Today on answers with bayless conley: and if you don’t cast down that argument,it grows into a stronghold. A stronghold is a position from which theenemy can operate. And i think we need to ask ourselves, “whotold me that? Where did that thought come from? Is that from god? Is that consistent with his word? Is that consistent with his truth? There are many questions you are faced withevery day. We are all searching for answers that willmake a real difference in our lives. It’s hard to imagine that these answersmight be right in front of us. Get ready to discover answers in the biblewith bayless conley. Hi, bayless conley here.

I want to welcome you to today’s message. And we’ve got some really important thingsto be sharing with you. You know one of the greatest discoveries i’veever made is that there’s answers in the bible; there’s answers to our hearts questions. And we’re going to be looking at some qualitiesthat are absolutely essential in carrying out god’s purposes for our lives. And there’s going to be something in thisthat applies to each and every one of you. Stay tuned at the end of the program todayfor a special inspirational thought from bayless. We are taking a look at the life of david. In fact, if you have a bible, maybe find actschapter 13. We’re going to read a verse there in justa moment. Honestly, we could quite literally spend ayear of wednesday night’s just studying the life of david. We’re sort of just skimming the surface, andit is a … Well, a very rewarding study to get in, and take a look at his life, and everythinghe went through from being with his father’s sheep, until he finally turned the reignsof leadership over to his son solomon. Just about everything you could imagine happeningin a man’s life happened to david. There was a lot of ups. A lot of downs. A lot of successes. Some huge failures. Friendships. Mortal enemies. Everything you could imagine, and it’s justso full of life lessons. I want to talk to you tonight about threethings in david’s life that really stand out to me. Let’s pray. Father, teach us by the holy spirit we pray. May jesus be glorified through the meditationsof our heart, through the words of our mouths, and through our actions. Lord, our hearts are open, and we love youtonight. Amen. Acts chapter 13, look with me if you wouldat verse 22. Acts 13, and 22. It says, and when he had removed him, (speaking ofking saul), he raised up for them david as king, to whom also he gave testimony and said,‘i have found david the son of jesse, a man after my own heart, who will do all mywill.’ i think the amplified bible says, “he willcarry out my program.” basically david carried out the purposes ofgod. He was a man after god’s heart, and i wantto carry out the purposes of god in my life. And i hope that you do as well.

I want to do my part, and fulfill the partof god’s plan that i’ve been called to function in. But you know what? It’s not automatic. You have a part to play, and i have a partto play. First corinthians three and nine says, we are co-laborers together with god. Anddavid being a man after god’s heart, and fulfilling the plan of god, it wasn’t justa matter of some sovereign act of god or something that god chose. David cooperated with god, he made a lot ofright choices, and he repented when he made wrong choices. And again, i want to talk to you about threequalities of david’s life that i believe were huge assets when it came to being a man aftergod’s heart, and carrying out the purposes of god. Three qualities that we should learn from,and that we should emulate. Number one, david was a man of war. Number two, david was a man of worship. Number three, david was a man of the word. He was a man of war, he was a man of worship,and he was a man of the word. Look with me at first samuel chapter 17.

We’re going to read a few verses from a reallyfamiliar story. David has shown up at the battlefield wheregoliath has been challenging the armies of israel, and everyone’s afraid to go out andfight the philistine giant. We pick it up in verse 32. It says, 34 but david said to saul, “your servantused to keep his father’s sheep, and when a lion or a bear came and took a lamb outof the flock, 35 i went out after it and struck it, and delivered the lamb from its mouth;and when it arose against me, i caught it by its beard, and struck and killed it. 36your servant has killed both lion and bear; and this uncircumcised philistine will belike one of them, seeing he has defied the armies of the living god.” Now david defended what was his. He wouldn’t even give up one scrawny sheepto a lion, or to a bear. And he was ready to fight the philistine giantso that israel wouldn’t lose her honor, and so that she wouldn’t lose any of her territory. You know the bible says in first peter 5:8that our adversary, the devil walks about as a roaring lion — seeking whom he maydevour. The very next verse, verse nine says, “resisthim. Steadfast in the faith.” jesus said in john 10:10, “the thief’s,” speakingof the devil, he only comes to steal, to kill, and to destroy.

Now, like it or not child of god, you arein the middle of a conflict, and you better learn how to fight. James 4:7 says, “submit yourselves thereforeto god. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” ephesians 4:7 says, “give the devil no place. Give him no foothold in your life.” the thing is, is if we give something up tothe devil, if we compromise and give something up he will always be back for more.” and he’ll usually be back for something bigger. So, if the enemy brings trouble to your doorstep,don’t roll over and play dead, fight. Tell him, “devil you can’t have my marriage. You can’t have my kids. You can’t have my finances. You can’t have my neighborhood. You can’t have my health.” somebody says, “well how do you fight?” we just quoted it a moment ago. First peter 5:9, “resist him steadfast inthe faith.” romans 10:17, “so then faith comes by hearing,and hearing by the word of god.” you resist the devil with the word. You know david filled his shepherd’s bagwith five smooth stones, and then he took one out and launched it out of his sling intogoliath’s forehead. We need to fill our heart with the promisesof god, and then launch some out of our mouth at the enemy when we are attacked. We need to go on the offensive. And i think what many christians fail to realizeis that the main battlefield is in the mind. The mind of man is the battleground of theages. You can look at these verses; they’ll be upon the screen. Second corinthians chapter ten verses three,to five. And these verses have an application for preachingthe gospel to a lost world, but they also have a personal application for each of usas believers. And it says, for though we walk in the flesh, we do notwar according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnalbut mighty in god for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thingthat exalts itself against the knowledge of god, bringing every thought into captivityto the obedience of christ. Think about that. Pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments,taking thoughts captive.

Everything that exalts itself against theknowledge of god, and the place we find the knowledge of god is in his word. Anything that exalts itself, or contradictsthe word of god. And i believe what he does here, and actually he gives us a sequenceof things that happened beginning from the end, back to the beginning. It starts with a thought. He said we need to take every thought captiveand bring it to the obedience of christ. Bring it under submission to god’s word. But you know what? If a thought is not captured, and if it’sallowed to germinate, it grows into an argument. Suddenly, something that at one time you neverwould’ve accepted begins to make sense in your mind. “well, you know god maybe doesn’t hear yourprayers? You know maybe god doesn’t love everyone? Maybe it’s not god’s will that everybody besaved? Maybe you know, god doesn’t want you blessed? Maybe tragedy is god’s plan for your life?” and things that are contrary to the word suddenlybegin to make an argument in your mind that makes sense, and if you don’t cast down thatargument, it grows into a stronghold. A stronghold is a position from which theenemy can operate. And all of these things deal with the mind. And, it all starts with an uncaptured thought. If we do not take wrong thoughts captive,they will take us captive. If we do not cast down arguments, they willcast us down. If we don’t pull down strongholds, they willpull us down. You know what? One wrong thought kept the nation of israelout of the promise land. One wrong thought. One thought that wasn’t captured kept theentire nation out of the promise land for 40 years. They were the generation that god had ordained,he prophesied to abraham and said, “look, 400 years from now your posterities goingto come, they’re going to inherit this land that you are a sojourner in.” and, that verygeneration is the one that god brought out of egypt by the hand of moses.

They come to the borders of the promise land,they’ve already defeated sihon and og the amorite kings, miracles have happened, theysend the 12 spies in, and i know you know the story. The spies come back and said, “man, it’s everythinggod said, flows with milk and honey. Here’s the fruit of the land. Nevertheless, we can’t do it. There’s giants there; there’s walled cities,they’re stronger than we are.” and, this is what they said, “when we saw the people,”they’re all men of great stature, “when we saw them in our own sight, we were like grasshoppers. So were we in their sight.” that’s what they 12 spies … 10 of the 12spies came back and reported. “we went in there when we saw them in ourown sight we’re like grasshoppers. When they saw us, they thought the same thing. Grasshoppers. These israelites just a bug to be squashed. They’re nothing.” and, they said, “we can’t do it. They’re too confident. They’re too big. We can’t do it.” and, the whole nation sidedwith the ten spies, despite what joshua and caleb said. Joshua and caleb said, “look, god said wecan do it, let’s do it, now.” and they spend the next 40 years doing laps around mountsinai dying in the wilderness. Alright, we fast forward 40 years. Now joshua is at the helm leading the nationin. They come back to the border of canaan again,40 years later. They send spies in. They cross over; they come into the town ofjericho, the first city they’re going to have to take. They end up in rahab’s house. She’s a prostitute. I don’t know why they were there, but that’swhere they were. And, when rahab works out who they are, shetells the truth of the matter. She said, “40 years ago everyone here heardhow your god dried up the waters of the red sea for you.

Everyone heard how you slaughtered og andsihon the king of the amorites, and when we heard these things every man’s heart meltedwithin him. Neither did there any more courage remainin any man. We were terrified of you. Everyone.” but the israelites, they thought, “no, theylook at us, and they’re thinking, “grasshoppers.” when in reality the canaanites were shakingin their boots down to the last man. That thought was contrary to what god hadtold them. If you would, it exalted itself against theknowledge of god, and they didn’t capture it. And, it kept them out of the promise land— one wrong thought. Somebody says, “well how do you take a thoughtcaptive?” i don’t think it’s always that easy. I mean thoughts will fly through your mindlike arrows sometimes. But you’ve got to do just that. Catch it, grab it and turn it over and say,”wait a minute, where did this come from? Is this in line with what god has said aboutme? About my situation? Where did this thought come from?” you know one of the first questions in genesisthree that god ever asked man, he said, “who told you?” and i think we need to ask ourselves, “whotold me that? Where did that thought come from? Is that from god? Is that consistent with his word? Is that consistent with his truth? Wait a minute if it didn’t, maybe it camefrom the enemy, and jesus said he’s a liar, and there’s no truth in him. So, if the devil told me, it has to be a lieso why am i worrying about it at all?” replace those thoughts with god’s thoughts. And you know, the devil always does that. You remember jesus at the jordan river. He gets baptized, the heavens open, and godspeaks. What does god say? “this is my beloved son in whom i’m well pleased.” jesus immediately out in the wilderness meetsthe devil. What’s the first thing the devil says to him? “if you’re the son of god” the devil immediatelychallenged the thing that god said about jesus, “this is my son. Well if you’re the son of god.” and, the devilwill always do that. “well if god really loved you, why would thesethings be happening in your life? If god really heard your prayers, then whyhaven’t things changed? You’ll never be whole. You’re a loser. You have no value.

God doesn’t listen to you. You’ll never be free from that addiction. You’ll never be free from that oppression.” wait a minute, capture that thought. Who told you that? Because, if you don’t capture it, it’ll growinto an argument. Harder to deal with when it’s in the argumentstage, but you can still cast it down when it’s an argument. If you don’t deal with it there, it growsinto a stronghold. A stronghold is even more difficult to dealwith. Better to deal with things in the thoughtstage. And, before we move on i just want to saythis, you know israel’s first king, saul, who reigned before david; he was also a manof war. He fought a lot of battles, but if you studythe scriptures, saul’s battles were almost all defensive. David was a man of war, but if you study thescriptures almost all of david’s battles were offensive. Saul is just trying to protect what he has. David’s going after new territory. David’s going after a bigger influence. And you know what? If the devil can’t take you out, he is satisfiedto contain you. To always have you, or always have me fightinga defensive battle. We’re always on the defensive. That happens, we’re never growing; we’re nevertaking more territory. I think god wants us to go after our neighborhoods. I think god wants us to move to a new levelin our business, so we’ve got more to support the kingdom with.

I think god wants us to move onto greaterthings, and to go on the offensive, and not live contained lives where we’re always tryingto fight the devil off, but we’re actually taking new territory. David was a man of war. He understood that he was in a fight, andwe need to understand that we’re in a fight. Alright number two, david was a man of worship. Would you look with me at psalm 34 if youwould? Psalm 34. Beginning in verse one. Psalm 34 and one. David says, i will bless the lord at all times;his praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul shall make its boast in the lord;the humble shall hear of it and be glad. Oh, magnify the lord with me,and let us exalt his name together. I think we need to join david in magnifying,and exalting god at all times. His praise will continually be in my mouth. He said, “i will bless the lord at all times.” worship was a lifestyle for david, whetherhe was in a season of victory, or whether it was a time of sorrow or a time of tribulationwe always find david worshiping god. I’ll just show you one example among many,many that we could look at, it’s right nearby. Psalm 57. It sort of gives the idea. Psalm 57 verse one david says, be merciful to me, o god, be merciful to me! For my soul trusts in you;and in the shadow of your wings i will make my refuge,until these calamities have passed by. Everybody say calamities. Notice not calamity singular, calamities plural. “til these calamities have passed by.” drop down to verse four. My soul is among lions;i lie among the sons of men who are set on fire,whose teeth are spears and arrows, and their tongue a sharp sword. How many think that sounds pretty bad? Think about that. I love david’s descriptive nature. “my soul is among lions.

The sons of men who are on fire. Their teeth are swords and spears.” i mean he is in a rough patch, and actuallythis psalm corresponds with one of the times when king saul was hot on his trail tryingto assassinate him. But we come down to verse seven of the samepsalm he said, my heart is steadfast, o god, my heart issteadfast; i will sing and give praise. Awake, my glory! Awake, lute and harp! I will awaken the dawn. I will praise you, o lord, among the peoples;i will sing to you among the nations. What’s david doing? When his soul is among lions? And when he’s surrounded by the sons of menthat are on fire? He’s worshiping his god. He’s praising. You know in the new testament, hebrews 13in verse 15 says, therefore by him (by jesus) let us continuallyoffer the sacrifice of praise to god, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks tohis name. The new testament says we should continuallyoffer the sacrifice of praise. And you know king david in second samuel 24:24he said, “i will not offer a sacrifice to god that costs me nothing.” i think the message bible says, “i’m not goingto offer a sacrifice to god that is no sacrifice.” once a blessing has come, once the answerto a prayer has materialized, it’s not a sacrifice to praise god then. Yes, thanks and praise are in order, and weshould, but it’s a joy to do it then. It’s valuable, and we should follow throughwith thanksgiving, but when we see no change in our circumstances and life seems to betelling us that god is neither faithful, nor good that’s when praise is a sacrifice, andit cost us something to give it. You know, some of you know the story, someof you don’t. We had a titanic struggle over this property that we’d purchased, where weare now.

The city’s redevelopment agency locked usout of our property, and seized it from us and said, “we’re taking it.” we ended up in a court battle that lastedyears, eventually ended up in federal court. And there were five major components in allthe different lawsuits that were going on, and we actually won all five of those issues. Hands down. We won all five. Now you know what? When that happened, it wasn’t a sacrificeto praise god at that moment. It was easy. Once we got the building permits issued, itwas a breeze to worship god then. No sacrifice at all, but you know i remembersitting down with the attorneys when we were in the midst of things and saying, “look,bayless, you just need to know, that in the history of our nation no one has ever wona case that has been in your position before.” it was a bit more of a sacrifice to worshipthen. Or when you open up the local paper, and there’syour face on a satirical cartoon. A little bit more of a sacrifice to worshipgod then, but we’re to fill our mouth with praise, at all times. Offer the sacrifice of praise to god continually. God wants us to learn to shout while jericho’swalls are still standing. Thank you for watching answers with baylessconley. Bayless will continue with part two of hismessage next week. I’m so glad that you joined us today. And please tune in again next week for thesecond half of this message. In the meantime, why don’t you put intopractice something that stood out to you in the message today. And if you’d like to go deeper in some ofthese things, join us on our youtube channel. We’ve got it translated into many languages. And it always means a lot to us if you sharethat with your friends on social media. So, hey, we will see you again soon. And now here’s bayless with an inspirationalthought you can apply today. You know many people that i know and myselfincluded at different times in my life feel like we waste time. It’s like we look back at our day and wethink, “what did i do with all that time, did i really do anything productive?” And i learned something a long time ago, infact, it was something i feel like the holy spirit whispered to my heart, and it’s this:worship is never wasted time. It’s never wasted time. When you worship you connect with god. When you worship it literally it attractsgod. The scripture says that god inhabits the praisesof israel, that’s psalm 22. Literally god enthrones himself upon the singingpraises of his people. In the book of isaiah god says, i will meethim that rejoices. It can bring a tangible sense of god’s presence. And the scripture says to put on the garmentof praise for the spirit of heaviness. And if you’ve been going through it; maybeexperiencing some really rough things in your life, i just want to encourage you, my friend,spend time worshiping god. You may feel like you have hundred-pound weightstied to each wrist and you can’t lift your hands lift them anyway.

You may feel like somebody’s got a sockstuck in your mouth and you just can’t get the words out, force the words out. Begin to worship god for his beauty, for hisgoodness, for his kindness, for his unchangeable nature, the fact that his mercies are newevery morning. And if you will worship god, my friend, thingswill change. That heaviness will leave. The presence of god will come. Spend some time today worshiping god. You will never ever regret it. It is not wasted time. Worship is always time well spent. Next week on answers with bayless conley: i’m telling you there’s answers in the word. You need to have a love affair with your bible. God will speak to you through his word. He will strengthen you through his word. His word is a light to your feet; it’s a lampto your pathway. It’s alive; it’s active. It’ll build you up, and it will give you aninheritance among those that are sanctified. For more information and inspiration



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