March 2022

In This Month’s Issue….

A Letter From The Enemy

A letter can bring joy, or sorrow. It can be a blessing – or bring sadness. 

In this article we see the way in which Sennacherib threatened Hezekiah and God’s people with a letter. 

A Great Battle Of Prayer followed, and God gave a mighty victory. 

There are obvious parallels with our Christian life today, and the spiritual warfare we face. But the same God of power is with us – and “the battle is the Lord’s!”(1 Samuel 17: 47).

A Letter From The Enemy – Part One: Destroying Satan’s strongolds

“And Hezekiah received the letter of the hand of the messengers, and read it: and Hezekiah went up into the house of the LORD, and spread it before the LORD.” — 2 Kings 19:14. 

Satan has taken a stronghold too close to some of us, and we need to see his stronghold destroyed. 

How To Break Satan’s Strongholds In Our Lives… 

1. Be Aware Of Satan’s Strongholds. 

“Of a truth, LORD, the kings of Assyria have destroyed the nations and their lands…” — 2 Kings 19:17. 

Hezekiah was well aware of the enemy’s ability. He had an evil track record of successes! 

Hezekiah didn’t put his head in the sand like an ostrich and hope the problem would go away. He recognized there was a very serious problem here. 

Are you aware of the strongholds Satan has managed to get on you? Hebrews 12:1 calls them ‘weights & sins’. 

i. Weights

“Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight…” 

Weights are burdens and worries. God doesn’t want us to be overburdened. 

Jesus said: “My yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” — Matthew 11:30.

So if we have a burden that is too heavy, there is little doubt that it didn’t come from the Lord. 

Jesus criticised the Pharisees for binding burdens on people’s backs that were too heavy to bear. 

Nothing can drain us and render us unproductive as quickly as worry can. That’s why the Bible has so much to say about worry. We are not built to worry! Stress can be a positive thing, it can motivate us. But worry only drains us. 

“Be careful for nothing (Don’t worry about a thing!); but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.” Philippians 4:6. 

“And these are they which are sown among thorns; such as hear the word, And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful.” — Mark 4:18-19. 

ii. The besetting sin. 

There are some sins that “ easily beset us!”

“Let us lay aside… the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us…” — Hebrews 12:1. 

This is that particular sin in life that gets us again and again. 

Our enemy knows full well that if he can get us to keep on falling, there’ll be no victory in our lives. 

That’s one of his favourite tricks. The Apostle Paul referred to this as “his devices.” 

“To whom ye forgive any thing, I forgive also: for if I forgave any thing, to whom I forgave it, for your sakes forgave I it in the person of Christ; Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.” — 2 Corinthians 2:10-11. 

The sin here referred to was unforgiveness. Can you pinpoint your particular besetting sin? The sin that waylays you over and over again? Any besetting sin could give Satan an advantage. 

2. Be Aware Of Your Weapons. 

Do what you can! Look at this exciting account of what Hezekiah did: The Bible says that Hezekiah did that which was right in the sight of the Lord. 2 Chronicles 29:2. 

This is what he did:

He made God’s House His priority! 

i. He opened and repaired the doors of the Lord’s House. What are you doing to keep open the doors of God’s House? 

ii. He paid attention to the ministers of the Lord’s house. (2 Chronicles 29:4-5) 

a. He recognized their ministry. 2 Chronicles 29:5. 

b. He was aware that they were chosen by God. 2 Chronicles 29:11. 

A person doesn’t just make themselves a minister of the Lord. They are ordained by the Lord. Hezekiah knew that! 

iii. He offered sacrifices. 

a. A sin offering. 2 Chronicles 29:20-22. 

“O!” you say, “God doesn’t want us to offer an offering for sin does He?” Of course not – He offered up His only begotten Son – the only Sacrifice for sin… 

…But He does want us to be a “living sacrifice!” 

“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.” — Romans 12:1. 

b. A praise offering. 

“And Hezekiah commanded to offer the burnt offering upon the altar. And when the burnt offering began, the song of the LORD began also with the trumpets, and with the instruments ordained by David king of Israel. And all the congregation worshipped, and the singers sang, and the trumpeters sounded: and all this continued until the burnt offering was finished.” —2 Chronicles 29:27-28. 

iv. He took practical steps

“After these things, and the establishment thereof, Sennacherib king of Assyria came, and entered into Judah, and encamped against the fenced cities, and thought to win them for himself. And when Hezekiah saw that Sennacherib was come, and that he was purposed to fight against Jerusalem, He took counsel with his princes and his mighty men to stop the waters of the fountains which were without the city: and they did help him. So there was gathered much people together, who stopped all the fountains, and the brook that ran through the midst of the land, saying, Why should the kings of Assyria come, and find much water? Also he strengthened himself, and built up all the wall that was broken, and raised it up to the towers, and another wall without, and repaired Millo in the city of David, and made darts and shields in abundance.” – 2 Chronicles 32:1-5. 

Don’t make it easy for the enemy. Shutting off the water supply won’t make it harder for Satan. 

But there are some things that Satan hates.

“Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” James 4:7. 

Peter gives us some advise in 1 Peter 5 He says that there are certain things we should do because our adversary – the devil – is on the prowl, seeking someone to devour. 

These are the things he hates:

a. He hates submission to authority! 

“Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.” 1 Peter 5:5. 

1 Samuel 15:23 says that rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft. Like witchcraft lays us open to Satan, so does rebellion! How he hopes that you will rebel against the authority of your pastor or your parents. 

b. He hates humility! 

“Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time…” — 1 Peter 5:6. 

That’s another thing he can’t stand! It is so opposite to his nature. 

God resists pride because pride was Satan’s sin. 

c. He hates happy people! 

“Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.” — 1 Peter 5:5-7. 

If he can get a frown on your face he will have a great advantage over you, because:

“… the joy of the LORD is your strength.” — Nehemiah 8:10. 

d. He hates commitment. 

“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:” — 1 Peter 5:8. 

He loves it when we are only nursery Christians…fat babies! 

But when we get serious, sober and vigilant, he hates it. 

A Letter From The Enemy – Part Two: Learn to resist

“Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” James 4:7. 

Now we can see another thing Hezekiah did: He resisted

“After these things, and the establishment thereof, Sennacherib king of Assyria came, and entered into Judah, and encamped against the fenced cities, and thought to win them for himself. And when Hezekiah saw that Sennacherib was come, and that he was purposed to fight against Jerusalem, He took counsel with his princes and his mighty men to stop the waters of the fountains which were without the city: and they did help him. So there was gathered much people together, who stopped all the fountains, and the brook that ran through the midst of the land, saying, Why should the kings of Assyria come, and find much water? Also he strengthened himself, and built up all the wall that was broken, and raised it up to the towers, and another wall without, and repaired Millo in the city of David, and made darts and shields in abundance.” – 2 Chronicles 32:1-5. 

Don’t make it easy for the enemy. 

Shutting off the water supply won’t make it harder for Satan. 

But there are some things that Satan hates: He hates resistance! 

“Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” — James 4:7. 

So how can we start a resistance movement? 

Peter gives us some advice in 1 Peter 5. 

He says that there are certain things we should do because our adversary – the devil – is on the prowl, seeking someone to devour. These are the things he hates: 

1. He hates submission to authority! 

“Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.” 1 Peter 5:5. 

“For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king.” — 1 Samuel 15:23. 

Just like witchcraft lays us open to Satan, so does rebellion! How he hopes that you will rebel against the authority of your pastor or your parents. 

There are Five areas of authority we should submit to: 

i. Christ. 

“Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” — James 4:7. 

ii. Parents. 

“Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.” — Ephesians 6:1. 

And look at this:

“Honour thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise;” — Ephesians 6:2. 

The promise was long life in the land! 

iii. Church Leadership. 

“Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.” — Hebrews 13:17. 

iv. Government. 

“Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil. Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake.” Romans 13:1-5. 

v. Employers. 

“Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ; Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart; With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men: Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free.” — Ephesians 6:5-8. 

2. He hates humility! 

“Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time…” — 1 Peter 5:6. 

That’s another thing the enemy can’t stand! It is so opposite to his nature. 

God resists the proud because pride was Satan’s sin. 

3. He hates happy people! 

“Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.” — 1 Peter 5:5-7. 

If he can get a frown on your face he will have a great advantage over you, because: “… the joy of the LORD is your strength.” — Nehemiah 8:10. 

4. He hates commitment. 

“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:” — 1 Peter 5:8. 

He loves it when we are only nursery Christians…fat babies! 

But when we get serious, sober and vigilant, he hates it. 

A Letter From The Enemy – Part Three: Get supernatural help

1. Reach For The Stars! 

Which Stars? 

We are not talking about film stars! We are not talking about lucky stars! God forbids astrology. Your destiny is not in the stars. 

“When you wish upon a star” may be a cute lyric for a cartoon musical, but wishing on stars will not help you in the real world! 

The stars that we are talking about today are angels. Sometimes the Bible refers to the angels as stars. 

“And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.” — Daniel 12:3. 

“When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy” — Job 38:7

“… his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth…” —

Revelation 12:4. 

When Hezekiah had done all he could, he reached for divine help. He was well aware of angelic power. 

When he opened his letter – and prayed to the Lord about its contents, he addressed God as the One Who dwells between the cherubims. 

“And Hezekiah prayed before the LORD, and said, O LORD God of Israel, which dwellest between the cherubims, thou art the God, even thou alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth; thou hast made heaven and earth.” — 2 Kings 19:15. 

The Bible refers to angels and their ministry nearly three hundred times! 

2. They Are Ministering Spirits. 

“And he set captains of war over the people, and gathered them together to him in the street of the gate of the city, and spake comfortably to them, saying, Be strong and courageous, be not afraid nor dismayed for the king of Assyria, nor for all the multitude that is with him: for there be more with us than with him: With him is an arm of flesh; but with us is the LORD our God to help us, and to fight our battles. And the people rested themselves upon the words of Hezekiah king of Judah.” — 2 Chronicles 32:1-8. 

Did you notice what Hezekiah told the people? – “…there be more with us than with him!” 

He wasn’t talking here about his own ranks. He was referring to the Lord Who has hosts of angels! 

That’s what we need to do. We should realize the power of God’s forces! We have that power at our disposal! 

“Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?” — Hebrews 1:14. 

We are well aware of the angelic help that Bible characters received, but we need to realize that God has provided us with the same assistance. They are sent forth to minister for us! 

3. Their Characteristics

i. Great Wisdom! 

“To fetch about this form of speech hath thy servant Joab done this thing: and my lord is wise, according to the wisdom of an angel of God, to know all things that are in the earth.” — 2 Samuel 14:20. 

ii. Great Might! 

“Bless the LORD, ye his angels, that excel in strength, that do his commandments, hearken-ing unto the voice of his word.” — Psalms 103:20. 

iii. Great Holiness! 

“When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory…” — Matthew 25:31. 

iv. Great Numbers! 

In his words to the people, Hezekiah was repeating the words of Elisha:

“And he answered, Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them. 

And Elisha prayed, and said, LORD, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see. And the LORD opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of  horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha.” — 2 Kings 6:16-17. 

But a word of caution: They are not to be worshipped! 

“Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind…” 

Colossians 2:18. 

“And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” — Revelation 19:10. 

Conclusion:

This great battle of prayer concluded when God sent angelic help to Hezekiah. 

“And it came to pass that night, that the angel of the LORD went out, and smote in the camp of the Assyrians an hundred fourscore and five thousand: and when they arose early in the n, behold, they were all dead corpses.” — 2 Kings 19:35. 

You may be facing a tough battle this week. But you can reach for the stars! These are shooting stars – they’ll come out shooting down the enemy’s forces!