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TRUST JESUS TODAY

TRY THE TEST





TITLE: No Retreat! No Surrender
By Arway Sayeh-Swepson
10/12/05
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This piece is direct, instructional and somehow conversational (sermon-like). Please critique. Thanks.
No Retreat! No Surrender!

So you’ve given your life to Christ? That’s great! But guess what? You are now at war! You are on the battlefield and at the frontline. You are a warrior for Christ! Begin to fight.

Are you wondering what instigated this war or why should there be a war in the first place? The truth is this war was not instigated as a result of any fault of yours. It is all because of your love for God and his son, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

The moment you gave your life to Christ, you automatically became an enemy of the devil and he declared war on you instantly. As the saying goes, “Misery loves company”. Because of the revolt the devil instigated against God, he ruined his chances and was expelled from Heaven and now he is messed-up and frustrated. He wants you to emulate him. Furthermore, he doesn’t want you to enjoy or have any of the benefits that he lost. He is jealous of you. He hates you.

That is basically what this war is all about. Of course you did not ask for this war and you do not like being at war, but Jesus told us clearly that we would suffer for his name sake (Luke 21:17). So, will you sit back and let the devil walk all over you and eventually destroy you or will you fight back?

As the devil begins to roar and flex his muscles and as he begins to beat his drums of war, don’t panic. Be courageous! Be prepared to dance to the rhythm boldly and powerfully.

The devil attacks us through our health, finances, marriage, children, family, etc. Take for instance Job, he was attacked simultaneously; from his possessions, to his finances, his children and then his health. Basically in every area of his life and he did not even get a warning. Was the attack solicited? No. It all happened just because the devil wanted to prove his hopeless case.

I don’t know why God bothered to converse with that ignorant devil in the first place. Well, that’s what makes him the only true God, he listens and talks to anyone--even his worst enemy. We will never understand why he tolerates certain things.

It was very difficult for Job. His battle was a fierce one. Yet he did not curse God and die but he fought a good fight and held on to his faith in God.

FIGHT & PERSEVERE

Whatever you are confronted with in life and it is worth fighting for, I urge you to fight and never give up. Fight for the Gospel, fight for your family, your marriage, your children, your health, your career, your finances, and your destiny. If the devil has stolen something from you, and you want it back, fight the devil and take it back by force.

Even if you get wounded, fight! Fight limping, fight crawling, fight in tears, fight in pain, fight with one arm, with one leg, or one eye, but fight! Fight a good fight and fight to the end! Fight until victory comes, fight to your death or to the day Jesus returns in his glory, but never retreat or surrender!

Another good example of determination is the woman who had an issue of blood for twelve long years. When she heard about Jesus, she was determined to get her victory.

She remained focused on her victory. She did not consider her condition--how anemic or how disabled she was. The enormity of the crowd did not frighten her either. She crawled, she struggled and she shoved as she made her way through the crowd. She was probably stepped on, kicked, yelled at, or insulted by the crowd, but that did not deter her. She knew her predicament and she knew that she had to take action. For twelve long years she had waited for this moment. She was fed up and she was tired. She pressed on to get her victory. She knew that in order to get her victory, there had to be some kind of struggle. Regardless of how difficult the battle seemed, she did not retreat. She pressed on until she got her victory.

Like the woman with the issue of blood, not considering any obstacles, but focused on Jesus, be prepared to do the same. Remain focused on your goal, which is defeating the devil. Push, shove, and fight until you get your victory but never retreat or surrender.

BE WELL EQUIPPED

As you prepare for battle, “Put on the full amour of God, so that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places”. (Ephesians 6:11-13)

Make sure your arsenal is fully stacked and well equipped with the appropriate ammunition such as faith, righteousness, scriptures, prayer, fasting and praise. This is important, so that while the battle is raging, you will not have to retreat for any reason. Most importantly, you will never surrender!

Faith:

(Hebrews 11:6). “for without faith it is impossible to please God”, for he who comes to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of those who diligently seek him”.

As the war continues and though Satan should buffet and has thrown what seems to be a fatal blow (a dagger to the heart) and it seems like you are on the Titanic and are going under, don’t jump ship, remain firm in your faith. God will see you through. As the lyrics to a song go, “Hasn’t he always come true for you? He’s the same now and then. You may not know how, you may know when, but he’ll do it again.”

Yes, he’ll do it again! Trust God. Believe that the God you know is faithful and is capable of delivering you. He is the same God yesterday, today and forever. Whatever he did for Daniel in the lion’s den and others in crisis, he can do it for you too. His power is still the same. It has not diminished. He still delivers!

Having Faith also requires perseverance. Even if God does not deliver you from the circumstances, don’t abandon your faith. Believe that God is still God and he is all powerful. You can trust him again and again. Keep in mind that, “he is a rewarder of those who diligently seek him”. Further, “all things work together for good to them that love God and are called according to his purpose”.

Righteousness:

“The prayers of a righteous man availeth much”. There should be no evidence of sin in your life. First and foremost, sin is offensive to God. As a child of God it weakens you and makes you susceptible to the devil’s attacks.

In addition, be at peace with everyone, “whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him”, (Mark 11:25).

As the battle rages, leave no boarders or gates unattended. Not even a crack should be left accessible to the devil. Search yourself well. Never overlook sin no matter how insignificant or small it may be. Even if it is only in your thoughts and no one knows about it, confess it anyway. Remember, the devil is looking for the slightest opportunity to strike.

Scriptures:

“The word of God is sharper than a two-edged sword”. Know the word of God. Immerse yourself in it daily. Memorize scripture so that as the devil fires every weapon he has in his arsenal at you, you can divert those weapons to him or extinguish them altogether.

Whenever you come under fire, counter attack with the word of God. When Jesus was tempted by Satan in the wilderness, he fired back and quoted scriptures and the devil fled. He told the devil, it is written…, it is written… and it is written… (Matt. 4: 4, 7, & 10).

As you counter attack with scripture, the devil will flee but only for a season and then he will return with more hi-tech weapons. Take for instance, weapons of mass destruction. Oh, you didn’t know that he had them? Unfortunately, it is true. He has them and he is not concealing them at all. Have you ever had a series of unfortunate events in your life (a chain of bad luck)? For instance, today you are diagnosed with cancer, the next day you are fired from your job, the day after you break your leg and so forth. Those are some of the devil’s weapons of mass destruction in action. By the way, what do you think he used to attack Job?

Nevertheless, don’t panic! It is just an old tactic of war that the devil uses. He’s attacking your faith. His purpose is to bombard and weaken your faith and eventually destroy your faith in God completely. Just hold on to the word of God. It’s your weapon of mass construction. Let’s see the devil top that!

Remember that the devil cannot harm us unless God gives him permission. His power is limited. He is like a dog on a leash; can go so far and no further. Do you think if the devil had all the power that he claims he has, we would be where we are today? No way!

Praise:

Praise God! In reality, when the battle is raging, and the enemy is closing in on every side and defeat is imminent, it is difficult to praise God. Yet, praise him anyhow. Pray for strength to do so. God inhabits the praises of his people. Further, praise is essential because it generates havoc in the kingdom of darkness.

Do you remember how the walls of Jericho fell? The Israelites marched continuously around the walls of Jericho singing praises to God and at the seventh round, they shouted and miraculously the walls came tumbling down. Do the same, sing and shout until the defense of the enemy crumbles.

When at home or in your car, if for some reason you just can’t get yourself to sing praises (perhaps because of some degree of despondency), just play some good inspirational gospel music to help you worship God. Hook up your surround-sound and surround yourself with praises one way or the other. Do you know what happens when you do that? God revealed this to me in a dream. I dreamed that as soon as I turned some gospel music on at home, demons ran out of my home. Praise is a powerful weapon against the enemy. Use it.

Prayer & Fasting:

The Bible commands us to pray without ceasing. Fortify your life with prayers. Initiate the attack on the devil. Set up an ambush for the devil in every area of your life. Don’t give the devil the opportunity to go on the offense. Keep firing with your prayers and never consider a ceasefire.

As you pray, fast as well. When the disciples could not cast the demon out of a man, they asked Jesus why were they unable to do so and Jesus told his disciples that, “this kind goeth not out but by prayer & fasting” (Matthew 17:21). For some battles, (especially the real fierce ones), victory is not guaranteed without fasting. It is an essential weapon. Fasting is like adding fuel to a fire. I urge you to do both prayer and fasting. If because of health issues, you are unable to fast, then pray. Other than that, if you’ve never fasted before, learn to fast.

Whatever your situation is, I implore you to remain prayerful and vigilant at all times. Let the devil know that your life is a no-fly zone. If he hovers over it, shoot him down.

MOCKED BY THE DEVIL

There will be days when you just can’t hear from God or man regarding your situation (in Limbo). It has been quite a while now, and your situation has not changed. You are still severely wounded, scared and troubled. Then it seems as though victory is certain for the devil as he goes on the rampage in your life. But don’t worry. Just hold on, your victory is imminent.

While you are still trying to hold on, then at times you hear laughter. Yes, the devil‘s laughter. Sometimes he wakes you up in the middle of the night just to rub it in your face and laugh at you. Continually messing with your mind, taunting you and asking you, “Why is all of this happening to perfect you?” “By the way, where is that God of yours”? Why isn’t he helping you now?

His taunting opens the door to anger, fear and doubt. Shield your mind from his taunts. Try not to dwell on your situation and do not entertain conflicting thoughts. Keep in mind what your focal point is--it is defeating the devil. Dwelling on your situation and being in a state of hopelessness only weakens your defense system and that’s the devil’s goal--an opportunity to penetrate your mind and bombard it with all sorts of lies.

Don’t even allow the devil to intimidate you. Don’t let the devil see you sweat and don’t let him see your tears either. He wants to see you scared. He wants you to loose hope. Don’t fall into his trap. For heaven’s sake, you are a child of God. Act like one! Jesus gave us authority over the devil. Utilize that privilege. Let the devil fear you. Take authority over your situation in the name of Jesus and don’t panic!

WEARINESS

As the battle reaches its fiercest state and it becomes unbearable, you will probably want to surrender or beg God to expedite your deliverance. It is quite normal to reach that point. Jesus had his moment too you know. He was troubled and he cried out to God for help. Remember “The Agony in the Garden. (Luke 22: 42 – 44) Jesus asked God, “Father if it is your will take this cup away from me.” “Nevertheless, not my will but yours be done.” “Then his sweats became like great drops of blood.” Can you imagine what Jesus felt at that hour? We will never know. Nevertheless, Jesus continued in prayer. God strengthened him and he accomplished his purpose.

Whenever you are weak and you feel as if you can’t fight anymore, continue in prayer; asking for strength and seeking God’s will. God will empower you. He is faithful. Remember, “No Retreat”, “No Surrender.

THE DEVIL IS A LIAR

Do not accept anything from the devil; even in its most hilarious or insignificant form. The Devil is cunning and full of trickery. Take nothing for granted. The devil is also the father of lies. Never believe his lies. His lies have driven many to commit suicide or become suicidal.

Look at your situation and compare it with scripture and what is God’s will for your life. When the devil tells you that you are a failure and your problems will never end, don’t believe one word of it. It is a lie from the pits of hell! Remember that you were made in the image and likeness of God. Is God a failure? Moreover, if your problems will never end, then what on earth did Jesus die for?

Remember our God is a consuming fire and he has never lost a battle. He is your Commander-in–Chief. Hold on and fight until victory comes or until the day you die! Even if you die in the process, you die with dignity (a martyr), knowing that you never surrendered!

THE WORTH OF THE BATTLE

As long as it is well with your soul, never fear death. You are going to a better place to study war no more. Where there will be no more war, no more sickness, no more pain, no more death, no more hunger and your heart will never break again.

Your reward will be great in Heaven. Jesus went ahead just to prepare a place for you. Just imagine; upon your arrival, you will be given a V.I.P. welcome. The saints of God will line the streets of Heaven, waving and shouting Victory! Victory! There will be a welcome feast held in your honor with the Angelic chorus ministering in songs.

Guess who will also be at the feast? Your loved ones who arrived before you. They will be waiting anxiously to see you again.

Then, you will finally get to meet all of the real celebrities-- the heroes of faith and some of them will tell you how they fought a good fight:

David will tell you how he got the guts to stand in front of Goliath with only a sling shot and challenged him.

Job, will tell you how he found the strength to say “though he slay me yet will I trust him.”

Jacob will tell you why he wrestled with God and refused to let go until God blessed him.

Paul, will tell you how he fought a good fight even though he was shipwrecked three times.

I could go on and on but above all, you will meet Jesus face to face; the one who died for you. You shall see him as he is. Yes, the most honorable man. And he will say, “Well done! My good and faithful servant!

And the fight shall be well worth it!



Arway Sayeh-Swepson 2005
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