John Gray - The Battle Within
I surrender all and I surrender all all to thee my blessed Savior I surrender all I'm not surrendering anything. I don't feel like I have to surrender anything. I've prayed and prayed and I've cried. God I don't even know if you're real, I don't know if you're gonna show up or not. Singing these songs, keep coming to church, my problems are the same. I keep asking questions, I don't get answers, and then everybody else around me seems like they're getting breakthrough, and I don't really know what I feel anymore, and I'm tired of church people judging me, and looking at me like I'm crazy, because I don't lift my hands at the right time, and my family already thinks I'm crazy. I'm the black sheep of the family. And I don't wear the right clothes, and I don't have, you know, the best education, and I don't always put my words together.
Can you really love somebody like me? There is something past the pain I'm in. Something past this broken sin. There's someone who truly sees me clearly, holds me close and loves me dearly. I know that you're there, somewhere past my tears, somewhere beyond my pain. I know that you hear me when I pray, you hear these words I say. I feel you everyday, and I know you'll make a way. So even though I fear, I know that you are near. Sometimes it's hard to stand, but tonight I lift my hands. I am John gray. I am John gray. I am. I'm gonna need you to come away from the conventional thought of what you expect from me. And I need you to lean into tonight for the next few minutes because this may very well be the most important message I've ever preached in my life. I don't need applause, I didn't say it for that reason.
Somebody in here's about to the breakthrough you've been waiting your whole life for. Is there anybody in here that needs a breakthrough tonight? There is a battle, there is a battle waging. And tonight you will hear people wail and cry. Please don't judge 'em, you don't know what they're going through, you don't know what it took for them to get here tonight. Let us not look at tonight as a common religious exercise. Let us not be afraid of the unknown and the uncomfortable. There is a battle going on, you sitting in your chairs, you listening on SiriusXM 128, watching online, there is a battle going on inside of every human being. There is a battle between the flesh and the spirit.
A smattering of applause because some are saying: I'm not sure if I understand. Somebody just invited me tonight, so I don't really know what's going on right now, and I'm a little nervous 'cause you look like you talking to yoself. Well the truth is, I am talking to myself. And every believer who's ever had to live this thing when you didn't want to, knows exactly what it means to talk to yoself when yoself and yoself are fighting. What is y'all clapping for? Why are y'all in here? Y'all keep coming here, but nothing in your life has changed. You keep sowing, giving tithe and offering, but really, has anything changed?
Pastor Nick came up here with his little tiny jeans on and his kneecap out, talking 'bout give 5%, get... Y'all come in here, shout, run around praising, you walked half a mile from your car, you're sweaty. And for what? You ain't really tryin' to get no breakthrough. That you just came here to make yourself feel better, so you might as well go home now. The devil is a liar. I came in here tonight because I need a breakthrough, and I believe that if I get in here, into the presence of other believers, I can feel the faith of other people encouraging me and strengthening me and building me up, and even though I'm in pain, somebody in there is gonna pray me through, somebody in there is gonna give me a word of encouragement. I haven't seen a smile all day, but when I walk into the household of faith, somebody in there is gonna give me what I need.
The title of my sermon is The Battle Within. The battle within. This is a season where the devil is pulling out all the stops. He is attacking every single thing that matters to you. He's coming after your children. He's coming after your job. He's coming after your marriage. He's coming after your peace. He's coming after your joy, and we need to have the right equipment, and the right tools, and the right authority to break that devil in half and put him under our feet. Is there anybody wiling to go on a journey with me tonight? 1 Peter chapter 4 verse 1. Therefore since Christ suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same mind. For he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, that he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh for the lusts of men, but for the will of God.
For have spent enough time of our past lifetime in doing the will of the gentiles, when we walked in lewdness, lusts, drunkenness, revelries, drinking parties, and abominable idolatries. In regard to these, they think it strange that you do not run with them in the same flood of dissipation, speaking evil of you. This scripture speaks to the battle that is the very real essence of Christianity. You will live in one way, somehow, someway, you heard Jesus was the way, you gave him your heart, he gave you a brand new start. But sometimes you slippin', and your friends start trippin'. You asked the Holy Spirit to fill you.
Your heart is broken, you ask him to heal you. But the devil's on the side, trying to kill you. So what will you do? Will you sit there and chill? Or will you sit on the edge like you on the ledge, and give God a praise that will shake this roof, maybe rattle yo tooth. Because tonight we're gonna have to raise a sound that lets the enemy know you are defeated. And you have no authority in any area of my life. The battle that I'm in, is anybody other than me battling? I know in church that we don't often share our intimate places, but until we get honest about the relationship between flesh and spirit, we are never going to mature into what Jesus intended for us, lest the cross of Christ be a nice rallying cry, but it doesn't change us.
I'm in a battle, I'm in a battle for my mind. I'm in a battle for the will of God to be birthed in my life. There is a man behind my eyes who hates me and wants me to die. He hates me with unnatural thirst, must kill him or he'll kill me first. There's a part of me that rebels against the nature of God and the will of God. There's a part of me that doesn't wanna serve God. But then there's the other side that longs for intimate relationship with God. And they war against one another.
And maybe you won't be honest tonight, but I'mma be honest with you tonight that sometimes the battle is a little harder than other times. Maybe you been perfect all your whole little life. Fantastic, congratulations. But when I want to do right, the writer says evil is somewhere close by. It is the battle of two wills, the will of the flesh, and the will of the spirit. So tonight, I'm gonna lovingly challenge you to make a decision on who you gon' serve. If it's God, then serve him. If it's your flesh, then serve it. But as for me and my house...
See, there is a place in all of us that wants God. Then there's another place that doesn't want God, and sometime they happen at the same time. Has this ever happened to you? Where are my fellas at, fellas where you at? That was real weak. Where are the grown, where the men at, where dem... You been in church, you tryin' to worship. You just, you in there, you like yeah yeah, I am a friend of God love you Jesus. I am a friend of God and she walk by. Oh my Lord would you look at dat girl you were just in the Holy Ghost and left the Holy Ghost.
I would say how many fellas have been there, but yo wife is right there, you better keep your hand down. That has never happened to me, honey, I only look at you. I love you. How many ladies have just been, I'm just, this is my season, you be talkin' to your girlfriends. This is my season to focus on me and God, just me and Jesus, I don't need a man, okay. I'm not worried about a man because it's me and... Jesus is my boyfriend, okay. He takes me to the mall, he takes me shopping. He got my nails done, okay. So I don't need a man, okay, because I'm independent. I don't need a man. Hold on, he texting me. Girl, I gotta go.
Somebody say it's a battle. Say it if you mean it, say it's a battle. See there's two people inside of everybody. I know that we're afraid. But you need to understand that the fight and the tension in the life of a believer is the distance between your projected image and your actual self. I'll say it again. The distance that exists between your projected image and your actual self is what God is trying to get rid of. The prayer needs to be Lord, make me one. So that every time you see me, you see me. Not the me that you want, because too many people live a life to please other people.
It's time to get free, I don't really, I'm not concerned whether you like me as long as I'm authentically who God created me to be. Is there anybody else in here that's just ready to live the life God called you to? And why are you diminishing your gifts, your calling, your anointing, so somebody else can feel good? It's time for you to be everything that you were created to be, but the battle on the inside says well, you know, if it's God's will, maybe he'll open a door. It is his will, stop all that silly prayin'. He didn't bring you into the earth to be average. He didn't bring you into the earth to be regular. He didn't bring you into the earth, save you, redeem you, give you a new name, for you to walk around here and live a regular life.
The devil is a liar. God says it's time for you to fight, to fight for your calling, to fight for your anointing, to fight to walk in authority, and to declare without reservation I am exactly what God intended in the earth for this moment. Can somebody give God a battle cry? I said can somebody give God a battle cry? See, there's the will of the mind, and there's the will of the spirit, and then there's the will of God. And whether you are aware of it or not, all these things are working at the same time.
There's a battle within and this scripture, this scripture in Romans 7. Go to Romans 7. Romans 7 verse 14, for we know that the law is spiritual, but I am carnal, sold under sin. Let's freeze right there. There's two things happening for those who are taking notes. The law is spiritual. I am carnal. Spirituality meet carnality. Flesh meet spirit. They don't like each other, they don't get along. It's real quiet in this methodist church. The only reason I know what sin is is because God sent the law. Before I knew who Jesus was, everything was cool. Now because of Jesus he done messed up everything. Now I can't do what I want.
'Cause how many people, sometimes you just wanna chill in yo flesh, 'cause the flesh is familiar. It feels good. Drifting on a memory there's no place I'd rather be and when you you know you right in here with it. Oh bam, bam, bam. But you gave your life to Jesus. So what you would normally do in this instance without guilt, now you like I don't really need to be here with you 'cause God has freed me from sin deep within but you still look good anybody been half saved? Let me see any half saved folk. If you've ever battled in your flesh, just let me see those hands. Watch this, look around, everybody 'cept for one person, she is like no, not me, I've, I just serve God all the time and I just, I love him, and he's amazing. Let me see those hands again 'cause this needs to bless you.
Look at that, everybody else is in the same boat. Keep them hands up, they were just worshiping earlier. But they had a couple thoughts earlier today. They were worshippin' now but somebody cut 'em off in traffic about 39 minutes ago and there was a whole 'nother language that came out and it wadn't a prayer language. I need you to understand that there is a battle in your flesh at all times, and the only reason that the battle exists is because something in you says what I used to be is not what I'm called to be. 15th verse of Romans 7, for what I am doing I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice, but what I hate, that I do. If then I do what I will not to do, I agree with the law that it is good. But now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. For I know that in me, that is in my flesh, nothing good dwells.
Listen, let me speak to you, that God wants to develop you into a place of maturity, where you are listening to the voice of God and the spirit of God, over the voice of your flesh. Because the enemy is using the whisper and the lie of the enemy, and he wants you to listen to that voice over the voice of God. And when you listen to the carnal voice of ease, and the carnal voice of pleasure, it will have you hemmed up in a place that you didn't even realize you got to. Devils don't come to your door in red outfits and pitchforks, and horns. They come in the form of the thing that you want, and feel you deserve, but God says that's not for you. Am I talking to anybody?
You know how much time I would've saved had the wrong people in my life woulda just came up, hey, I'm sent from the devil, how ya doin'? But it doesn't happen like that. You know how it happens? You spot 'em and in yo flesh you like. Then they start talking and somethin's off. It doesn't agree with your spirit, but it does speak to your flesh. And so instead of listening to the voice of the spirit, you go with the flesh because it's familiar, familiar spirit.
So now matter who you are or what you're dealing with in here, we all have something we would rather not other people know about. Only a few of us will clap. I wish I could clap, because too many people have been held hostage by the fear of judgment coming into church, and God is like, I already know what you're dealing with. Do you know what you're dealing with? I'm waiting for you to acknowledge it so I can get rid of it. The moment you confess it, I'm thankful and just to forgive you and cleanse you from all unrighteousness. But it's hard to let go of that flesh.
I heard pastor Kelly Steele, she's from Arizona, she said something, and she's here right now. She said something that blew my mind. She said, sometimes you need the supernatural power of the Holy Ghost. You need something supernatural to not do what comes natural. Anybody ever been there? Like, this feels right. You know, it's the vibe, it's the flow, this is, oh. God is up there like, don't do it. And don't you get mad, like, dang, you always tell me what I can't do! Tell me what I can do! What's the purpose of the blood if I can't sin and get forgiveness? I need to know you can forgive me, so let me just get this sin in, so I know that you're good.
You know, some of us pre-pent. Lord, forgive me for what I'm about to do tonight. It's about to be a problem. Oh, oh, oh. You cannot pre-pent. Cause when you pre-pent, you stop battling. I wanna encourage everybody who's been battling. The fact that you're battling means there's something in you that loves God. There's something in you that says, God, you are more very valuable to me than appeasing my flesh. We deal in a religious society, we deal in an extreme society. You're either hot, you're either cold, or you're on the left or right. You're a democrat or you're a republican. You're black or white.
Same thing in church. Some scream law. Others are screaming grace, but it's a watered down grace. It's a grace that says, go ahead, just do whatever you want, because God loves you. It's okay, just explore. Just try it, and just see if it works. You know, just do it. That's not grace, that's manipulation. You can't manipulate grace. So, when I'm in a battle, I need you to understand that what you see happening out of me is because of something going on inside of me. Sometimes, I'm short with you. It's not because I don't wanna speak to you. It's because I'm fighting to make sure that my flesh stays under control.
If the writer of Romans, Paul, the Apostle, the Chief Apostle, the man of God who wrote over 60% of the New Testament, could write that what he does not want to do, that he does, and what he does, he doesn't want to do, and that's him, what do you think I'm battling with? And every person in here needs to have grace, not for each other. You need to have grace for yourself. Some of you have been so hard on yourself, beating yourself up because of the stuff that you're struggling with. Can I tell you that's a part of the battle? But I'm telling you that there's a voice that's about to speak into your battle, right here, right now.
How does the battle start? You got your will, you got God's will, and then the enemy's somewhere lurking around. How do we turn the tide of the battle? In the Old Testament, when there was a battle, they sounded a trumpet. When they wanted to praise, they sounded the shofar. There is a sound that lets you know what type of battle you're in. I don't know about you. Some people, they're like, John, you're really exUberant. You're just very emotional, and you really move a lot. Well, that's the level of battle that I'm in. Some people, maybe things are good in your life, praise God, and you can give God a gentle wave, but the battle that I'm in, I need to punch the air. I need to jump up and down, and I don't need you to beat me up, because that's where I am. That's what I need to do to get out what's in me.
Is there anybody that ever feels like you're battling against something that you can't see? Do you know that you can praise your way out of a demonic attack? Did you know that there's authority in your mouth? Somebody give God a battle cry right here. Here's what the Holy Spirit showed me about the enemy, because the enemy does not respond to sight: he responds to sound. In the garden, God was speaking, and he was talking. He created. Notice that while God was speaking and creating, you never heard nothing from the serpent. After God creates man from the dust of the ground, then the serpent comes up. Doesn't speak to God, he speaks to eve, why? Something about the sound in her voice drew the enemy near.
Now, this is something very interesting. I wanna studying serpents and snakes. They don't have external ears. They have, they call them ears, but basically, they transmit and process sound inside, and it leaves a signal in the brain, and they move in the direction of the source of the sound wave. So, the enemy knew the sound of God, and he knew he couldn't fool with that, but this new sound was spirit and flesh, because we were created from the dust of the ground, and he said, now here's a voice that has two things: it could go either way.
So I'm gonna speak to it and see if it speaks back. For some of you, you need to stop talking. Everybody doesn't need to know your plans. Everyone doesn't need to know your hopes and your dreams. You need to keep your circle tight. Some of the people that God is removing from your life, it's on purpose. He's doing it because he loves you. It's not because he's mad at you. You are in a battle, and you need the right people in your crew if you're battling to grow. If you're battling to develop, if you're battling to become all that God has created you anybody on your side of the line that will shoot you in the back while you're trying to fight the enemy. Six-second praise break.
The serpent didn't attack the man: he attacked the sound. He wanted the authority that Adam had, and Adam's authority wasn't in his flesh: it was in his mouth. The battle that you must engage in is a war of your words. What are you speaking? Are you speaking flesh, or are you speaking spirit, because the spirit, it is life. When you speak the Word of God, they are spirit and they are life. It is time for you to get them post-it notes off your desk and start writing scripture and posting them on every single surface until everything changes in your house. You need to just get all that, Psalm 23, yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I'll fear no evil. Get 'cause I'm the head and not the tail.
You need to get this one, for God so loved the world. You know, there is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus. You need to begin to declare that in the atmosphere, because the sound of authority pushes the devil out of your realm and pushes the devil back, because when competing sound waves come into one another, there's a crash. Somebody say crash. Clap right now, just clap. Stop, one clap, just one clap, one clap. Why did I hear that? Because two solids came together at a fixed point, and because they couldn't go through one another, it created a sound. What happens when you crash into the enemy with the sound of authority is it releases glory.
Darwin, I'm getting ready to shout. Just get prepared, I might need you. So you need somebody near you that will help you with your sound, because his strength is made perfect in our weakness, so sometimes all I can get out is a, I will bless the Lord, oh my soul and all that is within me bless his holy name see, the enemy, he might not be intimidated by that. He's like, well, that's not really strong, but he's one. If I can get my crew with me, and somebody else comes up. He has done great things somebody else. He has done great things and then somebody else. He has done great things bless his holy name.
There is a sound that unifies every part of your being, where your flesh will come and your spirit will come, and the only thing that is left is the will of God. I'm gonna give you 30 seconds to prepare a sound that crashes into the attack of the enemy. Anybody ever watched a war movie? You ever seen, what's that movie with Mel Gibson, Braveheart? And they start running towards each other full speed, and then they just literally, and they crash.
I need you to understand that the enemy responds to sound, and he has to be pushed back. So when you send a sound of resistance, no, devil, you can't have my marriage, no, devil, you can't have my family. I said no. Notice that the sound wave got stronger, 'cause greater is that's in me than he's that in the world. There's a battle on the inside, but I'm gonna make my flesh bow down, and I'm gonna let my spirit rise up. Help me, Holy Ghost. There is a place in the scripture in Romans seven where, at the end, Paul says, oh, wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?
He didn't say a what, he called it a who, because we've all tried the what's. How many of us have tried the what's? The what is you drinking. You can drink all day. You'll still have that void. Sex all day, it'll still not fill the void. You can party all night. It still won't fill the void. There is one who can fill the void. He talked to the woman at the well, and he said, if you drink from me, you will never thirst again, and the lifetime of battles that she was in ceased in one moment. You tired of battling? You tired of fighting a losing battle? It's time to get Jesus on the scene.
See, there were three that were crucified. One of 'em said save us and yourself if you can. There was another one who was broken and said, remember me when you come into your kingdom. And Jesus said, this day, you will be with me in paradise. Even if you're at the end of your battle, Jesus will come in as the general of your soul, and he will save you, and he will heal you, and he will cleanse you. To anybody in here that's been battling, I need you to do this, unorthodox. Just stand up where you are if it's a battle in your mind, a battle in your flesh, a battle in your spirit, a battle in your finances, if you've been battling in your emotions, trying to figure out which relationship decisions to make. You've made bad decisions, but now you want God to give you the wisdom to make the right decision.
I need you to begin, like that individual over there, to create a sound barrier of praise, worship, and authority that lets the devil know, you can't have this territory. There's a battle on the inside, and it'll be won by my words. It'll be won by my confession. It'll be won by the authority in my mouth, and I need you to go ahead, and I need you to make that sound, not just for you, but for your children, and your mom, and your uncle, and your aunt, and your city. Come on, come on 10 more seconds.
I need you to know that your praise is waging war in a heavenly place. I know that there are times when you do what you don't wanna do, but you can praise your way out of addiction. You can praise your way out of bondage. You can praise your way out of a reprobate mind. God can heal you, if you just turn. Come on in here, let's just take another second. Let out a war cry. Let out a war cry. The battle has begun the victory is won we have power through the son shout a war cry in this atmosphere, if you didn't know that there was a battle for your soul, there is a king who laid it all on the line, who laid down his life, so that you don't fight alone, and the weapons of your warfare are not carnal, but they are mighty in God to the pulling down of strongholds.
There are places that I've been battling with since I was a little boy, since I was in Cincinnati, a teenager struggling for validation, struggling for identify, and I would listen to guys like Darwin Hobbes singing songs of deliverance at Christ Emmanuel, pastor Carroll on the second row, and something would rise up in me, and I realized that I've got authority, and I've got power, and it's in the name of Jesus. Yeah, you might not be able to jump, but if you can, I dare you.
Ladies and gentlemen, we interrupt this regularly scheduled service to bring you a special announcement. The Holy Ghost is in the building, and the spirit of the Lord has given freedom, and where the spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty, there is freedom, there is deliverance, there is hope, there is healing! Somebody in here needs to get saved tonight. I've never done this. If you've never given Jesus your life, you have never accepted the Lord as Savior, I want you, if you're in this section, you've never given your life to Jesus, get to the altar. If you have stepped away from God but you need to rededicate and get back in the battle, lift your hands up where you are. If you're up here, and you've never given your life to the Lord, and you need to accept Jesus as your Savior, I need you to wave both hands like this, just y'all, if that's you.
The rest of y'all, keep clapping. Wave your hands like it's a mayday, like you need God to rescue you. If somebody near you is waving like that, put your arms around them. Tell 'em I'll fight with you. I'll fight for you. I'll pray you through. Break it down. Come on, honey, let 'em come, let them come, please. Stay right here. The enemy doesn't like this sound, because somebody's getting free.
If you struggle with addiction, I dare you to step out of your seat and say, it no longer holds me hostage. Abusive relationship, come out of there. Tell the devil, not another night. I won't live in fear, I won't live in shame, I won't live in guilt. We're gonna leave together in just a moment, but deliverance is tonight. Tonight, we're crying tears of joy, tears of release. Break it down. Darwin, the Bible says love covers a multitude of sins. I don't need a sound of judgment: I need a sound of covering.
See, when you're in a battle, when soldiers are about to take territory, pastor Kelly, somebody else, cover me. Did anybody catch that, other than my wife? Listen, I'm in a battle for my soul. I need you to cover me. I need you to speak words of authority into the atmosphere while I'm running towards the destiny of God. I need you to speak, to quench the flaming darts of the enemy. Cover me. I know you know what I'm struggling with. I know you're close enough to see my wounds. But instead of exposing me, can you... Am I talking to anybody?