Gregory Dickow - Winning the War Within
I want to talk to you about The War Within. The War Within. You see, there is a lot of things happening around this world, and there's a lot of things happening in this country, things that have broken our hearts, things that have hurt so many people over, not just the last couple of weeks, but over the years, the problems that we've had in our nation. But we've also had the gospel spreading more than it ever has before. And we sometimes forget where the battle really is.
And I want to focus on the war within, because the Bible says in Proverbs 16:32, it says, "Better is a man who can rule his own spirit than one who can capture an entire city". So it's one thing to capture a city, but it's even a greater thing to rule yourself. He says, "He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit better than the one who captures a city".
So I want you to think about that for a moment, that it would take such a great effort, it would take such a mammoth effort to capture a city like Chicago, or New York, or Los Angeles, or Singapore, or Sydney, Australia or Istanbul, or wherever you are. It would take so much to capture a city. But the Bible says, it's even better for you to be able to rule yourself. It's more powerful. It makes a greater impact. It makes a bigger difference for you to rule yourself than to even capture a city. Wow, that's pretty powerful. You've got a lot of power. You know that, right? You have a lot of power. And I want to share that with you, so that you can tap into and unleash the power within, but you can only unleash the power within when you win the war within.
And let me give you a scripture on that as well, James 4:1, he said, "What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don't they come from your desires that battle within you"? He said, "Don't they come from your desires, that battle within you"? Don't they come from, he's really saying "Don't they come from within you"? In other words, whatever shows up on the outside started on the inside.
You know as well as I do, the way that God transforms us is from the inside out, just the same way that a moth will turn into a butterfly, a worm, a caterpillar will turn into a butterfly. He goes into his creates a cocoon around himself. And inside of that cocoon, God is wired and designed that creature to actually be transformed from within, everything that that butterfly is on the outside of that cocoon was all inside of that caterpillar from the beginning of time when whenever that caterpillar was born, from the beginning of that caterpillar life, every bit of color in the wings of that butterfly, every bit of the cells and the DNA to be able to fly was always inside, within.
You see, there's greatness within you. There's treasure within you. There's power within you. There's healing within you. There's wisdom within you. There's answers within you. There's value within you. But there's also a war within you. And we're going to deal with that war within because you can't deal with the things on the outside if you don't first deal with the things on the inside. And that's why I want to talk to you about the war within. You know, it says in Ephesians 6:12, he says, "We are not wrestling against flesh and blood enemies, but against the rulers and authorities of the unseen world".
You see, we live in this horizontal world where we try to attack the enemy that we see outside of us, but he's talking about anything that ever happens, all the evil that happens in the world, it happens through people who are being influenced by evil spirits, he says. Evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world against mighty powers in this dark world and against evil spirits, where in the heavenly places the evil spirits are operating in heavenly places. In the unseen world.
You see what we see played out in the media, what we see played out in the news, but we see played out in this world has already happening in the heavens, in the heavenly places, and it's showing up in the earthly places. The Bible says that everything happens in the spiritual world and then it shows up in the natural world and we need to understand that so that we don't. Aim our spiritual weapons or any weapons, for that matter, at a physical enemy, rather, instead we take our place as sons and daughters of God and we aim at the spiritual forces that are behind the hate, that are behind that fear, that are behind anxiety, the spiritual forces that are behind bitterness, that are behind unforgiveness, the spiritual forces that are behind different groups that hate or cause strife or conflict.
What happens is, is the heavenly places that these evil spirits are operating in. The good news is there's also somebody else in those heavenly places that has more authority than the evil spirits who know who that is. You know, the Bible says for Jesus Christ. Has raised us up with him and has seeded us with him in the heavenly places, he's raised us up with him and seated us with him where in the heavenly places, in Christ Jesus and with us in heavenly places, with Christ Jesus. That gives us authority over all the power of the enemy. If you if you jump back over to Ephesians, chapter one, verse 20 said he's brought about in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, far above all, rule and authority and power and dominion and over every name that his name, not only in this age, but in the one to come.
So notice God has put Jesus next to him at his own right hand and verse twenty, he says any verse twenty one, he says, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion and over every name that his name. So obviously God, the father is on the throne and Jesus is at the right hand of the Father in heavenly places. It says in verse 20 and in verse, seated him at his right hand in heavenly places and verse twenty one, far above all rule in authority and power and dominion. And so if we're seated with Christ, who's seated with the father far above our ruling authority, then guess what that makes you. You are far above all rule in authority.
And so we can't battle our fight with people. It's not against flesh and blood enemies. Our battle is to take our authority over the spiritual forces of darkness and over the evil spirits that are trying to control this world and trying to control our lives. And it starts with us getting control of our own self and getting control of our thoughts and learning how to master our emotions, because there will never be healthy horizontal relationships with people until you have a healthy vertical relationship with God. It's everything that unfolds in the horizontal relationship begins with the vertical relationship. And we'll get back to that in a couple of moments, but I want you to see how this works, because what we have to do is we have to understand to win the war within, we have to believe something about God, we have to believe something about the enemy, we have to believe something about ourselves, and we have to believe something about others.
And I want to help you to know what to believe about each of these four things, we have to know what to believe about God. We have to know what to believe about the enemy. We have to know what to believe about ourselves, and we have to know what to believe about each other and others. And once we win that battle of what we believe the war within, then everything else on the outside will begin to begin to look like what's on the inside right now, what's on the outside looks like what's on the inside, because most people are confused and have chaos and fear and anxiety on the inside. So that's what shows up on the outside. Fear and uncertainty and insecurity and feelings of inferiority and and all of the things that are working people's lives, condemnation and guilt and and shame and blame and anger and resentment and bitterness, all those things are are we're seeing played out on the outside because that's what's on the inside of people.
And we have to realize what's behind all that. Our evil spirits. We have to be careful. Not just be careful, we have to have an understanding of this. Let's not demonize people because people are going to do things and we want to demonize people and find somebody to blame. But, you know, we need, you know, who we need to demonize. We need to demonize demons. Like, we have to realize that the demons need to be demonized, the evil spirits. We have to see that everything that happens in this world through human beings, they're being influenced by either an evil spirit or the spirit of God. And there is a war within you for who is going to control your decision making process of your life, because real spiritual warfare is who is going to control the decision making process of your life.
Are your emotions going to be in control? Is God going to be in control? Is love going to be in control or is fear going to be in control? Is goodness going to be in control and kindness, or is resentment and pain and hurt and shame going to be in control? You see, because this is how we win the war within is by understanding what to believe about God, what to believe about the enemy, what to believe about ourselves and what to believe about others. And I want you to realize something, folks. It's a really clear difference between God and the devil. And you know what it is? It's going to be real spiritual and get ready. God is good and the devil's bad. I know that took me a long time to study and figure out and learn. And it was a big statement. You see how the little thing, God is good, the devil's bad. We have to be we have to realize it's that simple.
If you look at John 10:10, Jesus said the thief comes only but for to steal, kill and destroy. So anything that steals, kills, it destroys. That's the fingerprints of Satan. Anything that steals, kills, destroys. Now we see the DNA of the devil. We see the DNA of Satan. We see the DNA of the thief, Jesus said. But I have come that they might have life. I love. I like how the amplified says they might have and enjoy life and have it in abundance till the full till it overflows. Jesus said, I'm the Good Shepherd. Oh, there's a bad one out there. There's a bad wolf out there, the devil. But Jesus is the good shepherd who laid his life down for the sheep. And listen, we got to get a hold of this that God is good.
And here's what I want you to understand about the war within. It's a struggle. The struggle is real, the struggle people are experiencing on the outside, all the things we're experiencing, all the the shock, all the the pain, all the grief that's coming out, all the the years that we're experiencing now coming up to the surface, because God wants to heal it. You can't heal what you don't first reveal, first something has to be revealed, then it can be healed. But you got to feel it. You've got to reveal it, and then God will heal it. But you have to look to God to heal it because man can't heal this stuff, man can't heal a virus. Man can't heal racial tension. But God can, and God does through you, when you win the war within.
You, see, I want you to understand something. God knows you struggle. God knows I struggle and whatever your struggle is today, now locate yourself here. What are you struggling with? There's a struggle within. You might feel oppressed, you might feel mistreated. You might feel an injustice has been done in your life. You might be going through something physically, something emotionally, something financially, something in your relationship. Let me show you something about God that I want you to believe about him in Hebrews 4:15, I notice what he says. We do not have a high priest that cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities. But in all things, I was tempted like we are yet without sin.
Notice what he says there. He says, our high priest, which is Jesus. He said, we don't have a high priest that's not touched. With the feeling of our infirmities, the word infirmity is our weakness is what we're struggling with. We have a high priest who's touched by it. Whatever you feel right now, it's real because you feel it. Whatever the reason is that you feel it. We can dissect that and we can understand that and we can break that down. But it's real. If you feel something, it's real to you. And God wants you to know he's touched by that.
Not everybody else is going to be touched by that. Not everybody else is touched by what you feel. Not everybody else is moved by what you feel. Not everybody else is sensitive to what you feel. But God is God is so aware of your feelings. He's not mad for you having these feelings. He's not against you having whatever feelings you have. And I'm talking about a very broad spectrum of thousands of different feelings that whatever wherever you find yourself, this is how you win the war within against the infirmities, against your weaknesses, against the forces of darkness that are trying to lead you to make decisions that will destroy your life or God's spirit, trying to lead you to make decisions that will build your life.
The Lord is touched by whatever you feel. Is it anger? It touches him. Is it fear? It touches him. Is it resentment, it touches him? Is it? This feeling of. Mischaracterizing you, somebody is mischaracterized your character, some misunderstood you, feeling misunderstood, feeling sick. Feeling broken from life, from this crisis, we've been in one crisis after another. You feel discouraged, he's touched by that, you feel alone, he's touched by that, you feel weak, he's touched by that, you feel like quitting, he's touched by that. You feel like a hurting yourself. He's touched by that. You feel like hurting somebody else. He's touched by that.
Got to believe this about God, what it was supposed to believe about God, he's touched by what you feel, the injustice you feel, he's touched by it, the fear that you feel he's touched by it, the anxiety you feel he's touched by it, the jealousy, the anguish, the discouragement, the devastation, the disappointment. He's touched by it all. And I love what he says in verse three of Isaiah. Forty two in the message Bible. You feel bruised, you feel hurt. God says something about himself. He won't brush aside the bruised and the hurt, and he will not disregard the small and insignificant. But he will steadily and firmly set things right. Yes, in your life, are you bruised? He won't disregard it. He won't brush it aside, not this time, because we're going to look to him.
Are you hurt? He's not going to brush it aside this time because we're going to look to him. Do you feel insignificant, small, inferior, like my voice? How is my voice going to be heard? But God hears the faintest cry. God sees the dimmest. Burning wick. And he will not brush it aside. He will not disregard you. Have people disregarded you sure. Has opportunity disregarded you? Sure, of course. But God will not dis regard you, not, you know. He will steadily and firmly set things right. He's not going to disregard you. He's not going to brush you. I don't know. I got to get to the important people. Got so important to him.
You are so important to him, you were God's idea, you might have come through your parents. Of course you did. He came through your parents, but you came from God. You came through. That precious woman called your mother. But she came from God. You were his idea, so he knows how to heal and solve and rectify and set things right and avenge you. He's your avenger, the widow said to the unjust judge, the unrighteous judge, avenge me, avenge me. And he said, No, you're not important, you're a widow. But she would not stop, avenge me, avenge me. And finally, he said, This one bothers me so much. I will avenger just so she'll stop bothering me. And then Jesus says. Think about this unrighteous judge. Who avenged this woman, even though he didn't respect man and didn't respect God? How much more will your father avenge his children who cry to him?
Oh, it might seem like it's not happening, but he will avenge you and it will happen so fast. It might take a while, but when it happens, it'll catch you by surprise and he won't turn the tables on the devil, turn the tables on your situation, turn the tables on whatever is causing you suffering, and he will turn it around and suddenly you find yourself lifted up, promoted, transformed, change. Oh, it's while it was happening, it seemed like it was taking forever, but then in an instant, in a moment of time, he turns it around. And suddenly you feel the reward of God, feel the delivering hand of God. You feel that God has steadily and firmly, and firmly set things right.