Choosing Sides in the Great Battle

SERMON # ELEVEN JUNE 2018

Readings: 1 1Samuel 17: 1 – 11 and 45 – 52, 2 Corinthians 6: 1 – 13, and Mark 4: 35 – 41.

Choosing Sides in the Great Battle

‘O God we pray that your presence in our lives will make us aware of your will at all times.

Come, O Holy Spirit and lead us so that we may at all times choose to be on God’s side in the great battle between good and evil.

In Jesus name we pray

Amen’

Sometimes it seems as though there is conflict everywhere we look. How do we deal with conflict? Different people deal with it in different ways. There is also the big conflict between good and evil. Or we can say between God and those or that which is against God. In this conflict we are to take the side of God.

Sometimes we would rather ask: ‘Is God on my or our side?’ God is always on our or my side. The whole point of Jesus is that God is on the side of people.  God is on our side so that we can be saved, so that we can have life, so that we … and so we can go on. God is on our side. However, it is also necessary to ask if we are on God’s side in this great conflict between good and evil. Evil here is what happens when power is abused – whether it is in politics, in the family or anywhere. Where those with power use it to their advantage and thereby keeping others enslaved – the good is when power is used for the benefit of all, for the liberation of others as well. It is a spiritual battle. Even within ourselves there are those things which have so much power over our weaknesses that it keeps us enslaved in our sins. In this world and in us we have these Goliaths! 

So, we must choose to be on the side of good or on God’s side in this battle on how power is used.

How do we then remain on God’s side?

First, by putting on the armour of God as we find it in Ephesians 6: 11ff. We cannot put on any armour but must put on only that which God wants us to put on. It is by putting on this armour that we remain on God’s side in this battle.

Second, we must stay on God’s side in all circumstances. We must thus not switch our allegiances when our circumstances change. God is always in this battle against evil. In this respect God is the same forever. So we must at all times be awake with God in this very real spiritual battle. The devil or evil is also always at work.  This is especially so when we are at our most comfortable – having the form of religion but not its power. See also Psalm 121 on God who never sleeps. 

Third, we must always ‘tap’ into the power of Jesus. This is our power – the power of Jesus in overcoming evil. We must always remind ourselves – tell ourselves again and again about Jesus’ power in overcoming evil. How Jesus, who reveals to us the will of God, overcomes evil in this world and in us by what he did and what he said.

In the end we know that conflict is part of life. It is important that we deal with conflict in the right ways. In dealing with the conflict between God and evil we must openly and very visibly choose to be on God’s side. This entails that we put on the armour of God, be committed to be on God’s side in all circumstances and always connected to the power that is ours because of what Jesus said and did.

God is always on our side – in this conflict however, we can ask if we are willing to always be on God’s side.  With God being on our side we know that we are on the winning side.  However, this victory is only temporary if we do not place ourselves on God’s side. And we know we are on God’s side if and when we use the power we have to not oppress but to liberate and give life to those without power in any given situation.

‘O Lord Jesus, help us to use the powers that we do have wisely according to your will.

In Jesus name

Amen.’ 

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