Learning to say NO
My message today is about stopping the devil from stopping you? If there is something objecting to your progress, something hindering your advance, something destroying your success, or someone standing in your way, then my sermon today is meant for you, and is entitled “Learning to say NO”.
In today’s Epistle from Ephesians 3 and at verse 9
Paul writes about the ministry God had given him, to help all men SEE a revelation of God and of His Son Jesus Christ and that the wisdom of God might be made known. If I am in the know of what God is unveiling in the now and in the next, and there is something evil that is hindering me from getting into it, who is going to confront those principalities and devils and defy them from destroying Gods plan for me. The answer of course lies in the Church! It’s our job to resist the Devil and to see him “flee from us” … its not ours to flee from him?
In this regard, let me say that some seem to hold the position that Christians should not speak to the Devil, but Jesus spoke to him and in no uncertain terms reminded Satan of the power of the word of God. If Jesus did it, you can expect me to be doing it! Jesus said: Whatsoever we bind on earth is bound in heaven; and whatsoever we release on earth is released (freed) in heaven.
(Matthew 16:19 ) Its time to tie the Devil down!
This unveils the person of Jesus Christ and what his power can do within us. Senses of limitation must be broken. We must walk boldly for God in these days and remember “nothing shall by any means hurt us“ (Luke 10:19) Yet opposition comes from somewhere, we are all conscious of it, attempting to obstruct
what God has purposed. We need to understand that this Life is not about you and me, but about the life of Christ in us, and the enemies attempt to STOP that life in us. ( Think of his attempt to kill the baby Moses, and the baby Jesus – and how many times he has attempted to destroy you?)
There is only one thing the enemy is interested in, that is stopping God revealing himself on earth. If he can get the world to think that there is no God, no Salvation, no Hope, and no Future, the Devils plans will have succeeded? Yet God has chosen you and I, his Church to take the Gospel, this revelation
of His Love to the world, and God can only do that through you and me. God has given us a heavenly wisdom which is unveiled and unleashed inside of us by the Holy Spirit, – not for our benefit only, but we are called to function in this wisdom affecting this earth, applying the Kingdom wisdom here.
In Ephesians 3:10 Paul says that our access to God to have boldness and confidence at his Throne, is so that those evil principalities and powers understand such access allows us into everything that the enemy is up to; so that we can put a stop to it. We are the offspring of God, every obstacle comes from the enemies initiative to stop us living in that supernatural realm. What we have and what we will have from God, the enemy has no right to hinder or to thwart. Its time to fight back.
I hope today that I can show you how.
In 1 John 3:v8 we are reminded that “the Son of God was manifested to destroy the works of the Devil“- but this does not mean it is just Jesus, but Jesus in you and me. We are here to destroy the works of the devil, to break down the gates of hell. Every enemy of the human soul, – sickness, weakness, aging,
death, oppression, depression, fear, and so on, all come from the Devil. We live right now in this season of Grace, this grace age. Yet environmentally we are affected by the Kingdom and works of darkness, but in Jesus, we are able to speak to the Darkness – all darkness – and turn it to light. You may be surprised to learn that we can effect change – yet its our job and its our right.
My assignment from God today is to show you how we can effect that change.
Turn with me if you will now to Romans 8:18 …here Paul says:
“For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.”
In other words suffering is a manufacturing process to create a
Glory; this may involve sharp and evil instruments, but the end result will be worth it, and will be good. Then go down to verse 31, where Paul asks a question. …
Rom 8:31 “What shall we then say to these things?”
(i.e. the things that cause us suffering) Lets pause there for a moment, for although he asks a question here, he does not give us the answer until later? Instead he continues to remind us of our identity in God … we read on
“If God be for us, who can be against us?
Verse 33 Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth. Verse 34 Who is he that condemneth?…
Verse 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword“?
In fact not until verse 37 does he come up with the answer to his question…
Rom 8:37 “Nay, (or NO, that’s what we should say to all these things that lay charge against us, for) NO – in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us“.
Notice the personal pronoun Paul uses in these verses, saying
“Who shall separate us from the love of God ….tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword” Do any of these things diminish the love of God in your life? NO.
He does not say what, but who. What is impersonal, Who is personal. In other words Paul is reminding us that our fight is not with a WHAT but with a WHO, … who is causing the tribulation, peril, death and so on, who is behind it all? “for thy sake we are being killed all the day long and accounted as sheep for the slaughter”- so who is orchestrating all this trouble for the believer and for the Church – and what should our response be?
The answer lies in verse 37: JUST SAY NO!
Even if the trouble and temptation appears to succeed, we must still say NO. The answer to everything that comes against us that conflicts against the assignments we have from God, is NO. Remember that in all these things we are more than conquerors. Paul begins: “I am persuaded that even Death“
he begins with the one that we would consider the most powerful; Adding that nothing in Life or Death, things that are bigger than us, angels, principalities and powers, Just say NO. What about things present or things to come, height depth or any other “Creature” a living being, he’s not talking about a tree or the wind, but about real live enemies, living existing beings (Creatures) the devils and demons of hell.
To all these we must learn to say NO.
Dear Friends, how secure we are in Love – Praise God. God has declared us righteous. He has no record of anything that the
enemy has the right to do against us or throw at us. We are the product of a perfect sacrifice and because of who we are in Jesus, we have access and rights over any other creature that might try to stop us functioning in the kingdom of God as a new creation.
Isaiah 46:9 reads “for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, ” This means that when we go into any conflict situation, we can do so as one that is more than a conqueror – for God makes his enemies his footstool;
… we can go in to win
V10 says “declaring the end from the beginning“- what does the end look like? God always knows. He didn’t decide what to do with you today. He didn’t write the story of your day this morning, – he designed you before the foundation of the world, and his counsel will stand. God will do what he pleases.
V11 says “I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass;
I have purposed it, I will also do it“.
God has brought us into his fellowship with himself, the awesome God has purposed that nothing can define or destroy us.
God has taken everything else and dethroned it to enthrone Jesus, and everything is under His feet, thus under our feet… Everything! Anything that is destroying us is not from God. The things that trouble come from a WHO not a WHAT. If God says it’s a WHO, then I can talk to it. There is somebody behind everything. There is somebody behind the chair you are sitting on. If the chair breaks then you may be able to hold the manufacturer liable for your fall? There is somebody liable. But we are not wrestling against flesh and blood so we are not talking about a WHO who is a person, this WHO is a Devil.
Everything that is objecting to my love of God is due to some enemy behind it and God says our enemy is the one who is out to steal from me, kill the life of God in me and destroy the effectiveness of God through me.
Have you identified what is objecting to you and destroying you – and are you bringing that down, or waiting on God to bring that down? Freedom does not mean freedom from fight, it means a new fight coming, the enemy does not give up;
his assignment is to destroy and we must learn to say NO!
Look if you will for a moment at Isaiah 9: v6
Where the Prophet writes “the Government shall be upon his shoulder” speaking of the Christ, the Messiah.
Why use the word Government – what does Government mean?
It means …who is in control, who is governing?
THE GOVERNMNENT, we understand this means that all authority is on HIS Shoulder, and in His name – Jesus – and the prophet adds, v7, “of the Increase of his Government & Peace
(the word is Shalom) there shall be no end“.
(Nothing that can stop it)
What I see here is that we are risen together in Christ symbolically in baptism and literally in resurrection, and I see completion of the rule and right of God – no objection can stand against him, thus no objection can stand against his. (That’s you and I) God has nothing that obstructs his view. – no brick wall in front of Him, so there should be no brick wall in front of us. Hallelujah. “Greater is he that is in you than he that is in the world” not a cliché, but an experience. 1 John 4:4. Settle in your Mind and Spirit that what God has authorized you to do no man and no menace can object to.
This is not about being self-consumed, but about being God consumed. I don’t do this because it’s a good idea, I do this because God called and I responded and I can go forward in the strength of the lord. It does not matter what the obstacle is, nothing, there is no limitation on God! Do you have the wisdom to win – yes. You have access to God who is all authority, and all government in heaven and in earth. God will do it and he tells us how, through things despised, the weak, the foolish (1 Corinthians 1:27) … and in the impossibility of our humanity God will do it. You don’t need to know how, for if God says DO IT, then who or what can object to you?
If they do, just say NO to all these things.
It is time for the Church, the Body of Christ, to take the limits
off God. Time for us to recognise His awesome and amazing power. Time to stand up like David did to Goliath. Yes we may look weak and feeble, we may even BE weak and feeble, but Gods strength is made perfect in human weakness. The powers that are arrayed against us may indeed be MIGHTY, but our God is ALMIGHTY and it is in His name we go, not our own or in the name of any Church or denomination. Remove the objection, remove the personal attachment to failure or defeat. Remove the Can’t. Remove the double mindedness. Make up your mind once and for all that if God be for you who can be against you. Take the limits off God. There can be No defeat, No failure, and No fear –
These words should not be in your vocabulary any longer.
Do you know what FEAR is? It is False Evidence Appearing Real … let me repeat that … False Evidence Appearing Real.
Its time to say NO and stand up to the Devils and Demons that
trouble us, to resist every Hellish deception laid down in our path.
We must learn too, to walk in Wisdom. James the apostle defines wisdom as being in one of four categories …
These are – Earthly, Sensual, Demonic or Divine. James 3:v15
In the previous verse, v14, he speaks of bitterness, envy, and strife – and says don’t lie against the truth. If I’m in bitterness strife on envy with another person then I am not walking in truth, (or in love) this is not wise, not Divine (not from God)
Earthly wisdom, meaning of natural mind natural intelligence and so on. Sensual wisdom is nourished by the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life. While Devilish and Hellish wisdom – can be defined by every evil work, Satan can dress anything evil to look good. – So if it is not from God break its hold, repent, get rid of it, its conflicting against Gods will
in your life. Say NO to it.
James 3:17 says “But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy“.
This wisdom from God, – it just fit’s the Christian – it’s made to measure – I say! Make sure you are walking in Heavens wisdom and in Heavens way. Spiritual warfare is knowing
that when we speak with Heavens Wisdom, Satan bows,
for this kind of wisdom reverberates in the presence of God
as clearly Gods position.
If we are going to get into the habit of saying NO to the Devil and NO to the evils that attack us, then it is important that we are prepared in advance. Ask yourself: Where do these attacks normally occur, in what environment do I come under the most
attack. Is it in your home, in your relationships, in your work, in your finances, in your leisure time, in your anxieties. Locate how it operates. Is it in a rage, in a temper, in fear, in self pity, in loneliness, in bitterness. Identify its most likely location. Then Eradicate it. You are authorized to stop it. Because where you are responsible to God, you are authorized from God to fulfil that responsibility and cause the enemy to desist.
In Luke 11;22 Jesus taught us that unless you bind the strong man you cannot plunder his house? (The enemy must hold Goods) If there is something out to obstruct, then there is something he is obstructing. The area of your greatest conflict can become the area of your greatest anointing. “The strong man armed keeps his palace (v21) but when a stronger than he … takes from him all of his armour…. then he can divide his spoils” (v22) We have a greater (a stronger) in us (Jesus) than he that is in the world (Satan) so we can take from him, and take back what he has stolen from us. Claim back your stuff. Give me back my Children, give me back my Joy, give me back my Health, give me back my Faith – take it back … learn to say NO to the Devil.
NOW THIS FINAL WORD.
Jesus said “he who is not with me is against me” (Luke 11:23)
Are you functioning WITH God, or against God?
God is not expecting you to be a powerful witness, but, he is expecting you to be working and witnessing in his power.
If you are not gathering WITH God then you are Scattering. (creating confusion) Jesus needs to be at the Core, the centre of your life. So what do we do. We use the name of Jesus and the authority that is ours in Heaven. Once we identify the source, the enemy, we can shut down his attack – we have access to the Throne of God, we have authority to say NO to the attack – and in speaking to it we …
Desist its Operation, Bind its Manifestation, Silence its Operation, and we Destroy its Functionality.
What shall we then say to these things …
Like Jesus did to the Devil in the wilderness, – we say NO.
God Bless You.