Saturday, February 17, 2018

Defeating the Enemies of the Soul Series-The Canaanite



Gtcotr/021818

Exodus 34 says the sins of fathers are visited upon their children to the third and fourth generations. But Deuteronomy 7 proclaims that righteousness will endure for a thousand generations.

Last Sunday we discovered that God did not intend the Old Testament to be just a historical record of what happened to the Children of Israel on their journeys through life. Rather God gave us the Old Testament accounts of the Children of Israel as a roadmap for us to use in our lives.

We drew parallels from the natural to the spiritual and saw how Egypt equaled the world; Pharaoh equaled satan; and how the natural enemies of the Children of Israel equal the spiritual enemies we face in life today.

Finally, we realized it was never God’s intent for His children to live in a wilderness. The wilderness is not the Promised Land and it’s too close to the world. He brought us out of the world to get the world out of us.

Today we begin studying the enemies who occupy our Promised Land. Together we are going to learn how to identify and defeat them. If we are going to be victorious we must be willing to face the enemies of our souls … if we face them, God will help us defeat them. If we refuse to face them, we forfeit, and they win by default. Are you ready? Let us go at once …

Exodus 3
7 ¶  And the LORD said: “I have surely seen the oppression of My people who are in Egypt, and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters, for I know their sorrows.
8  “So I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up from that land to a good and large land, to a land flowing with milk and honey, to the place of the Canaanites and the Hittites and the Amorites and the Perizzites and the Hivites and the Jebusites.”

The First Enemy – The Canaanite.

For near 40 years I have diligently studied the words, the people and the lessons of the Bible. The Canaanite enemy is a subject I know very well. I have wrestled in my mind trying to discern how much to share with you this morning. I don’t want to overload you, but I do want to equip you.

I could just tell you that The Canaanite is the enemy of our soul called Compromise. I could say that this spirit will do its best to keep you living as a worldly Christian. The Apostle Paul called those people, Carnal Christians.

I could simply encourage you to recognize those temptations to compromise your Christianity and forsake every flesh motivated sinful habit of your soul. Perhaps I could inspire you to resist the enticements that draw you to love the world and the things of the world. You already know how Jesus said: “All that is in the world, the lusts of the flesh, the lusts of the eyes and the pride of life, are enemies of God.” (1 John 2:16)

The truth is the spiritual enemy we face in life called the Canaanite tries to entice us to compromise our lives. The Canaanite is a sweet-talking devil who tries to subdue you and bring you low by getting you to bow your knee to him through compromise. He is trying to sell us a bill of goods and rob us of the power that godliness and holiness brings to a life. He says, “It’s ok to sin just a little or lie just a little or cheat just a little … everybody else does … you can’t be perfect … look at what they’re doing … don’t feel bad about it … you’re doing good … it feels right … come on … just a little, no one will know …”. He is one heck of a salesman for sin.

My grandson Jacob told me some people call it “realism” but it’s just sin.

Some people are tempted to compromise their values for love or sex, money, power or position. Life is about more than just getting what we want … it’s about getting what He wants. And, what God wants is better.

I could say the Canaanites will tempt you to compromise your walk with Christ – “Don’t!” – and I could just leave it at that. But, I feel I wouldn’t be giving you the whole story or equipping you as well as I should so that you can defeat this enemy of the soul both for your sakes and the sake of your families. So, allow me to go just a little deeper in the scriptures today and help you discover more about this Canaanite and how to defeat him.

By the time we get to Moses and the situation in Exodus 3, God has cursed the Canaanites and has been angry with them for about 700 years. Do you remember the flood in the days of Noah? Let’s go back in time …

About 2348BC, (4366 years ago, +/-), God sent the flood to destroy the world and all its inhabitants because the world was filled with wickedness. But Noah was a righteous man and a preacher of righteousness, therefore God saved him and his household. After a year on the ark they all began their new lives on an earth that had been cleansed by the washing of the waters. This too is a natural parallel to salvation and water baptism.

Some years passed, and life was going along ok. Noah’s sons were all raising families and God’s plan to replenish the earth was in full swing. Genesis 9 tells us that Noah was a farmer and he had a vineyard. After harvesting his crops one year, Noah made wine and sometime after it had fermented Noah drank too much, became drunk and passed out in his tent.

The youngest of Noah’s three sons, Ham, knew what his father had done and went into his father’s tent and did something shameful to his father. Then, as if that wasn’t enough, Ham came out and went and bragged and laughed and made fun of his father’s nakedness in front of his two brothers, Shem and Japheth. These two older brothers, out of respect for their father, took a blanket and walked backwards into their father’s tent and covered him. (There are so many spiritual parallels we draw from this record God gave us to use as a roadmap for our lives.) We continue:

Genesis 9 NKJV
24 ¶  So Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger son had done to him.
25  Then he said: “Cursed be Canaan; A servant of servants He shall be to his brethren.”
26  And he said: “Blessed be the LORD, The God of Shem, And may Canaan be his servant.
27  May God enlarge Japheth, And may he dwell in the tents of Shem; And may Canaan be his servant.”

So, if Ham did this abominable act to his father before God and others, why did God curse Canaan and not Ham? Ham had four sons:

Genesis 10:6  The sons of Ham were Cush, Mizraim, Put, and Canaan.
1.   Cush – The father of the of Persians and Arabians from Iraq south to Ethiopia.
2.   Mizraim – The father of the Egyptians in both upper and lower Egypt.
3.   Put – The father of the Libyans and the people who first settled the lands we now know as Tunisia, Algeria and Mauritania.
4.   Canaan – The father of the Phoenicians and all those “ites” in the land of Canaan.

So why did God curse Canaan instead of Ham? A few reasonable answers exist among scholars from every age. I’ll offer just two:
1.   Either Canaan agreed with and accompanied his father into that tent that day and committed a lewd act against his own grandfather,
2.   Or Canaan was the one son of Ham who was just like his father and grew up tempting and teaching others to compromise.

Ham was born in the world before the flood, and even though he escaped death it was not enough to motivate him to change his life. Ham continued his worldly wickedness into his new life. It seems easier for God to get His children out of the world than it is for Him to get the world out of His children. Ham was a wicked, worldly man. Many believe that Ham taught and tempted people to do wicked things and that Canaan was just like him.

At any rate, neither Ham nor his other three sons were named in the curse which followed this horrible act. The notion that all the descendants of Ham are cursed or that they carry some extra burden in life is preposterous and in complete opposition to the clear Word of God. Canaan was named, and the Canaanites are consistently targeted by God as His enemy.

We cannot live a victorious life with one foot in the Kingdom of God and one foot in the world. A compromised life can cost us and our families too much. He did not save us from Pharaoh to let us live in the swallow and shadow of Egypt.

Two questions for today:
1.  How can we identify compromise?
a.   The Hebrew word Canaanite means peddler or merchant. This is one who entices you, trying to sell you a bill of goods. It’s an attempt to humble and humiliate you and subdue you by bring you low and laughing when you fall.
b.   The serpent in the Garden of Eden had this spirit.
c.   Do you hear a voice tempting you to compromise? Is it telling you that just a little bit won’t hurt?  It’s the Canaanite!
2.  How can we defeat the Canaanites in our life?
a.   Face it … Just call it what it is … not realism … it’s compromise.

God said He would drive the Canaanite out from before your face … but you must face it …

b.   Repent before God with a heart-felt sorrow.
c.   Recover yourself with a commitment to stay away from it and/or never do that again.

The Apostle Paul said, “I crucify my flesh daily!”
·        Do what it takes
·        As many times as it takes
·        To get the victory …
·        Don’t bow to the Canaanite

In what areas of life are you most tempted to compromise?
·        Lusts
·        Money
·        Revenge
·        Sex
·        Pride
·        Anger
·        Alcohol
·        Pornography
·        Adultery
·        Selfishness
·        Hate
·        Cussing
·        Gossiping
·        Lying
·        Cheating
·        Drugs

What calls your name and tempts you to compromise your Christian walk and witness? What is the lie you are tempted to believe? Who wants to set you up and them make you fall and uncover your nakedness? Who wants to hurt you and your children and your children’s children?

It’s the Canaanite! Recognize him and run to Jesus! Repent and Recover yourself from the snare of the devil … (2 Timothy 2:25) Let’s Pray!!!

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Defeating the Enemies of the Soul Series Introduction – The Promise Land

Gtcotr/021118

1 Corinthians 15:46  However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural, and afterward the spiritual.

Approximately 1500 years Before Christ, God sent Moses to deliver the Children of Israel from bondage and slavery to Pharaoh and Egypt. 500 years earlier, around 2000BC, God promised Abraham that his descendants would posses all the land we know as Israel including a broad strip of land on the eastern side of the Jordan River now within the borders of Jordan and Syria. This is what the Bible refers to as “The Promise Land”.

When Moses led the Children of God from Egypt in the spring of the year, they went out into the wilderness of Sinai. Everyone, including Moses, expected to be in their new homes in the Promise Land by winter. This was according to God’s plan. However, the 200 mile trip took them 40 years of hiking and camping in the wilderness, plus another 25 years waging war against their enemies once they finally crossed over into the Promise Land.

Their journey is catalogued in the Old Testament books of Exodus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. This historical record gives us an accurate account of each step they took and is meant to provide us with insight and encouragement as to how we should proceed from our Egypt experience and possess our Promised Land. God hopes our journey will be shorter.

Before we begin learning to identify and what it takes to defeat the enemies of our soul, it is important for us to all be on the same page. I know some of you already know this but for the sake of clarity allow me to draw some parallels God gives in the Bible between the Children of Israel and you. Then, as you begin reading the Book of Exodus tomorrow, you will better understand how Bible history is a roadmap for your life today. It will be easy to find yourself right there in the pages of the Bible.
1.   Egypt equals the World
2.   Pharaoh equals Satan
3.   Moses equals Jesus
4.   Coming out of Egypt equals being Born Again
5.   The Red Sea equals Water Baptism
6.   The Cloud covering the Children of Israel during the day which turned into a Pillar of Fire that stood between them and their enemies and covered them at night equals the Holy Spirit
7.   The Wilderness equals the Journey, the Time and the Distance between Inheriting the Promises and Possessing the Promises
8.   The Manna equals the Word of God
9.   Israel’s Natural Enemies equal our Spiritual Enemies Today

It is vitally important to note God’s intent. He did not save His Children from Egypt so that they could wander around in a wilderness for the rest of their lives. Late in life Moses wrote a letter to us in reflection of this truth. In that letter Moses said:

Deuteronomy 6:23  Then He brought us out from there, that He might bring us in, to give us the land of which He swore to our fathers.

Since God saved us to give us and our children a life filled with love, joy, peace, gentleness, goodness, faith, humility, self-control, health, wealth, wisdom and power, why then do we at times feel so powerless or as though we are just wandering around in a wilderness, going to Church and hearing the Word but falling short of the promises? Why do our relationships fail; why do we get robbed of time, peace, joy and money; why do we feel empty or without direction; why don’t we see more power and provision?

We are not short on promises … however, we seem to be short on possessing those promises. It was the very same way with the Children of Israel and we are so fortunate to have a historical record of those things which caused them to fall short. The Bible says that God gave us this account so that we might know how we should believe and what we should do so that we don’t repeat the same mistakes in our lives.

Life can be divided into winners and losers. It takes two things to win:
1.   God on your side … (God willing to fight alongside you)
2.   You on God’s side … (You, willing to fight alongside God)
One without the other will not experience victory.

Now, by way of introduction, let’s identify what caused some of the Children of Israel to be victorious over their enemies while others failed.

Winners and Losers
1.  The Winners
Numbers 14:9  “Only do not rebel against the LORD, nor fear the people of the land, for they are our bread; their protection has departed from them, and the LORD is with us. Do not fear them.”

Numbers 13:30  Then Caleb quieted the people before Moses, and said, “Let us go up at once and take possession, for we are well able to overcome it.”
2.  The Losers
Numbers 13
31  But the men who had gone up with him said, “We are not able to go up against the people, for they are stronger than we.”
32  And they gave the children of Israel a bad report of the land which they had spied out, saying, “The land through which we have gone as spies is a land that devours its inhabitants, and all the people whom we saw in it are men of great stature.
33  “There we saw the giants (the descendants of Anak came from the giants); and we were like grasshoppers in our own sight, and so we were in their sight.”

·        Defeating the Enemy is God’s job … Advancing and Engaging is ours.
o   God sent His Angel before them to drive out the enemies …
o   All the Israelites had to do was to:
§  Suit up; Show up; and Stand up.
§  Just trust God, show up and blow the horn …
·        We can’t do it for God but only with God … if He isn’t fighting with us, all our efforts are just a personal crusade in vain.
·        Running out their by ourselves, even with the Ark of the Covenant in tow, won’t bring victory.

The Truth
Joshua 9
9  and said to the men: “I know that the LORD has given you the land, that the terror of you has fallen on us, and that all the inhabitants of the land are fainthearted because of you.
10  “For we have heard how the LORD dried up the water of the Red Sea for you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to the two kings of the Amorites who were on the other side of the Jordan, Sihon and Og, whom you utterly destroyed.
11  “And as soon as we heard these things, our hearts melted; neither did there remain any more courage in anyone because of you, for the LORD your God, He is God in heaven above and on earth beneath.

There are Six Identifiable Enemies of the Soul

Exodus 33:2  “And I will send My Angel before you, and I will drive out the Canaanite and the Amorite and the Hittite and the Perizzite and the Hivite and the Jebusite.

God never intended for His children to live their lives in the wilderness. When you are in the wilderness the world looks better. A house, a job and a steak in Egypt looks better than a tent, bread and water in the wilderness. The wilderness is just too close to the world.

There are Born-Again Believers living too close to the world today, looking back on the day and missing the fun. The way out is forwards, not backwards. Why become a slave again when you can be a king. If we don’t advance and engage our enemies, it will be left up to our children. The people who are finally victorious may not have been the first ones who could have been. You can break the cycle of going in circles.

Hold on to your winning attitude this week and begin to read the Book of Exodus with your new perspective in mind. Next week we will identify the first enemy we all must face, fight and conquer in order to begin to take ground in our promised land. I am certain you will see it clearly and begin your march to victory in Jesus’ name.

You can be victorious! But first, you must be Born-Again! Have you been delivered from Egypt and slavery to sin? Today Jesus will save your soul and break the power of satan off of your life. Defeating satan was His job, following Him is now yours …

Here is what you need to do to be saved …
·        Recognize you need a Savior
·        Repent of your sins
·        Receive Jesus by asking Him to become the Lord of your life

Satan cannot defeat you by conquest, he must have your consent.


Pray with me now …

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Faith That Works Series-Faith in the Face of Unanswered Prayer

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Jeremiah 33:3  Call on Me and I will answer you and show you great and mighty things you do not know.

What should I believe; and what should I do, are questions many people ask when it seems like their prayers aren’t being answered. Through the years I have heard people say, “I prayed and prayed and prayed and God didn’t answer my prayer …” It can be disappointing to feel that way. But, even though the topic of our study tonight uses the familiar phrase, “Unanswered Prayer”, I don’t believe any sincere prayer goes unanswered.

God answers prayer … He may not give the answer we want at times, but God answers prayer. His arms are not short nor are His ears dull of hearing. The eyes of the Lord are over the righteous and His ears are open to their prayers.

Tonight, we are talking about “Faith that Works” and we will use the scriptures to discover and reinforce what we should believe and what we should do when we are praying, and we aren’t hearing God. Job chapter 33 tells us that God speaks once and even twice, yet we don’t perceive it. Sometimes, not every time, but sometimes it’s not a problem with God not answering but rather a problem with our hearing.

At other times men like Daniel prayed and it seemed as if the heavens were shut up against their prayers. Yet that is not the truth. In Daniel’s case, an angel came and told him that heaven had heard his request from the very first day he set his face to seek the Lord and that an answer had been dispatched by the hand of an angelic messenger but that satanic forces had fought to stop the answer from getting to him. The angel informed Daniel that God sent reinforcements and it took 21 days of warfare in the heavenlies to break through the enemy forces and bring the answer to Daniel.

Another time, when God told Moses that Moses was going to die without going into the Promised Land, Moses repented and petitioned God to change His mind. God finally answered Moses and said, “Nope!

Zacharias and Elizabeth prayed to God earnestly for years, perhaps 30 years, that God would open Elizabeth’s womb and allow her to conceive a child. It must have looked like God wasn’t listening or wasn’t answering. So much time went by that Zacharias and Elizabeth got old and stopped praying about it. One day, late in their lives, God sent a messenger to Zacharias who told him that God had heard his prayers and that Elizabeth was going to conceive and bare a son and that he was to be named John. Zacharias didn’t believe it and imagined that day was past. Yet God, because of the prayers of this faithful man and woman, moved in His time to bring about an answer to their prayers.

God is not obligated to answer us when we want in the way we want or with the answer we want. God does not have to speak to us for Him to be God. However, God delights in answering us according to His will and in His time. He only hopes we understand that He is God, and He loves us dearly, and He knows what is best for everything and everyone concerned.

Even Jesus taught us what to believe and what to do when we have prayed and haven’t received clear direction from God yet. In the Garden of Gethsemane Jesus went back to prayer a third time before He got firm direction and peace about what He was supposed to do in that moment.

Again, tonight we are going to take a closer look at one moment in the life of King David. We will draw some conclusions which agree with all the supporting scriptures concerning:
1.  What should I believe …
2.  What should I do … In the face of prayers that haven’t been answered yet.

2 Samuel 12
16  David therefore pleaded with God for his child, and David fasted and went in and lay all night on the ground.
17  So the elders of his house arose and went to him, to raise him up from the ground. But he would not, nor did he eat food with them.
18  Then on the seventh day it came to pass that the child died. And the servants of David were afraid to tell him that the child was dead. For they said, “Indeed, while the child was alive, we spoke to him, and he would not heed our voice. How can we tell him that the child is dead? He may do some harm!”
19  When David saw that his servants were whispering, David perceived that the child was dead. Therefore David said to his servants, “Is the child dead?” And they said, “He is dead.”
20  So David arose from the ground, washed and anointed himself, and changed his clothes; and he went into the house of the LORD and worshiped. Then he went to his own house; and when he requested, they set food before him, and he ate.
21  Then his servants said to him, “What is this that you have done? You fasted and wept for the child while he was alive, but when the child died, you arose and ate food.”
22  And he said, “While the child was alive, I fasted and wept; for I said, ‘Who can tell whether the LORD will be gracious to me, that the child may live?’
23  “But now he is dead; why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me.”
24  Then David comforted Bathsheba his wife, and went in to her and lay with her. So she bore a son, and he called his name Solomon. Now the LORD loved him,
25  and He sent word by the hand of Nathan the prophet: So he called his name Jedidiah, because of the LORD.

1.  Keep Praying
2.  Trust God
3.  Wait on Him
4.  Accept the Answer
5.  Go to Church
6.  Worship God
7.  Enjoy Life


Don’t give up on God, don’t give up on others and don’t give up on life.