came and I started sitting at the desk and all of a sudden I got hit with food poisoning and I was in bed the whole rest of the day. Now sovereignly I had taken another message with me that I was able to preach down there I couldn't finish this one. And for the rest of the next year it's like the Holy Spirit was keeping this message in a spiritual Crock-Pot and he was adding depth to it and he was adding ingredients and pieces to it. And then about three weeks ago I was asked to come down to another one of our BRAVE Global church plants in Colorado Springs Fervent church, to preach down there for pastor Garrett Grovner and the Holy Spirit gave me the freedom to preach this message.

And I have to tell you the Holy Spirit was on it. I believe this is an anointed message. Now it's not me, the Holy Spirit's the perfect teacher. Amen. I'm just a conduit of the king, but it was so well-received with depth and rejoicing because this very message in itself is an act of spiritual warfare. So my prayer has been all week that it would be received the same way from the Holy Spirit, into your heart, mind, and soul.

Way back on January 1st, 1863, president Abraham Lincoln signed the emancipation proclamation. And he by doing that declared that every slave in the United States was now legally and completely and actually free. Now, the tragedy of that situation was it took two and a half years for this message of the emancipation proclamation to reach the slaves in the state of Texas. There were about 200,000 of them in the state of Texas. So even though they had been declared legally and completely and actually free people now for another two and a half years they continued to work like slaves and talk like slaves and walk like slaves and think of themselves as slaves. It took two and a half years for the federal troops to finally ride into Texas and announce the signing of the emancipation proclamation and then stay there to enforce it. The reason this happened is there was a group of very evil people who wanted to keep getting very evil gains from the works of the slaves. So they did all they could to separate the slaves from their new identity that they were now legally free people.

In much the same way our enemy Satan tries to do that with us. He tries to separate us from our new identity in Christ and all of the riches we now have in Jesus Christ. In fact, 2 Corinthians 2:11 tells us we are not unaware of Satan's schemes. Satan is a fallen, finite, created being. And he only has a finite number of schemes and he keeps using them over and over against God's people. And one of his major schemes is once he knows that he has lost us for eternity because of our salvation through Jesus Christ. Once Satan knows that he has lost us for eternity, he tries to keep us separated from our identity in Jesus.

With all of its supernatural power and we have that. With all of the supernatural power promises of God to us his children, and with all the supernatural privileges that you and I have as sons and daughters of the most high God. That's why this message is entitled three things the enemy does not want you to know. And church when we use that term know we're not using it the way the first century Greek mindset would have used the word know. They believed in the first century the Greeks that if you say I know something, it means I mentally assent to it. I mentally agree to it. We're using this word know the way the first century Jewish person would understand the word know.

They would say, if I know something I'm experiencing it, I've appropriated it, I'm wearing it and I'm walking it out every day. Satan doesn't care what we mentally agree to. He doesn't care what we mentally ascent to. What he doesn't want is you and I enjoying our new identity in Christ, appropriating all of the supernatural power and choosing to walk in it every day. Three things the enemy does not want you to know, does not want you to experience.

Okay. We're in 1 Corinthians chapter 10, we know that this letter was written by the Holy Spirit through the apostle Paul to a young church that needed correction and needed encouragement. They needed correction because this young church had fallen into some habitual sin patterns. In this church at Corinth there was things going on like people were getting drunk at the Lord's supper. That needs to be called out, that needs to be lovingly corrected. At the church in Corinth there were things going on like there was a man who was sleeping with his stepmother and the church was turning a blind eye that needed to be called out that needed to be corrected. So this is a letter of correction and encouragement. And as we get into chapter 10, Paul is reminding this church that in your daily fight against sin and temptation, if you try to fight it in your own power, you're going to lose every time.

The good news is that for anyone who is born again through repentance and faith in Jesus Christ, at the very nanosecond, we got saved the Holy Spirit of the living God came to live inside of us permanently. And the Holy Spirit is the most powerful power in the universe. The Holy Spirit is the power that raised Jesus Christ from the dead. The Holy Spirit lives in us, never leaving us, never forsaking us. And he is our 24/7 spiritual body guard. We too often don't appreciate that we are temples of the living God, the Holy Spirit.

Christian author, C. S. Lewis knew this was a problem for believers. So he said fellow believer, if you could look at the born again believer next to you with spiritual eyes and you could see the Holy Spirit that was in them, you would immediately fall on the floor in terror and awe and worship because that's how powerful the Holy Spirit is inside of every believer. Let's pick this up in verse 12. Paul says, therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall. No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability. But with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape that you may be able to endure it.

What an awesome promise that the Holy Spirit will always come through for us. But we have to ask this question first, how come in this dispensation that you and I are living in does God allow constant sin and temptation to come against his people? Wouldn't life be a lot easier if we did not have the temptations of sin and Satan? Why does God allow that? I mean, didn't Jesus defeat Satan on the cross? Isn't God so powerful he could stamp Satan out once and for all right now if he wanted to? So why does God allow spiritual warfare against his people? The biblical answer is for his glory and our good.

God allows spiritual warfare in the lives of his people for his glory. Do you know how that works? Soulmate in Hebrews two tell us that we were created a little lower than the angels in essence. So when you and I, the weaker creature is being tempted by the stronger creature Satan and we rely not on our own power, but on the power of the creator in us, we can defeat Satan every time. Who gets the glory out of that? God gets the glory that his image bearers, who could not defeat Satan on their own, the greater creature, the stronger creature, his image bearers when they rely upon the creator into them can defeat Satan every time and God gets the glory.

But God also allows spiritual warfare during this dispensation because it grows us more and more into Christ-likeness. You and I realize we have to be way more dependent on the Holy Spirit than we used to be. That's more like the life of Jesus Christ. Spiritual warfare causes us to develop spiritual muscle, spiritual endurance, more and more like Jesus, less of me and more of Christ in me. So if anyone ever asked you why does God allow a spiritual warfare to exist, it's beery simple but deep, for his glory and for our good. Okay. Now church, let's look back at the beginning of verse 13, because there is a very liberating statement here I don't want us to miss.

Paul says no temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. Okay, that should be so liberating for you and I because what that tells me is I am not alone. I'm not the only person in this church who is being tempted in this certain area with this twisted, dark temptation that I am being tempted with. I'm not alone because no temptation has seized me except what is common to man, to you, to you, to you and to you. There are others in the fellowship who are being tempted in the same way that I am. I'm not alone.

I'm not alone. Now, the enemy lies to me. He wants me to think, "You are alone, Jon. You are the only person evil enough to be tempted by that twisted dark sin. You could never share that with anybody. If you tried to share that at BRAVE Church, they would label you. They would ostracize you. They would excommunicate you so fast it would make your head spin. No, Jon, you have to keep that hidden. You are the only one who is that evil."

God's word says just the exact opposite. He just told me, no temptation has seized me except what is common to man. There are others who can empathize, who are suffering from temptation, from the same twisted evil sin. That means I should not run and hide. I should run to authentic Christian community because if I run to authentic Christian community, I will find empathizers. And I will experience victory over that temptation.

I mean, if I'm not mistaken, the A in BRAVE stands for authentic in relationship. Amen, Pastor Jeff? Because you and I are not in it alone. We are in this together. Satan doesn't want you to know that. Okay. Saints, so let's look at the rest of verse 13 because it just keeps getting better and better. God is faithful. He will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation, he will also provide the way of escape that you may be able to endure it. Okay? Saints, this leads us directly to truth number one, the enemy doesn't want you to know. God always provides a way out. God always provides a way out.

Our Heavenly Father loves us so much that whenever we're tempted, he promises, "I will not leave you alone. I will always provide a way of escape." The enemy wants to lie to us and say, "No, it's inevitable. You may have victory in other parts of your life, but you know, that habitual sin that you keep falling to, I mean, you have worn out a path into that sin because you always run when you hear the call of that temptation, it's inevitable. You're going to keep falling to that temptation." That is a lie from the pit of hell, because the truth is that Satan doesn't want us to know is God always provides a way out, a way of escape from every temptation.

Now, this reminds me of the last time that I wrote a mega rollercoaster. Like you, I got in the long line for the mega roller coaster. And pretty soon it takes you into the little maze and you go around and you go around and you go round for an hour. And as you're getting closer to it, you start looking at this mega roller coaster, and you may have some doubts. Like this is a lot bigger than I thought when I was lined up way back there. Is it inevitable that I'm going to have to get on this thing? I'm not sure want to do that. Well, what happens with a lot of mega rollercoasters is they have a gate rate at the end called the chicken gate. And that's a good thing. It's a way of escape for those of us who had big plans back here. But as we got drawn in closer, we were like, "I don't want to do that." So we get to use the way of escape, the chicken gate.

I love that name, the chicken gate because when I'm being drawn into sin and temptation, I'm a chicken. I don't have power on my own to defeat it. But when I turned to the Holy Spirit, he always provides a way out. James 4: 7. Submit yourself to me and the enemy must flee.

You know, I got an illustration of this some years ago in living color, up close and personal. I was passed around one of our church plants. It was back in the Midwest and it was a Saturday morning and I was preparing my message for the next day. And a buddy of mine who was pastoring a church on the other side of the state said, "John," he called me. "I know this is last second, but in our church tomorrow morning and tomorrow night, we're going to have Major Ian Thomas, who is a famous British preacher missionary." And I love his ministry. And he said, "I know you love him." He said, "I know you can't go tomorrow morning, but why don't you drive over tomorrow afternoon and be part of the service and then we'll go out to eat with Ian Thomas." I'm like, "Yeah, I'm in."

So after I preach, I got right into my car, drove five hours across the state to be part of those meetings. And I was blessed and fed. Then we went out to dinner. Then I got up the next morning, Monday, and I started driving all the way back home to the other side of the state. And it's mostly farm fields and those kinds of things. So I realized that my car needed gas. So I'm looking. Where can I stop? And I came across one of those exits that has the truck stop, the diner, and the other residual buildings. So I pulled off and as I pulled up to the gas pump, I looked over and there was the work van of a guy from our church.

Now that didn't surprise me because of the fact I knew that his territory spanned almost the whole state. So I pulled over next to him, tooted the horn, he looked up, and he was shocked. So he rolled down his window, "Hey Pastor John, what are you doing here in the middle of the state?" And I said, "Well, I got invited over to be part of the special meeting, it was a blessing." And so we chit chatted and then I drove on.

About a month later I'm having coffee with the same guy. And he said, "John, I have to be honest with you. When I was sitting there in my van at that truck stop, I was having a battle of inner turmoil because I really wanted to go to that bar behind the truck stop that has adult entertainment. And I was having this inner battle, this inner struggle. And the spirit was say no. And my flesh was saying yes, and I was almost ready to cave in, and a horn honks, and I look and it's my pastor." Seriously. And that was an illustration to me of how the Holy Spirit loves us and is fighting for our holiness every single day.

Now, that doesn't mean that Pastor Jeff is driving around Denver, looking for you. That is just an illustration of what happened. Okay, church, a year after writing his first letter to the Corinthians, Paul writes second letter to the Corinthians. Now they grown up somewhat in the past year, they have matured somewhat. So Paul is able to address with them deeper spiritual issues like spiritual warfare and spiritual strongholds. So, let's turn to 2 Corinthians 10: 3. And we're going to you see that Paul is reminding this church, that though we exist physically in the natural realm, because we can touch things and see things and hear things. Though we exist physically in the natural realm, all around us is the spirit realm. And that's where the spiritual warfare takes place. That's where angels and demons are constantly battling. And Paul's going to let these believers know that even though you're in the midst of spiritual warfare, that's taking place all around you and in you in the spirit realm, you have been given spiritual weapons and they have supernatural power to defeat the enemy.

Let's pick it up in 2 Corinthians 10: 3. Paul says, "For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh, for the offends of our warfare are not of the flesh," meaning natural, "but have divine power to destroy strongholds." We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge God. And we take thought. We take captive every thought to make it obey Christ.

Okay. Saints, this leads us to truth number two the enemy does not want you to know. Number two, we can tear down strongholds. We can tear down strongholds in our life. Isn't it interesting that Paul didn't say, "Yeah, there are strongholds, but God's going to take care of those. He'll tear those down." Now it is true that God gives us the prompting and God gives us the power, but you and I must proactively engage by a choice of the will to tear down strongholds that have occurred in our life. Now if we're going to understand what a stronghold is because it's mentioned over 50 times in the Bible, the first thing that you and I need to realize is that the mind is the battlefield.

Have you realized that, that the mind is the battlefield? Because our spirit has been redeemed. Our body someday will be redeemed, but our mind is in the process of being redeemed. That's why it is the battlefield. Ephesians 2 says that the very second that you and I were born again in Christ, our spirit was fully redeemed and our spirit is now seated with Jesus in the spiritual realm at the right hand of the Father. That's why you and I can go into prayer any time, because our spirit has been fully redeemed and is seated at the right hand of the Father. It's why you and I can boldly run to the throne of the Father because our spirit has fully been redeemed.

1 Corinthians 15 says our bodies will be redeemed someday. You and I will receive a glorified, sinless, sickless, perfect body someday. But right now our outer bodies are wasting away. If you're over 50 years old and you looked in the mirror this morning, you know that's true. Don't you? It's true. Our bodies will be redeemed, but Colossians 3 says set your mind on things above, none of the carnal things below, because the mind is the battlefield. It's being redeemed. Philippians 4 says think on things that appear noble and beautiful, not on the lies of the enemy. Our minds are being redeemed. Our minds are the battlefield. We have to know that first.

Second of all, we have to define, what is a stronghold? We hear that term thrown around a lot, but what is a stronghold? The Greek word stronghold literally means fortress. So, a spiritual stronghold is a fortress that is made out of lies that is covering part of our thinking. It's made out of lies. Brick, by brick, by brick. Lie, by lie, by lie. And because we've believed these lies for so long, this has become a spiritual stronghold over part of our mind.

Now, in other areas of our thinking, we can be dead on and biblically, correct, but because in this one area, we have believed the lies of the enemy, the lies of the world, and the lies of the flesh for so long, a fortress has been built. A pattern of thinking that is a lie. And even when truth tries to come into my mind, through that stronghold, it is twisted like it's in a satanic prism. That is a spiritual stronghold. In addition, most spiritual strongholds fall under one of two categories, wrong thinking about God and wrong thinking about myself. Especially that I'm a new creation now in Christ, and all that entails. Sadly, common strongholds in the lives of many born again believers include the stronghold of fear. Even though our God is on the throne, he promises that nothing could come into your life, that he hasn't authored or authorized for his glory are good, and everything is going to weave together, ultimately, for our good. Many of us from a stronghold of fear, we haven't been able to get rid of it.

How about the stronghold of anxiety? The stronghold of people pleasing the stronghold of shame. The stronghold of incapacitating insecurities, though blood bought born again, spirit filled, child of the king, I have incapacitating insecurities, that's a stronghold. The stronghold of fear of the future. Even though Psalm 139 says every one of my days has been written in God's book before one came to be. The stronghold of worry. The stronghold of operating on the performance plan. Let's say I grew up in a family where if I brought home really good grades, I felt more love and acceptance from my family. It comes from my environment, so if I perform good for God, maybe he will love me more and accept me. The stronghold of still working, hard to gain God's love and acceptance. Even though scripture says, now that we're in Christ, the father loves us with the same quality and quantity of love with which he loves Jesus. And that can't change. The stronghold of being chained to my past. The strong hold of believing that short term destructive pleasures of sin are better than the pleasures and beauty of Christ. The stronghold of a critical spirit. The stronghold of torment. The stronghold of self-harm and suicidal thoughts.

Okay, church, so now that we know what a stronghold is, how do we tear them down? Three biblical steps. Here's the first one: renew. We must renew our mind daily with God's love letter to us. You know what that is? That's the Bible. As Romans 12:2 says, we must renew our mind daily with the truth of God's word, and replace all of those lives with truth of who Christ is and who I am in Christ. That's why Jeremiah 23:29 calls the word of God a hammer. Because it has divine power to demolish strongholds.

So step one is, replaced all of the lies with the supernatural truths of who Christ is and who I am in Christ. Once we renew, the second step for tearing down a strong hold in our life is renounce. Renounce any territory you've given over to the enemy by believing these lies. Now a couple of weeks ago, pastor Jeff taught us the biblical truth, that if you and I are born again, we cannot be possessed by Satan. It's because, First Corinthians 6:20 says, you and I were bought with a price, the blood of Christ. We belong eternally to Jesus. Amen?


But in this dispensation, God has given Satan permission to traffic in one area in the universe: darkness. So when you and I are believing all of these lies, we have created a dark landing pad for Satan to come into our mind, our thinking, our life. Not as an owner, but as a squatter. And we created that by believing these dark lies and holding onto them. So Satan comes in, and his demons come in, and now they can harass us and oppress us, very up close and personal.

One of the biblical scholars that I've so appreciated his work in spiritual warfare is Dr. Mark Bubeck from Moody Bible Institute. He is scholarly, biblical and practical. He's written three excellent books, I would recommend all three of them to you, they are paperbacks. Man, even you can read them, they're paperbacks. I always like to say that. First one is The Adversary, the second one is Overcoming The Adversary, and the third book is about parenting, raising lambs among wolves. This is a model prayer to renounce strongholds that Dr. Bubeck has written.

Listen to this, "Dear Heavenly Father. I praise you that I am united with the Lord Jesus Christ in all of his life and work. I affirm that I belong fully to Jesus Christ and I am seated with Christ in the heavenly realms, far above all principalities and supernatural powers of darkness. I now ask you, Holy Spirit, to search through all my conscious, unconscious and subconscious thoughts for any control of wicked spirits and lies. Evict them now to where the Lord Jesus Christ is commanding them to go. Sweep my thinking totally clean from evil powers, demons, lies and manipulation. Break all of their power and oppression of my thought process. By my authority in Jesus Christ, I take back all territory I have handed over to the lies of Satan and I present all of myself as a living sacrifice to Christ alone. In his powerful name, I pray, Amen."

Who would like a copy of that prayer? I knew you would. So when you get on your phone and go to the Brave app, under the sermon notes, I've put that in there. That is powerful. And it's all based on who Christ is and our authority in Christ.

Now, Saints, two additional trues about renouncing. The first one is, when we pray a prayer of renouncing, taking back territory from the enemy, we have to pray it out loud. Why is that? Because we learned earlier in this teaching, that Satan is a fallen, finite, created being. He's not omniscient. Only God is omniscient. Satan cannot read our thoughts. He can only try to plant thoughts into our life, and he tries to do that all the time. So when you and I, from the heart, are praying a prayer of renouncing the lies we've believed in, of renouncing the territory we've given over to the enemy, we have to pray it out loud so that Satan flees.

The second thing about praying a prayer of renouncing and tearing down strongholds is, find a trusted Christian friend to pray with you. Ecclesiastes four says, two are better than one. One might be overtaken by the enemy, but two could defend and achieve the victory. So once you've identified a spiritual stronghold in your life, ask a trusted brother or sister in Christ, say, I'm going to pray and I want you to pray with me. And I want you to pray over me. And I want you to pray in agreement that I'm taking back territory from the enemy. Pray out loud, pray in agreement.

Okay. After renewing and renouncing, the third biblical step is resolve. Resolve, from this point on, to take every thought captive and make it obedient to Christ. You have to be vigilant with this. What good is tearing down a fortress of lies in your life if you're going to be passive about what you let into your mind from that point on? Satan has a finite number of schemes, and he keeps repeating those in our life. He'll just start building the foundation of another spiritual stronghold. That's why in this passage, Paul said, take every thought and make it captive to Christ. Do you know what that literally means, practically? It means that every thought that wants to come into my mind, before I let it come into my mind, I frisk it. And if it does not harmonize with who Christ is and who I am in Christ, by my authority and Jesus Christ, I cast it into the pit of hell. It does not get into my mind.


Think about the TSA. Now I'm not talking about the American TSA, because that's a little bit hot and cold. Have you ever flown into Israel? You want to talk about a TSA? When you fly into Tel Aviv. I mean, they will frisk you, search you, question you, they have to. Because Israel is a country the size of New Jersey, and it is surrounded by 500 million hostiles that want to see them blown off the face of the earth. So their Mossad, who acts as the TSA, they know how to be vigilant, to not let any one or anything that could possibly endanger their country into their country. That's how you and I have to be about taking every thought captive. Amen?


That's called resolve. We not only frisk, and every thought that wants to come in, now we have to resolve that we have to be really careful about the streams of information that we're letting in our mind. The streams of entertainment that we're letting in our mind, the enemy can use lies in that entertainment, to start building a stronghold, and we don't even know it. We have to be very proactive. We have to be very resolved about the streams of social media that are let into our mind. We have so many born again Christians suffering from depression because of comparison on Instagram. I'm saved yet depressed because I don't have what they have in their vacations. And you know it's all filters and cropped anyways. So you have to be very careful about the social media stream you let in. And we also have to be very vigilant about the opinions of others that we allow into our mind. Have you noticed that the longer you walk with Jesus Christ, the filter you use over your mind gets tighter. It gets sharper and it gets keener. That's a gift from the Holy Spirit. So we have to resolve to be very proactive and not passive about those streams that we let into our mind and our children.

Okay, church. Now, for the third thing, the enemy does not want you to know. For this, let's turn back to Romans chapter six, two books, back to Romans chapter six. The third thing that the enemy does not want you to experience, appropriate, apprehend, make your own and walk it every day. Romans chapter six. In this chapter, Paul is going to shed some light on why we have so many Christians who are saved yet miserable. Saved yet seemingly still in bondage, saved yet defeated. Do you know anybody like that? Have you been that person before? Paul's going to shed some light on why that is happening in the church. Romans six, beginning of verse 12. "He exhorts us, let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body to make you obey its passions. Do not present your members to sin as instruments of unrighteousness. But present yourself to God as those who have been brought from death to life and your members to God, as instruments for righteousness.

For sin will have no dominion over you since you are not under law but under grace." It's very interesting that as Paul is talking about holy living and he's talking about daily resisting sin and temptation that he would choose to use worship terms. Because I see the word present in that passage over and over again. That's an Old Testament worship term. That God's people would come to the altar of the Lord and present their offering. They would present their sacrifice. They would present their praise and worship. They would present themselves. That's a worship word. And then I see the term instruments. We all know that that is a worship word. What Paul is trying to teach us is truth number three, that Satan doesn't want you to know, it is every time I'm tempted, a worship service is about to break out.

That's what Paul is teaching. Every time you and I are attempted throughout the day, somebody is about to be worshiped. So when I'm tempted, I have a choice because though I'm redeemed, I'm not a robot, amen. I've got free will. There has to be free will to have legitimate worship. So I'm being tempted in the middle of the day and I have a choice. I can either hear the Holy Spirit, my 24/7 spiritual bodyguard telling me, just turn to me, "Satan must flee. I've provided a way of escape Jon, let's go. I'm itching for the fight. Let me fight with my power. I can do that or I can quench the voice of the spirit." Have you ever done that? You can quench the voice of the spirit and you can turn and instead of worshiping Christ through victory, I can worship self and sin and really, ultimately, Satan.

So every time that you and I are tempted, a worship service is about to break out. Now, Satan doesn't want us to believe it. He wants us to believe that we worship on Sundays at Brave Church and praise God we do, but he wants us to think that Monday through Saturday, I just try to be good. I try to do the best I can in my own power and Paul is saying, "No, no, no, no, no, you don't understand. In our daily battle against sin and temptation every time you and I are attempted, somebody Is about to be worshiped." Wow. This elevates my obedience to a whole nother level. Imagine I'm in the middle of nowhere and I drive my car to a stoplight and I'm sitting there waiting for the light to turn green and there's nobody around, and Satan tries to plant the lustful thought of temptation in my mind, because he can try to plant thoughts.

Right then, me being tempted is not a sin because the Lord Jesus was tempted in every way that we're tempted. But as he's planting that thought of temptation and lust in my mind, I know a worship service is about to break out in the middle of nowhere and the angels and demons are sitting on the edge of their seat wondering how is Jon going to choose? Because he's about to worship somebody in the next few seconds. And I can squelch the voice of the Holy Spirit, my 24/7 spiritual bodyguard, who always provides a way of escape and I can turn to, let that lustful temptation [inaudible 00:37:37] it into lustful sin in my mind of adultery in my mind and someone's being worshiped, me. And sins being worshiped and really, Satan is the one who's being worshiped.

Or as I'm sitting there and I get tempted with a lustful thought that's trying to be planted in my mind I can hear the voice of the Spirit and I can say, "Spirit rescue me." James 4:7, "Submit yourself then to God and Satan will flee." So know this, everything is personal with Jesus Christ. Even our obedience. Everything is personal. Jesus personally left his throne in glory to come and save us on a search and rescue mission. He personally did that. Jesus personally lived a sinless life. He personally chose to suffer and die on the cross for your sins and mine. He personally defeated death through his resurrection and you and I have been saved by a personal Lord and savior, amen. And our sanctification is totally personal. It's not religious.

God doesn't hand us a list of rules and commands and say, "Good luck, try to follow those." Jesus says, "No, no, no." John 14:15, "If you love me, obey my commands." Jesus even makes our obedience totally relational and personal to him because he has created us in his image as relational beings. Satan does not want you to know this, that every time you and I are tempted, somebody's about to be worshiped. Okay church, because this message itself, I believe is an act of spiritual warfare. I want to conclude with an exercitation from the late Bill Bright who God used to start Campus Crusade For Christ. We now call it CREW. Dr. Bright said that when he was discipling believers, he would always exhort them every morning to practice spiritual breathing. I'll tell you what, it got quiet here real quick. Where is he going with this?

Bill Bright said, "I want you to practice spiritual breathing." It's an illustration of this, every morning we breathe out and confess to God any sins that we know we have in our life and he is faithful to forgive. When we do that first thing in the morning, our fellowship becomes clean, current and close with the Lord Jesus Christ. So the first thing we do is we breathe out and confess any known sins that we have. And then we breathe in and we ask the father for a fresh filling of the Holy Spirit. Jesus said in Luke 11:13, "If you being evil know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask?" So practiced spiritual breathing first thing in the morning, we breathe out and confess any sins that we have and then we breathe in and ask father for a fresh filling of the Holy Spirit.

Now sovereignly, the Hebrew word for breath and for spirit is the same word, ruach. That's why that analogy is so easy to remember and why it so fits. Three things, the enemy did not want you to know ever, but through a divine appointment, God called you here today. The enemy did not want you to know that God always provides a way out of temptation. It is not inevitable that you'll go down that path again. There's always an escape through the Holy Spirit. The enemy did not want you to know, number two, that we can tear down strongholds. It's not something mysterious that we don't understand. We have the power through the Holy Spirit to tear down strongholds through renewing, renouncing, and resolving.

And thirdly, the third truth that the enemy did not want you to know is that every time, all through the day, you and I are attempted a worship service is about to break out. Lord Jesus, I want to thank you on behalf of your church for not leaving us here alone. You gave us your Holy Spirit, always with us, never leaving us, never forsaking us. The most powerful power in the universe resides within each one of us who is born again through repentance and faith. Holy Spirit, we worship you and we praise you that greater are you who is in us than he who is in the world. We praise you, Holy Spirit that in you, we are more than conquerors. We are not fighting for victory, we're fighting from a position of victory. Holy Spirit, we praise you that no weapon That's formed against us will prosper. And Holy Spirit, we praise you and worship you that he whom the son has set free is free indeed. In the powerful name of Jesus that sends every demon fleeing, amen and amen.

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