Friday, July 3, 2015
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If you're from Texas, you know that Alamo is more than just a rental car agency. The Alamo, you know, is that old Spanish Mission in the heart of downtown San Antonio where an estimated 200 brave freedom fighters took their stand against the army of Mexico in the battle for Texas independence. Now, I've been there and I've seen the Alamo. And on my last visit, I was moved again by the sacrifice that those people made. They gave their lives for the cause of freedom. But only after inflicting heavy losses on the enemy army and inspiring what turned out to be the ultimate victory with the Texas battle cry, "Remember the Alamo!"
Now, Lieutenant Colonel William Travis was in command of the garrison that day as his valiant band stood against those overwhelming odds. I was really moved as I read the letter that Colonel Travis wrote addressed to The People of Texas and all Americans. In fact, I was so moved, I read part of it to the 5,000 young people I spoke to that night. He said, "The enemy has demanded a surrender. Otherwise, the garrison are to be put to the sword if the fort is taken." Listen to this, "I have answered the demand with a cannon shot! And our flag still waves proudly from the walls. I shall never surrender or retreat."
Man, that's more than history. That's a battle cry for you and me.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Never Surrender."
In the spiritual battle raging all around you, your enemy the Devil keeps calling for you to surrender to discouragement, to despair, to bitterness, to disobedience, to retreat. And during those grueling days when Satan tried to get our Lord to surrender to temptation, we learn how you can answer those temptations.
Our word for today from the Word of God, Luke 4, "...for forty days Jesus was tempted by the Devil" it says. "He ate nothing during those days, and at the end of them He was hungry. The Devil said to Him, 'If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread.'" In other words, "You've got this need, right? Why don't you do something to meet your need, even if it's a little outside of what God wants you to do?"
Jesus answered that call for surrender with a cannon shot. "It is written, 'Man does not live on bread alone.'" Jesus answers the heavy artillery of hell with a statement from the Word of God; the heavier artillery of heaven. Now, Satan then takes Jesus to a mountain and shows Him all the kingdoms of the world. He offers them to Jesus, "If you worship me, it will all be yours." In other words, "Just bow down. No cross to go to. You could have it all. It could be easy, without all the pain." Jesus answered, "It is written, 'Worship the Lord your God and serve Him only.'" Again the temptation to surrender is answered with a cannonball of God's Word.
It could be that the enemy is working overtime right now to deceive you into some moral or spiritual compromise, retreat, surrender. He's saying something like, "Things are dark, and I don't know that they're ever going to change." He's wanting to discourage you. Or maybe he's trying to say, "You know, you could really benefit from just a little compromise; just giving in a little to this temptation. It's wrong, but it might help you right now. Surrender to temptation." Maybe your enemy's saying, "Oh listen, there's no hope for this marriage, man. Surrender to divorce." "There's no hope of an answer. Surrender to taking charge of things yourself. Surrender to self-solutions or giving up." Or, "Hey, if you take a stand for Jesus, it's going to cost you too much, man. You'd better surrender to backing down on this Jesus thing."
As Colonel Travis so dramatically demonstrated at the Alamo, when the enemy calls for surrender, you cannot answer that passively. You have to answer aggressively - boldly. Go to God's words about that issue in the Bible and you use God's own words "like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces..." it says in the Bible, or like a cannonball.
Stand on God's truths. Stand in God's strength, in Jesus' name. He sent me to tell you to take your stand right now. And declare it boldly, "The flag of Jesus still flies proudly from these walls. I shall never surrender or retreat!"