Sometimes, church can becoming boring because of all the repetitive information
that is preached. However, God's word is never "boring." You go to church to find out
if you're doing what you're supposed to, where you're lacking, and how you can do better
September 17th, 2000, Sunday Morning
"Supplying the Strength for the Saints"
The why, who, and how to be spiritually strong
OPENING: Eph 6:10-18, KJV
In the bible, we have 66 books to investigate. In older days, some saints
had five books. Some had none. Adam and Eve had one sentence in life to work with:
"Leave that tree alone."
None of us can say we've finished our "course." If you're still living
and breathing (and reading this), then you still have spiritual work to do. If you've
finished reading the bible, it's not over. Begin again. Just because we finished
reading the word of God doesn't mean we're living/applying it. Therefore, we must review
it again and again ... until we get it right.
Eph 6:10: Three questions regarding spiritual strength (as
directed in this verse): Why, how, who it applies to.
- WHY do we need spiritual strength?
- So that we may be able to stand against spiritual wickedness.
- Our spiritual enemies are formidable
before us. Folks go around threatening the devil as a pushover. The devil is not a pushover.
Even the strongest Christian could not stand up to the superhuman devil.
- We shouldn't be playing spiritual games like the Ouija board, psychic hotlines,
sťances, etc. That's knocking on the devil's door inviting him into your life.
- The slightest worldly breeze can move a saint (a
- We need to find strength in the Lord because our own strength is not sufficient.
- Eph 6:11: The devil has a special temptation for the believer.
- We all have and face temptations every day of our life. We all have desires
and lusts that differ in type and intensity from everyone else. While you may be strong
in one area that another isn't and you scoff that person, you may be weak in an area where
that person is not.
- God allows these temptations to befall us so we can prove how we handle
ourselves in the face of that temptation. It brings us humility when we think we're stronger
- The devil's "wows" are very cunning and well-disguised. In other words, they
do not instantly occur before you. They hit you before you see it coming. Spiritual
strength will open your eyes to prevent it's impact upon you.
- Devil uses commonalities such as boredom (which is a result of being
regularly entertained) to draw you away.
- You'd be surprised what churches do today to keep their members entertained.
Church is a place to worship, learn and hear the word of God. Playgrounds are for playing.
- James 1:2: Temptations come unexpectedly. Some days, we'll
wake up and feel we can take the world on but then are suddenly ambushed by temptation and
fall before grace (God) and admit failure.
- 1 Corinthians 10:13: Be assured God will never let you face a
temptation which you 100% overcome you. You will always have a means of escape. Therefore,
if you do give in, it's your fault.
- EXAMPLE: You have a daily reading devotion set aside for when you wake
up. But one morning, you decide to sleep in and read later. Then you work hard and when
the day is over and time for bed, you get to your bed and say, "But Lord, I am so tired!"
and you are tempted to forget your daily devotion for that day.
- Ephesians 6:4: We need spiritual strength to just be able to perform,
for children to obey their parents, and to be a good parent (i.e., dad not coming home and
immediately spending time in front of the T.V. or newspaper and letting mom do all the discipline).
- HOW do we acquire more spiritual strength?
- Attend every church service you can. Each sermon gives you that vitally
needed strength--and that's why church and Sunday School are so important.
- Most of the time, our battles are of a spiritual nature, situation, or person.
Why? Because, as the bible says, we wrestle not against flesh and blood but against
principalities and spiritual forces in high places.
- When we meet in church services, others may want to meet with us we don't
want--like demonic spirits who want to prevent us from worshipping Jesus.
- Now if you were a demonic being in a church service, who would you target?
The ideal choice is not the pastor but a weak spirit--someone easily bored, not happy,
not singing genuinely. Someone who doesn't believe. The wolf (devil) targets you in the
pasture of sheep, ignores all other sheep, and comes after you.
- The harder and more imposing the sermon is on you, the better ... and the
more you should resolve to go to the altar at the time of invitation to repent.
- When we see a child do something inappropriate, based on their young age,
we think its cute--like children rebelling or talking back to their parents. This should
be a "zero tolerance" issue. Immediate correction and/or physical discipline should be
given to show who's the boss.
- When we meet in church, fear God and sing loud. The devil doesn't like when
God's people give Him the glory. The devil says, "if you're gonna keep praising God,
- WHO must be spiritually strong?
- The Lord's brethren: pastor,
congregation those saved (both weak and strong in
the faith) to sustain the spiritual work so we may withstand the spiritual warfare and
- Galatians 5:17: We cannot do both what the world and God want.
Therefore, from proper dress to behavior, we should be proud to be called "weird" by others
for not stealing money when it's available or to do wrong when we can show right.
We must sustain the spiritual work
- How do we get strong in the Lord?
1. Fast from the world
2. Feast on the word
- It's been said if you do something 21 times, it becomes a habit. Well some
habits need to be broken, others made. Therefore, make bible reading a DAILY habit.
- Acts 20:32: Why? This passage of scripture is Paul's last shot
to the elders of Ephesus to get them to do God's will. A good preacher will encourage you
to get into the word--to make it a habit--and hopefully stay in you.
- The word of God is food for our spiritual strength. The word is truth: it goes
into your heart and convicts you of your sins so you may see your shortfalls.
- The bible is like a mirror. You must turn the bible on yourself so you may
see what you really look like.
- Colossians 1:11: Pray like Paul did for spiritual strength
(which is promised by God in Ephesians 3:16).
- Hebrews 11:33-34: As we get the word, it will strengthen our
faith and our faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God. However, reading
the bible, alone, is not sufficient, but it's a start.
- Read the will of God, do the will of God, and then fast from the world by cutting
certain pleasures off.
- EXAMPLE: Food. If you go without food for a couple of days, you may
come to truly know what it means to hunger and thirst like Jesus did for 40 days
- Your body is the temple for the holy ghost--don't abuse it. If you deny your
flesh some things, you'll be surprised by how you begin to act sober and more appreciative
of those things always taken for granted. After fasting, when you sit down to eat (and
you're saved) you'll sincerely and genuinely thank
God for what He's given you.
Ephesians 6:10: Soon you'll begin to know how to say "no" to yourself
and then to the devil by denying yourself real pleasures. Thus, you'll learn to be strengthened
in your inner-self.