I. Identify your opponent
1. The world
- This is the culture around us.
- Its priorities and values. A world view that is anti-God.
James 4:4 You adulterers! Don't you realize that friendship with the world makes you an enemy of God? I say it again: If you want to be a friend of the world, you make yourself an enemy of God.
2. The devil
- His mission is to make sure as much of humanity as he can follow him into the lake of fire.
- He hates what God loves. Namely you, all of humanity.
1 Peter 5:8 Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.
3 The flesh
- The flesh is the old man, the old us. It is the sin inside us trying to turn us away from God. We will not be free of him until we are in heaven or get our new body down here. I’m ready! Come Lord Jesus!
Ephesians 4:22-24 throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. 23 Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. 24 Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy.
II. The triple threat!
All of these opponents have a way to attack us that is so devious. Our thought life.
A. It's devious because they try to disguise themselves as us!
- The triple threat wants you out of the game. They hate the idea of you living a life that is preparing for what God has for you now and in eternity.
- So they come at us with lies. Lies that drag you down. Hold you back. Lies that make you think what’s the use.
- The problem with that is Lies create limitation
B. Here is how you get back in the game! You overcome the lies of your opponent with the promises of God!
LISTEN: Here it is. The voice you believe will determine the future you experience.
C. I am not talking about positive thinking. I know it can help, but the problem is you have to fight lies with truth. Truth comes from God.
Isaiah 55:1-3 “Is anyone thirsty? Come and drink even if you have no money! Come, take your choice of wine or milk it’s all free! 2 Why spend your money on food that does not give you strength? Why pay for food that does you no good? Listen to me, and you will eat what is good. You will enjoy the finest food. 3 “Come to me with your ears wide open. Listen, and you will find life.
- We have to listen to our creator to get the good stuff.
- Listen to me and you will eat the good stuff he says. LISTEN, come to me with your ears wide open, and you will find life.
- You unless they are giving you God’s word. Not if you want life.
- You choose the thoughts that you consume and those thoughts consume you…
Charles Spurgeon - Beware of no man more than of yourself. We carry our worst enemies within us.
Luke 1:26-38 In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a village in Galilee, 27 to a virgin named Mary. She was engaged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of King David. 28 Gabriel appeared to her and said, “Greetings, favored woman! The Lord is with you!” 29 Confused and disturbed, Mary tried to think what the angel could mean. 30 “Don’t be afraid, Mary,” the angel told her, “for you have found favor with God! 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus. 32 He will be very great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David. 33 And he will reign over Israel forever; his Kingdom will never end!” 34 Mary asked the angel, “But how can this happen? I am a virgin.” 35 The angel replied, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the baby to be born will be holy, and he will be called the Son of God. 36 What’s more, your relative Elizabeth has become pregnant in her old age! People used to say she was barren, but she has conceived a son and is now in her sixth month. 37 For the word of God will never fail.” 38 Mary responded, “I am the Lord’s servant. May everything you have said about me come true.” And then the angel left her.
III. Mary chooses to listen and receives Life.
First thing we see in this is that Mary is disturbed and confused. Vs 29
29 Confused and disturbed, Mary tried to think what the angel could mean
1. I CAN’T. I am a nobody.
- Here was a young girl whose father arranged her to marry a carpenter when everything in the country was made out of stone.
“Don’t be afraid, Mary,” the angel told her, “for you have found favor with God!
- It doesn’t matter if you think you are a nobody. God says you are blessed! If God says it, it is true.
37 For the word of God will never fail.”
2. I CAN’T. I am not worthy
- It doesn’t matter. God says he will use me. It didn’t matter where she came from, her education level, her talents and abilities.
- God decides… He decided for her and look how it changed her from I’m not worthy to I’m so grateful
Luke 1:46-48 Mary responded, “Oh, how my soul praises the Lord. 47How my spirit rejoices in God my Savior! 48 For he took notice of his lowly servant girl, and from now on all generations will call me blessed.
3. I Can’t. I am not ready
34 Mary asked the angel, “But how can this happen? I am a virgin.”
- I am not ready. I am too young. I don’t know enough. I will fail!
Summary: We need to believe in what God says about us. The world, the devil, and our flesh try tell us who we are. They try and define us with lies. Remember, the voice you believe will determine the future you experience.