Well everyone, we have made it to the final week of the CROSS CON series and naturally, the best was saved for last. The second to last line in the Lord’s Prayer was used as the title for David Platt’s lesson, “And Lead Us Not Into Temptation.”
Platt opens his sermon by asking why Jesus would close out this prayer with these words and his answer could not be closer to the truth. “Because there is an adversary who does not want [God’s] name to be hallowed….he wants people to burn in hell and he wants to distract us from sharing the Good News.” Proceeding this answer are six different points that Platt makes, each of them addressing a different spiritual aspect.
For this blog post, I am going to briefly present just the second and fifth points from this final CROSS CON sermon, as I am convinced that these points hit home the most in terms of what we in CoMission face on a regular basis.
The first subject---or in this case, the second point---from Platt’s lesson I want to highlight is that we are involved in a spiritual war. This specific type of spiritual war, based on the text, is that of temptation constantly presented to us on a daily basis by the devil, also known as the adversary. I think we can all agree that the devil lurks around every corner of our everyday lives on this earth, plotting our demise. More so, our failure to complete the work Christ has called us to do in sharing the good news with those around us. But we can rest assured that we don’t have to go through this battle of temptation alone, nor do we have reason to think we’re the only ones that have dealt with it. Jesus, the one and only perfect being on this earth, even faced temptation from the devil as seen in Matthew 4:1-11, so he knows what it feels like. What’s more, we can take a lesson from Him on how to combat this spiritual war against the adversary by using scripture, which He does so well in verses 4, 7 and 10. James 4:7 is also a great reminder and encouragement. “Therefore, submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.”
Platt warns, “Satan will try to deceive us from going to the nations….he will destroy your life, mind and soul….he wants you to waste your life.” I’ve fallen victim to lies about my ability (or lack thereof) to simply meet people and build new relationships let alone share the gospel. Every time I walk campus with one of my coworkers, I’m plagued with fears, doubts and even downright indifference at the possibility of randomly approaching people. So many times, I find myself blinded to the reality that there are hundreds of people around me who are facing eternal damnation and misery because I don’t even bother to think twice about whether they’ve accepted Christ as their Savior. These heart issues, friends, I believe don’t come from me. They come from the devil, the spiritual adversary who will stop at nothing to prevent me from sharing the love of Christ and that’s a war that I will have to fight for the rest of my life. But with the power of the Holy Spirit, He can and will reign victorious if I choose to let Him take the lead.
Finally, the fifth point of Platt’s lesson addresses an even more serious and permanent issue. The stakes in this spiritual war are eternal. Whether or not we even make an attempt to share the gospel with a person can determine their eternal destination and for those who don’t receive it, those “casualties in this war lose everything,” as Platt stated, referencing Revelation 20:10. But of course, that’s not what God wants. On the contrary, His desire is for everyone to be saved. However, that requires those of us who are already in His army to “put on the whole armor of God, that we may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil” (Ephesians 6:11) and fight for those lives whose souls are at stake. May the Lord give us all power through His Holy Spirit to overcome the lies, deceit and any other obstacles the devil tries to attack us with.
“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.” (Ephesians 6:12-13)
To watch David Platt's sermon from CROSS CON, click here.