A. Under Foreign Rule. 1Sam.7:1-2 ďAnd the men of Kirjath-jearim came, and fetched up the ark of the LORD, and brought it into the house of Abinadab in the hill, and sanctified Eleazar his son to keep the ark of the LORD. And it came to pass, while the ark abode in Kirjath-jearim, that the time was long; for it was twenty years: and all the house of
.Ē The ark of the Lord, which represented the presence of God among His people was captured by the Philistines some years before and had come back to Israellamented after the LORD Israelbut was not where it belonged among the people. It had been parked in this manís house. Israelwas under foreign rule.
We are going to look at this allegorically. Where the New Testament gives us principles, the Old Testament gives us word pictures and in stories illustrates the principles of the New Testament. They all fit together. Let us look at this allegory and see
Israelas a believer. Paul said we are the Israel of God. This is not a happy time.
1. This would give us the picture of a believer who is under the domination of a foreign ruler. There is no such thing as a spiritual vacuum. If you are not in control then something else is in control of you. If your life or an area of your life is not surrendered to the Lord, then in that area you are under the control of another ruler.
Satan walks about as a roaring lionÖ he is constantly looking for place of access to get a foot hold into our lives. How, through an area that is not surrendered to Jesus. If you are fully surrendered to Jesus, that is your greatest protection against the enemy and the devil canít touch you. He might come against you from without, or touch your body, if the Lord allows, but he canít touch you. 1John 5:18 ďWe know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not.Ē There is a place in Christ where the enemy canít touch you because you are under the authority of Jesus.
2. If there is area of rebellion, self-will, of sin that you love and Satan has a stronghold in your life, then you are partially under the rule and authority of a foreign ruler and it is not a time of joy and happiness. The ark of the Lord is not prevalent in your life; the anointing is not evident in your life.
You may have once had His presence but you lost your first love now youíre just going through the motions. This is the picture of a lot of believers in church today. They are more religious than righteous, more compromised than committed, more lukewarm than loving and more demonized than dangerous to the devil.
B. So what does the Lord do for a believer stuck in this place of compromise, infestation and demonization? He sends a prophet. 1Sam.7:3 ďAnd Samuel spoke unto all the house of Israel, saying, If ye do return unto the LORD with all your hearts, then put away the strange gods and Ashtaroth from among you, and prepare your hearts unto the LORD, and serve him only: and he will deliver you out of the hand of the Philistines.Ē That verse has all the prescription for deliverance you will ever need. God sends a prophet and tells them, if you will do four things, God will deliver you. If you are under any kind of demonic control, or they are working in your heart and you want the ark of the Lord present in your life and the anointing that will break the yoke of the enemy and bring you into His freedom and liberty from bondage, here is the answer.
1. The first step is return to the Lord with all your heart. Thatís repentance. You stop and turn your direction. You canít have it both ways. You canít keep walking in willful sin and have deliverance. The big problem with deliverance is the love of a pet sin. Because of this many embrace a deception that tells them the truth of God is not really true so they can continue on their own way and be content in their sin.
When people make excuses for repentance, like saying the Bible is subject to interpretation, there are many views and the Bible is contradictory, the issue isnít intellectual and you will never bring them to conviction and repentance by winning an intellectual argument. The problem is sin. Believing deception is a cover for sin. The devil works to get us to rationalize sin, justify sin, blame sin, anything but accept that we have sinned and repent. Matt.1:21 says; ďÖand thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.Ē John 1:29 ďJohn seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.Ē
You have to make up your mind about sin and repent. Some of us have made up our mind that we want to continue in sin or we want to have it both ways, but God says, I will not be mocked. Whatever a man sows, that shall he also reap. You will reap the fruit of your sin. If youíre having a hard time repenting, then try fasting. Joel 2:12-13 ďTherefore also now, saith the LORD, turn ye even to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning:† And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the LORD your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil.Ē Many times in the Old Testament they repented with fasting. Remember Jonahís day? Fasting can help break the deception of sin in your life.
2. Second, the prophet says ďput away the strange godsĒ. What does that mean to you? It means to walk out your repentance. Do violence to the idols in your life. Deal with all the excuses, compromises and all things that give a place and fertile ground for the enemy to work in your life. You have to make up your mind about sin, repent, and do violence to that which gave it power in your life, that enticed you to sin, that brought sin into your life. If you have a problem with vain imaginations and you watch a lot of television then maybe you just need to turn off that one-eyed demon. Do violence against the idols in your life.
3. Third, Samuel said ďPrepare your heart.Ē That means to make practical commitments to the Lord. If you donít, then all your good intentions wonít last very long. The more specific the more powerful. Good intentions are not enough. Itís not enough to want to be free and delivered from your sin habits and bondages. There must be a follow through which will only come by commitment and determination. If you donít clean your house and make commitment and follow through, you will not stay clean.† A key is
Col 3:1-3 ďIf ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.Ē You have to set your mind and eyes on Him and on spiritual things.
4. The fourth requirement is to serve Him only. This is the four steps to freedom from all Philistines in your life. Until and unless Jesus is Lord in your life, everything else is academic and just words. If you donít truly love Jesus, it isnít going to work because you will find yourself back under the law and the results of the law.
There has to be something in you that wants and desires Jesus more than anything in this world, more than the idols of this world and idols of the hearts of most that are in church on Sunday. On Sunday morning most preachers are ministering to the people the idols in their hearts and that is why there is no deliverance, freedom and new life in Christ.
Why are you living? Are you living for Jesus, for the prize that is before you? When you live for Jesus, the worst thing that can happen is you die and go to be with Jesus. To those alive in Christ, death is not death, but passage to true life, eternal life. But all your growth has to be done here. You grow because of trials in this life. Once youíre with Jesus there are no more trials or opportunities to gain eternal rewards. Here is where you earn rank and reward.
C. Did the children of
follow the counsel of Samuel? 1Sam.7:4-6A ďThen the children of Israel .Ē They were in affect saying, Lord, this is our life, we pour it out before you. It was an act of attrition and repentance. 1Sam.7:6b ďand (they) fasted on that day, and said there, We have sinned against the LORD.Ē They repented and turned away from the idols in their hearts and look what happened. V.7 ďAnd when the Philistines heard that the children of Israeldid put away Baalim and Ashtaroth, and served the LORD only. And Samuel said, Gather all Israelto Mizpeh, and I will pray for you unto the LORD. And they gathered together to Mizpeh, and drew water, and poured it out before the LORD Israelwere gathered together to Mizpeh, the lords of the Philistines went up against .Ē When you turn away from the idols to God, there will always be a backlash, counter-attack and retaliation. There is a pattern shown here. If the enemy has had a hold in your life for a long time, heís comfortable with his place in your life and when you start to turn from him and move away from Him, some may pick up their suitcase and move out, but then they will think again, I sure liked what I had there, and so he tries to come back. Israel. And when the children of Israel heard it, they were afraid of the Philistines
1. Compromise. The enemy will try to come and get you to compromise your commitments. Hey, look its okay to love Jesus, to go to church and be religious on Sunday, but you donít have to be a fanatic about it. Satan is not bothered by one time acts, but commitment. Most Christians are in spiritual bondage and some demonized and even drugged.
It is amazing how many ĎChristiansí are on Prozac or like substance and their children on Ritalin and their money is going for drugs instead of the kingdom of God. Doctors say they need Ritalin because their hyper, rather than maybe they just eat too much sugar and donít get enough physical exercise. This is what people being demonized are given in psychiatry wards, drugs to calm them. They are numbed and emotionless. And the church seems to be clueless.
1Sam.7:8-9 ďAnd the children of
.Ē That means the Lord answered Him. The secret is, when the enemy comes in to tempt or test you, cry out to the Lord. The deeper the cry, the higher itís heard. They got serious and cried. The more desperate you are, the quicker the help and answer comes. V.10 ďAnd as Samuel was offering up the burnt offering, the Philistines drew near to battle against Israel: but the LORD thundered with a great thunder on that day upon the Philistines, and discomfited them; and they were smitten before Israel.Ē All of a sudden, there is supernatural, miraculous power that came into the situation. As the enemy drew near, God came between them. God released an angelic host to fight for Israelsaid to Samuel, Cease not to cry unto the LORD our God for us, that he will save us out of the hand of the Philistines. And Samuel took a sucking lamb, and offered it for a burnt offering wholly unto the LORD: and Samuel cried unto the LORD for Israel; and the LORD heard him Israel. This is a clear picture of the anointing that breaks the yoke and causes the enemy to run. Only a supernatural release of power from God drives the demons away.
Demons are not the least bit scared of you and I. But if the anointing is upon you, the presence of the spirit and power of the Almighty is with you; the devils will tremble and flee.
2. Submit. James 4:7 ďSubmit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.Ē If you want the devil to leave, you have to submit to God. You can resist all you want, but if youíre not submitted to God, the devil isnít going anywhere. I canít pull you out of the pit and get you delivered if you will not submit yourself to God. Itís a useless effort for someone to lay hands on you to cast out the devils if you will not stand for yourself. You have to want it, you have to repent, you have to cry out to God, turn from your idols and submit to God and then you will be delivered from your enemies.
3. Doors. You canít leave any doors open. Lots of people have these little puppy doors so their dogs can go in and out. As the natural, so the spiritual. You have to close the doors so the dogs can get back in. God wants to send His angels to minister to your needs; but you have to cry out to Him. 1Sam.7:11† ďAnd the men of
.Ē Look at the change between verses 7 when they are cringing in fear and verse 11 when they are chasing their enemies. They went from defense to offense, from protecting their turf to taking over the enemies territory. When they saw the power of God displayed, they realized they didnít have to stay under the enemy because God was with them. Thereís nothing like supernatural power to give you spiritual boldness. Israelwent out of Mizpeh, and pursued the Philistines, and smote them
4. Praise 1Sam.7:12 ďThen Samuel took a stone, and set it between Mizpeh and Shen, and called the name of it Ebenezer, saying, Hitherto hath the LORD helped us.Ē The stone of help. After the victory and the enemy routed with a great deliverance, they gave thanks. Remember the story of the ten lepers. As they were going to show themselves to the priests, they were cleansed. One said, Iím going to go back to thank the master. The others continued on doing what they were told, going to show themselves to the priests to be declared clean. But Jesus said to the one, where are the nine.
God expects our initial response to supernatural intervention to be thanksgiving, praise and worship, being grateful for what He has done for us. When He does something wonderful for us, it is time to forget everything else and go worship at the masterís feet. Jonah didnít get out of the whale until he gave thanks. In everything, we are to give thanks. It will remove shackles. When the enemy attacks and all is going wrong, the best thing to do is stop and give thanks and not whine and complain. Be like Paul and Silas in prison. Give thanks and give God place to move on your behalf. Praise moves the heart of God. Praise is a powerful weapon of spiritual warfare.
5. Idols. 1Sam 7:13 ďSo the Philistines were subdued, and they came no more into the coast of
: and the hand of the LORD was against the Philistines all the days of Samuel.Ē When the people got rid of their idols, God moved on their behalf and they were restored. 1Sam 7:14 ďAnd the cities which the Philistines had taken from Israel were restored to Israel, from Ekron even unto Gath; and the coasts thereof did Israel deliver out of the hands of the Philistines. And there was peace between Israel Ē There were many cities that were restored. A city is a place where they lived. The restoration and healing begins where you live. ďThe LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul.Ē Not only the cities, but the coasts, the shorelines, the beach heads were taken back from the enemy. That speaks of where you reach out to others, where the ships came. Where they had relationship with other nations. God not only wants to heal and restore you, but your relationships. You know your soul has been healed because it is manifested in your relationships. Israeland the Amorites.
Suddenly you start working and everyone around you isnít such a big jerk anymore. But who was the jerk? Itís amazing how you see people differently when your soul is touched and restored. We need to see men clearly. Some of us are like the blind man that when Jesus first touched him, he saw men as trees. We need that second touch, so that we can see clearly.
D. Finally, there was peace between
and the Amorites. They returned to the Solomon type reign. When Solomon reigned there was peace, not like the wars of Davidís reign. In Solomonís time all the nations came to Israel Israel. That is what God wants to do for us. That we reign in life.
We have to walk out repentance, we have to do violence to the idols, we have to make good on our commitment to the Lord and being committed to serving. You serve Jesus by serving your brethren. Heb 6:10 ďFor God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labor of love, which ye have showed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister.Ē God wants to make us bond-servants for the kingdom. Many times when people come for prayer for deliverance they are not ready because they are not ready to take the steps necessary and follow the pattern given by Samuel.
Conclusion: It is only the anointing that will break the yoke, its God showing up. Itís not a magical prayer but a hearts cry for God that releases the anointing. Discipleship is the key to deliverance, not a one time prayer by a minister to cast out the devil from your life. We need God to thunder from heaven, for the angels to move and minister supernaturally in our lives. That will bring full and complete healing and deliverance of our soul and spirit.
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