When I went to MD, and was at the lunch table, & received the word of the Lord from Bro. Gibson, the word to our church was… “I am calling you into a time of prayer & fasting”, because I am about to do great things!
Whether we notice or not, whether we stop to take account or not… We ARE in a battle!
–> Closing our eyes & imagining it away – doesn’t make it go away
–> Pretending that all is well in the neighborhood – doesn’t make it go away
–> Being as nice as you can to everyone, trying to not make anyone upset with you – doesn’t make it go away!
Because we have an enemy who hates “GOD IN US!”
…for that enemy of yours, the devil, roams around like a lion roaring [in fierce hunger], seeking someone to seize upon and devour.
Yes we are in a battle, but our God has already won the war!
–> We don’t just sit back & coast through life on a free ticket to heaven & expect to never have to deal with our enemy… so… we want to make sure that we are equipped to do so!
BUT God has given us the understanding about how to walk in victory!
2 Peter 1:3-11
2Pe 1:3 By His divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know Him, the One who called us to Himself by means of His marvelous glory and excellence.
2Pe 1:4 And because of His glory and excellence, He has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share His divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires.
2Pe 1:5 In view of all this, make every effort to respond to God’s promises. Supplement your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence, and moral excellence with knowledge,
2Pe 1:6 and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with patient endurance, and patient endurance with godliness,
2Pe 1:7 and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love for everyone.
2Pe 1:8 The more you grow like this, the more productive and useful you will be in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
2Pe 1:9 But those who fail to develop in this way are shortsighted or blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their old sins.
2Pe 1:10 So, dear brothers and sisters, work hard to prove that you really are among those God has called and chosen. Do these things, and you will never fall away.
2Pe 1:11 Then God will give you a grand entrance into the eternal Kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Some IMPORTANT Instructions For Us!
1 Peter 5:7-10
1Pe 5:7 Give all your worries and cares to God, for He cares about you.
1Pe 5:8 Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.
1Pe 5:9 Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith. Remember that your Christian brothers and sisters all over the world are going through the same kind of suffering you are.
1Pe 5:10 In His kindness God called you to share in His eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus. So after you have suffered a little while, He will restore, support, and strengthen you, and He will place you on a firm foundation.
1Pe 5:7 Casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully. [Ps. 55:22.] 1Pe 5:8 Be well balanced (temperate, sober of mind), be vigilant and cautious at all times; for that enemy of yours, the devil, roams around like a lion roaring [in fierce hunger], seeking someone to seize upon and devour.
1Pe 5:9 Withstand him; be firm in faith [against his onset–rooted, established, strong, immovable, and determined], knowing that the same (identical) sufferings are appointed to your brotherhood (the whole body of Christians) throughout the world.
1Pe 5:10 And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace [Who imparts all blessing and favor], Who has called you to His [own] eternal glory in Christ Jesus, will Himself complete and make you what you ought to be, establish and ground you securely, and strengthen, and settle you.
1. The first thing he tells us to do is –> to Cast or Give some things ON HIM!
EXAMPLE: to cast upon God our cares, anxieties, worries, and concerns.
Php 4:8 And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.
Php 4:6 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done.
Php 4:7 Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.
Cares & Concerns
Mat 6:31 “So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’
Mat 6:32 These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs.
Mat 6:33 Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and He will give you everything you need.
Mat 6:34 “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.
Why does God tells us to cast these things on Him?
–> The word “cares” here is to mean – “distractions”
1. They are to heavy for us to carry, weigh us down & can cause destruction
2. They are distractions to keep our eyes off of God’s plans & purposes for our lives!
3. We can’t “fix” these things in our own strength, but God can handle them!
2. Second Thing He Tells Us to –> Stay alert!
1Pe 5:8 Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion – in fierce hunger – seeking someone to seize upon & devour.
(from both the NLT & AMP)
Why does he tells this?
Because we need to BE ALERT & not allow the enemy to walk into our lives & bring his destruction with him!
Lions attack sick, young, or straggling animals; they choose victims who are alone or not alert. Peter warns us to watch out for Satan when we are suffering or being persecuted. If you are feeling alone, weak, helpless, and cut off from other believers, or if you are so focused on your troubles that you forget to watch for danger, those are the times when you are especially vulnerable to Satan’s attacks!
During times of suffering, seek other Christians for support.
Jas 4:7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
Resist means – stand against or oppose!
This is not some little wimpy … hands over ears not listening to you…
We are taking action – standing against or opposing the enemy!
How Do We Do This?
2Co 10:3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh:
2Co 10:4 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)
2Co 10:5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;
Weapons means – Armor
Mighty means – Powerful & Capable
Eph 6:10 In conclusion, be strong in the Lord [be empowered through your union with Him]; draw your strength from Him [that strength which His boundless might provides].
Eph 6:11 Put on God’s whole armor [the armor of a heavy-armed soldier which God supplies], that you may be able successfully to stand up against [all] the strategies and the deceits of the devil.
Eph 6:12 For we are not wrestling with flesh and blood [contending only with physical opponents], but against the despotisms, against the powers, against [the master spirits who are] the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spirit forces of wickedness in the heavenly (supernatural) sphere.
Eph 6:13 Therefore put on God’s complete armor, that you may be able to resist and stand your ground on the evil day [of danger], and, having done all [the crisis demands], to stand [firmly in your place].
Eph 6:14 Stand therefore [hold your ground], having tightened the belt of truth around your loins and having put on the breastplate of integrity and of moral rectitude and right standing with God,
Eph 6:15 And having shod your feet in preparation [to face the enemy with the firm-footed stability, the promptness, and the readiness produced by the good news] of the Gospel of peace. [Isa. 52:7.] Eph 6:16 Lift up over all the [covering] shield of saving faith, upon which you can quench all the flaming missiles of the wicked [one].
Eph 6:17 And take the helmet of salvation and the sword that the Spirit wields, which is the Word of God.
Eph 6:18 Pray at all times (on every occasion, in every season) in the Spirit, with all [manner of] prayer and entreaty. To that end keep alert and watch with strong purpose and perseverance, interceding in behalf of all the saints (God’s consecrated people).
–> Do you notice how there is no weapon/armor for our backs?
1. We are to be fighting together – guarding one another
2. God will be our rearguard!
Many places God talks about guarding from behind!
Isa 52:12 You will not leave in a hurry, running for your lives. For the LORD will go ahead of you; yes, the God of Israel will protect you from behind.
Isa 54:17 No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me, saith the LORD.
Mat 7:7 “Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you.
Mat 7:8 For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.
Jas 5:16 Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.
Isa 58:1 “Shout with the voice of a trumpet blast. Shout aloud! Don’t be timid. Tell my people Israel of their sins!
Isa 58:2 Yet they act so pious! They come to the Temple every day and seem delighted to learn all about Me. They act like a righteous nation that would never abandon the laws of its God. They ask Me to take action on their behalf, pretending they want to be near Me.
Isa 58:3 ‘We have fasted before You!’ they say. ‘Why aren’t You impressed? We have been very hard on ourselves, and You don’t even notice it!’ “I will tell you why!” I respond. “It’s because you are fasting to please yourselves. Even while you fast, you keep oppressing your workers.
Isa 58:4 What good is fasting when you keep on fighting and quarreling? This kind of fasting will never get you anywhere with Me.
Isa 58:5 You humble yourselves by going through the motions of penance, bowing your heads like reeds bending in the wind. You dress in burlap and cover yourselves with ashes. Is this what you call fasting? Do you really think this will please the LORD?
Isa 58:6 “No, this is the kind of fasting I want: Free those who are wrongly imprisoned; lighten the burden of those who work for you. Let the oppressed go free, and remove the chains that bind people.
Isa 58:7 Share your food with the hungry, and give shelter to the homeless. Give clothes to those who need them, and do not hide from relatives who need your help.
Isa 58:8 “Then your salvation will come like the dawn, and your wounds will quickly heal. Your godliness will lead you forward, and the glory of the LORD will protect you from behind.
Isa 58:9 Then when you call, the LORD will answer. ‘Yes, I am here,’ He will quickly reply. “Remove the heavy yoke of oppression. Stop pointing your finger and spreading vicious rumors!
Isa 58:10 Feed the hungry, and help those in trouble. Then your light will shine out from the darkness, and the darkness around you will be as bright as noon.
Isa 58:11 The LORD will guide you continually, giving you water when you are dry and restoring your strength. You will be like a well-watered garden, like an ever-flowing spring.
Isa 58:12 Some of you will rebuild the deserted ruins of your cities. Then you will be known as a rebuilder of walls and a restorer of homes.
God doesn’t want us to just go through the motions of “religion“, but He wants us to be in right standing with Him – to have our lives in order!
Mat 6:16 Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
Mat 6:17 But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face;
Mat 6:18 That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly.
We are not fasting so we can “be on display” before men – but so we can humble ourselves before a mighty God!
1Pe 5:6 So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time He will lift you up in honor.
We often worry about our position and status, hoping to get proper recognition for what we do. But here, Peter tells us to remember that God’s recognition counts more than human praise. God is able and willing to bless us according to his timing.
Humbly obey God regardless of present circumstances, and in his good time, he will honor you.