How To Have Victory Over Evil
Keep obeying God, but turn over the battles to Him. Resist and be unmoveable in your faith.
Alright, thank you very much. And hello again my dear radio friend. How in the world are you? Isn’t it a remarkable thing that although many of us have never met each other, we sort of belong to each other because of the fellowship we have by way of radio, day by day, based on the Word of God? What draws people together? Is it because we’re such nice folk? I doubt it. Even the best people have some rough edges that might occasionally turn you away from them. What draws us together is our oneness in Christ, and the fellowship around the Word of God. The living, eternal, Word of God – it never gets stale, there’s always something new there, and it does feed your soul and strengthen you for the battle that lies ahead. I’m grateful through this privilege, through this many radio stations, to minister to you from the Word of God. I love it!
1 Peter 5, we’re in verse 9 where Peter tells us to resist our adversary, the devil. Resist him, steadfast in the faith. When you turn things over to the Lord Jesus Christ, that is the exercise of faith – you let Him handle it. Simon Peter saw the Lord Jesus walking on the waves one stormy night, and he said, “Lord if it be Thou, bid me come to Thee on the water.” And Jesus said, “Come.” And Peter went out of the boat, to walk on the water, to Jesus. And it looked all right until it said, “When he saw the wind and the waves boisterous, he began to sink.” And he cried out, “Lord save me.” And Jesus stretched out His hand, and caught him and said, “Why did you fear, you little faith.” He used a compound word there, in your original, New Testament – a little faith.
Well, what happened? Peter couldn’t manage the situation on his own. He cried out for help and turned the situation to, over to his Lord. Now that’s a dramatic circumstance, and you and I aren’t faced with such trauma as that every day. I mean to say you’re not in danger of drowning today, are you? No, and I guess I’m not either. But there are other situations, by the hundreds and by the thousands, that meet us on the way of life; each one of which constitutes a small or large battle against our adversary. Battle against temptation; battle against sin; battle against discouragement, battle against jealousy, and envy, and pride; battle against the opposition of the world’s forces, when you’re trying to do God’s work.
What do you then? You keep on obeying God. “God will never do your home work for you,” I used to tell the younger people at the college. You keep on doing the work that is yours, but you turn the charge of the whole situation over to your blessed Lord. In the old days when God’s people were threatened, they prayed, said, “Lord, what shall we say? Our eyes are upon Thee; neither know we what to do. But in Thy name, we go against this multitude.” See, it’s nothing with thee to save by many, or by few. “By them that have no power,” it says, “by many or by them that have no power. Help us, Oh Lord our God, for we rest on thee.” That’s another prayer that’s recorded in the Old Testament.
See, the idea is, you go ahead, you fight your battle, and you do your work, you do what God told you to do .Don’t lie around and just complain. That isn’t faith, that’s complaining. What you do is, keep going, keep obeying, keep on doing what God told you to do; and in the mean time turn the outcome of the whole business over to your blessed living Lord. He’s your champion, and he will win the battle. Good idea? Now he says, “Resist, steadfast in the faith.” Steadfast means, ‘firm’, ‘unmovable’ – like a rock. So what it actually means, ‘firm and unmovable like a rock’. Nothing should move me from my commitment to Jesus Christ as Lord of my life.
Now what, what might make you waver in that commitment? One would be selfishness and, and self-desires. “I’ll just compromise once, just this once I’ll do it.” No, it doesn’t work. There is no exception to commitment, no exception to commitment. If a thing has to be firm, it has to be firm. What, what can we use to illustrate this thing? You, you’re, you’re tying up a small boat to the dock. And there’s choppy water, the breeze has made the, the water choppy. And so the waves are active and moving the boat, back and forth.
And someone says, “You better tie that pretty firmly, so it doesn’t get lose.” Well you know what kind of a knot to put on it; and you loop the, the rope over the, over the post there on the dock, one way and then another way so that it is a non-slip kind of a, of a mooring. And you say, “It won’t slip now, it’s all right.” Now why, why are you doing that? Because if you don’t moor the thing tightly, properly, so there’s no slip to it, you won’t have any boat left. When you come back the next time, it will have gotten away. Well that’s kind of a home-spun illustration of what we mean by firm, firm.
I used to work in the garage as many of you know. I sometime say just for a chuckle, the story of my life is from grease pit, to pulpit. (Laughs) But I remember the… one of the first lessons I learned in working in a garage is that if you’re going to install a part on an automobile, you have to make sure that all of the bolts are, are tightened properly. And indeed there are some kinds of wrenches that, that allow you to measure the amount of torque that you’re putting on the, on the wrench as you pull up the thing tightly.
For me, in those days, that would be back in the 1930’s… I started in at Wheaton College, 1931. Was there for three years, and graduated then in ‘34 with a Bachelor’s degree; with a major in Philosophy, of all things. But in 1931 I started working in a garage in Wheaton. And Russell Wright watched over me. He was my boss; he owned the garage, and the business.
He had, we had an interesting way by the way of getting paid. He said, “Every day I have to, I have to pass the breakeven point. And after that, both you and I will make some money.” So he put it up to me to, to promote enough business wherever I could, to bring in repairs that when they were billed out, would pass the breakeven point. Then after that he would pay me on a commission basis. So some days I ate, and some days I didn’t, you know how that is, (Laughs) you salesmen that are on commission.
Well that’s all aside. He took me aside one day, and he said, “Now I want to show you something.” And it happened that I was working on an old Model T Ford, belonged to George Ferris as I recall. I don’t know if George is still alive or not; but he wasan interesting person, always full of fun and very smart. And he had this ancient 1914 Model T Ford. It was a classic, and ran very well. It, it had an aluminum crankcase. And that didn’t get… Aluminum cylinder blocks and crank cases didn’t get popular until many years later. But that’s how Henry built them in those days. Had a shiny brass radiator, and leather seats and, and all of that. It was, it was really in good condition, but it needed a valve job. The valves in those days tended to, to burn and start to leak.
And so I’d taken the cylinder head off, and I was grinding the valves, and putting them back in again. And now I was putting the cylinder head on. And Russell came over to me and he said, “Now, you have to get those things tight enough, and here’s how you do it.” He showed me how you, how you gradually tighten up those bolts that hold the cylinder head down. He said, “You got to get it snug, and you have to get it tight, otherwise the gasket will leak.” And he pounded that truth into me. Well, you, you men, you know all about this. Ladies, I’m sure you’re bored by now, but that’s all right. We’re good friends and you’ll put up with me for those few minutes.
What am I talking about? Steadfast. Resist Satan steadfast in the faith. I tell you, when I got through tightening those cylinder head bolts, they were steadfast. That’s, that’s the point I’m making. There has to be a point at which there is no coming unglued so far as your life is concerned. No slippage in your commitment to Jesus, and your opposition to Satan. This is the sticking point of the Christian life, and Christian faith. No slippage in your commitment to Jesus Christ as Lord, and your opposition to Satan, and all that he stands for.
If you are solid on those points, I can guarantee you, you’re going to be a pretty healthy Christian, and an effective witness for your Lord. “Resist Satan,” he said, “steadfast in the faith.” Steadfast means right to the sticking point, where there’s no slippage, whatsoever. Now you don’t do it on your own, you do it in faith. Everything you do that has spiritual value has to be done in faith. “Without faith it is impossible to please God, for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that is [in order 0:10:28] of them that diligently seek Him.” Hebrews 11:6 says this.
You don’t deal with anything spiritual, you don’t deal with anything having to do with God, without faith. That is to say, faith is the quality of risking the outcome of the situation on doing God’s will. Faith risks the situation on God. So he said, “If you want to win in the battle against evil, start with a commitment to Almighty God, and His will for your life.” That’s the beginning of victory over the attacks of Satan. Interesting isn’t it? That something that happens inside of me – my heart we call it – something that happens in my heart in commitment to Christ, affects what happens outside my life, in the battles that I face. But so it is. The way to victory starts inside, steadfast in the faith.
Now he goes on to say, “You know that you’re not alone. The same afflictions are accomplished in your other brother, out in the world.” Why do you say that? Number one, to, to let you realize that you’re not alone. Sometimes you feel as though nobody else in all the world has experiences like you. Listen, everybody else has troubles, everybody else has temptation, and everybody else feels the opposition of, of the spirit of evil. Other people are going through the same thing, you’re not alone. The second thing is to realize that the, the victory that is gained by people everywhere else in the world, is obtained in the same way.
He said, “Resist your enemy, steadfast in the faith. Risk the situation on God, knowing that you’re not alone, and that other people are finding the same solution to their problem, and the same victory in the battle.” If it works for somebody else to get victory in the battle, it will also work for you, that’s what he’s saying. Here you have a principle that always works. What is it? “Humble yourselves before the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time.” The way up is down. Commitment to Christ is the beginning of victory over evil. Well, we’ll come back to this the next time we get together. It’s a good truth, isn’t it?
Dear Father today, oh may we have the joy of victory in the battle against evil, as we commit things to Thee. I pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!
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