Sunday

Plunder!

(This week's post is in outline form. That's just how it came out. Let me know if this works for you.)

Plundering the Darkness

Your Reward for the Battle

Introduction:

Imagine a bet: I come to you and I offer a bet:

If I win, you pay me $1000.00

If you win, I don’t pay you anything.

Who’s up for a bet like that?

Imagine a war: One country attacks another (say, the war in Iraq)

If our army wins, you submit to us, we establish the government we want, etc.

If your army wins, we’ll just pretend this never happened.

Who can imagine a war like that?

Imagine a spiritual battle: the enemy attacks us in some way.

If the enemy wins, he gets some level of dominion; something comes under the control of hell.

If I win, nothing happens. I just wait for the next battle.

Often, the church has had this picture of spiritual warfare:

We’re on the defensive.

If the enemy wins, we lose ground.

If we win, we don’t lose ground.

Not losing ground is a good thing.

But that’s not all that’s at stake in this battle.

We’re battling for revival

Revival in our own lives

Revival in our families

Revival in this region.

Ultimately: for “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven.”

The Principle:

1 Corinthians 15:46 However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural , and afterward the spiritual.

“First the natural, then the spiritual”

First the Natural:

Joshua 8:24-27: And it came to pass when Israel had made an end of slaying all the inhabitants of Ai in the field, in the wilderness where they pursued them, and when they all had fallen by the edge of the sword until they were consumed, that all the Israelites returned to Ai and struck it with the edge of the sword… 27 Only the livestock and the spoil of that city Israel took as booty for themselves, according to the word of the LORD which He had commanded Joshua.

2 Chronicles 20:22-30: Now when they began to sing and to praise, the LORD set ambushes against the people of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah; and they were defeated.... 25 When Jehoshaphat and his people came to take away their spoil, they found among them an abundance of valuables on the dead bodies, and precious jewelry, which they stripped off for themselves, more than they could carry away; and they were three days gathering the spoil because there was so much.

(see also 2 Chronicles 14:12-13 & Numbers 31:7-11)

There’s a line in the movie Pirates of the Carribean where two pirates are talking. Their salute is this:
“Take all you can! Leave nothing behind!”

Why should I be concerned about plunder? I just want to live my life quietly.

Three Reasons:

1. The enemy will steal from you. Do you want it back?

What do you have that you’re willing to be stolen from you?

What part of your life are you willing to have destroyed?

Look around you:

· Pick out the ones that you want to leave to the devil’s captivity?

· Who are you willing to let the devil destroy or kill?

2. It brings praise to God

My spirit just can’t help it: when I hear about someone healed of cancer, or set free from bondage, I can’t help but worship.

Free people worship better than people enslaved.

3. It freaks out our enemies.

Think of David after he defeated Goliath.

He took Goliath’s sword, killed Goliath and cut off his head. Then he fought Philistines. Afterwards, he reported to King Saul

He was still holding Goliath’s Head! The enemies saw the one who killed their champion. He was carrying their champion’s sword in one hand. He was carrying their champion’s head in the other, and he was chasing them. How do you think they felt?

What is plunder?

There are 3 types of plunder :

People

Provision

Places

Let’s think about this for a minute:

· When the enemy comes to fight against you, these three things come with him.

· When you win, these three things are lying on the ground, waiting to be taken as plunder.

· Your job is to take them.

People: They took slaves: usually everyone who wasn’t a warrior. Sometimes women & children. Sometimes only women. Sometimes none at all.

· Have you known people that just won’t come to the Lord no matter what happens?

· Is there an area of your own life that you just can’t get under control, no matter how hard you try?

Provision: They took gold and silver, cattle and sheep, fine clothes and weaponry.

· Do you know someone that no matter how faithful they are, they can never get ahead?

· Have you been faithful in your tithes and in your finances, but you’re still broke or in debt?

Places: They took cities and farms, entire nations.

· Do you know cities or regions where darkness seems particularly sticky and present?

· Do you want to have authority in your community? Maybe your name will never be in the newspaper, but when you pray for your neighborhood, it always happens?

So are there any New Testament examples of plunder?

Matthew 12:28-30

28 But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, surely the kingdom of God has come upon you. 29 Or how can one enter a strong man's house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man? And then he will plunder his house.

According to Jesus, what do we do when we encounter the strong man?

1. We bind him. (We overcome him & we defeat him.)

2. We plunder his house. (We take back the stuff he has held captive)

Who is this strong man?

This verse is in the context of deliverance ministry: Jesus is casting demons out of people. It is not the devil himself. This strong man is whatever demon or stronghold you are facing right now.

How do you take plunder?

So you have defeated the enemy. Now how do you get your hands on his plunder?

Principle: First the natural, then the spiritual: In the natural, how do you get plunder? Do you finish off the enemy, and hold your pocket open, waiting for his riches to fill it? No, you take plunder. You look for what is there, and you take it!

** Principle: Plunder is never given; it is only taken **

In the spiritual:

I can’t give you an outline on “here’s the way you pick up plunder in the spirit,” but let me share a couple of stories:

· People:

o David Andrew and the spirit of homosexuality. After his deliverance, the local “gaydar” expert boasted, “I can tell a gay person instantly; no gay people here!”

o Jill and her miracle daughters (you’ve heard her story)

· Provision:

o I could tell you story after story about people who give extravagantly, and they seem to get into a giving-competition with God: provision is rich and abundant.

o Steve: In debt, wanted to get a big TV for Christmas. God said “no more debt”. 3 days later: same size TV for 40% less money, and God provided the money. Result: a surprise blessing on his finances: he paid off 2 credit cards and nearly paid off his car loan.

· Places:

o Drug dealers on V Street. After prayer, they all mysteriously vanished.

o Town in Argentina (Transformations Video). When they turned to God, they experienced 65% to 92% of the town becoming Christians, incredible prosperity instead of poverty, and the jails closed down because there was no crime.

What if I don’t win the battle?

Romans 8:37-38

37 Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.

1 Corinthians 15:57

57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

If you’re afraid of losing the battle, you need to read your handbook.

If you’re not winning, then you’re not fighting your battles the way God says to. He always wins.

Ask your brothers and sisters for help.

Once you find the plunder:

Take all you can! Leave nothing behind!

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