This week, we’re finishing up our message series entitled, “The Fight.” Last week, we learned about prayer and the word of God; two of the most powerful weapons at our disposal that actually demolish the strongholds of our enemy. This week, we’re learning about a group of items that we don’t often consider to be weapons.
Isaiah gave us many detailed prophecies about the coming of Jesus, His life, His death, as well as what life would look like for God’s people after His salvation was accomplished. To be in a war means that there will be battle scars, there will be casualties, and there will be suffering. There are many things in this lifetime that can be shaken. There are many things in this life that can be damaged or outright stolen from us. However, there are some things that are unshakable and that not even Satan, himself, can steal away from us.
This morning, we’re going to learn about these untouchable items that prove to be unlikely weapons against the attacks and assaults of our enemy. In the midst of this encouraging prophetic word about Jesus and the salvation that we’ve received, one can’t help but to see the nature of the fight which we face. God said:
10 Though the mountains be shaken
and the hills be removed,
yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken
nor my covenant of peace be removed,”
says the Lord, who has compassion on you.
11 “Afflicted city, lashed by storms and not comforted,
I will rebuild you with stones of turquoise,
your foundations with lapis lazuli.
12 I will make your battlements of rubies,
your gates of sparkling jewels,
and all your walls of precious stones.
13 All your children will be taught by the Lord,
and great will be their peace.
14 In righteousness you will be established:
Tyranny will be far from you;
you will have nothing to fear.
Terror will be far removed;
it will not come near you.
15 If anyone does attack you, it will not be my doing;
whoever attacks you will surrender to you.
16 “See, it is I who created the blacksmith
who fans the coals into flame
and forges a weapon fit for its work.
And it is I who have created the destroyer to wreak havoc;
17 no weapon forged against you will prevail,
and you will refute every tongue that accuses you.
This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord,
and this is their vindication from me,”
declares the Lord.
Though the fights in which we face endure for a season, though we suffer loss, though we persevere through pain, we can be certain that it is only for a season. We can fight with our heads held high knowing that we will prevail in the fight so long as we don’t give up. Whatever suffering, pain, or loss we can be certain that Jesus is our healer, restorer, and rewarder.
We never face a fight that Jesus didn’t permit. We never face a weapon that Jesus is unaware of. No weapon formed against us will prevail, no tongue that accuses us will go unrefuted. However, that doesn’t mean that the weapons and accusations will do no harm or cause no pain.
Now enough about the down-side of our reality. What about those unshakable weapons that nothing can steal away? Well, the more powerful and effective the weapon is, the more responsible and thoroughly trained one must be to be entrusted with it. It’s no different in the Kingdom of God.
These unshakable weapons that nothing can steal away, these weapons that nothing can stand against require us to reach a certain level of spiritual maturity to obtain. They are available to every single one of us, but to possess them, we must allow ourselves to be trained by the Lord so that we might responsibly handle them.
We can only be prepared to receive and handle these weapons by walking in the power of the Holy Spirit. We can only use them in our fights to gain our victory by putting off our childish ways, putting to death the desires of our flesh, and walking consistently in the light of God’s word guided by the Holy Spirit.
These weapons are, well, fruits! Well, at least that is what we commonly refer to them as. We find the list of what we commonly refer to as the fruits of the Spirit in Galatians chapter five. The word that we translate into the English word fruit is the Greek word karpos. In a similar way that we use the English word fruit, this Greek word can either be literally the fruit that is produced by trees, vines, or of the fields. This word can also be used metaphorically meaning an effect or result which comes from something.
Obviously, the fruits of the Spirit refer to the latter definition. As we walk in the Spirit and not in our flesh, the result is that we receive these possessions.
16 So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
19 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
The results of walking in the Spirit are that we receive these incredibly powerful and unstoppable weapons of war. Paul wrote there is no law against these weapons, I don’t feel that it is a far stretch to say they are unstoppable; no weapon formed against them can prevail! Beyond that, aren’t these the very things which always seem to be under attack from every angle in life? Aren’t these so incredibly hard to find in our ever darkening culture? Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
Think about just the first one, love. Jesus proved that nothing that even Satan, himself, could throw at Him could stop His love. Even when Satan lead Jesus’ very own creation to strip Him naked, put a crown of thorns on Him, spit in His face, falsely accused Him, cover His head and punch Him, mock Him, and hang Him on a cross to be tortured and die for all to see, He still loved and forgave them. NOTHING can stop the love of God! Obviously, we know how powerfully love won just three days later!
We love to quote the scripture that makes this very proclamation!
35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written:
“For your sake we face death all day long;
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”
37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Love is one incredibly powerful weapon as absolutely nothing can stand against it! No one can stop you from loving someone. In fact, sometimes it is fun when people do everything that they can to get you to hate them, but you continue to simply love them. There are many testimonies from the persecuted church that faced this very scenario. Their captors tortured and abused them facing unimaginable circumstances, yet they chose to continue loving their enemy just as Jesus did on the cross and Stephen did before those casting stones.
Joy and peace. Though so much rises up to try and steal it away from us, we can have perfect peace in the midst of any circumstances. We can be joyful no matter what is happening around us and to us. Nothing can steal it away from us, or formed against it, except that which we allow to.
Patience. When it comes to withstanding the attack of the enemy, there is no greater weapon than patience. After all, we’re called to stand and when we’ve done everything else to stand. James wrote to resist the devil and he’ll flee. This resistance takes a level of patience that can only come through the Holy Spirit!
7 Be patient, then, brothers and sisters, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop, patiently waiting for the autumn and spring rains. 8 You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near. 9 Don’t grumble against one another, brothers and sisters, or you will be judged. The Judge is standing at the door!
10 Brothers and sisters, as an example of patience in the face of suffering, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. 11 As you know, we count as blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.
For us to win the fight, for us to receive God’s promises, we must be patient as we persevere through fight after fight. We cannot be all in Sunday and doubting and walking away from Jesus by Wednesday. We cannot be all in based on an emotional response at an altar call and then give up when our emotions wear off and things get tough. The Christian walk is a marathon and not a sprint. We are called to run this race with perseverance.
1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
Mighty warrior, do not grow weary, do not lose heart, but above all else, do not give up! Take advice from David, who won countless victories against his enemies!
7 Be still before the Lord
and wait patiently for him;
do not fret when people succeed in their ways,
when they carry out their wicked schemes.
8 Refrain from anger and turn from wrath;
do not fret—it leads only to evil.
9 For those who are evil will be destroyed,
but those who hope in the Lord will inherit the land.
Sometimes the best way to win a fight is simply to patiently wait and allow the enemy to wear themselves out trying to shake and rattle you. Patiently hope and trust in the Lord and He won’t let you down in the end! Next week, we’ll learn about the rest of these unexpected, yet unstoppable weapons available to us.
For now, mighty warrior, there is no question about it. So long as we live in this flesh on this earth, we will have battles to fight. However, we are not alone in the fight. We can stand on the side of Jesus, along with our allies, our brothers and sisters in Christ. We can stand firm, resisting the enemy, and win the certain victory! God is with us, God is for us, God will empower us, and God will equip us with all that we need to face our fights and win. The victory is yours, so don’t give up and don’t give in. The victory is well worth it!