(Pastor Stan’s sermon on November 11, 2012: His sermon, my journey)
If you desire to hear the sermon please go to Cloverhill Assembly of God website.
2 Corinthians 10:3-5
New International Version (NIV)
3 For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. 4 The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
Satan wants to be worshiped. He was thrown out of heaven because he wanted to be God. The enemy will do whatever it takes to gain your focus through strongholds. We know the daddy of strongholds such as addictions, porn, adultery. As Christians we feel that we are okay because we are not doing the big daddy strongholds. However, Satan desires a stronghold on you as a Christian. You are not exempt. No one is. Billy Graham has strongholds that he consciously works on. No one is perfect. A stronghold is anything that holds you back from your promise and plan that Jesus has for you. Can you drink excessively and be a Christian? Can you live in sexual sin and still be a Christian? Can you live with un-forgiveness and still be a Christian? YES! YES! YES! The stronghold does not rob you of your salvation, it robs you of abundant living and your witness.
Pastor Stan had one liners that pierced my soul:
All Christians have strongholds.
Does the person who hurt you still haunt you?
You love God, but can’t stand yourself…
You know intellectually God’s forgiven you, but the guilt is played over and over again in your mind…
Do you walk around feeling “It’s my fault…..” ?
He began to share many years ago as a pastor he almost quit the ministry because he judged offerings, salvations, church growth on his abilities. Oh that sounded so familiar to me. I’m involved in a WOW ministry in which the enemy got a hold of my mind and tried to tell me how inadequate I was as the leader. I judged every aspect of that ministry on who I was as a person. I can tell you that I’ve been healed of that and know that the Holy Spirit is the one that is at work, not Anna. I can’t allow man’s opinion of me to dictate my worth. And, the ministry belongs to Jesus, not my self esteem. I had no idea how far I had come spiritually in that area until Pastor Stan was willing to be vulnerable. Imagine a pastor sharing these thoughts? Celebration turned to pain as he continued.
Yesterday I shared the Body Language post. I believe in healthy, Christian counseling and doctors who offer tools to help us get better emotionally and physically. I’m not suggesting that these methods are bogus. They can help people heal. BUT! You felt that BUT! coming didn’t you?! God’s Word says to demolish strongholds we must use the weapons of GOD’S WORD AND PRAYER.
What does God say about your stronghold and how to overcome it? Pray that scripture over and over. Prayer is not wimpy. We haphazardly pray things like it’s our last-ditch effort. MY GOD AND SAVIOR IS RIGHT THERE. When we pray we are lifted to the heavens – right there at His throne.
The armor of God in Ephesians is our protection our weapons are GOD’S WORD AND PRAYER.
It was said over and over to FIX YOUR EYES ON JESUS. I came home and fell asleep to Focus on the Family – a lady’s testimony. She sang to us – “Turn your eyes upon Jesus!” Oh Yes! Then this morning Proverbs 31 ministry had a devotional on the importance of prayer:
Prayer does make a difference– a life-changing, mind-blowing, earth-rattling difference. We don’t need to know how. We don’t need to know when. We just need to kneel confidently and know the tremors of a simple Jesus girl’s prayers, extend far wide and far high and far deep.
At the close of the service it was offered to come up for prayer for your stronghold. People spiritually ran to the alter. Parish and I went up. Separately. Some things you can’t do with your spouse. It’s just between you and God.