2 Samuel 2:17-32

2 Samuel 2:17-32

2 Samuel 2:26Vintage message from February 14, 1999.

When we leave our hearts to our own devices, we have an enemy that comes in and he wreaks havoc within the body of Christ. He brings an attack that we feel we need to defend. We need to stand our ground, but you know what? Oftentimes…we attack one another when the whole time the Bible tells us we don’t battle against each other. Our battle isn’t against flesh and blood… You know what? When we have disagreements, when there are things that we can not reason through in our hearts and our minds, that’s the time to stop and pray. You know, we’re having a disagreement here. I’m not going to tell you you’re wrong. I am willing, at this point, to say there is information that one or the other of us is lacking, or maybe there is just simply time that we have not given to discussion. Let’s add that element of time by spending the time praying rather than pulling out “daggers,” rather than trying to make a name for ourself, rather than trying to show the whole world…

We don’t give God that opportunity [to work it out]. When someone steps on my toes, I’m stepping back. When someone pushes me, I’m pushing back. When someone says something that I disagree with, well, the fight is on! And you know what? I know God’s Word enough that I can stand my ground pretty well. I know how to use my sword! But we miss the point. God did not put a Bible in our hands so that we could hack one another to pieces… You know, sometimes it is enough to know that I’m right. I don’t have to pursue you. I don’t have to argue with you. I don’t have to put you down. I don’t have to eat you alive with my great Bible knowledge. This is the danger, when we get a little bit of knowledge, it puffs us up, and we’re going to prove to everybody we have this knowledge. But you know, I don’t have to. If I’m right, if I believe I’m right, if I know I’m right, and someone comes to me with something that I believe is wrong, I do not have to pursue them. But I do have to do something, and especially if they’re within the body of Christ. If they’re my brother or sister, I must always pray for them. I don’t have to attack. It’s not my place to attack. The battle isn’t mine. The battle is God’s… So there’s never an excuse for us to bring division to the body of Christ. Never an excuse, because, when we bring that division, once we bring that kind of attack, there are consequences…

It’s not wrong to stand your ground, but the only pursuit that we are offered here [in Ephesians 6:10-18] is prayer. We put on the full armor of God. We learn God’s Word. We study within God’s Word so that we can effectively use the sword. We walk in faith so that we can stand with a shield. We put on a helmet that speaks to our heart about salvation. We protect ourself by allowing the Holy Spirit of God to dwell in and through us, and we stand firm…

Put on the full armor of God, but remember, the ultimate goal of wearing the full armor of God, the goal of being able to stand firm in God’s mighty power, is so that I can, in every way, be prepared to pray for you. Always, in everything, in every way, I need to be praying for you because you are my brothers and sisters within the body. If there’s disagreement, and disagreement will come, if there’s misunderstanding, because misunderstanding will come, we need to be praying for one another, encouraging and building one another up…

I will echo Abner’s words, “Don’t you know that it will only end in bitterness” if you pursue your brothers? If you’re not praying, if you’re opening your mouth to each other before you open your mouth to God, it will only end in bitterness. Mark every word. Check every desire. Look at your heart before you pursue your brother. Turn to God. Put on the full armor of God because we battle not with flesh and blood, but my battle is against powers and wickedness in high places.

Pastor Dave Elkins