Why Standing Stones?

Why Standing Stones?

In ancient Israel, people stood stones on their end to commemorate a powerful move of God in their lives. It was a memorial to something God spoke or revealed or did. Often these standing stones became reference points in their lives. Today, we can find reference points in the written Word of God. Any scripture or sermon can speak something powerful into our lives, or reveal something of the nature of God. In this blog I offer, what can become a reference point for Christians, taken from God's ancient word and applied to today's world.

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Editor's Note:  This page will contain, from time to time, Bible Study series that I've put together.  Unlike the sermons that are presented on the main page these will be the unedited notes that I used for teaching the subject.  I've done this intentionally, in order to provide a framework but allow creativity and spontaneity on the part of the teacher. Please feel free to use these or comment at this link:  Email Chris

When I add a new Bible Study to this section, I will put the former study an another blog called, "Digesting the Word of God," and create a link to it.  The links will be found at the bottom of the page.  I hope this is helpful.

Points of Victory - Pastor Greg Mitchell, Prescott, Az

This Study was prepared by Pastor Greg Mitchell, Potter’s House Church, Prescott, AZ.

Lesson 1 – The Spear of Memory

Okay tonight we will begin a new study.  I am going to use a study that was written by Pastor Greg Mitchell, but work it out so that we can apply it to our own nation.

The Bible talks a lot about SPEARS.  Long pointed weapons, they are also called Javelins.  The word spear is used 64 times and Javelin is used 7 times.  Spears are always mentioned to speak of victory.  A spear was either used by one of the Children of God for a great victory OR the spear of an enemy had to be overcome in order to gain a victory.  So we’re going to look at different events (situations where the spear is used) and apply them to our lives, so that we can have victory in life and our Christian walk.

Here is our text for Today’s study:

1 Samuel 21:8-10 (NKJV)
21:8 And David said to Ahimelech, "Is there not here on hand a spear or a sword? For I have brought neither my sword nor my weapons with me, because the king's business required haste." 9 So the priest said, "The sword of Goliath the Philistine, whom you killed in the
Valley of Elah, there it is, wrapped in a cloth behind the ephod. If you will take that, take it. For there is no other except that one here." And David said, "There is none like it; give it to me." 10 Then David arose and fled that day from before Saul, and went to Achish the king of Gath.

Spiritual Amnesia:

What is happening prior to this is that Saul is chasing David in order to kill him.  Saul is determined to kill him.  What started this?

1 Samuel 18:7-8 (NKJV)
18:7 So the women sang as they danced, and said: "Saul has slain his thousands, And David his ten thousands." 8 Then Saul was very angry, and the saying displeased him; and he said, "They have ascribed to David ten thousands, and to me they have ascribed only thousands. Now what more can he have but the kingdom?"

Saul is jealous of him.  He’s afraid that David will take the kingdom when the kingdom should go to Saul’s son Jonathan.  This is a conflict.  A seasoned warrior like David should be used to conflict, but this has affected him badly.  Why do you think he’s so affected by this?  He’s innocent of any wrong doing.  He does what he does to support Saul.

Something you need to understand about battles that you have faced in the past.  They won’t be the last battles you’ll ever face.

1 Chronicles 20:5-8 (NKJV)
20:5 Again there was war with the Philistines, and Elhanan the son of Jair killed Lahmi the brother of Goliath the Gittite, the shaft of whose spear was like a weaver's beam. 6 Yet again there was war at
Gath, where there was a man of great stature, with twenty-four fingers and toes, six on each hand and six on each foot; and he also was born to the giant. 7 So when he defied Israel, Jonathan the son of Shimea, David's brother, killed him. 8 These were born to the giant in Gath, and they fell by the hand of David and by the hand of his servants.

War again with the Philistines – There was always a war with the Philistines.  In David’s first battle, he defeated Goliath the Giant – But Giants have brothers and so He faces Goliath’s brother at Gath

Some people forget this.  Sometimes we think that because we have defeated one giant we’ll never face that same problem again.  But you know what, sometimes you have to keep repeating the same fights over and over.

This is a kind of SPIRITUAL AMNESIA.  It’s a great danger, in the midst of a crisis we forget what God has already done for us.  What He has done in the past. Forgetting what God has done for us in the past causes us to make wrong decisions in the present:

Psalms 78:9-11 (NKJV)
78:9 The children of Ephraim, being armed and carrying bows, Turned back in the day of battle. 10 They did not keep the covenant of God; They refused to walk in His law, 11 And forgot His works And His wonders that He had shown them.

The children of Ephraim had no victory because they quit.  They forgot what God had done for them

Psalms 106:21-22 (NKJV)
106:21 They forgot God their Savior, Who had done great things in Egypt, 22 Wondrous works in the land of Ham, Awesome things by the Red Sea.

Because they forgot what God had done for them:  The plagues, and the crossing of the Red Sea, they turned away from God and put their trust in the gods of Egypt.  They placed their confidence in the wrong place.

In David’s case, he’s taking things into his own hands:

1 Samuel 21:8-9 (NKJV)
21:8 And David said to Ahimelech, "Is there not here on hand a spear or a sword? For I have brought neither my sword nor my weapons with me, because the king's business required haste." 9 So the priest said, "The sword of Goliath the Philistine, whom you killed in the
Valley of Elah, there it is, wrapped in a cloth behind the ephod. If you will take that, take it. For there is no other except that one here." And David said, "There is none like it; give it to me."

When he fought Goliath, he counted on God to bring him a victory.  He defeated Goliath without a spear, but NOW he has to have one!

Forgetting what God has done causes us to come to wrong conclusions:

1 Samuel 21:10 (NKJV)
21:10 Then David arose and fled that day from before Saul, and went to Achish the king of Gath.

He fled from Saul and put his trust and faith in Acgish, the king of Gath.  Achish is a Philistine, he’s the ENEMY of the people of God, but now David has allied with him.  He’s made a bad choice and really bad ally.

Numbers 13:31 (NKJV)
13:31 But the men who had gone up with him said, "We are not able to go up against the people, for they are stronger than we."

Numbers 13:33 (NKJV)
13:33 There we saw the giants (the descendants of Anak came from the giants); and we were like grasshoppers in our own sight, and so we were in their sight."

They’ve forgotten God’s promise.  They’ve forgotten that God has delivered them before.  They have come to the wrong conclusion:  That they cannot win the battles for the Promised Land.  They’re like David, they have a lack of confidence because they’ve forgotten to trust God.  The ENEMY; who’s the enemy?  Satan! Satan will use this against you:

1 Samuel 21:7 (NKJV)
21:7 Now a certain man of the servants of Saul was there that day, detained before the Lord. And his name was Doeg, an Edomite, the chief of the herdsmen who belonged to Saul.

This man will eventually betray David and Ahimelech (The high Priest) to Saul.  If David didn’t stop to get a weapon; if he had trusted God, then he wouldn’t have been
found out by Saul.

BUILDING MEMORIALS:

God built remembrance into the relationships we have with Him.  He wants us to deliberately remember the things He’s done.

He gave things that we could see so we would remember:

Hebrews 9:3-4 (NKJV)
9:3 and behind the second veil, the part of the tabernacle which is called the Holiest of All, 4 which had the golden censer and the ark of the covenant overlaid on all sides with gold, in which were the golden pot that had the manna, Aaron's rod that budded, and the tablets of the covenant;

They would remember what God had done every time they saw the Ark of the Covenant, because of the things that were in there.  Mann reminded them of God’s provision.  The rod that budded reminded them of God’s supernatural power.

Joshua 4:5-7 (NKJV)
4:5 and Joshua said to them: "Cross over before the ark of the Lord your God into the midst of the Jordan, and each one of you take up a stone on his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the children of Israel, 6 that this may be a sign among you when your children ask in time to come, saying, 'What do these stones mean to you?' 7 Then you shall answer them that the waters of the
Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord; when it crossed over the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. And these stones shall be for a memorial to the children of Israel forever."

He gave feast days to focus thought and memory.

Deuteronomy 5:15 (NKJV)
5:15 And remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the Lord your God brought you out from there by a mighty hand and by an outstretched arm; therefore the Lord your God commanded you to keep the Sabbath day.

Deuteronomy 26:5 (NKJV)
26:5 And you shall answer and say before the Lord your God: 'My father was a Syrian, about to perish, and he went down to Egypt and dwelt there, few in number; and there he became a nation, great, mighty, and populous.

This was a part of a ritual that the Israelites would go through so that they would remember their history and God’s past deliverance.  In order to survive and “endure until the end,” we must DELIBERATELY look back at what God has already done for us.

Applying the Lessons:

The past doesn’t do any good unless you remember it and apply it to today’s situations.  The 10 spies failed to  kae it into the Promised Land because they forgot that God could make it happen.  They didn’t apply the former victories (Egypt, The Red Sea) to their current situation and it kept them out of the Promised Land.

Faith looks back.  Faith is a choice of focus.  What are YOU focusing on?  Your current situation OR:

1.        Who God is?  Does God tell the truth?  Does God want to help you?

1 Thessalonians 5:24 (NKJV)
5:24 He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it.

Hebrews 13:8 (NKJV)
13:8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

2.        What God has done?  In your life or the life of people you know.
3.        What God can do?

Psalms 121:2 (NKJV)
121:2 My help comes from the Lord, Who made heaven and earth.

Faith applies the lessons of the past to the present situation:

If God helped me in that situation – Then He can help me in this one.

1 Samuel 17:37 (NKJV)
17:37 Moreover David said, "The Lord, who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, He will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine." And Saul said to David, "Go, and the Lord be with you!"

He had done that when David was a shepherd.  David’s thought was if He could do THAT – Then He can defeat Goliath, too.

You have to choose to remember every time you face an assault or crisis.

1 Samuel 21:8-9 (NKJV)
21:8 And David said to Ahimelech, "Is there not here on hand a spear or a sword? For I have brought neither my sword nor my weapons with me, because the king's business required haste." 9 So the priest said, "The sword of Goliath the Philistine, whom you killed in the
Valley of Elah, there it is, wrapped in a cloth behind the ephod. If you will take that, take it. For there is no other except that one here." And David said, "There is none like it; give it to me."

God is reminding David of what He did with Goliath.  Look David, I will do it again.

Remembering past victories brings God’s power into your current situation:

1 Samuel 17:49-51 (NKJV)
17:49 Then David put his hand in his bag and took out a stone; and he slung it and struck the Philistine in his forehead, so that the stone sank into his forehead, and he fell on his face to the earth. 50 So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone, and struck the Philistine and killed him. But there was no sword in the hand of David. 51 Therefore David ran and stood over the Philistine, took his sword and drew it out of its sheath and killed him, and cut off his head with it. And when the Philistines saw that their champion was dead, they fled.
Lesson 2 – The Spear of Memory

Before we go on tonight, let’s take a few moments to review last week’s lesson:

1.        What is Spiritual Amnesia?  Forgetting what God has done for us in the past
2.        What two things does Spiritual Amnesia cause us to do?  To make wrong decisions, and to come to wrong conclusions.
3.        What did God place into the Ark of the Covenant?  Manna, Aaron’s Rod, and the 10 commandments.’
4.        Why?  So that we would remember his provision and supernatural power.

So let’s move to the next Point of Victory:  The Spear of Dominion!

The Bible talks a lot about SPEARS.  Long pointed weapons, they are also called Javelins.  The word spear is used 64 times and Javelin is used 7 times.  Spears are always mentioned to speak of victory.  A spear was either used by one of the Children of God for a great victory OR the spear of an enemy had to be overcome in order to gain a victory.  So we’re going to look at different events (situations where the spear is used) and apply them to our lives, so that we can have victory in life and our Christian walk.

Here is our text for Today’s study:

Joshua 8:18 (NKJV)
8:18 Then the Lord said to Joshua, "Stretch out the spear that is in your hand toward Ai, for I will give it into your hand." And Joshua stretched out the spear that was in his hand toward the city.

Joshua 8:26 (NKJV)
8:26 For Joshua did not draw back his hand, with which he stretched out the spear, until he had utterly destroyed all the inhabitants of Ai.

The Truth of Resistance:

The Bible gives us many pictures of Spiritual resistance throughout the Old Testament.  We face supernatural resistance to the will of God for our lives.  In the book of Genesis Satan opposes the promise of God for all mankind, and cause Adam and Eve to sin.  But in the judgment of God on Him God says these words:

Genesis 3:15 (NKJV)
3:15 And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, And you shall bruise His heel."

He shall bruise you head and you shall bruise His heel.  It implies that the conflict and resistance will continue.  I want you to know that it continues even to this day.  We still face the supernatural resistance to God’s moves in our lives.

2 Timothy 3:8 (NKJV)
3:8 Now as Jannes and Jambres resisted Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, disapproved concerning the faith;

The Enemy resists our progress:  He doesn’t want you to move on.  He doesn’t want you receive all that God has for you.

Numbers 22:6 (NKJV)
22:6 Therefore please come at once, curse this people for me, for they are too mighty for me. Perhaps I shall be able to defeat them and drive them out of the land, for I know that he whom you bless is blessed, and he whom you curse is cursed."

In this moment, Israel is marching toward the Promised Land.  Balak the King of Moab has called Balaam to curse them.  He wants to keep them from the Promised Land, because he fears what will happen if they receive the promises of God.  The devil fears what will happen if you receive your full potential in God’s promises, also.

The Enemy resists our promises:  This is what God intends for you to have.

Deuteronomy 11:24-25 (NKJV)
11:24 Every place on which the sole of your foot treads shall be yours: from the wilderness and Lebanon, from the river, the River Euphrates, even to the Western Sea, shall be your territory. 25 No man shall be able to stand against you; the Lord your God will put the dread of you and the fear of you upon all the land where you tread, just as He has said to you.

This is what God intended them to have.  God promised them that wherever they’re foot tread that would be their Place, but there were cities and people like Balak who opposed what God was doing in them and resisted them.

There is more going on in life than you can see.  We see natural factors and circumstances and ASSUME that that’s all there is.  When things go wrong we look for natural/visible reasons, but there are things happening behind the scenes, in the supernatural realm that we don’t see that can affect our lives.  Even when YOU’RE doing things right, there are unseen battles going on to prevent your possession of God’s promise.

Daniel 10:12-13 (NKJV)
10:12 Then he said to me, "Do not fear, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand, and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard; and I have come because of your words. 13 But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me twenty-one days; and behold, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I had been left alone there with the kings of Persia.

God dispatched an Angel to answer Daniel’s prayer but there was resistance and opposition in a supernatural realm that Daniel could NOT see.

Genesis 26:15 (NKJV)
26:15 Now the Philistines had stopped up all the wells which his father's servants had dug in the days of Abraham his father, and they had filled them with earth.

As Isaac came upon these wells years after they were dug, he could have made the assumption that they were just bad wells, when in fact they had been they were the work of an enemy.

The aim of resistance is to change our viewpoint:  To make us look at things incorrectly. For instance:

Ourselves:  What’s wrong with me?  I must be bad, weak, unbelieving.
Headship:  Maybe pastor doesn’t know what he’s talking about.
Promises:  Maybe that promise isn’t for me.  Defeat becomes normal.
God:  Maybe God just wants to punish me, or like Job’s wife:

Job 2:9 (NKJV)
2:9 Then his wife said to him, "Do you still hold fast to your integrity? Curse God and die!"

She has a view of God as an oppressor.  That’s a wrong view of God!

The Promise of Dominion:

This brings us to God’s promise of Dominion:  The word translated as Dominion means to Step down on with the foot.  Gen 1:26 says Have dominion.

1.        Idea of overcoming opposition in order to determine what happens there:

Joshua 10:24-25 (NKJV)
10:24 So it was, when they brought out those kings to Joshua, that Joshua called for all the men of Israel, and said to the captains of the men of war who went with him, "Come near, put your feet on the necks of these kings." And they drew near and put their feet on their necks. 25 Then Joshua said to them, "Do not be afraid, nor be dismayed; be strong and of good courage, for thus the Lord will do to all your enemies against whom you fight."

The idea here is that these men will have dominion over these kings and ALL of the kings to come who will resist them.

2.        God created us to rule:

Deuteronomy 28:13 (NKJV)
28:13 And the Lord will make you the head and not the tail; you shall be above only, and not be beneath, if you heed the commandments of the Lord your God, which I command you today, and are careful to observe them.

3.        This is our call/it’s our right.  To change what is not His will into His will:

Matthew 6:10 (NKJV)
6:10 Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven.

The opposition cannot stand in the face of God’s will.

There is an unseen dimension in dominion:

Joshua 8:18 (NKJV)
8:18 Then the Lord said to Joshua, "Stretch out the spear that is in your hand toward Ai, for I will give it into your hand." And Joshua stretched out the spear that was in his hand toward the city.

The soldiers were doing the right things – but the spear of dominion is determining what happens

Joshua 8:26 (NKJV)
8:26 For Joshua did not draw back his hand, with which he stretched out the spear, until he had utterly destroyed all the inhabitants of Ai.

Why a spear and not a rod?  A spear is a weapon of aggression, an outward indicator of the heart.  Are you willing to stand and fight?  Then you need a spear.

Dominion says no to the enemy AND his strategies:

Joshua 10:17-18 (NKJV)
10:17 And it was told Joshua, saying, "The five kings have been found hidden in the cave at Makkedah." 18 So Joshua said, "Roll large stones against the mouth of the cave, and set men by it to guard them.

The kings were in the cave waiting to ambush them, but this strategy was defeated.

Dominion says Yes to God and His promises:

Genesis 26:18 (NKJV)
26:18 And Isaac dug again the wells of water which they had dug in the days of Abraham his father, for the Philistines had stopped them up after the death of Abraham. He called them by the names which his father had called them.

Partnering for Dominion:

An unmistakable element of Dominion is leadership/headship:

Joshua 1:6 (NKJV)
1:6 Be strong and of good courage, for to this people you shall divide as an inheritance the land which I swore to their fathers to give them.

God helps you to possess the promises through a man of God.  But Human nature craves independence.  We feel we know best how to live our lives:

Judges 17:6 (NKJV)
17:6 In those days there was no king in
Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes.

During this time Israel drifted into idolatry and away from God.

People bring those attitudes into their salvation/walk with God.  Those who don’t join a local church – They have no authority/pastor in their lives.  Those who belong to a church but resist authority:  Avoiding counsel; internal resistance; Open dissent, “I don’t agree with that…”

We can’t miss the connection between leadership and battle.  There is a supernatural dimension that helps you as you are connected to leadership:

Judges 7:18 (NKJV)
7:18 When I blow the trumpet, I and all who are with me, then you also blow the trumpets on every side of the whole camp, and say, 'The sword of the Lord and of Gideon!' "

I fight for God and I have a pastor that I believe in godly authority.

There’s an unseen dimension that is at work in the battles of life:

Exodus 17:11-13 (NKJV)
17:11 And so it was, when Moses held up his hand, that Israel prevailed; and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed. 12 But Moses' hands became heavy; so they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat on it. And Aaron and Hur supported his hands, one on one side, and the other on the other side; and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun. 13 So Joshua defeated Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword.

When he lifted his hands the battle turned.  This is supernatural…this is not something that could be seen in the world/natural.

You’re right to claim authority is dependent on your connection to authority.

Matthew 8:9 (NKJV)
8:9 For I also am a man under authority, having soldiers under me. And I say to this one, 'Go,' and he goes; and to another, 'Come,' and he comes; and to my servant, 'Do this,' and he does it."

If there’s a lack of dominion in your life, this is good place to check your heart.

Lesson 3 – The Spear of Foolishness

Before we continue let’s review last week’s lesson:  The Spear of Destiny!

1.        What is the truth of resistance?  That there is a spiritual resistance to our being in God’s Will.
2.        In what two ways does the enemy resist us?  He resists our progress and resists our promises.
3.        There is a connection between Dominion and what?  Leadership
4.        Your right to claim authority is dependent on what?  Your connection to your leadership.

So let’s move to the next Point of Victory:  The Spear of Foolishness!

The Bible talks a lot about SPEARS.  Long pointed weapons, they are also called Javelins.  The word spear is used 64 times and Javelin is used 7 times.  Spears are always mentioned to speak of victory.  A spear was either used by one of the Children of God for a great victory OR the spear of an enemy had to be overcome in order to gain a victory.  So we’re going to look at different events (situations where the spear is used) and apply them to our lives, so that we can have victory in life and our Christian walk.

2 Samuel 2:18-23 (NKJV)
2:18 Now the three sons of Zeruiah were there: Joab and Abishai and Asahel. And Asahel was as fleet of foot as a wild gazelle. 19 So Asahel pursued Abner, and in going he did not turn to the right hand or to the left from following Abner. 20 Then Abner looked behind him and said, "Are you Asahel?" He answered, "I am." 21 And Abner said to him, "Turn aside to your right hand or to your left, and lay hold on one of the young men and take his armor for yourself." But Asahel would not turn aside from following him. 22 So Abner said again to Asahel, "Turn aside from following me. Why should I strike you to the ground? How then could I face your brother Joab?" 23 However, he refused to turn aside. Therefore Abner struck him in the stomach with the blunt end of the spear, so that the spear came out of his back; and he fell down there and died on the spot. So it was that as many as came to the place where Asahel fell down and died, stood still.

Pride and Foolishness:

Most of the problems we have in life are avoidable.  They come from decisions that we make.  We have a tendency to blame the devil.  We think the devil’s ambushing us, but in fact, we have set up the circumstance.  Many of our problems are self-inflicted.  Look at Jonah, he’s a prophet but when God called him to go to Ninevah, he refused, got on a ship for tarsus and a huge storm came up:

Jonah 1:12 (NKJV)
1:12 And he said to them, "Pick me up and throw me into the sea; then the sea will become calm for you. For I know that this great tempest is because of me."

Jonah understands that HE is the reason for the storm.  So often we are our own worst enemy. 

The story of Asahel is a story of destruction through pride.  The nature of pride is blinding.  People don’t even realize that pride is guiding and directing their thought process.  Some of the words of pride have the idea of smoke – it obscures.  It’s difficult for us to see it in our own lives.

Pride inflates our own abilities:

2 Samuel 2:17-18 (NKJV)
2:17 So there was a very fierce battle that day, and Abner and the men of Israel were beaten before the servants of David. 18 Now the three sons of Zeruiah were there: Joab and Abishai and Asahel. And Asahel was as fleet of foot as a wild gazelle.

Just because you’re good at onre thing doesn’t mean you can do anything.  Asahel was a fast runner but he was no match in battle for Abner.

Pride blinds us to our own weakness:

Mark 14:29 (NKJV)
14:29 Peter said to Him, "Even if all are made to stumble, yet I will not be."
Even if everyone else deserts you, I never will – But we know that Peter did desert Jesus

1 Corinthians 10:12 (NKJV)
10:12 Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.
Look at the message version:
1 Corinthians 10:12 (MSG)
10:12 Don't be so naive and self-confident. You're not exempt. You could fall flat on your face as easily as anyone else. Forget about self-confidence; it's useless. Cultivate God-confidence.

Sometimes when we have been saved for a while, or we’ve had victories over sin we let down our guard and open ourselves to failure and sin.

Pride fails to discern danger:

Many of our problems are caused simply by being too close to danger.  Asahel was less than a spear’s length from Abner. 

2 Samuel 20:9-10 (NKJV)
20:9 Then Joab said to Amasa, "Are you in health, my brother?" And Joab took Amasa by the beard with his right hand to kiss him. 10 But Amasa did not notice the sword that was in Joab's hand. And he struck him with it in the stomach, and his entrails poured out on the ground; and he did not strike him again. Thus he died. Then Joab and Abishai his brother pursued
Sheba the son of Bichri.

David was in trouble a rebel Sheba son of Bichri had risen up.  A cold blooded killer who wants to murder David and take his kingdom.   He inspired the men of Israel to go against the king.  But Joab and the men of Judah remained loyal.  David called Amasa to help him and told him to find all the men of Israel that hadn’t betrayed the king and assemble them in three days. 

Many times trouble comes to people in predictable ways, Amasa made the mistake of not following orders so Joab killed him thinking he was a traitor aligned with Sheba.

In our lives, our trouble is not always an unexpected surprise.  Samson ended up blinded and enslaved after hooking up with a philistine prostitute.  We end up in sin.  We don’t heed warnings; we’re in the bedroom late at night.  What’s going to happen?

Pride ignores warnings:

Proverbs 22:3 (NKJV)
22:3 A prudent man foresees evil and hides himself, But the simple pass on and are punished.

2 Samuel 2:21 (NKJV)
2:21 And Abner said to him, "Turn aside to your right hand or to your left, and lay hold on one of the young men and take his armor for yourself." But Asahel would not turn aside from following him.
Better watch out or I’m going to kill you.  If he’d listened he would have lived on.

Pride hurts us by causing us to fail to think:

What is likely to take you off track?  Where have you gone off track before?  What’s the pattern?  What leads up to it?  What practical actions are you taking to keep it from happening again?

The Damage Done:

You can do damage to yourself:

There is a clear Biblical warning – Pride leads to destruction:

Proverbs 16:18 (NKJV)
16:18 Pride goes before destruction, And a haughty spirit before a fall.
That’s pretty clear right?  If you’re full of pride you’re in danger of a destruction.

We can damage good things:  We can make it more difficult:
Our pride can injure our relationships:  Cause us to fail on our jobs:  Ruin our finances.

It can destroy us permanently:
The Bible says:
James 1:14-15 (NKJV)
1:14 But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. 15 Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.

2 Samuel 2:23 (NKJV)
2:23 However, he refused to turn aside. Therefore Abner struck him in the stomach with the blunt end of the spear, so that the spear came out of his back; and he fell down there and died on the spot. So it was that as many as came to the place where Asahel fell down and died, stood still.
Asahel allowed his pride to destroy him.

You can do damage to others:

It’s a sad fact but decisions that we make affects others.  It’s not just us that gets hurt.

2 Samuel 2:23 (NKJV)
2:23 However, he refused to turn aside. Therefore Abner struck him in the stomach with the blunt end of the spear, so that the spear came out of his back; and he fell down there and died on the spot. So it was that as many as came to the place where Asahel fell down and died, stood still.
Forward progess for the others who stopped and stood still at the place of Asahel’s death.

The Bible is full of stories about this negative influence in people’s lives:

Adam/Cain  Adam’s failure negatively impacted his son.  (SIN)
Lot and his wife/family – Pharaoh and his family/nation.

Luke 6:39 (NKJV)
6:39 And He spoke a parable to them: "Can the blind lead the blind? Will they not both fall into the ditch?

1 Samuel 31:6 (NKJV)
31:6 So Saul, his three sons, his armorbearer, and all his men died together that same day.

Lessons that Asahel Never Learned:

Have an honest self assessment:
2 Corinthians 13:5 (NKJV)
13:5 Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?--unless indeed you are disqualified.
Paul s talking to Christians, “Have you gotten off-track?”  We need to be able to honestly examine what’s going on in our hearts.

Honest self-examination flows from an openness towards God.
Psalms 19:12 (NKJV)
19:12 Who can understand his errors? Cleanse me from secret faults.

Psalms 139:23-24 (NKJV)
139:23 Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me, and know my anxieties; 24 And see if there is any wicked way in me, And lead me in the way everlasting.

Listen to a word of wisdom:
God is faithful – He provides a voice of wisdom in our lives.

Proverbs 2:6 (NKJV)
2:6 For the Lord gives wisdom; From His mouth come knowledge and understanding;
How does God do that?  He uses Pastors, teachers, friends/family/testimonies – even people we don’t want to hear from.

2 Samuel 2:21 (NKJV)
2:21 And Abner said to him, "Turn aside to your right hand or to your left, and lay hold on one of the young men and take his armor for yourself." But Asahel would not turn aside from following him.
A word of wisdom from Abner…His next sentences was I don’t want to kill you.

Proverbs 27:5-6 (NKJV)
27:5 Open rebuke is better Than love carefully concealed. 6 Faithful are the wounds of a friend, But the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.

But for this word to be of valuable WE HAVE TO LISTEN!

James 1:22 (NKJV)
1:22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.

Exodus 18:24 (NKJV)
18:24 So Moses heeded the voice of his father-in-law and did all that he had said.

Patience Brings Safety:
Many good things have to be waited on – for the right time.

2 Samuel 2:21 (NKJV)
2:21 And Abner said to him, "Turn aside to your right hand or to your left, and lay hold on one of the young men and take his armor for yourself." But Asahel would not turn aside from following him.

Ecclesiastes 7:8 (NKJV)
7:8 The end of a thing is better than its beginning; The patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.

Lesson 4 – The Spear of Certainty

Tonight, we’re going to study, “The Spear of Certainty.”

But first, let’s review:

1.        Most problems in life are avoidable.  Most come from what?  Bad Decisions.
2.        What is honest self-examination?  Looking at yourself honestly and seeing where you are wrong.
3.        How does God provide wisdom in our lives?  He uses Pastors, teachers, friends/family/testimonies – even people we don’t want to hear from.
4.        A word of Wisdom is only valuable if we do what?  Listen.

The Bible talks a lot about SPEARS.  Long pointed weapons, they are also called Javelins.  The word spear is used 64 times and Javelin is used 7 times.  Spears are always mentioned to speak of victory.  A spear was either used by one of the Children of God for a great victory OR the spear of an enemy had to be overcome in order to gain a victory.  So we’re going to look at different events (situations where the spear is used) and apply them to our lives, so that we can have victory in life and our Christian walk.

John 19:31-37 (NKJV)
19:31 Therefore, because it was the Preparation Day, that the bodies should not remain on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a high day), the Jews asked Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away. 32 Then the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first and of the other who was crucified with Him. 33 But when they came to Jesus and saw that He was already dead, they did not break His legs. 34 But one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out. 35 And he who has seen has testified, and his testimony is true; and he knows that he is telling the truth, so that you may believe. 36 For these things were done that the Scripture should be fulfilled, "Not one of His bones shall be broken." 37 And again another Scripture says, "They shall look on Him whom they pierced."

The Spear of Certainty:

The Certainty of Jesus’ Humanity:

The biggest mistake we can make is to deny who Jesus is.  It’s called antichrist, or the spirit of antichrist. 

1 John 2:22 (NKJV)
2:22 Who is a liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist who denies the Father and the Son.

In ancient times, people felt that the body was evil.  We sin with our bodies.  So, there was denial of Jesus’ humanity.  Of course they saw him, they knew that he was human, but they denied that he was God.  Because God is Spirit – only the Spirit is good, so how could God have a body?

So Jesus couldn’t be God and have a body.  Either, He isn’t God, OR He didn’t really have a human body. 

2 John 1:7 (NKJV)
1:7 For many deceivers have gone out into the world who do not confess Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.

The greatest question in life, “Who is Jesus Christ?”  Who can answer that – It’s God in the flesh.  God made man!

1 Timothy 3:16 (NKJV)
3:16 And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifested in the flesh, Justified in the Spirit, Seen by angels, Preached among the Gentiles, Believed on in the world, Received up in glory.

This is the centerpiece of Christian faith.  This is what sets us apart from every other religious philosophy.  Jesus wasn’t a man elevated to a god, he was God incarnated as a man!

Isaiah 7:14 (NKJV)
7:14 Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel. (God with us)

John 1:1 (NKJV)
1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

John 1:14 (NKJV)
1:14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.

Why does it matter that Jesus was a man?  If He’s man then he’s not perfect and subject to sin.  But even though He was a man, he never sinned.  This is important.

John gives an eyewitness account of his death.

John 19:34 (NKJV)
19:34 But one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out.

Spirits don’t bleed.  Ghosts don’t bleed; only bodies bleed.  So Jesus was a man.    He can pay for our sin BECAUSE He was a man!

Colossians 2:13-15 (NKJV)
2:13 And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, 14 having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. 15 Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it.

He destroys Satan’s power over us, BECAUSE He was a Man:  A man who lived but did not sin; and died to pay the price for OUR sin. (Not His own sin – He never did – He paid for ours.)

The Certainty of Jesus’ Death

Christianity isn’t based on a system of teachings.  It isn’t based on someone’s philosophy.  It is based on an event.  The CENTRAL event of Christianity is the Cross – the death of Jesus.  Not just the FACT that He died but the REASON and the METHOD of His death.  It’s not just that He died.  It’s WHY He died and HOW He died.

Sinless Jesus was punished in a substitutionary death;  He died in place of/instead of sinners.  He didn’t sin but he died for our sins.

Isaiah 53:4-6 (NKJV)
53:4 Surely He has borne our griefs And carried our sorrows; Yet we esteemed Him stricken, Smitten by God, and afflicted. 5 But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed. 6 All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way; And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.

The devil made an attack on Jesus’ death his main strategy:  That it didn’t really happen.  There are still those who think He didn’t really die. 
1.        Some think Joseph of Arimethea sneaked in and took his place.  Muslims still believe this today.
2.        Others think Jesus just passed out and didn’t really die.  They just thought He was dead, and He woke up in the tomb.

But John’s eyewitness account is in two parts.

1.        The Roman Soldiers on execution detail.  These men executed people on the cross all the time.  They knew death.  They knew what it looked like.

John 19:32-33 (NKJV)
19:32 Then the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first and of the other who was crucified with Him. 33 But when they came to Jesus and saw that He was already dead, they did not break His legs.
They saw that He was already dead.

2.        John:  John knew Jesus probably better than anyone else. 
John 19:34-35 (NKJV)
19:34 But one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out. 35 And he who has seen has testified, and his testimony is true; and he knows that he is telling the truth, so that you may believe.

He knew who He was.  He saw Him suffer.  He saw the spear thrust into His side.  He knew that He was definitely dead.

The Certainty of Jesus’ Prophecies Fulfilled.

John is careful to connect the spear of Jesus’ death to the prophecies.

The plan of the substitutionary lamb is that there were no broken bones.

Passover Lamb.  God would see the blood and pass over them in judgment.
Exodus 12:46 (NKJV)
12:46 In one house it shall be eaten; you shall not carry any of the flesh outside the house, nor shall you break one of its bones.

Jesus is identified as the lamb.
John 1:29 (NKJV)
1:29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, "Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!

If Jesus was going to be the Passover lamb for the whole world, his bones couldn’t be broken. 
Psalms 34:20 (NKJV)
34:20 He guards all his bones; Not one of them is broken.

But Jesus would be crucified by the Romans
Roman crucifixion: Stripped naked and beaten to pulpy weakness …, the victim could hang in the hot sun for hours, even days. To breathe, it was necessary to push with the legs and pull with the arms to keep the chest cavity open and functioning. Terrible muscle spasm wracked the entire body; but since collapse meant asphyxiation, the strain went on and on. This is also why the seducula … prolonged life and agony: it partially supported the body’s weight, and therefore encouraged the victim to fight on.”

The end finally came as they broke the legs of the person on the cross.  They wouldn’t be able to push up and breathe so they suffocated. 
John 19:31 (NKJV)
19:31 Therefore, because it was the Preparation Day, that the bodies should not remain on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a high day), the Jews asked Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away.

But God planned in advance that Jesus wouldn’t be broken but pierced.
Zechariah 12:10 (NKJV)
12:10 "And I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication; then they will look on Me whom they pierced. Yes, they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn.

John 19:33-34 (NKJV)
19:33 But when they came to Jesus and saw that He was already dead, they did not break His legs. 34 But one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out.

William Stroud, M.D., in his book, Treatise on the Physical Cause of the Death of Christ said that rupture of the heart may be caused by great mental agony and that it ‘is usually attended with immediate death, and with an effusion into the pericardium (the capsule containing the heart) of the blood previously circulating through that organ…separates into its constitutent parts, so as to present the appearance commonly termed blood and This view was accepted by Sir Alexander Simpson who said that he had examined several cases ‘in which the pericardial bag was greatly distended and the blood had separated into clot and watery serum’  Blood And Water

The purpose of the piercing:  It was God’s plan that Jesus would shed His Blood for our sin.
Ephesians 1:7 (NKJV)
1:7 In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace

1 Peter 1:18-19 (NKJV)
1:18 knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.

If God kept His word SO specifically – We can believe in our salvation:
John 19:35-37 (NKJV)
19:35 And he who has seen has testified, and his testimony is true; and he knows that he is telling the truth, so that you may believe. 36 For these things were done that the Scripture should be fulfilled, "Not one of His bones shall be broken." 37 And again another Scripture says, "They shall look on Him whom they pierced."

1 John 1:9 (NKJV)
1:9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Lesson 5 – The Spear of Courage

Tonight, we’re going to talk about the “Spear of Courage” but first let’s review:

1.        According to last week’s Bible Study what is the biggest mistake we can make?  To deny Jesus’ humanity.
2.        What is the central event of Christianity?  The cross.
3.        What is the main attack on Jesus’ death?  That he never died.
4.        Two theories about how Jesus didn’t die?  1 – Joseph of Arimithea took his place.  2:  Jesus just passed out and recovered in the tomb.

The Bible talks a lot about SPEARS.  Long pointed weapons, they are also called Javelins.  The word spear is used 64 times and Javelin is used 7 times.  Spears are always mentioned to speak of victory.  A spear was either used by one of the Children of God for a great victory OR the spear of an enemy had to be overcome in order to gain a victory.  So we’re going to look at different events (situations where the spear is used) and apply them to our lives, so that we can have victory in life and our Christian walk.

1 Chronicles 11:22-25 (NKJV)
11:22 Benaiah was the son of Jehoiada, the son of a valiant man from Kabzeel, who had done many deeds. He had killed two lion-like heroes of Moab. He also had gone down and killed a lion in the midst of a pit on a snowy day. 23 And he killed an Egyptian, a man of great height, five cubits tall. In the Egyptian's hand there was a spear like a weaver's beam; and he went down to him with a staff, wrested the spear out of the Egyptian's hand, and killed him with his own spear. 24 These things Benaiah the son of Jehoiada did, and won a name among three mighty men. 25 Indeed he was more honored than the thirty, but he did not attain to the first three. And David appointed him over his guard.

Facing the Odds:

In our text here we have two men. One man is 250 cm tall.  The other is 170 or so.  So you have a very big man with a height and reach advantage.  Also He has a spear while the other man has only a stick:

This is a picture of life.  Life is often UNFAIR.   The odds are always against you.
1.        Problems never come in manageable sizes.  They always seem to be overwhelming.
2.        Crises never wait until convenient times.  When’s a GOOD time for a car accident or illness?
3.        The enemy never fights fair.  It’s always over kill (Vincent story)

The Bible is full of examples of unfair odds.  God sends Moses to face the might of Egypt and his only weapon is a rod.  Look at the odds for God’s people.  They faced giants.  The army was often outnumbered.  The enemy had weapons but Israel didn’t.  The odds were always against them.

Look at some of the weapons they had to fight with:

1 Samuel 17:40 (NKJV)
17:40 Then he took his staff in his hand; and he chose for himself five smooth stones from the brook, and put them in a shepherd's bag, in a pouch which he had, and his sling was in his hand. And he drew near to the Philistine. (five smooth stones)

Judges 4:21 (NKJV)
4:21 Then Jael, Heber's wife, took a tent peg and took a hammer in her hand, and went softly to him and drove the peg into his temple, and it went down into the ground; for he was fast asleep and weary. So he died. (A tent peg)

Judges 15:15 (NKJV)
15:15 He found a fresh jawbone of a donkey, reached out his hand and took it, and killed a thousand men with it. (A donkey’s jawbone)

Some people spend their entire lives WAITING for favorable odds.  When things get better I’m going to change.  When I have more money I’m going to give.  When the kids get older I’m going to do something for God.  We hear these things all the time.  But there’s always going to be difficulties and struggle.  The odds are never in our favor. 

God knows that we face long odds.  It’s part of His plan for our lives:

Character is Developed!

2 Corinthians 4:17-18 (NKJV)
4:17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, 18 while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.
God likes the odds to be stacked against us.  It causes us to trust Him:  To have faith.  Character is built out of difficulty not blessing.

Miracles Can Happen!

Psalms 107:23-28 (NKJV)
107:23 Those who go down to the sea in ships, Who do business on great waters, 24 They see the works of the Lord, And His wonders in the deep. 25 For He commands and raises the stormy wind, Which lifts up the waves of the sea. 26 They mount up to the heavens, They go down again to the depths; Their soul melts because of trouble. 27 They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, And are at their wits' end. 28 Then they cry out to the Lord in their trouble, And He brings them out of their distresses.

We pray for God to reduce the odds.  But through these challenges we can see miracles we would never see otherwise.  (Rob Scribner – Want to see a miracle get cancer)

The Dividing Line:

Our attitude about things is often the dividing line of life.  How we react to challenges.  Our feelings and thoughts about a certain situation can be the the difference between overcoming and failure.  This is where a lot of people fail:

They’re filled with resentment:  Why do I have to deal with this?

Exodus 14:10-12 (NKJV)
14:10 And when Pharaoh drew near, the children of Israel lifted their eyes, and behold, the Egyptians marched after them. So they were very afraid, and the children of Israel cried out to the Lord. 11 Then they said to Moses, "Because there were no graves in Egypt, have you taken us away to die in the wilderness? Why have you so dealt with us, to bring us up out of Egypt? 12 Is this not the word that we told you in Egypt, saying, 'Let us alone that we may serve the Egyptians?' For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than that we should die in the wilderness."
Why’d you bring us out here to be slaughtered?  We can’t win against them.

They Refuse to Try:  Why should I try?  What’s the use with this economy or this marriage or with that President?

Matthew 25:24-25 (NKJV)
25:24 Then he who had received the one talent came and said, 'Lord, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you have not sown, and gathering where you have not scattered seed. 25 And I was afraid, and went and hid your talent in the ground. Look, there you have what is yours.'
What’s the use of trying, This boss is too hard.  I never win.  I’m always in trouble.

As a result of attitudes like these people miss out on what God can do.  When the disciples were faced with feeding 5,000 with a couple of fish and a few loaves what did they do?  “Send them away.  What is this among so many?”  They were focusing on what they didn’t have.  They were thinking the problem was too big.

We don’t know too much about Benaiah except his attitude.  Long odds didn’t scare him.  Winning is more than ability; it’s a character issue – a spirit.

1 Chronicles 11:23 (NKJV)
11:23 And he killed an Egyptian, a man of great height, five cubits tall. In the Egyptian's hand there was a spear like a weaver's beam; and he went down to him with a staff, wrested the spear out of the Egyptian's hand, and killed him with his own spear.

He went down to him.  He ran toward him, even though the odds were against him.

The proper attitude begins with confidence in God.  That name Benaiah means “God has built.”  If I have God with me anything is possible.

Romans 8:31 (NKJV)
8:31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?

The proper attitude involves working with what you have.  Moses what’s in your hand – a stick.

Exodus 4:1-2 (NKJV)
4:1 Then Moses answered and said, "But suppose they will not believe me or listen to my voice; suppose they say, 'The Lord has not appeared to you.' " 2 So the Lord said to him, "What is that in your hand?" He said, "A rod."

Benaiah:  I wish I had a cruise missile but I have a stick…let’s start with that.

1 Chronicles 11:23 (NKJV)
11:23 And he killed an Egyptian, a man of great height, five cubits tall. In the Egyptian's hand there was a spear like a weaver's beam; and he went down to him with a staff, wrested the spear out of the Egyptian's hand, and killed him with his own spear.

Judges 15:15 (NKJV)
15:15 He found a fresh jawbone of a donkey, reached out his hand and took it, and killed a thousand men with it.

Turning the Attack:

God has something particular in mind by us having to face enemy assaults. 
1.        He wants to turn the enemy’s attacks against him.

1 Chronicles 11:23 (NKJV)
11:23 And he killed an Egyptian, a man of great height, five cubits tall. In the Egyptian's hand there was a spear like a weaver's beam; and he went down to him with a staff, wrested the spear out of the Egyptian's hand, and killed him with his own spear.
The spear will destroy you.  No, it is the method of destroying the enemy.

1 Samuel 17:51 (NKJV)
17:51 Therefore David ran and stood over the Philistine, took his sword and drew it out of its sheath and killed him, and cut off his head with it. And when the Philistines saw that their champion was dead, they fled.

2.        God loves to turn the attacks around for our benefit.

1 Corinthians 2:7-8 (NKJV)
2:7 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory, 8 which none of the rulers of this age knew; for had they known, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.
The devil thought killing Jesus was a victory, but God turned it around making Jesus’ death the means of our salvation.

Genesis 50:20 (NKJV)
50:20 But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive.
Joseph was lied about/unjustly imprisoned, but God turned it into the saving of a nation.  After a while Israel actually plundered Egypt as they were leaving because of the attack on Joseph.

3.        Our heart is essential here. 

We need to have confidence in Goad and his ability to turn the situation:
1 Samuel 17:45-47 (NKJV)
17:45 Then David said to the Philistine, "You come to me with a sword, with a spear, and with a javelin. But I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. 46 This day the Lord will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you and take your head from you. And this day I will give the carcasses of the camp of the Philistines to the birds of the air and the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel. 47 Then all this assembly shall know that the Lord does not save with sword and spear; for the battle is the Lord's, and He will give you into our hands."

We need to have a correct attitude:  Character development for greater usefulness.

1 Chronicles 11:25 (NKJV)
11:25 Indeed he was more honored than the thirty, but he did not attain to the first three. And David appointed him over his guard.

God has something better for you.  It comes from facing your battles and using what you have.

A Desire to Help Others:

2 Corinthians 1:3-4 (NKJV)
1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.

There’s somebody out there who needs to be encouraged.  They need to hear how you came through problems.  Thousands of years after it happened we still hear about Benaiah.  He made it through.  Somebody needs your testimony.  They need perspective on how on helped you.

Spear 6 – The Spear of Equipping

Spears in the Bible are often mentioned in important events in Israel’s history – connected with victory:  Either used by one of God’s children to gain victory… Or the spear of an enemy had to be overcome in order to gain victory.
So we will look at these different events to learn Bible lessons about victory in life: Points of Victory - The Spear of Equipping. The resource God gives to defeat the enemy.

1 Samuel 13:16-23 (NKJV)
13:16 Saul, Jonathan his son, and the people present with them remained in Gibeah of Benjamin. But the Philistines encamped in Michmash. 17 Then raiders came out of the camp of the Philistines in three companies. One company turned to the road to Ophrah, to the land of Shual, 18 another company turned to the road to Beth Horon, and another company turned to the road of the border that overlooks the Valley of Zeboim toward the wilderness. 19 Now there was no blacksmith to be found throughout all the land of Israel, for the Philistines said, "Lest the Hebrews make swords or spears." 20 But all the Israelites would go down to the Philistines to sharpen each man's plowshare, his mattock, his ax, and his sickle; 21 and the charge for a sharpening was a pim for the plowshares, the mattocks, the forks, and the axes, and to set the points of the goads. 22 So it came about, on the day of battle, that there was neither sword nor spear found in the hand of any of the people who were with Saul and Jonathan. But they were found with Saul and Jonathan his son. 23 And the garrison of the Philistines went out to the pass of Michmash.

Targeting our Weapons:

Whatever the enemy fears is most important.

Ronald Reagan negotiating with Russians/Gorbachev; Had idea of S.D.I. – Reagans own cabinet didn’t support it; It was called star wars and ridiculed by the press and Reagan’s opponents. When he met with Gorbachev; Gorby kept bringing it up – demanding we drop it.  He was willing to reduce nuclear arms if Reagan stopped work on it.  Reagan grasped that they feared it – it must be powerful!  It was the thing that ended the Cold War, because they thought they had no power to defeat it.

In our story, the enemy fears God’s people having weapons.

1 Samuel 13:19 (NKJV)
13:19 Now there was no blacksmith to be found throughout all the land of Israel, for the Philistines said, "Lest the Hebrews make swords or spears."

Their weapons will make all the difference in their lives.  That’s what the enemy says.  So the enemy targets our weapons.  He makes the removeal of our weapons a MAJOR strategy:

1 Samuel 13:19-22 (NKJV)
13:19 Now there was no blacksmith to be found throughout all the land of Israel, for the Philistines said, "Lest the Hebrews make swords or spears." 20 But all the Israelites would go down to the Philistines to sharpen each man's plowshare, his mattock, his ax, and his sickle; 21 and the charge for a sharpening was a pim for the plowshares, the mattocks, the forks, and the axes, and to set the points of the goads. 22 So it came about, on the day of battle, that there was neither sword nor spear found in the hand of any of the people who were with Saul and Jonathan. But they were found with Saul and Jonathan his son.

Q:  What are the primary weapons of a believer?  The Word of God!

Ephesians 6:17 (NKJV)
6:17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God;

Our text connects the sword and the spear…They have the same purpose.  They are offensive and defensive weapons.  It is a continual strategy of Hell to take away the Word of God from God’s people.

From without: Activists/Supreme Court ruling 1962 against Bible in Schools/10 commandments from buildings.  Why? If it’s just a book/filled with errors/fables for gullible people? FEARED! (Chuck Colson Debate With Madeline Murray O’Hair)

From within: Churches diminish the importance of the word – elevate spiritual experiences instead.  The worship was so powerful we never got to the word…  Some churches do that.  That’s why I always insist on preaching. 

The Word of God is supernatural:

Hebrews 4:12 (NKJV)
4:12 For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

The Word of God is Alive!  Life comes ino our hearts, salvation, marriage, faith, finances and ministries.

John 6:63 (NKJV)
6:63 It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.

2 Timothy 3:16-17 (NKJV)
3:16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

Inspiration:  It is God breathed…God Spoken.  The Bible is the PRIMARY means of God speaking to us.  The enemy doesn’t want that supernatural life resource in our hands or in us. 

Many believers neglect this POWERFUL resource in their daily lives.  90% of believers have never read the bible all the way through.  Only 16% CLAIM to read the Bible every day.

2 Chronicles 34:15 (NKJV)
34:15 Then Hilkiah answered and said to Shaphan the scribe, "I have found the Book of the Law in the house of the Lord." And Hilkiah gave the book to Shaphan.

Q:  Why would believers neglect the Bible? 

1.      Laziness – It takes effort to do it.

Proverbs 18:9 (NKJV)
18:9 He who is slothful in his work Is a brother to him who is a great destroyer.

2.      They feel it’s enough to leave it to pastors or leaders.

1 Samuel 13:22 (NKJV)
13:22 So it came about, on the day of battle, that there was neither sword nor spear found in the hand of any of the people who were with Saul and Jonathan. But they were found with Saul and Jonathan his son.

3.      Sin:  This book will keep you from sin or sin will keep you from this book.

John 3:20 (NKJV)
3:20 For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed.

4.      I don’t have time:  Actually it’s a matter of priorities – how important is it?  What’s sad is that people don’t choose to read it.  We are our own worst enemy.  We’re too lazy or we don’t see the need.

The Impact of Being defensless

Our text is a picture of God’s people in Spiritual Decline.

Unable to resist temptation:

1 Samuel 13:17 (NKJV)
13:17 Then raiders came out of the camp of the Philistines in three companies. One company turned to the road to Ophrah, to the land of Shual,

Armed Raiding parties:  They were able to completely destroy because God’s people had NO weapons.

Psalms 119:11 (NKJV)
119:11 Your word I have hidden in my heart, That I might not sin against You!

Unable to Resist False Doctrine:  The only ones who had weapons were the leaders: Jonathan and Saul.

Dr. Stephen Prothero gives biblical literacy quizzes; According to him, the majority of students at Christian colleges cannot name the four Gospels; Don’t know where Jesus was born; Cannot name the 10 Commandments.

A recent survey said that 25% of Christians who say they are born again Christians, do not even believe that Jesus rose from the dead. 25% believe other religions lead to God. Half of them believe that Jesus sinned. The vast majority of those surveyed do not believe in absolute truth.

Ephesians 4:14 (NKJV)
4:14 that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting,

Unable to Take Territory for God.  God’s [plan has always been that His people conquer territory – not just survive.  Those who value God’s word and God’s will, will evangelize.  When the importance of God’s Word declines – so does evangelism.

Using Our Resources:

If we’re going to survive and conquer for God -  we MUST recognize what resources we have.

Valuing our Weaponry:  The RESOURCE of God’s Word.  It begins with a hunger/desire for God’s Word.  Do you WANT to hear from God?

Job 23:12 (NKJV)
23:12 I have not departed from the commandment of His lips; I have treasured the words of His mouth More than my necessary food.

1 Peter 2:2 (NKJV)
2:2 as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby,

Using our Weaponry:  Reading or Bible Regularly is the foundation of our relationship with God.

Jeremiah 15:16 (NKJV)
15:16 Your words were found, and I ate them, And Your word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart; For I am called by Your name, O Lord God of hosts.

For many people reading the Bible is hit and miss.  It’s not a regular habit.

One common picture of the Bible is Food.  We need it regularly:

Matthew 6:11 (NKJV)
6:11 Give us this day our daily bread.

Exodus 16:21 (NKJV)
16:21 So they gathered it every morning, every man according to his need. And when the sun became hot, it melted.

Manna was a 40 year lesson in depending on God.  Getting strength from God. 

As soon as someone used the resource God brought the victory:

1 Samuel 14:13-15 (NKJV)
14:13 And Jonathan climbed up on his hands and knees with his armorbearer after him; and they fell before Jonathan. And as he came after him, his armorbearer killed them. 14 That first slaughter which Jonathan and his armorbearer made was about twenty men within about half an acre of land. 15 And there was trembling in the camp, in the field, and among all the people. The garrison and the raiders also trembled; and the earth quaked, so that it was a very great trembling.

Lesson 7 – The Spear of Forgiveness

Tonight, we move on to the seventh spear, “The Spear of Forgiveness.”

Spears in the Bible are often mentioned in important events in Israel’s history – connected with victory: Either used by one of God’s children to gain victory… Or the spear of an enemy had to be overcome in order to gain victory.  So we will look at these different events to learn Bible lessons about victory in life: Points of Victory – Today: The spear of forgiveness.

1 Samuel 18:5-11 (NKJV)
18:5 So David went out wherever Saul sent him, and behaved wisely. And Saul set him over the men of war, and he was accepted in the sight of all the people and also in the sight of Saul's servants. 6 Now it had happened as they were coming home, when David was returning from the slaughter of the Philistine, that the women had come out of all the cities of
Israel, singing and dancing, to meet King Saul, with tambourines, with joy, and with musical instruments. 7 So the women sang as they danced, and said: "Saul has slain his thousands, And David his ten thousands." 8 Then Saul was very angry, and the saying displeased him; and he said, "They have ascribed to David ten thousands, and to me they have ascribed only thousands. Now what more can he have but the kingdom?" 9 So Saul eyed David from that day forward. 10 And it happened on the next day that the distressing spirit from God came upon Saul, and he prophesied inside the house. So David played music with his hand, as at other times; but there was a spear in Saul's hand. 11 And Saul cast the spear, for he said, "I will pin David to the wall!" But David escaped his presence twice.

Seeing The Spear:

We’ve always said that we all have a destiny in God.  But that destiny is worked out in connection with other people.  In our text we’re talking about God’s destiny for David being worked out through David’s relationship with Saul.  God will only work out destiny connected TO other people and THROUGH other people.  God uses other people to bring about your destiny, but where you have other people you will have conflict.  It’s inescapable!  

People will violate you – They’ll say things, they’ll rip you off.  But they may not be doing those things deliberately:

Luke 17:1 (NKJV)
17:1 Then He said to the disciples, "It is impossible that no offenses should come, but woe to him through whom they do come!

This can happen because we come from different backgrounds:  In marriages and the church.  We have different upbringings; different ways of communicating.  We even come from different cultures. 

Sometimes it IS deliberate – because of what’s inside them

1 Samuel 18:8-9 (NKJV)
18:8 Then Saul was very angry, and the saying displeased him; and he said, "They have ascribed to David ten thousands, and to me they have ascribed only thousands. Now what more can he have but the kingdom?" 9 So Saul eyed David from that day forward.

When someone is insecure – There’s nothing YOU can do to fix that. Insecurity affects their viewpoint.  Saul eyed David from then on.  They jump to wrong conclusions based on their insecurity not anything you’ve done. 

1 Samuel 18:11 (NKJV)
18:11 And Saul cast the spear, for he said, "I will pin David to the wall!" But David escaped his presence twice.

These things produce emotions inside of us. Pain, hurt, outrange, disappointment and confusion. 

Ephesians 4:26 (NKJV)
4:26 "Be angry, and do not sin": do not let the sun go down on your wrath,

Hebrews 12:15 (NKJV)
12:15 looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled;

The word bitter/bitterness means something sharp:  Something that pokes or causes pain.  When it comes up you experience all the emotions that you experienced the first time.  They say that Time heals all wounds…that’s not true.

We have options in every violation. 

First – we can forgive:

Matthew 18:27 (NKJV)
18:27 Then the master of that servant was moved with compassion, released him, and forgave him the debt.

Or – We can hang onto the hurt.  We can think about it; relive it over and over.  We can tell EVERYONE about what happened and our feelings.  That’s what we call BITTERNESS.  The desire to hold on is the desire for justice.  “They did me wrong now, I want it made right:  An apology, of repayment, or something like that.  The desire for justice can lead to a desire for revenge.  “They did me wrong, now they’re going to pay.”

We want to see them suffer like we suffered.  We hope bad things happen, or we actively attempt to make bad things happen – get back at them.  In our text A spear is thrown at David:  Saul knows how to use a spear! Strike back/get even – he deserves it!

The Strategy of the Spear:

The devil uses people to try to destroy our destiny – our purpose in God!  Moses was attacked by Pharaoh.  Jesus was attacked by Herod. 

1 Samuel 18:11 (NKJV)
18:11 And Saul cast the spear, for he said, "I will pin David to the wall!" But David escaped his presence twice.

This happened twice. 

Look at what the enemy is trying to produce in conflict:  Bitterness is an attack on your future. 

Discouragement:  Loss of courage – to lose the will to continue.  The devil’s aim is that we will feel inadequate:  That we’ll come to the conclusion that it’s impossible.  “Why try?  Why come under attack.  There’s no point.  There’s no way to rise WITH these people. 

Distraction:  To divide your attention, or to prevent concentration.  Distraction comes from the word that mean “mental disturbance.”  Conflict can become consuming:  It takes our focus away from our purpose – the important issues.

Nehemiah 6:2 (NKJV)
6:2 that Sanballat and Geshem sent to me, saying, "Come, let us meet together among the villages in the plain of Ono." But they thought to do me harm.

Change:  The enemy tries to change us.  He wants to turn us into something that’s not good or useable.

Hebrews 12:15 (NKJV)
12:15 looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled;

Defiled: Contaminated/corrupted – render unfit/unusable for the original purpose.  Bitterness has the capacity to change you on the inside:  Turn you into someone else, completely. 

Marriage counseling: Not the same person I married.  Cynics: Expect the worst in all of life – didn’t used to be so cynical.  All of these things flow out of unbelief.  It’s a person who’s focused on other people, not God.  They refuse to believe that God told the truth – That God holds their future. 

1 Samuel 27:1 (NKJV)
27:1 And David said in his heart, "Now I shall perish someday by the hand of Saul. There is nothing better for me than that I should speedily escape to the land of the Philistines; and Saul will despair of me, to seek me anymore in any part of
Israel. So I shall escape out of his hand."

This separates us from God:  His blessing and His will.

Mark 11:25-26 (NKJV)
11:25 "And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses. 26 But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses."

Surviving the Spear:

The only way we can survive is to see that God is involved in our lives.  Doesn’t God see what people are doing to me?  YES He can.

Genesis 49:24 (NKJV)
49:24 But his bow remained in strength, And the arms of his hands were made strong By the hands of the Mighty God of Jacob (From there is the Shepherd, the Stone of Israel),

The point: Not just that God is watching our lives; He is in control!

Genesis 49:26 (NKJV)
49:26 The blessings of your father Have excelled the blessings of my ancestors, Up to the utmost bound of the everlasting hills. They shall be on the head of Joseph, And on the crown of the head of him who was separate from his brothers.

Blessing: A supernatural dimension that overcomes opposition & works God’s will. 

1 Samuel 25:29 (NKJV)
25:29 Yet a man has risen to pursue you and seek your life, but the life of my lord shall be bound in the bundle of the living with the Lord your God; and the lives of your enemies He shall sling out, as from the pocket of a sling.

People can’t stop God! People cannot stop God’s purposes in our lives.  God will use this to help us – bring us where we need to be. 

Genesis 50:20 (NKJV)
50:20 But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive.

Often development comes through conflict.  You survive by leaving people to God.  David was a warrior – he knew how to use a javelin/spear: He didn’t pull it out and throw it back!  Our tendency is to want to fight back: Rally other people/speak against – we are throwing spears/doing damage. 

This is forgiveness: I choose to leave it with God – instead of fighting back. 

Romans 12:19 (NKJV)
12:19 Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, "Vengeance is Mine, I will repay," says the Lord.

This means we continue to do right.

1 Samuel 18:11 (NKJV)
18:11 And Saul cast the spear, for he said, "I will pin David to the wall!" But David escaped his presence twice.

He went back! It means he continued doing what he needed to do. 

Esther 4:1-2 (NKJV)
4:1 When Mordecai learned all that had happened, he tore his clothes and put on sackcloth and ashes, and went out into the midst of the city. He cried out with a loud and bitter cry. 2 He went as far as the front of the king's gate, for no one might enter the king's gate clothed with sackcloth.

This is what brings God’s blessings in our lives – that brings about His will.
Conflict prepares you for larger blessings:

2 Samuel 16:2 (NKJV)
16:2 And the king said to Ziba, "What do you mean to do with these?" So Ziba said, "The donkeys are for the king's household to ride on, the bread and summer fruit for the young men to eat, and the wine for those who are faint in the wilderness to drink."

Conflict prepares you for larger purposes:
Joseph Gen 37: Coat of authority – not ready; The pit/the prison would prepare him for authority

Genesis 41:42 (NKJV)
41:42 Then Pharaoh took his signet ring off his hand and put it on Joseph's hand; and he clothed him in garments of fine linen and put a gold chain around his neck.

Lesson 8 – The Spear of Moral Judgment

Spears in the Bible are often mentioned in important events in Israel’s history – connected with victory:  Either used by one of God’s children to gain victory… Or the spear of an enemy had to be overcome in order to gain victory.  So we will look at these different events to learn Bible lessons about victory in life: Points of Victory:  Today: The spear of Moral Judgment.

Numbers 25:1-8 (NKJV)
25:1 Now Israel remained in Acacia Grove, and the people began to commit harlotry with the women of
Moab. 2 They invited the people to the sacrifices of their gods, and the people ate and bowed down to their gods. 3 So Israel was joined to Baal of Peor, and the anger of the Lord was aroused against Israel. 4 Then the Lord said to Moses, "Take all the leaders of the people and hang the offenders before the Lord, out in the sun, that the fierce anger of the Lord may turn away from Israel." 5 So Moses said to the judges of Israel, "Every one of you kill his men who were joined to Baal of Peor." 6 And indeed, one of the children of Israel came and presented to his brethren a Midianite woman in the sight of Moses and in the sight of all the congregation of the children of Israel, who were weeping at the door of the tabernacle of meeting. 7 Now when Phinehas the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, saw it, he rose from among the congregation and took a javelin in his hand; 8 and he went after the man of Israel into the tent and thrust both of them through, the man of Israel, and the woman through her body. So the plague was stopped among the children of Israel.

The Attack of Immorality:

The Enemy (Devil) fears people who do things right. He wants people to get off track morally and he uses that to destroy their potential.  He strategizes how to accomplish these aims. 

Revelation 2:14 (NKJV)
2:14 But I have a few things against you, because you have there those who hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols, and to commit sexual immorality.

He taught Balak to use young women to invite the men to come to watch their dancing/stripping and engage in immorality.  The men’s passions were inflamed and pretty soon they were sleeping with women they weren’t married to.

Immorality is an attack:

It’s an attack of our hearts:  Immorality does great damage.  It has long term effects:

Proverbs 6:27-29 (NKJV)
6:27 Can a man take fire to his bosom, And his clothes not be burned? 28 Can one walk on hot coals, And his feet not be seared? 29 So is he who goes in to his neighbor's wife; Whoever touches her shall not be innocent.

Proverbs 23:27 (NKJV)
23:27 For a harlot is a deep pit, And a seductress is a narrow well.

Immorality is an attack on our destiny – God’s plan for our lives:

Genesis 39:7 (NKJV)
39:7 And it came to pass after these things that his master's wife cast longing eyes on Joseph, and she said, "Lie with me."

Genesis 49:3-4 (NKJV)
49:3 "Reuben, you are my firstborn, My might and the beginning of my strength, The excellency of dignity and the excellency of power. 4 Unstable as water, you shall not excel, Because you went up to your father's bed; Then you defiled it-- He went up to my couch.

Immorality is an attack on the church:  There’s a corporate impact from personal decisions – You’re decisions affect all of us.

1 Corinthians 5:6 (NKJV)
5:6 Your glorying is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump?

There is the example factor – People learn how to be  Christian from watching other Christians:  Sin is evangelistic!

A spirit of immorality can be released into the congregation.

The Curse Factor – God is displeased and removes his blessing from a group that allows immorality.

Joshua 7:4 (NKJV)
7:4 So about three thousand men went up there from the people, but they fled before the men of Ai.


The Spear of judgment:

Our text shoes us that immorality must be dealt with:

Numbers 25:4-5 (NKJV)
25:4 Then the Lord said to Moses, "Take all the leaders of the people and hang the offenders before the Lord, out in the sun, that the fierce anger of the Lord may turn away from Israel." 5 So Moses said to the judges of
Israel, "Every one of you kill his men who were joined to Baal of Peor."

Baal worship included Sexual Immorality.  A LOT of pagan worship included sexual immorality.  Moses makes this judgment that it had to be rooted out of the congregation, so ALL the men involved with the Moabite women wee to be put to death.

Numbers 25:6-8 (NKJV)
25:6 And indeed, one of the children of Israel came and presented to his brethren a Midianite woman in the sight of Moses and in the sight of all the congregation of the children of Israel, who were weeping at the door of the tabernacle of meeting. 7 Now when Phinehas the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, saw it, he rose from among the congregation and took a javelin in his hand; 8 and he went after the man of Israel into the tent and thrust both of them through, the man of Israel, and the woman through her body. So the plague was stopped among the children of
Israel.

This is God demonstrating the importance of rooting it out of the congregation.  Immorality can’t be allowed to stand.

Defiance/relationships:  This is my OWN business.  In the US churches have been sued for making this stand.  People think that the church a a body HAS to accept whatever you want to do.  The Bible shows that we need to exercise moral judgment.

1 Corinthians 5:7 (NKJV)
5:7 Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us.

Immorality MIUST be dealt with.  Removal from ministry – You can’t minister the Gospel if you’re involved in immorality – Remember the woman in Rev 3:

Revelation 2:20 (NKJV)
2:20 Nevertheless I have a few things against you, because you allow that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, to teach and seduce My servants to commit sexual immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols.

Breaking of Contact:

1 Corinthians 5:11 (NKJV)
5:11 But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner--not even to eat with such a person.

Removal from Church:

1 Corinthians 5:13 (NKJV)
5:13 But those who are outside God judges. Therefore "put away from yourselves the evil person."

We are expected to judge sin.  Why?  Why should we exercise moral judgment?  So the sinning person can be saved:
1.  The pain of discipline is what causes them to see their sin correctly – To recognize sin as sin.  So they WILL repent.

1 Corinthians 5:5 (NKJV)
5:5 deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.

2.        The pain of facing their sin can cause them to repent:  Come back and go on for God afterwards.

To Protect the Church

1 Corinthians 5:7 (NKJV)
5:7 Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us.

You remove the spirit – You send it away from the congregation.  And it causes other people to realize the sin that’s there and to temper their own actions. 

After they dealt with Achan and his sin then God helped them in the battle against Ai.  In our circumstances the result can be dominion; new converts; church finances; disciples.

The Spear of Self-Judgment;

We would make a mistake by viewing this story as only being about other people (Immorality).  We need to understand that sin is not simply an event – it is a process.  We don’t just wake up one morning and say “What a beautiful day.  I think I’ll commit adultery today!”

James 1:14-15 (NKJV)
1:14 But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. 15 Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death. It starts with desire and moves to temptation; sin; and eventually death.

The enemy wants ACCESS to our hearts and minds in order to change us.

Genesis 4:7 (NKJV)
4:7 If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it."

The Bible uses yeast (leaven) as a metaphor for sin.  It has an unseen influence that takes over.  In bread things are changing inside where you can’t see it.  The same is true in you.  Sin changes you and often you don’t even see it. 

The process of destruction is SEEN. 

Numbers 25:2 (NKJV)
25:2 They invited the people to the sacrifices of their gods, and the people ate and bowed down to their gods.

So, we need to be able to judge ourselves.  We need to be able to self-examine AND deal with anything we find there.

Colossians 3:5-6 (NKJV)
3:5 Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. 6 Because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience,

What do you need to put to death inside you so that you can survive?   We try to rationalize our sin.  Rationalizing is attempting justify your sin.  “Well, it’s okay for me because…”

Genesis 19:20 (NKJV)
19:20 See now, this city is near enough to flee to, and it is a little one; please let me escape there (is it not a little one?) and my soul shall live."

Appetites: Our flesh, inner desires to do wrong things or things that go against God.

Genesis 2:15 (NKJV)
2:15 Then the Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it.

Proverbs 4:23 (NKJV)
4:23 Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it spring the issues of life.

1 Peter 2:11 (NKJV)
2:11 Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul,

C. This pleases God. He supplies supernatural grace to those who will judge themselves:  It’s more than self-discipline or tryig to do the right thing.  He brings blessing in our lives as a result of our right decisions

Numbers 25:11-13 (NKJV)
25:11 "Phinehas the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, has turned back My wrath from the children of
Israel, because he was zealous with My zeal among them, so that I did not consume the children of Israel in My zeal. 12 Therefore say, 'Behold, I give to him My covenant of peace; 13 and it shall be to him and his descendants after him a covenant of an everlasting priesthood, because he was zealous for his God, and made atonement for the children of Israel.' "

Usefulness and lasting impact that touches others.

Lesson 9 – The Spear of Preparation

Spears in the Bible are often mentioned in important events in Israel’s history – connected with victory:
Either used by one of God’s children to gain victory… Or the spear of an enemy had to be overcome in order to gain victory.  So we will look at these different events to learn Bible lessons about victory in life: Points of Victory:  The Spear of Preparation.

2 Chronicles 25:5 (NKJV)
25:5 Moreover Amaziah gathered Judah together and set over them captains of thousands and captains of hundreds, according to their fathers' houses, throughout all Judah and Benjamin; and he numbered them from twenty years old and above, and found them to be three hundred thousand choice men, able to go to war, who could handle spear and shield.

Failing to Prepare:
Ideas have consequences:  If you believe certain things – you will act in certain ways.  If the beliefs that you have are incorrect you will act in incorrect ways.  There are some mistaken ideas that play out in the arena of abilities or skills. 

The number one Mistaken Idea is that Ability is all up to God.  We all recognize that people have different abilities.  But we assume that only God has anything to do with this.  You’ve either got it or you don’t.  If you don’t there’s absolutely nothing you can do to get it.  It’s called divine fatalism.  God hasn’t given that to me.

And we can wind up resenting those who seem to have abilities or blessings.  We INCORRECTLY assume that it was given to them that they didn’t have anything to do with it.  The result can be that we don’t TRY to improve ourselves:

Matthew 25:24-25 (NKJV)
25:24 Then he who had received the one talent came and said, 'Lord, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you have not sown, and gathering where you have not scattered seed. 25 And I was afraid, and went and hid your talent in the ground. Look, there you have what is yours.'

The second mistaken idea is that the outcomes are all up to God.  Anything I do or say, God is GOING to bless.  We have vague direction (doing the will of God.):  o we assume that anything we do MUST be blessed.  Even if it’s ignorant, or it lacks common sense, or if it’s wrong.  (Jim and Yamy Bakker).
We often spiritualize this:  “I just open my mouth and God fills it.”   “I just let the Holy spirit have His way.  “I just obey God.”  “I don’t use notes when I preach.”  The subtle suggestion is that learning, intelligence, or skills are suspect or unspiritual.  This thinking actually exalts laziness.  God is going to do the work, I’ll just be device he speaks through…like a phone. The sad fact is that most of the time these approaches aren’t blessed. 

Sometimes we just lack common sense:  God doesn’t help us because we aren’t using common sense.  Some people have a lack of people skills:  They’re demanding, they’re rude:  Someone gets saved one week and the next week they’re saying things like, “You homosexual sister is an abomination.”  That’s not going to inspire them to come to church.  Some people don’t budget.  That’s why they never have money.  Preachers that don’t study and “just let the Spirit move” say the same things over and over, at great length.  They just bore people to death.

Matthew 25:3 (NKJV)
25:3 Those who were foolish took their lamps and took no oil with them,

God blesses weakness…He doesn’t bless STUPID!

Proverbs 19:3 (NKJV)
19:3 The foolishness of a man twists his way, And his heart frets against the Lord.
Look at how the Message Bible says it:
Proverbs 19:3 (MSG)
19:3 People ruin their lives by their own stupidity, so why does God always get blamed?

God doesn’t bless laziness disguised as spirituality:
2 Thessalonians 3:10 (NKJV)
3:10 For even when we were with you, we commanded you this: If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat.

Preparing for Blessing:
Many Abilities are obtainable.  God has given us the capacity to learn things we don’t know.
Proverbs 1:4 (NKJV)
1:4 To give prudence to the simple, To the young man knowledge and discretion--

But you have to be able to recognize or admit that you have a lack of skill or ability:
Matthew 5:3 (NKJV)
5:3 "Blessed are the poor in spirit, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

You have to be willing to do the work:  How do you get to Carnegie Hall?  Work, work, work!
Proverbs 21:25 (NKJV)
21:25 The desire of the lazy man kills him, For his hands refuse to labor.

2 Timothy 2:15 (NKJV)
2:15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

All abilities can be developed or improved.  Whatever skills and abilities you DO have, you can get better at it.
Matthew 25:20 (NKJV)
25:20 So he who had received five talents came and brought five other talents, saying, 'Lord, you delivered to me five talents; look, I have gained five more talents besides them.'

Mark 4:25 (NKJV)
4:25 For whoever has, to him more will be given; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him."

Judges 20:16 (NKJV)
20:16 Among all this people were seven hundred select men who were left-handed; every one could sling a stone at a hair's breadth and not miss.

1 Timothy 3:2 (NKJV)
3:2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, temperate, sober-minded, of good behavior, hospitable, able to teach;

Developing ability or skill is future-oriented.  It’ll take time to obtain or develop a skill.  You won’t get the benefit tonight.  The picture that the Bible uses is seed.  It is potential over time.  You plant one seed but the tree grows and many fruits are produced.

The benefit to working to develop skills and abilities is going to be in the future.  We are preparing for the future.  Prepare means to make ready in advance; before it is needed.
2 Chronicles 25:5 (NKJV)
25:5 Moreover Amaziah gathered Judah together and set over them captains of thousands and captains of hundreds, according to their fathers' houses, throughout all Judah and Benjamin; and he numbered them from twenty years old and above, and found them to be three hundred thousand choice men, able to go to war, who could handle spear and shield.

The Blessing on Preparation:

God is pleased by preparation.  The bible records people of ability.
1 Chronicles 5:18 (NKJV)
5:18 The sons of Reuben, the Gadites, and half the tribe of Manasseh had forty-four thousand seven hundred and sixty valiant men, men able to bear shield and sword, to shoot with the bow, and skillful in war, who went to war.

The world is looking for people of ability.
Genesis 47:6 (NKJV)
47:6 The
land of Egypt is before you. Have your father and brothers dwell in the best of the land; let them dwell in the land of Goshen. And if you know any competent men among them, then make them chief herdsmen over my livestock."

People of ability are able to be used by God.
Exodus 18:21 (NKJV)
18:21 Moreover you shall select from all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them to be rulers of thousands, rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens.

1 Chronicles 9:13 (NKJV)
9:13 and their brethren, heads of their fathers' houses--one thousand seven hundred and sixty. They were very able men for the work of the service of the house of God.

2 Timothy 4:2 (NKJV)
4:2 Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.


God brings supernatural blessing on preparation:
The great promise of God is doing more than we can do on our own.
1 Chronicles 5:20 (NKJV)
5:20 And they were helped against them, and the Hagrites were delivered into their hand, and all who were with them, for they cried out to God in the battle. He heeded their prayer, because they put their trust in Him.

Luke 5:9 (NKJV)
5:9 For he and all who were with him were astonished at the catch of fish which they had taken;

Before they were mending nets now God does more than they could do.
Witnessing, preaching, Finances, marriage.



 Links to other featured Bible Studies:

Eight Ways to Hear From God

A Look at how God communicates with His people.

Seven Things God Hates

A Look at what is called the Seven Deadly Sins

Christ's Vision:  The Seven Churches

This study will look at the letters to the seven churches in the Book of Revelation as a picture of Jesus' Vision for His church. Jesus was speaking to all of us through His words to the churches

Living The Christian Lifestyle

We are on a journey from a sinful lifestyle to Heaven.  The story of Israel passing from Egypt and en route to the Promised Land can teach us about that journey and what we can expect from it.   This series is not exhaustive, but takes a look at Living the Christian lifestyle as a journey.


I have heard it argued that Jesus, Himself, never said He was God.  In the book of John Jesus made seven statements affirming that He was, in fact, God.  This study will examine those statements.

Seven Miracles in the Book of John

Out of all the miracles that Jesus did during His ministry John mentioned only seven.  The book of John was written, that you might believe that Jesus is the Christ and that in believing you might have life through His name."  This study looks at those miracles for how they would lead us to believe.


The Bible says that throughout history God has spoken to us in various ways:  The Prophets, the Law, etc.  But it also says that in the Last days He will speak to us through Jesus.  This Study looks at the things that Jesus spoke while being crucified and how they can speak to us about salvation in our times.  

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