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War Study (Part 4)

The enemy is certainly a force to be reckoned with; fortunately, it isn’t up to us to do the reckoning.  What peace & joy that thought brings!  Peace comes with the realization that the battle is never mine to face alone; I’m an enlisted soldier fighting under the banner of a King who has never been defeated.  With that realization, joy follows as I delight in that fact.  This brings us to a transitioning point in our study.  We’ve analyzed our enemy: his ploys, his methodology, and his certain demise.   Now, we’ll turn our attention to our King.  He’s the One who leads us into battle, but unlike earthly kings, He also fights for us.  He can be trusted fully & completely; we can stake our very lives on His faithfulness.

While I don’t remember much from my high school history classes, I do remember my teacher, Mr. Art, telling us that when the early settlers in our country had to fight the Native Americans, it was a great shock to them, and they lost many battles before they figured out how to fight back.  See, they were used to rules of engagement which called for opposing armies to line up against one another and then charge toward each other into the fight; all out in the open.  The Native Americans didn’t fight that way; they hid in trees, laid traps, & were very cunning in their approach to warfare.  In that type of fighting, if a king were to come to the battle, he was at the very back.  The enemy would have to get through all of his army before they stood a shot at taking down the king.  Our King is vastly different; He goes before us into battle.  He leads the charge through the power & direction of the Holy Ghost.  We must follow Him; stay behind him to remain out of the reach of the enemy because our enemy comes at us both ways: openly rushing at us and through sneak attacks as well.  However, if we remain behind the King, the enemy will have to go through Him to get to us! Oh, sisters, we can trust a King like that!
Our King

Sovereignty…

  • Look that word (sovereignty) up in the dictionary. What does it mean?
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    With that in mind, Read Genesis 1, John 1:1-14, and Hebrews 1. What things stand out to you about 1) our King, 2) His power, and 3) His position, in these passages?
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Our Champion…

  • Romans 8:31-39 sets the stage for us as we follow our leader in to battle. Paul declares “If God be for us, who can be against us?” We’re declared “more than conquerers through him that loved us.”  We hear the phrase “more than conquerers” quite often in the church; yet most of the time, it’s missing that all-important qualifier. This is another familiar passage; read it again. Focus on the role of the sovereign God; notice your role. What pieces of this can you take into battle with you when the Deceiver has called you out to battle?
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  • Flip back to John 3:16 and read through verse 21. As Jesus is summing up how to have eternal life for Nicodemus, He gives us a peek at what God’s purpose is in this war; what it is He is fighting for (not to mention the lengths to which He will go). What is God’s purpose?  He’s in a fight for your life, but why?
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What is a King without a Kingdom?

  • To truly study the “kingdom,” as it is laid out by Jesus in the New Testament, would require its own separate study.  Here we will just begin to scratch the surface to help us realize that our goal in this fight is not the annihilation or defeat of our enemy; that part has already been established for us.  We’re fighting to further the kingdom, in some cases to gain back some ground we lost because we just allowed the enemy to take over, and in others to specifically claim new ground for our King that was not previously established as His. Exciting, isn’t it?!
  • Read Matthew 12 & 13. Both chapters are lengthy so it may take you a little time to get through.  Once you’ve read it through, go back and make note of every place that Jesus uses the word, “kingdom” (or if you write in your Bible, you could underline or highlight them). Pay specific attention to what the kingdom of heaven is “like” or to whom in the parable the kingdom is compared, especially notice the fact that we’re talking about the “kingdom” not specifically the “King” or His subjects, but “the kingdom as a whole. If you’re like me, you may need to take a day or two to go through these and really think it all through.  What are the implications? What are you discovering about the kingdom? Is that different from things that you previously thought? If so, how?
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  • As you read those Chapters, I’m sure you noticed that there was substantially more about the kingdom in Chapter 13 than in Chapter 12. But there are 3 important words at the beginning of Chapter 13, “The same day….”  If you didn’t read chapter 12, you would be able to answer the question, “The same day as what?”  But since you read it, you read how the Pharisees (the “religious” crowd) followed Jesus around on the Sabbath constantly seeking to find fault with everything he did. You may want to look at it again, and then think once again about how Jesus, dealing with that ALL.DAY.LONG., went out, sat on a boat, and started explaining His kingdom.  Does this realization add to or change any of your previous thinking about the kingdom?  Does it give you new perspective on every time that Jesus says for the ones who have ears to hear, to hear?
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