Christian Fellowship Church's Sermons
February 17, 2019
Phil and Deb Schaefer
I would like to start off with a lesson on the proper way to say the word 'W A R.'Ephesians 6:12 “For we do not wrestle with flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.”I want to tell you several personal stories of spiritual warfare.The first story took place when I was 22 and ended when I was almost 25. The first time I heard that my dad had cancer I sobbed and sobbed until there were no more tears left in me to cry. I was cleaning house and watching the PTL Club when all of a sudden Jim Baker stopped what he was saying and said, “There is someone watching this program right now whose father was recently diagnosed with lung cancer…God wants to heal your father. Call out to God right now asking him to heal your father. I threw my dust mop down and started yelling, “Oh Lord Jesus, heal my father, heal my father.” I continued to pray all week. I was undone with gratitude towards God when He healed him. My heart was grieved that my dad couldn’t see God in it. A couple of years later he developed cancer again. This time his cancer, although it took from him his life on earth, it also was a tool God used to bring him into a knowledge of God and into eternal life. My father’s response, even though he had had a stroke that left him with only garbled speech, was to say, “Jesus really does love me!”The prayer as warfare piece that we can take from this is to keep believing God even when you don’t know the outcome.
The second story is of The Sabbatical.
A dozen or more years ago, we as a church, went through a very dark season. It seemed to be a season when the enemy was out to destroy us…it was a season when a couple hundred people left this church—this wonderful church—that Jesus loves so dearly. At that time, it seemed so much like we were fighting flesh and blood, but truly we were fighting demons in the dark places. I was concerned about Phil’s emotional state (which affected my emotional state) when he would say things about not wanting to live anymore. Phil went in to see Dr. Tom Breidenstein, a psychiatrist, who also happens to be our son's, Matt, father-in-law, who told Phil that he needed to take a sabbatical, and it needed to start immediately. Slowly, God started putting us back together. Phil said that God spoke to him that He didn’t need Phil to run the church! However, God did want to use him to lead the church. For me, it was learning how to truly forgive those who hurt us. Jesus said to me, “I died for your bitterness. Now will you give it to me?” It still took a few months to continue processing this, but it was a moment that began a transformation in my soul.Spiritual Warfare makes a new person out of us. All we could do was cling to Him. Cry out to Him. Rest in Him.
Story 3: Granny’s House
I was having a moment, as a mother grieving for her son who is not saved. God gave me the idea to do a cooking class for the teenage girls at Granny’s House." Pam was so very gracious to agree to the idea so quickly! From cooking class, we morphed into a Friday night Bible study with the girls. The year I went to their summer camp, I roomed with some of the other counselors who were all black…about 20 of us. It brought me to a new level of compassion for those who are in a minority culture. God had begun to give me his heart for change and continues to give me ideas to help bring awareness and unity. This story began with me crying out for the salvation of my son and for me to be used in another child’s life to help dispel darkness.The Prayer as warfare piece in this story is, where God moves you into action - where you never would have expected - God will enlarge your heart to love in a deeper way. Hebrews 11 gives us examples of faith revealed. So I used my own life to show examples of faith revealed. Do this as an exercise for yourself. It will encourage your faith and show you where God has been faithful to you.
The Faithfulness of God…
Knowing that in all of my failings, God is here, and He is the one who puts faith in me. By faith I remind myself even when I am faithless, He remains faithful—for He cannot deny Himself (2 Timothy 2:13) Philippians 3:10-14These stories of prayer as warfare reveal that: Prayer is coming into awareness that God is in every scene in life.Faith as warfare, worship as warfare, prayer as warfare is about discovering the majesty, supremacy, and sovereignty of God in Jesus Christ. It is about entering a strength – a power – beyond this world.Do not underestimate the power of your prayers.
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