May 25, 2023
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Several years ago, there was a blockbuster movie called "Independence Day." You can catch it occasionally on TV now. From what I heard, it wasn't about Ben Franklin and Thomas Jefferson. No, it was about an alien invasion of Planet Earth. A unique concept. As this alien force moves across the world, the American military throws its most sophisticated weapons at it. They can't stop it. Even the White House gets destroyed and the President barely escapes with his life. Other countries try to resist with their military. No one's even close to a match for this invading force. Well, something very interesting happens. The world's leaders begin to wake up to the fact that suddenly they all have a common enemy and it isn't each other anymore. Allies and enemies begin to work together to defeat their enemy, and they win big! Yea!
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Why Our Enemy Wins."
If that movie had a moral, it had something to do with uniting to beat an enemy that threatened them all; an enemy that no one could have ever beaten alone.
Now, our enemy - the enemy of every believer in Jesus, every Christian church, every Christian family - has his way all too often. Not so much because he's so strong, but because he exploits our tendency to fight each other and to forget the real enemy that threatens us all. Someone said, "Christians are the only soldiers who form their firing squads in a circle." Isn't it true! We shoot at each other so much; wasting our ammunition that should only be aimed one direction - at Satan and his forces.
Okay, our word for today from the Word of God - Ephesians 6:11-12. It's a clarion call to fight the right enemy. "Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood." Woah, let's stop there. I want you to think of someone in your family that maybe there's conflict with right now, or in your church or your ministry; someone who's driving you crazy. Put their name in that verse. "My struggle is not against ______." Fill in the blank with another Christian group or denomination you don't agree with. Your struggle is not ultimately against them!
It says it's "against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms." The one to shoot at is the devil.
And the one who is trying to drive a wedge between you and that family member or that fellow believer is none other than the prince of darkness himself. But he wants you to think that they're the problem. He's the problem!
We play right into his hands when we allow ourselves to focus on our differences, on our wounded feelings, on our turf, on our frustrations. We're doing what Paul calls two chapters earlier giving "the devil a foothold." My guess is that somewhere in your life right now, your enemy is trying to divide you from another believer or believers so he can divide and conquer. The question is, are you falling for it?
In that movie, until the forces of earth realized they were up against a common enemy, they fought separately and they lost. God is calling us to wake up to our common enemy and to do whatever we have to do to remove the walls and fight together. To, as it says in Philippians 1, "stand firm in one spirit, contending as one man for the faith of the Gospel without being frightened in any way by those who oppose you. This is a sign to them that they will be destroyed."
We've battled the enemy separately long enough haven't we? It's time we come together to win what we could never win alone.