This is the audio from the August 14, 2022 sermon, “The Courage To Defeat Enemies”, shared by Tom Lemler at the Deer Run Church of Christ.
Text: Joshua 11 & 12, 1 Peter 1:13-16
I suspect that most of us have times in life when the opposition we face seems great and it appears the enemies around us are more numerous and powerful than what we can handle. It is in the midst of such opposition that it is far too easy to attack one another as we lose sight of the real enemy that seeks to destroy us. When we go to God and seek the courage needed to defeat our enemies, He reminds us that our battle is not against flesh and blood and therefore our enemies are not the people around us. When we look to God’s Word, we find help to defeat enemies in the following ways.
- Courageous Preparation. Joshua 11:6-8, 1 Peter 1:13
- Part of the courageous preparation that helps us defeat enemies involves understanding just who the enemy really is. When we notice the strength of the enemy, we ought to quickly realize how vital it is for us to be obedient to God’s instructions in everything. We prepare our minds for the battle by taking every thought captive and making them obedient to Christ. When our preparation includes an accurate understanding of what we’re up against, we should quickly realize just how much we need the power of Christ dwelling in us in order to obtain victory. We can “attack suddenly” only when we are fully prepared.
- Courageous Perseverance. Joshua 11:18, 1 Peter 1:14
- Sometimes when we read the Bible and see how God brings about victory for His people it can be easy to miss the timeline of the battle. Victory may not be quick or easy all of the time but in Christ it can always be obtained. The old story of the tortoise and the hare has a Biblical foundation to its meaning as God says the crown of life will be given to those who persevere. Christ came to break us free from the power of sin and to remind us that we don’t have to live the way we once did. Many times the enemy we face seems too big or too powerful or too appealing or knows us too well or too whatever but even when we stumble and fall, God calls us to a courageous perseverance as He picks us back up and sets our feet firmly on the path that walks with Him.
- Courageous Protection. Joshua 11:23, 1 Peter 1:15-16
- Perhaps the most courageous part of protection is coming to the realization that you need it. Many times we do battle on our own because we don’t want to admit that we can be tempted, or that we are struggling, or that we need help. When God calls us to be holy just as He is holy, it ought to make us quickly realize we can’t live in that way without Him. The end of Joshua 11 tells us that Joshua followed the instructions given to Moses by God and the result was that their enemies were defeated and the land had rest from war. When we choose to daily put on the full armor of God, He tells us that doing so will help us to stand when the day of evil comes and when it is all said and done and the battle is over, to still be standing.
Will you seek God’s help today to defeat the enemies which try to destroy you?