I preach today’s sermon with my dad on my mind.  It has been 9 years since the day he passed (8/21/11) and not a day goes by that I do not think about him.  Not only do I have him on my mind today, but I also have my grandparents on my mind, and all of my family, especially my immediate family.  I also have all of you on my mind as well today.  No matter how hard things become, I want you to know that you are shielded and protected.  There is nothing that you cannot overcome.

17 No weapon formed against you shall prosper, And every tongue which rises against you in judgment You shall condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, And their righteousness is from Me,”

Says the Lord.

key verse – isaiah 54:17 nkjv

From my dad, I learned how to stay still (firm) in my faith in God, no matter how difficult things were and no matter how much seemed to be working against me.  We are never too old for that sort of encouragement.  No matter how difficult things are, no matter what seems to be working against you, know that there is nothing that can stop you!  No weapon formed against you will prosper.  I imagine that all of us have heard that said before but what does this mean to you?  

Weapons Formed Against You

No weapon formed against you will prosper.”  This is another scripture that is quoted often.  You will hear this scripture used in songs, speeches, and even athletes will quote this scripture.  Some may not even realize that it is scripture or where exactly it is said in the Bible.  That being said, there is context to this scripture that we must certainly understand.  So, again, I ask you the question:  How does it make you feel to hear that no weapon formed against you will prosper?

To some, this statement may shake them just a little bit.  If you pay close attention to the wording of this scripture, you will notice that the weapons are formed against you.  This means that in this life, while we are on our journey, you are going to encounter weapons that were created specifically for you.  Some of us have likely already encountered some of those weapons that nobody else seems to deal with.

The weapons we face

Think about it for a moment.  Heart disease, kidney disease, hypertension, hypotension, anemia, cancer, lupus – the list goes on and on.  Everybody has something that they have to deal with physically.  At the very same time, there are also weapons that many of us have thrown at us because of the society that we live in.  

There are societal constructs that have been formed against some of us that others don’t have to face.  Racism, sexism, gender inequality, misogyny, all sorts of other stereotypes and prejudices have been used as targeted weapons.  Again, pay close attention to my key verse that says,  “every tongue which rises against you in judgment.”

James wrote that the tongue is a fire (Jas 3:6) that no man can tame.  He said that it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison (Jas. 3:8).  Even Solomon spoke about the tongue in that he said “death and life are in the power of the tongue” (Prov. 18:21).  Think about all that the tongue is behind in our world today and what it was behind in the world yesterday.  The tongue has led to many weapons that many of us have to face each and everyday of our lives.

If those weapons are not enough, we cannot forget our greatest enemy – Satan.  For Satan, Paul wrote that we should put on the whole armor of the Lord so that we can withstand the wiles of the devil (Eph. 6:11).  You have heard me teach and speak about the spiritual warfare that we are a part of.  We face spiritual principalities, powers, rulers of the darkness, and even spiritual hosts of wickedness in heavenly places (Eph. 6:12).

Purpose of the weapons

What do you suppose is the purpose of those weapons that you and I face?  I am certain you answered correctly.  The weapons we go up against everyday are intended to hurt, harm, and defeat us physically, emotionally, and mentally.  Many have fallen victim to the enemies who wield these weapons.  These weapons are responsible for things like depression, addiction, insomnia, hurt, and pain to which many have been overcome.  

So, our goal is certainly not to be overcome by these weapons.  Now, I want you to imagine trying to take all of these things on without the help of the Lord.  Imagine trying to take on the wiles of the devil and fight that spiritual warfare with the help of God.  I want you to imagine every other weapon I have mentioned (societal constructs, the things we face physically) and picture trying to take them on without the help of God.  How could you or I ever withstand those weapons without God’s help?

Shielded and Protected by God

Without the Lord, we are left brokenhearted (broken in spirit) and defeated.  We do not overcome anything without God!  This picture sounds absolutely bleak, but I want you to take another look at my key verse.  I mentioned this word a few weeks ago in the key verse of my sermon – Power in the Name of Jesus.  I want you to notice the shall that is mentioned in this scripture.

First time shall is used:  “No weapon formed against you shall prosper”.   Second time shall is used:  “every tongue which rises against you in judgment You shall condemn”.  As I said then, shall (or will) is used when something is definite.  The only time such guarantees (or promises) can be made is when someone has enough control (or power) over a situation.  While you may be shaken at the idea of weapons being formed against you, know that God has guaranteed that they will not prosper (have success).

Covered in the promise

This promise was initially given to the Israelites, but now all nations can have a part in the Lord through His only begotten Son.  Those who genuinely believe in their hearts in the only begotten Son of God have part in this promise!  So, I want you to understand that this is a promise to all of those of faith in God!  This is not a promise to those of no faith in God!  To show you that we of faith in God are included in this promise of being shielded and protected, I want to share a couple pieces of evidence.  

Jude, the half brother of Jesus Christ, closed out his epistle with a benediction that many preachers quote to close out worship.  He was writing to all of those who would contend for the faith that was delivered once to the saints (Jude 3).  Jude wrote that God is able to keep you from stumbling (falling) and will present you faultless before the presence of His glory with great joy (Jude 24-25).  I want you to answer this question:  what is it that can cause you to stumble or fall?  Answer:  all of those weapons formed against you.

God will build a fence around you

In the book of Job, it is shown to us how powerful of a shield that the Lord has around all of those who trust in Him.  Because of how long he lived (Job 42:16), it is suggested that Job lived during the time prior to Abraham, before Israel and the Mosaic Law.  When Satan sought who he could tempt, he found that God had built a hedge around Job (Job 1:10).  Satan could not penetrate the Lord’s hedge, in fact, you will see that Satan griped to God about God’s shield around Job (Job 1:11).

Why was Job surrounded by this impenetrable shield?  It was because Job was an upright man of faith (Job 1:1)!  The Lord considered Job to be His child – His servant – when He spoke of Job to Satan (Job 1:8).  Job was shielded and protected because of his faith in God!  In my key verse, you will see that God’s shielding and protection is part of the heritage (inheritance) of the servants of the Lord!  God will build a fence around His children!

When Jesus talked about being the Good Shepherd, He stated that He was the protector of all of those who follow after Him!  Jesus said that the thief can no longer cause His sheep any harm (John 10:10).  I want you to know that Jesus also said that the wolf can no longer scatter His sheep because He is there to shield and protect His sheep (John 10:11-13).

Prospering Through Faith in God

There is nothing that can stop you from succeeding and overcoming in this world.  When you trust and believe in God, there is no weapon that can overcome you  because there is no weapon that can overcome the Lord.  Racism cannot overcome the Lord. Sexism cannot overcome the Lord.  Prejudice cannot overcome the Lord.  The lying tongue cannot overcome the Lord.  Hatred cannot overcome the Lord.

No weapon formed against you will prosper because you are shielded and protected by the Lord!  God is our fortress!  We are wrapped in the shielding of His hands.  WE, the faithful, shall condemn those things set against us and one day completely overcome all of the weapons intended to defeat us.  Keep on keeping on.  Continue to stand firm in your faith in God.  You have the biggest weapon that has overcome all things.  Through faith, we have the victory.

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