PART 13. THE ONGOING WAR (20/1/20)
2 Samuel 2:1-4. 'In the course of time, David inquired of the Lord. “Shall I go up to one of the towns of Judah?” he asked. The Lord said, “Go up.” David asked, “Where shall I go?” “To Hebron,” the Lord answered. So David went up there with his two wives, Ahinoam of Jezreel and Abigail, the widow of Nabal of Carmel. David also took the men who were with him, each with his family, and they settled in Hebron and its towns. Then the men of Judah came to Hebron, and there they anointed David king over the tribe of Judah.'
After the death of Saul, David became king over Judah - one tribe in Israel. We may have thought that David had waited long enough. In this text we see that God was leading David, however, much of Israel still remains at war with him. We read of this ongoing conflict,
“The battle that day was very fierce, and Abner and the Israelites were defeated by David’s men.” (2 Samuel 2:17).
As Christians we have entered into a great victory that Jesus has won for us. However, we have an ongoing war with temptation and sin. This is a fight that we must take seriously; it’s something that every Christian has to deal with. God’s word promises,
‘No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it’ (1 Corinthians 10:13).
Many are not taking the fight with the 'flesh' (our sinful appetites) and the devil seriously. This results in our lives being ineffective and damaged through ignorance and apathy. We can be like soldiers who have fallen asleep on duty! Loyd-Jones wrote,
‘I am certain that one of the main causes of the ill state of the church today is the fact that the devil is being forgotten. All is attributed to us; we have all become so psychological in our attitude and thinking. We are ignorant of this great objective fact, the being, the existence of the devil, the adversary, and his ‘fiery darts’.
During this week’s devotionals we will look at what God’s word teaches us about how we can have increasing victory over sin in our lives. Most important in this battle is praying God’s word. Therefore, this week I’d like us to memorise, meditate and pray out of the Lord’s Prayer.
Matthew 6:9-13. ”This, then, is how you should pray: ‘ “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.”
i) Some questions to help in meditation:
Biblical meditation is to prayerfully read, repeatedly, a section of the bible and pray, worship and respond as God leads. A few questions you could use when meditating:
GOSPEL- What does this text say about salvation through Jesus?
UP- What does this text say about God – His worth, character, attributes, will, promises…?
IN- What does this text say about the church and how we are to relate?
OUT- What does this text say about non-believers and our mission?
RESPONSE – Is there anything you want to pray, worship God about, do, ask forgiveness about, ask God to help you to change…?
ii) Memorise Matthew 6:9-13
A few tips:
Include the reference
Read it slowly and carefully x 10
Recall it, without looking as much as possible x10
Do this a few times through the day
Revise regularly (and revise previously memorised verses)
Make it a habit to learn new verses - skill comes over time