Sunday, January 24, 2016

Journey 2016 - Conflict (1/24/2016)

Text:  John 16:33
I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”

In our Christian walk we will have conflict.  No exemption was promised.  In fact, Jesus told his disciples in the verse above that they would have trials and sorrows.  Our enemy is real, and we will face battles.

Andrae Crouch wrote a song many years ago that talks about this..."Through It All".  

"If I never had a problem...I'd never know that God could solve them...I'd never know what faith in God could do."  So the reality is that we will have conflict in this Christian life, but the good news is that Jesus has overcome the world...He will be with us.

There are three types of warfare we will face.

1.  Cosmic Warfare
The conflict started in heaven with Lucifer, and it will continue until Jesus reigns supreme over all the earth.  We are in warfare against hell and satan.

I John 5:19 - We know that we are children of God and that the world around us is under the control of the evil one.
Ephesians 6:12 - For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.
I Peter 5:8 - Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.

2.  Personal Warfare
satan attacks the mind...trying to get to our heart.  If we ponder over the suggestions he puts in our minds, it will cause erosion in our spiritual life.  God has promised He would be with us to fight this enemy.

2 Corinthians 4:7-10 - But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed. Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies.

Where does this conflict come from?  It can come from three sources:
a.  originates with God to increase our faith
b.  our own choices, disobedience
c.  satan, the great deceiver (see I Peter 5:8)

3. Corporate Warfare
The church is under attack by satan...he wants to destroy the Bride of Christ.  In the end, however, the church will prevail.  

Matthew 16:18 - Now I say to you that you are Peter (which means ‘rock’), and upon this rock I will build my church, and all the powers of hell will not conquer it.

This warfare comes from two directions:
a.  within the church - satan wants to destroy unity in the church.  Jesus has told us how to avoid this conflict:

John 13:34-35 - So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.” 

b.  outside the church - we live in a world where church is not popular, Christianity is not popular.  satan will use any source he can to destroy that which belongs to Jesus.  However, we are reminded that Jesus has overcome the world.  Today's text:

I John 16:33 - I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”

Yes, in this Journey 2016 we will have conflict.  But, Jesus will be with us and see us safely through on this Journey if we will walk daily with Him.

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