Revive Our Hearts Podcast

The Lord's Prayer, Day 12

Leslie Basham: How do you fight evil? Here’s Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth.

Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth: Listen, you aren’t strong enough to destroy the works of the devil. I’m not strong enough. All of us put together aren’t strong enough.

We cannot rely on our own strength, our own numbers, our own efforts. I don’t care how many Christians are in this country. We’re not a significant enough voting bloc nor ever could be to destroy the works of the devil.

Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil by going to the cross. What Satan thought was his triumph was ultimately Satan’s doom.

Leslie: This is Revive Our Hearts with Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth for Tuesday, August 16, 2016.

The world values strength. We make heroes out of those who have physical strength or financial strength or political strength.

But ultimately, everyone needs to realize we don’t have enough strength to fight the evil in our souls. Nancy is picking back up in a series called "The Lord's Prayer."

NancyWe can’t pray the Lord’s Prayer and come to that phrase, “Thy kingdom come” without realizing that we’re living in the midst of kingdoms in conflict.

The clash between the kingdom of man and the kingdom of God, the kingdom of Satan and the kingdom of heaven, the kingdom of earth and the kingdom of heaven, these kingdoms are in perpetual conflict.

I say perpetual, not eternal conflict, because we’ve seen, as we’ve been talking about “Thy kingdom come,” that the day will come when the kingdom of Christ will be visible. It will reign and rule over all the earth.

But between now and then, we have this clash of kingdoms, and that’s been brought home to me in some graphic ways just in some of the news that I’ve seen as I’ve been working on this particular series.

I want to share these things so that you can begin to look at what goes on around you and see it through eyes of, “Yes, this is kingdoms in conflict. This is not just geopolitical conflicts. This is cosmic conflict between heaven and earth.”

Let me give you a couple of illustrations I came across recently, just as I was working on this. Someone sent me an email that had several photos of Muslims marching in the streets of London in what they called a “Religion of Peace” demonstration.

These are pictures that you are very unlikely to ever see in our American newspapers or TV news programs.

There were demonstrators—these were six or eight different photos—carrying a dozen or more different signs that all had violent slogans and messages such as, “Behead those who insult Islam” and “Exterminate those who slander Islam.”

One of these signs said, “Europe, you will pay. Your 9/11 is on its way.” But the most telling sign, I thought, was one that really got to the heart of the matter—not just the heart of the matter of what’s happening in the Islamic world, but what’s happening in our whole world.

This was a sign somebody was carrying that said, “Islam will dominate the world.” That is the goal of the Islamic religion. Truth be told, apart from Christ, that’s the goal of our own hearts—to dominate our own world, to be in control, to be in charge.

So what we see in these demonstrations in the streets of London is really just one illustration of a cosmic warfare going on throughout the whole earth.

We have to remember; this is not a flesh and blood battle. This is not a battle between the U.S. and some Middle Eastern countries or a different religion.

This is a battle between Satan’s kingdom and the kingdom of God that is manifested in many different ways throughout our world.

Satan merely uses various religions, leaders, and influences as puppets through whom he can assert his authority. And let me just say, it’s not just the Islamic religion that Satan uses.

He sometimes uses Protestantism. Some of our churches, to whatever extent we are not following the truth of Scripture, we become instruments that Satan uses to have his way in this world.

He’s been trying to do that since before the creation of the world. That battle started when Satan was the head of the worship team, the praise team in heaven, and he got “I” trouble, and he said, “I want to be in charge.”

He’s seeking to exert his reign and rule throughout the earth. Those photos that I saw in those emails are a graphic, dramatic representation of the conflict, but the conflict is not always that obvious.

The clash can be seen in our value system, the materialistic system of this world, and the eternal value system of God. We can see it in a lot of different ways.

I received a newsletter from an organization that I’ve just become familiar with recently called Christian Witness to a Pagan Planet, CWiPP, for short.

The head of that organization is a man named Dr. Peter Jones, who is a theologian and a very bright scholar. They deal with some of the trends taking place in our world.

Let me read to you—it’s a little bit lengthy—but I can’t say it as well as he did. In what Dr. Jones had to say, you’ll see these kingdoms in conflict, another illustration about this whole thing of kingdoms in conflict.

Dr. Jones says,

It is said, "As California goes, so will go the nation.” Living in California, I get to see national trends early on. Whenever I arrive in the parking lot of terminal two of the San Diego airport, I am confronted by large, hideous stone statues of two semi-human beings in a worshipful pagan pose. Their heads resemble the sun and the moon.

This is a sculpture outside the parking lot of the San Diego airport. By the time we air this, this will be dated, and there will be something new happening. So this is just one illustration at the time that we’re recording this.

At the same time, across town, the Mt. Soledad cross, a war memorial to those who died in the Korean war, is about to be removed. Though 76% of voters voted to keep it, District Federal Judge Gordon Thompson Jr. has ordered the city of San Diego to remove this cross within ninety days or be fined $5,000 a day.

Out with the cross, in with the pagan idols. In downtown San Jose, California, the capital of Silicon Valley, stands the only public art commissioned by the city—taxpayer dollars—an eight-foot tall, half-million dollar sculpture of Quetzalcoatl, an Aztec deity, a pagan god.

In the society at large, there has been a concerted attempt to introduce homosexual clubs into the high schools. It has worked very well, but California has taken one step further, passing bill SB 1437 that requires textbooks to include, "The contributions of people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender to the total development of California and the United States.”

So now the school systems in California are required to, in their textbooks, include these contributions. Dr. Jones says,

This bill prohibits kindergarten through high school teachers by law from saying anything "adverse" about homosexuality.

Here’s the wording: "No teacher shall give instruction nor shall a school district sponsor any activity that reflects adversely upon persons because of their sexual orientation.”

This law has many repercussions. Since the law mandates that "no textbook or other instructional material shall be adopted that contains any matter reflecting adversely on sexual orientation," no open discussion of the issue is allowed.

This legally enforced closing of mouths and minds will serve the ultimate goal of the gay movement, namely the normalization of virtually any sexual lifestyle.”1

I’m not on a soapbox here about any one of these particular issues. Those issues aren’t my point in this session. I think we know what the Word of God has to say about these different things.

The point is, there are kingdoms in conflict. The kingdom of God is what will ultimately reign and rule, but Satan is seeking to assert and exert his reign and rule, and he’s working through religions, through school systems, through governments, and sadly, in many cases even through our own lives.

We call it a culture war, but it’s really a cosmic war between kingdoms. Man does not want to acknowledge the reign and the rule of God, going back to Genesis chapter 3.

Satan said to Eve, “You can be your own god” (v. 5 paraphrased). It’s a kingdom in conflict. Satan says to the woman, “Have it your way. Eat the one thing God said, ‘Don’t eat.’”

We are born wanting to be our own god, and the whole world is self-destructing and imploding under this cosmic conflict, kingdoms in conflict.

As you think about all of this and you look at what’s going on in the world in the wide sense, it can be depressing. It can be overwhelming. But it’s encouraging to remember that the kingdoms of this world will not prevail against the kingdom of God.

They’ve lost! They’re fighting a losing battle. And by the way, when you and I fight against God’s reign and God’s rule in our lives, we’re fighting a losing battle.

I remember that old-time writer who said, “Your arms are not long enough to box with God.” You can try, but you will lose.

Jesus came to this earth proclaiming and demonstrating the kingdom of God, the kingdom of heaven.

Mark chapter 4 tells us that Jesus went through Galilee, preaching the good news of the kingdom. The kingdom of God is good news for sinful man.

To just continue to live in our own kingdom means death and destruction. Jesus came and said, “There’s a kingdom that is good news. It’s the gospel.” He came proclaiming, preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness among the people.

One writer, I think it’s Gary Thomas, says, “When Jesus came to this earth, wherever He went, hell shattered at Jesus’ feet.” That’s what the kingdom of God does ultimately.

Jesus came preaching the good news and destroying the power of the evil one. That was His mission: to overthrow the kingdom of Satan and establish the kingdom of God.

First John chapter 3, verse 8 tell us the reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil.

Listen, you aren’t strong enough to destroy the works of the devil. I’m not strong enough. All of us put together aren’t strong enough.

We cannot rely on our own strength, our own numbers, our own efforts. I don’t care how many Christians are in this country. We’re not a significant enough voting bloc nor ever could be to destroy the works of the devil.

Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil by going to the cross. What Satan thought was his triumph was ultimately Satan’s doom.

It was God’s great triumph. What seemed to be God’s defeat and Satan’s win was Satan’s defeat and God’s triumph.

Jesus said, “If it is by the Spirit of God that I cast out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you” (Matt. 12:28). Do you see the conflict there? But do you see who the winner is?

Does that strengthen your heart? Does that encourage you as you look around, and it looks like Satan is winning? It looks like evil is triumphing. We see evil and false and godless religions and neopaganism and neognosticism. Some of these religions like a flood, like a tsunami, are taking over our culture.

I think there are forty million people who have bought and read The Da Vinci Code, which is so blasphemous, so false, so untrue to Christ and who He is. My heart aches and breaks at the popularity of this false kind of teaching.

Then I step back and remember, “Dan Brown isn’t God! He hasn’t won!” He may think he’s won a skirmish, but he’s lost. He’s defeated. I don’t mean that as a personal thing on Dan Brown.

My prayer would be that Dan Brown would come to repentance and to faith in Jesus Christ, that God’s kingdom would come in Dan Brown’s heart and in the hearts of the Islamic leaders of the world and in the hearts of those who are promoting the homosexual agenda in our culture.

Oh that God’s kingdom might come in their hearts! God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance (2 Pet. 3:9). The kingdom of God and that concept means that we’re not victims, that we are not at the mercy of earthly kings and dictators and rulers and political systems and cultural programs and immorality.

We’re not victims of those things. We’re not at their mercy. The concept of the kingdom of God coming means history is not an endless, hopeless, meaningless cycle. Because the things we see today that we think are so terrible, you can read back in some other eras of history, including the era in which Jesus came to this earth. The era of the Roman Empire was a very, very wicked era, not unlike our own.

What goes around, comes around. But when you believe in the concept of the kingdom of God, you realize that history is not this endless, meaningless cycle of the triumph of evil.

It’s not a cycle that’s going nowhere. The kingdom of God means there’s a goal to all of this, that life has meaning, that history and world events are heading somewhere, that God has a purpose; He has a plan.

The kingdom of God means we have something to look forward to. We have a reason to live. We don’t just curl up in our little Christian cocoons and barricade ourselves in our Christian fortresses and hope that we can escape all these assaults and arrows being flung our direction.

We serve King Jesus, and we pray, “Thy kingdom come” with confidence that He is coming, that He is the King, and He will reign, and He will rule.

Psalm 72:8-11 says it this way, and I love this passage. This is my hope. This is our hope. It’s true.

He shall have dominion also from sea to sea, and from the river to the ends of the earth. Those who dwell in the wilderness will bow before Him, and His enemies will lick the dust.

The kings of Tarshish and of the isles will bring presents. The kings of Sheba and Seba will offer gifts. Yea, all kings shall fall down before Him; all nations shall serve Him (NKJV).

Can I hear an “Amen”? Let it be so! Come quickly, King Jesus!

That thought of the reign and the rule of Christ, the ultimately visible reign and rule of Christ, His conquering over all the powers of earth and Satan has been the theme of many hymns and songs through the Christian era.

Somebody just handed me before this session a hymn that I was not familiar with, one of Fanny Crosby’s 8,000 songs she wrote. The title is “No King but Christ.”

The first stanza says,

Ye armies of the Living God, 
With banner, shield, and sword, 
March onward, shouting as you go, 
"No king but Christ our Lord."

The banner, shield, and sword that we hold up are not a physical, earthly banner, shield and sword. It’s the sword of the Spirit, the Word of God, the power of the truth.

The shield is our faith. That’s our defense against the onslaught of the evil one, and we go out into this world, and we say by our lives and by our words, “No King but Christ Our Lord.”

Isaac Watts wrote a wonderful hymn. You might want to go to the Internet at some point and look up all the stanzas. I wanted to read all of them to you. They’re so wonderful, but I’ve chosen just a few here.

You’re familiar with the first one. This hymn actually comes from Psalm 72 that I just read, where it says, “He will have dominion from sea to sea.”

Isaac Watts responded this way:

Jesus shall reign, where’er the sun does his successive journeys run. 
His kingdom stretch from shore to shore ‘til moons shall wax and wane no more.

Behold the islands with their kings and Europe her best tribute brings. 
From north to south, the princes meet to pay their homage at His feet.

 There Persia, glorious to behold, there India shines in eastern gold, 
And barbarous nations, at His word, submit and bow and own their Lord.

Can you picture the day? Every tribe, every tongue, every nation, nations where today it’s illegal to be a follower of Christ. It’s illegal to share the gospel of Christ.

I talked last night on the phone through the Internet with a young woman who is serving the Lord in an Asian country where it’s against the law for her to share her faith in any open or visible way.

She’s going to give her life there because she believes that the day is coming when that nation with its millions of people will come and bow before Christ.

His kingdom will come. It will prevail. It will not ever, ever be overcome.

  • Do you long for His kingdom to come?
  • Do you have a burden, a concern, for parts of the world that are not yet under His reign and rule?

I have a friend, who, for years, has prayed every day through every one of the 200-plus nations of the world with a map. Some of those nations you and I have never heard of.

But he gets over a map, and he prays for God’s kingdom and reign and rule to come in that part of the world.

We pray, “Lord, may Your interests reign supreme, in my life, in my marriage.” Is there a concern for your marriage to be healed for your sake, or is it for the sake of Christ’s kingdom?

Do you want to see God’s kingdom come in your husband’s heart? You pray for the salvation of that husband who doesn’t know the Lord. Why? Pray for his salvation, yes, but pray for it because God deserves to be King of your husband’s life, because God is King.

Your husband one day will bow before God, and you want your husband to do that voluntarily rather than under coercion.

Pray, “Thy kingdom come, Lord, in my mate, in my marriage, in my children, in my grandchildren.” Pray for God’s reign and rule in the lives of your children. It’s not your rule, moms, but ultimately God’s reign and rule.

As you’re teaching that two or three or four-year-old to obey, why are you teaching them to obey? Because you want God’s reign and rule to come in that child’s life, and you want that child to learn a heart attitude of saying not just, “Yes, Ma’am,” but ultimately, “Yes, Lord.”

May Your interest reign supreme in our churches. Not our programs, but Your kingdom. May Your interests reign supreme in this world. May Your kingdom come.

We pray, may every subject of Your kingdom acknowledge and bow to Your reign and rule. May Your kingdom, oh Lord, overthrow the kingdom of Satan and all kingdoms he has erected in this world and in human hearts.

We pray, oh Lord, may Your kingdom extend throughout all the earth, from sea to sea and through all of the universe, for all of eternity. As Isaac Watts said it, “’Til moons shall wax and wane no more, and He shall reign forever and ever.” Hallelujah.

Leslie: Are you showing submission to God in your actions today? Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth has been explaining what it looks like to live moment by moment, day by day, for God’s kingdom.

She’s been explaining the powerful phrase, “Your kingdom come” as part of a series called "The Lord’s Prayer."

As with all our series, you can keep up with each day’s content by subscribing to our podcast, reading the online transcripts, or signing up for the Revive Our Hearts Daily Connection.

For more details on all these ways to hear Nancy’s teaching, just visit ReviveOurHearts.com.

We pray this program is helping you live out the beauty of the gospel. We’re able to bring it to you each weekday thanks to listeners who support Revive Our Hearts financially. When you support Revive Our Hearts with a gift of any amount this month we’ll say thanks by sending you a devotional booklet called The Lord’s Prayer. Going through this booklet will help you remember what you’ve been learning in this series and apply it to your life. Each day for thirty days you’ll read a one page devotional thought inspired by the teaching in this series. Then you’ll be challenged with what we call a “Making It Personal” question.

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What does God’s kingdom look like in marriage, in your prayer and Bible study, your language, in all of life? A group of women have been listening along with us to this series, and they explain what it means for God’s kingdom to come to their lives tomorrow on Revive Our Hearts.

Revive Our Hearts with Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth is an outreach of Life Action Ministries.

All Scripture is taken from the English Standard Version unless otherwise noted.

1Dr. Peter Jones. CWiPP (Christian Witness to a Pagan Planet) Newsletter. May 2006.

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