Adrian Rogers - Four Principles of Victory
Turn if you will please to the seventeenth chapter of the book of Exodus, and while you are turning, I want to tell you something about a church member that I've had a lot of difficulty with. As a matter of fact, I've had difficulty with this church member for a number of years. Really, he's given me a lot of trouble. And he has disappointed me many, many times. And I have had to just expend a lot of energy with this particular church member, who really, frankly, though we are a wonderful congregation; this member has given me much, much sorrow and heartache at times. Maybe I ought to tell you his name. I think I will. Adrian Rogers. You're looking at the guy who has given me a lot of trouble.
You know, my biggest enemy is my own self. Have you found that true? We have an enemy inside the fort called self! Sometimes the Bible calls that, "The old man". Sometimes the Bible calls that, "The flesh". But we're all in a battle. You see, we have three enemies: the world, the flesh, and the devil. Now we're going to be talking about that center enemy: the flesh. And when I'm talking about the flesh, I'm not talking about your material body. I'm not talking about your skin and bones. Your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit of God. It is crafted of God and it is to be wholly dedicated to Him. But when I'm talking about the flesh, I'm talking about that lower part of our nature that we inherited from our parents who got it from Adam. It is a disposition against the things of God.
The Bible tells us in Galatians chapter 5 and verse 17 that, "The flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these two are contrary one to the other, so that ye cannot do the things that ye would". Now, what does have to do with the seventeenth chapter of Exodus? Well, let me tell you a secret to understanding the Bible. Now while the Old Testament is history, it is more than history. Are you listening? It is devotional literature. I'm talking about the Old Testament and I'm talking about the history of the Old Testament, and I'm talking particularly about the coming of the Jewish nation out of Egypt, through the wilderness, and into Canaan. The Bible tells us in First Corinthians chapter 10 that, "All of these things happened to them," First Corinthians 10 verse 11, "All of these things happened to them for examples to us".
Now you're going to learn a lesson today about the life of conquest. Remember that at one time the Jewish people were in Egypt and they were slaves. Now Egypt represents the world, therefore, that we've been called out of. But God called them out of Egypt. Pharaoh was the King of Egypt. Pharaoh represents the devil. Then they were headed toward Canaan, a land of oil and wine and corn and figs and pomegranates, milk and honey, rivers and trees and valleys and hills, brass and iron. They were called into Canaan. What does Canaan represent? Not Heaven some day; Canaan in the Bible, don't miss this, Canaan represents victory. Canaan represents the Spirit-filled life; not in the sweet by and by, but in the nasty now and now, where we can have victory day by day.
So, as Christians we have come out of Egypt; we're coming through a wilderness, but we're headed toward Canaan, and we ought to already be there. So Canaan represents the Spirit-filled life. Egypt, the world; Pharaoh, the devil; Canaan, the victorious life. But we're going to meet somebody now in just a moment who represents the flesh, that member I've been having such difficulty with. And I know that if you're saved, you've been having the same difficulty.
Now, with that in mind, begin in verse 8, Exodus chapter 17 verses 8 through 11, "Then came Amalek". Amalek represents the flesh. "Then came Amalek, and fought with Israel in Rephidim. And Moses said unto Joshua, 'Choose us out men, and go out, and fight with Amalek. Tomorrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the rod of God in mine hand.' So Joshua did as Moses had said to him, and fought with Amalek; and Moses, Aaron and Hur went to the top of the hill. And it came to pass, when Moses held up his hand, that Israel prevailed; and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed".
I can imagine Dan Rather being there. Dan Rather is saying, "There's a battle. Our man on the field is reporting something. Let me get it here in my, oh, yes, yes. He's says there's an old man, some old man that has a rod in his hand. And, as the old man holds up his hand, something is happening down here in the valley, ladies and gentlemen. It seems that when the old man holds up his hands, that Joshua's army is victorious. But when the old man's hands go down, the armies of Amalek are victorious. It's a strange thing that we report today".
All right, now notice Exodus 17 verses 12 and 13, "But Moses' hands were heavy, and they took a stone, and put it under him, and he sat thereon; and Aaron and Hur stayed up his hands," that is, held up his hands, "the one on the one side, and the other on the other side; and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun. And Joshua discomforted Amalek". That's just a fancy way of saying he whupped him. "Joshua discomforted Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword".
Now I want to talk to you about four principles of victory. And I want to talk to you about some Canaan conquests. Now you might right now say, "Well, I've come out of Egypt, but I surely haven't gone into Canaan. I have been dumped in the desert". Well, let me tell you how you can change your life, sincerely now, sincerely, from the monotonous to the momentous, from failure to victory, and before you get to Heaven you can bring Heaven to Earth. I am talking to you about absolute truth, truth that the Bible teaches, and that I have experienced in my own life. There're four things I want to lay on your heart:
Number one, you need to receive a gracious provision, receive a gracious provision, and that provision is salvation. Now go back if you will to the first verse of this chapter, Exodus 17 verses 1 through 3, "And all the congregation of Israel journeyed from the wilderness of Sin, after their journeys, according to the commandment of the Lord, and pitched," that is, they set up their tents, "in Rephidim; and there was no water for the people to drink. Wherefore the people did chide with Moses," they scolded him, "and said, 'Give us water that we may drink.' And Moses said unto them, 'Why chide ye with me? Wherefore do ye tempt the Lord?' And the people thirsted there for water; and the people murmured against Moses, and said, 'Wherefore is this that thou hast brought us out of Egypt, to kill us and let our children and our cattle with thirst?'"
Friend, I've been there to this place. You talk about a barren, desolate place. It is indeed a barren and a desolate and a dry place. "And Moses cried unto the Lord, saying, 'What shall I do unto this people? They be almost ready to stone me.' And the Lord said unto Moses, 'Go on before the people, and take with thee of the elders of Israel; and thy rod, wherewith thou smotest the river, take in thine hand, and go.'" Now Moses had a rod that was a miraculous rod. We're going to say more about it later on. "'Behold, I will stand before thee upon the rock in Horeb; and thou shalt smite the rock, and there shall come water out of it, that the people may drink.' And Moses did so in the sight of God".
Now I want you to get the picture. They're out there in the barren land. They're dying of thirst, and Moses says, "God, what shall I do"? God says, "You take the elders of Israel. You take a rod, and you go to this rock and with that rod, you smite that rock. And when you do, water will come from the rock". Did you ever try to get water from a rock? "Water will come from that rock". Now what is all of this about? Well, I'm not being fanciful when I tell you this is a glorious illustration, though it literally happened, it's a glorious illustration of our salvation.
Put in your margin, put in your margin First Corinthians 10 and verse 4. Now remember, I told you in First Corinthians 10 verse 11 the Bible says, "All these things happened for examples". Remember? "All these things happened for examples". First Corinthians 10 verse 4, the Bible says, "And they did all drink the same spiritual drink; for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ". That rock pictures the Lord Jesus Christ, the Rock of Ages, smitten for us. Isaiah 53 verse 4 says, "And we did esteem Him, stricken, smitten of God".
You see, Jesus, the Rock of Ages, was smitten for us. And because Jesus was smitten for us, out of His riven side came forth water. And that water represents the Holy Spirit, which is the water of life. And you and I have, because the Rock was smitten so long ago when Jesus hung in agony and blood upon that cross, and He died, our Rock died for us, out of His side has come that refreshment, that Holy Spirit that is in me right now, in you right now. Thank God for the blessed, precious Holy Spirit.
I want to ask you a question. My friend, if you're here today, and you've never received Jesus, are you thirsty? Do you know, do you know that there's something missing in your life? It's not something, it is someone. What you're thirsting for is Jesus, I can tell you that. You'll never be satisfied; you'll never feel contentment until you know the Lord Jesus Christ.
I had an evangelist friend of mine who was on an airplane one time, Brother Mark. And, you know, it just aggravates me when these stewardesses come along and try to sell us booze on those airplanes. But that's part of their job. And this gal came to my friend Mike and said, "Sir, would you like a drink"? He said, "No, ma'am". He said, "I had a drink about 20 years ago that satisfied me completely". She said, "You did? Must have been some kind of drink". He said, "It was". She said, "Tell me about it". He said, "You serve everybody else and come and I'll tell you about it".
She served everybody that booze, then came, buckled herself in alongside this Brother Mike and said, "Tell me about it". And, friend, he did. He told her about that drink, that Rock of Ages. That out of His side has come forth that water of life. And Jesus said, "If you're thirsty, if you're thirsty, come to Me and drink". I wonder, are you thirsty today? Are you thirsty? You say, "God knows, I'm empty". I didn't ask you that. My car's been empty many times; it's never once been thirsty. Are you thirsty? Do you want more? Thank God for the smitten Rock.
So the first thing, if you want to live a life of victory, number one, you must receive a gracious provision, which is salvation. Number two, you must realize a grand purpose, because being saved is wonderful, but God has more, much more for you. You see, God's plan for His people was not merely that they come out of Egypt and go into the wilderness of Sinai. God's plan for His people was that they go into the land of Canaan. Now, I'm not talking about pie in the sky. I'm talking about victory right now. God brought them out that He might bring them in.
Now you're in Exodus chapter 17. Turn to Exodus chapter 13. Just go back just a couple of chapters and look with you me in verses 3 through 8, "And Moses said unto the people, 'Remember this day, in which ye came out from Egypt,'" just underscore that phrase "'Ye came out from Egypt.'" Underscore that. "'Out of the house of bondage; for by strength of hand the Lord brought you out,'" underscore that, "'from this place; there shall no leavened bread be eaten. This day came ye out in the month of Abib. And it shall be when the Lord shall bring thee into,'" underscore that now, "'Bring thee into...'"
Notice He brought you out that He might bring you in, "'Bring you into the land of the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Amorites, and the Hivites and the Jebusites, which He swear unto thy fathers to give thee,'" now watch it, "'A land flowing with milk and honey, that thou shalt keep this service in this month. Seven days shall thou eat unleavened bread, and the seventh day should be a feast to the Lord. Unleavened bread shall be eaten seven days; and there shall no leavened bread be seen with thee, neither shall there be any leaven seen with thee in all thy quarters. And thou shalt show thy son in that day,'" notice, in that day, "'Saying, 'This is done because of that which the Lord did unto me when I came forth out of Egypt.'"
Now, what's all this saying? God says, "Look. I brought you out that I might bring you in". Now God says, "When you get into the land," notice, "the land flowing with milk and honey, then I want you to celebrate. Then I want you to keep the Feast of the Passover. I want you to keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread. I want you to celebrate, and when you celebrate the feast, your son's going to come to you and your son's going to say, 'Dad, what does all this mean?' And you can tell your son, 'Son! We are celebrating what God did for us when God brought us out of Egypt and God brought us into this land.'"
I want to ask you a question: why is it that the devil is getting the kids of the best families in our churches today? I'm talking about people who're faithful, people who sing in the choir, people who take up the offering, people who teach Sunday School, people who love God, people who are saved, people who are tithing, people who live clean lives, and yet their kids many times are into drugs, won't come to church, are running with the wrong crowd, maybe sleeping around. How does that happen? Well, I think it's a complicated thing and we can't put everybody in one category, but I'll tell you one reason that a lot of it happens is this, and you listen to me.
There are people, and some of them sitting in this congregation this morning, most Baptists that I know, who have come out of Egypt, but they've never gone into Canaan. They've never gone into Canaan. Now, you know what they had in Canaan to eat in the wilderness to eat? Do you know what they ate in the wilderness? Manna. Do you know how long they ate it? 40 years. Now manna was not meant to satisfy them, it was only meant to sustain them until they got into the land that flowed with milk and honey, oil and corn and figs and pomegranates. It was only meant as a temporary feast, a temporary food. They were only to spend a little time in the wilderness. They were to come out of Egypt and they were to go into Canaan.
But because of their unbelief, they're going around and around and around and around in the desert! Not believing God! They've come out of Egypt, but they've never gone into Canaan. They're in the wilderness. Now in that time, 40 years, there were children born at that time. Let's imagine a kid; he's 14 years of age. He's born in the wilderness. His parents have come out of Egypt but he's a wilderness boy. He never says, "Mama, what's for breakfast"? He knows what's for breakfast. Manna! He never says, "Mama, what's for lunch"? He knows what's for lunch. Manna! He never says, "Mama, what's for supper"? He knows what's for supper. Manna! He doesn't say, "Mama, what're we going to have tomorrow"? He knows what we're going to have tomorrow.
Manna, manna, manna, manna, manna! Manna in the morning. Manna in the evening. Manna at suppertime. Manna all the time. Just manna, manna, manna! That's all the kid gets. Now suppose they decide they're going to celebrate there in the wilderness. Now, remember, God said in this passage, "You celebrate; you celebrate in the land, not in the wilderness. You don't have a lot to celebrate in the wilderness". Now suppose, there they are. The father's sitting on a hot rock; the son's sitting on a cactus. And the father says, "We're going to have the Feast of Passover". Say, "Well, dad, what're we doing"? He says, "We're celebrating, son"!
Now, remember, this kid has heard sermons about Canaan. That's all he's heard, just sermons about Canaan. He's never seen Canaan. He might have heard Pastor Rogers preach about Canaan, but he's not seen Canaan. His parents are not living in Canaan. His parents are not living the victorious, Spirit-filled life. They're not living in victory. Oh, his parents are saved. They've come out of Egypt, but they've never gone into Canaan. And they say, "Now, son, we're celebrating". He looks around. Say, "We're what"? A rattlesnake goes by. "What"? The sun is broiling. The tumbleweed is coming along.
"What are we doing, Dad"? "Son, we're celebrating what God has done for us"! He said, "Dad, don't you think it's about time we got back to Egypt? I mean where there was fish and garlics, and leeks and melons and fun! All we're doing out here is dumped in the desert"! I'm going tell you, that's why the devil's getting a lot of our kids of good people. They have come out, but they've never gone in. They have never learned how to live in victory before their children. And their children know that their parents somehow are sincere, but they feel like they have just simply missed it. Now, friend, God brought us out that God might bring us in. And if you had been one of those simply dumped in the desert, you have to understand not only must you receive a gracious provision, salvation, but you must realize a grand purpose, which is victory that God has for you.
Now, here's the third thing. You must respect a grievous problem. There is a grievous problem. And what is that problem? Look if you will again, go back to our text now in Exodus 17 and look if you will in verse 8, "Then came Amalek, and fought with Israel". What is Amalek? Who is Amalek? Amalek was a king, but he was the grandson of Esau. And who was Esau? Well, Esau, you remember, was the man who sold his birthright for a mess of potage. I don't have time to get into it, but Esau was a profane man. Esau sold his spiritual things for a bowl of stew. And he was more interested in the present than the future, the material than the eternal, the things of the flesh, not the things of the Spirit, and, therefore, the Bible calls Esau in Hebrews chapter 12 and verse 16, a profane person, "Who for one morsel of meat, sold his birthright".
And the Bible teaches in Malachi that God has a perpetual warfare declared upon Esau. Listen to this Scripture. Malachi 1 verses 1 through 4, "The burden of the Lord to Israel by Malachi. 'I have loved you', saith the Lord. Yet ye say, 'Wherein hast thou loved us? Was not Esau Jacob's brother?' saith the Lord; yet I loved Jacob, and I hated Esau, and laid his mountains and his heritage waste for the dragons of the wilderness. Whereas Edom saith, 'We're impoverished, but we will return and build the desolate places.' Thus saith the Lord of Hosts, 'They shall build, but I will throw down; and they shall call them, the border of wickedness, and The people against whom the Lord hath indignation forever.'"
Now what's God talking about? God here's not talking about a little baby Esau when He says, "I hate Esau". He's talking about a whole nation. He's talking about the Edomites. And He's not just talking about people in the flesh. He's talking about a principle. And not people the in physical bodies. He's talking about a principle and that principle is the flesh. Now, it gets a little complicated here, so pay attention. Amalek is the grandson of Esau. He is a part of that category of persons that God says, "I had a perpetual war with". What does Amalek represent? Amalek represents what all of us have in us and it is the flesh. Say that word "flesh". Flesh. Say "me". Say "my flesh". That's your enemy.
Remember I said I had a church member I have a lot of difficulty with? Friend, you, there's an Amalek in you. He is the grandson of Esau. And you have this. Put down in your Bibles Romans chapter 8 verses 6 and 7, "To be carnally minded," that word carnally means fleshly minded, "is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be". And then Galatians 5 verse 17, "The flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh".
There is that principle that will come against you, the flesh. You come out, you say, "Well, I'm over here in Egypt. I'm going to give my heart to Jesus Christ today. I'm going to get saved. I believe on Christ". And you give your heart to Jesus. And as soon as you drink of that water, as soon as that rock is smitten for you, as soon as that water comes to refresh you, then the Bible says, "Then came Amalek"! Immediately!
When you come out of Egypt, the flesh comes. Amalek comes to say, "You are going no further! You are not going to get into Canaan"! "Then came Amalek". Deuteronomy says in chapter 25 verse 18, "He smote the hindmost of thee when you were weak and faint". God will test us in our strongest point. The flesh will attack us in our weakest point to keep us from entering in to Canaan. Now, how are we going to have victory, not over the world, not over the devil, but that internal enemy, the flesh? We all have that enemy with us, day by day.
All right, here's the next thing I want you to notice. And very quickly, if you would, you must remember a glorious principle. What is the principle? Look if you will again beginning in verses 9 through 12 of this chapter, Exodus 17, "And Moses said unto Joshua, 'Choose us out men, and go out, and fight with Amalek. Tomorrow. I will stand on the top of the hill with the rod of God in mine hand.' So Joshua did as Moses had said unto him, and fought with Amalek; and Moses, and Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill. And it came to pass, when Moses held up his hand, that Israel prevailed; and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed. But Moses' hands were heavy, and they took a stone, and put it under him, and he sat thereon; and Aaron and Hur stayed up his hands, the one on the one side, the other on the other side; and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun".
What is the glorious principle? Here's the glorious principle: the victory is God-given. How am I going to overcome the old Adrian, that church member that I have the most difficulty with? How am I going to overcome him? By rededicating my life? By struggling? No! There is a perpetual warfare. That flesh is in me, in you, and when you get saved the flesh is not eradicated. But thank God, you can have victory, and the victory is God-given. God said, "Moses, you take that rod".
Now remember, it was the rod of God. It represents the power of God. It was that rod that opened up the Red Sea. It was that rod that smote the rock and sent forth water. And the rod that led them out of bondage, the rod that led them out of barrenness, now is the rod that's going to lead them in battle. He says, "Take that rod. Go up to the mountaintop. Hold that rod up. And when you hold that rod up, Amalek will be defeated". Listen, the victory over Amalek, over your flesh, is a God-given victory. The Bible says in Galatians 5 verse 16, "Walk in the Spirit! And you will not fulfill the lusts of your flesh". If I've learned one thing in all of my Christian life it is this, precious friend: that holiness is not the way to Christ; Christ is the way to holiness.
Now, I'm not just playing with words. He does not say, listen; He does not say, "If you will not walk in the flesh then you can walk in the Spirit". He doesn't say that. He says, "Walk in the Spirit! And you will not fulfill the lusts of the flesh". I'm telling you that the victory over your flesh is a God-given victory. That's the only way that you're going to come out of Egypt, through the wilderness, into Canaan, because there's an Amalek within you that stands against you to try to keep you from living in victory. But thank God, hallelujah, praise God, there is a victory. When you take the rod of God, which is the Word of God, the power of God, the Spirit of God, and you hold that high, and that's the reason we need to pray one for another and help one another.
Now I come back to what the whole morning is about. Friend, we need to hold up one another's hands because the victory is God-given. The victory is won on the mountain; it's realized in the valley. Oh, there's a battle. You can't just roll over and not get in the battle. But the battle is the Lord's. Do you know what the name, what Aaron was? He was a priest. He represents prayer. Hur, who held up the hands of Moses, his name means "whiteness" or "purity". Purity and prayer. That's it. Holding up the hands of the people of God. The victory is God-given. Friend, you receive that provision, that's salvation; you remember God's purpose; that is Canaan; you recognize a problem, that's the flesh. But then you believe a principle, and that is, if we'll walk in the Spirit, we'll not fulfill the lusts of the flesh. Let's bow our heads in prayer.
Father God, seal the message to our hearts. Lord, there's so much here. Lord, help us to understand it, and help us, moment by moment and day by day to walk in the Spirit and not fulfill the lusts of the flesh.
Now while heads are bowed and eyes are closed, if you're tired of Egypt, if you're tired of Egypt, and you say, "I want to come out of Egypt. I'm tired, sick and tired of Pharaoh telling me how high to jump. I'm tired of being beat up by the devil. I want liberty. I want victory". If you're thirsty and you need a drink from that Rock, His name is Jesus, and I want to offer you a drink from the Rock today. Would you pray this prayer? Just pray it:
Dear God. I know that You love me and I know that You want to save me. Jesus, You died to save me and You promised to save me if I would trust You. I do trust You right now. Come into my heart. Come into my heart. Forgive my sin. Save me, Jesus.
Pray it, friend, and mean it. Say:
Jesus, thank You for paying for my sin with Your blood. I receive it now by faith. And, Jesus, begin now to make me the person You want me to be, and give me the courage to make it public. In Your holy name, Amen.