by Carter Conlon

I have a message from God that will set you free from your enemies. He wants to do something sovereign on your behalf. He will act powerfully in the situation you are facing and in the place where you are under the greatest attack. Your enemies will leave suddenly and be ashamed.

During a time of deep distress in his life, King David cried out, “O Lord, rebuke me not in thine anger, neither chasten me in thy hot displeasure. Have mercy upon me, O Lord; for I am weak: O Lord, heal me; for my bones are vexed. My soul is also sore vexed: but thou, O Lord, how long? Return, O Lord, deliver my soul: oh save me for thy mercies’ sake. For in death there is no remembrance of thee: in the grave who shall give thee thanks? I am weary with my groaning; all the night make I my bed to swim; I water my couch with my tears. Mine eye is consumed because of grief; it waxeth old because of all mine enemies. Depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity; for the Lord hath heard the voice of my weeping. The Lord hath heard my supplication; the Lord will receive my prayer. Let all mine enemies be ashamed and sore vexed: let them return and be ashamed suddenly” (Psalm 6:1-10).

When David wrote this psalm, he felt that God was looking down at him with hot displeasure. David was sure God was fiercely angry with him. In verse 2, he says, “Have mercy, O Lord, for I am weak, my bones are vexed.” At that particular moment, David’s perception of how God felt about him had taken away his strength. Even David, a wonderful young man of God who was anointed to be king, found himself with a skewed perspective of how God saw him and it left him consumed with grief.

BE CAREFUL WHICH VOICES YOU LISTEN TO Listen to the cry of David in verses 3 through 5: “Oh, how long will you be angry with me? How long will it be before I feel your mercy towards me again? God, will you be angry with me forever? For in death there is no remembrance of you, and in the grave, who shall give you thanks?” He felt he was losing strength to the point that he was not going to make it. “I am weary with my groaning all night and make my bed to swim and I water my couch with tears. I mourn and I weep day and night.” Now if David were our contemporary, he would say, “I am depressed getting on the subway or into my car. I moan while walking to my place of work. I grieve at my desk all day, or wherever it is I have to work. I lament when I go home at night because I feel that God is displeased with me.” If you have embraced a wrong perception of God like David, or if the enemy has succeeded in placing contrary arguments about God in your thoughts, you can get to the point where you feel you are not going to make it. Once you have believed the enemy’s lie, he will turn around and begin to accuse God of not being faithful to you; and accuse you of not being faithful to God. He will fight against your faith because there is no other way he can defeat you. The devil’s endgame is to get you to give up, because he wants you with him in hell for all of eternity.

Looking at David’s time of distress, you know he was undoubtedly a righteous man, pursuing the heart of God, but was caught off guard by an enemy. Beloved, being righteous does not mean you will not have struggles. Although you have trusted God for your salvation and desire to live a life that truly glorifies Jesus Christ, at times you find yourself in difficulties. The moment you became a pursuer of God, you became a target of darkness. You will find yourself in a war like you have never known before. It is not a war because you are unrighteous; it is a war because you are walking with God and are in right standing with Him. The accuser will come against you with full force; he will accuse you and he will accuse Christ, but you must understand that is all he can do. Jesus said, “Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:10). This pursuit of righteousness will invite an onslaught of opposition. The devil is not threatened by religious or political activism; he is not even threatened by people who are pursuing the hallways of power, love or the admiration of men. No, it is the man (or woman) who has set his heart to seek God and Him alone that he fears. The devil has seen the devastation of his own plans, when individuals of no significance begin to truly seek and trust God. Satan has been overthrown by the prayers of the weakest of God’s saints who have laid hold of the heart of Jesus Christ and His righteousness.

THE CHURCH NEEDS TO GO FORTH INTO BATTLE David’s life exhibits the struggles we all face, as well as the mistakes we can make. In 2 Samuel 11:1 we read, “And it came to pass, after the year was expired, at the time when kings go forth to battle…David tarried still at Jerusalem.” God loves to dwell mightily among His people, showing Himself strong in the midst of battle. God had called David, as a king, to go to war against his enemies. God would bring the victory and exalt His name in the midst of His people; their hearts would always be turned towards Him. However, in this season of war, David’s eyes and mind were occupied by a diversionary pursuit. We know what he did— he went up onto the roof of his house, looked over the railing and saw a beautiful woman bathing, and began to desire her in his heart.

The devil will always try to sidetrack you from the true calling of God. For David the issue was lust, but it could just as easily have been the pursuit of fame, wealth, power, ambition, or personal comfort, outside the will of God for his life. It could have been the desire for unrighteous vengeance, as he had been betrayed by many. But his eye looked over the balcony, and in a time when kings were supposed to be doing battle, he became preoccupied.

I want to ask you a question. In the secret times, when you are alone just like David was, what are you focusing on that you think will bring fulfillment into your life? What are your eyes fixed on when you are alone at night? It is the devil’s design to avert the church of Jesus Christ in any way, shape or form that he can. The light of the body, Jesus said, is the eye. If your eye is single, your whole body will be full of light. He says, “But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!” (Matthew 6:23). The singleness of eye in the scriptures means that you want and choose Jesus Christ to be glorified in your life. Are you looking for God’s glory to be made manifest?

David didn’t know that this looking away, this looking over the balcony, this abdicating the place that God had given him as king, would bring him to the abandoning of righteousness for personal lust. He didn’t realize it would lead him to adultery, murder and a loss of discernment as to his own true spiritual condition. It took Nathan the prophet to help David refocus. Because David was a righteous man, God could still speak to him. You can be far off track, but if you are righteous, you can still hear the plea of the Holy Spirit. He is not condemning you, He is pleading with you to come and find everything you need in a living relationship with God. Proverbs 3:11–13 says, “My son, despise not the chastening of the Lord; neither be weary of his correction: For whom the Lord loves he corrects; even as a father the son in whom he delights. Happy is the man that finds wisdom, and the man that gets understanding.” The scales fell off David’s eyes and he realized his true condition. He acknowledged his sin and repented before the Lord.

PSYCHOLOGICAL WARFARE Now the devil will always try to tell you that you’ve gone too far, you’re too deep into this, and you can’t get out. He tries to convince you that the testing or temptation is something unusual, something that has not happened before. But Paul says in 1 Corinthians 10:13, “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man.” Satan’s attack on our lives can be likened to psychological warfare. Modern-day psychological warfare is when planes of the enemy fly over the army they are intending to conquer and drop disinformation leaflets. The leaflets seemingly fall from heaven, and unsuspecting people pick them up. The objective of psychological warfare is to give false reports of troops’ strengths, locations and victories. This is how the devil operates. “Oh, just give up! Why fight the way you’re fighting? Just go home and take a look over the balcony. Maybe there will be something there that will interest you.” No wonder Paul makes a reference to Satan being the prince of the power of the air in Ephesians 2:2, “Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience.”

ASSIMILATION OF GOD’S PEOPLE Nowhere better do we see Satan’s leaflet campaign than in 2 Kings 18 and 19. There was a king named Hezekiah who was only 25 years old when he began to reign in Jerusalem. “He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, just as his father David had done. He removed the high places, smashed the sacred stones and cut down the Asherah poles. He broke into pieces the bronze snake Moses had made, for up to that time the Israelites had been burning incense to it. (It was called Nehushtan.) Hezekiah trusted in the Lord, the God of Israel. There was no one like him among all the kings of Judah, either before him or after him. He held fast to the Lord and did not cease to follow him; he kept the commands the Lord had given Moses. And the Lord was with him; he was successful in whatever he undertook. He rebelled against the king of Assyria and did not serve him” (2 Kings 18:3–7, NIV).

Assyria is always symbolic of mixture. When Assyria conquered a nation, the people were taken and divided throughout other kingdoms they had conquered.This caused the people to intermarry with other nations as well as the Assyrians. The now conquered and integrated people would lose their own culture. We find this same kind of assimilation and conquering taking place in the church of Jesus Christ, not only throughout history, but also in our generation. Assimilation means we look exactly like the society around us; there is almost nothing in us that makes us stand out. Our conversation is the same, our pursuits are the same. Society produces fame and the church seeks fame; society seeks wealth and power, and so do many churches. Our resolve should be to have no mixture in our lives and not to continue to live with divided hearts.

In verse 17, we see that the King of Assyria sent a great host against Jerusalem and began to threaten Hezekiah. Hezekiah made some concessions to him and it says in verse 15, “And he gave him the silver that was found in the house of the Lord and the treasures of the king’s house, he cut off the gold from the doors of the temple and the pillars which had been overlaid in Judah with gold, and he gave it all to the king of Assyria.” When you start to make concessions, the enemy will never stop. His intent is not to make peace with you but to destroy you.

The king of Assyria continues to come against Jerusalem and taunts them, “‘On what are you basing this confidence of yours? You say you have strategy and military strength—but you speak only empty words. On whom are you depending, that you rebel against me?…If you say to me, ‘We are depending on the Lord our God’—isn’t he the one whose high places and altars Hezekiah removed, saying to Judah and Jerusalem, ‘You must worship before this altar in Jerusalem?’ …Furthermore, have I come to attack and destroy this place without word from the Lord? The Lord himself told me to march against this country and destroy it.’ …Then the commander stood and called out in Hebrew: ‘Hear the word of the great king, the king of Assyria!…This is what the king of Assyria says: Make peace with me and come out to me. Then every one of you will eat from his own vine and fig tree and drink water from his own cistern, until I come and take you to a land like your own, a land of grain and new wine, a land of bread and vineyards, a land of olive trees and honey. Choose life and not death!’” (2 Kings 18:19–32 NIV).

THE PROPAGANDA OF THE ENEMY The enemy comes in with his propaganda and begins to assault you. Though you might say, “God is going to fight for me,” the enemy says, “No! I say you have failed in your service and worship of God.” Next, he tries to convince you that you have no strength to fight; after all, you can barely stop your gossiping tongue. If anything comes from you, it just seems like a drip out of a leaky faucet. You don’t have this river of living water that Jesus spoke about. Then the propaganda gets real- ly dirty as the devil says, “This is the voice of God; God sent me to come against you. God’s hand is against you” Finally, in his last attempt to persuade you, he says, “Give up, and I will take you to a place that looks like victory. I will give you rest. It might be plan B, but give up and come to me, and I will take you to a land just like your own.” As it says in Chapter 19:1, “And it came to pass, when king Hezekiah heard it, that he rent his clothes, and covered himself with sackcloth, and went into the house of the Lord.” Hezekiah became grieved at the lies of the enemy and it seemed all hope was gone. However, the Word of the Lord came through Isaiah saying, “Be not afraid of the words which you have heard, which the servants of the king of Assyria have blasphemed me. Behold, he says, I will send a blast upon him, and he shall hear a rumor, and he shall return to his own land; and I will cause him to fall by the sword in his own land” (2 Kings 19:6–7). Hezekiah’s enemies do indeed withdraw for a season but not before they send a message to Hezekiah saying, “Let not God in whom you trust deceive you, saying, Jerusalem shall not be delivered into the hand of the king of Assyria.” This last departing taunt is to get God’s people to continue to fear the enemy’s threats. Likewise, the devil doesn’t give up so easily. Even now he is trying to get you to believe his deception. “You have heard from God but it is not going to last. I’m going to be back twice as strong as I was last week.”

Now understand, when this argument hits your mind, it is a sign that the enemy is beginning to lose his hold. He is beginning to realize that he has to go, because the Word of God has started to come forth. After Hezekiah received this message from the enemy, he went immediately into the house of the Lord, and spread the letters before God. He asked God, “Is this report true? Is the ministry you once gave to me over? Have I missed it? Are you angry with me? Are my enemies overcoming me because of something in my life?” When you take the propaganda of the devil and spread it out before God, the Lord will speak victory into your life. You will find that Jesus Christ is not only a Lamb, but he is also a Lion that hates our enemies and triumphed over them 2000 years ago on the cross. The Lion of Judah now proclaims He will be the source of your life, your high tower, your strength, your future and your guide. He comes and says, “Yes, you may have been diverted for a season, your eyes may have been shifted from this focus, but I am now coming out and you are going to see who I am one more time.”

GOD DEFENDS HIS OWN In 2 Kings 19:34 God says, “I will defend this city, to save it, for mine own sake and for my servant David’s sake.” If we want to talk about a contest of power, you can have the enemy with so-called thousands of planes flying over the church of Jesus Christ dropping his disinformation leaflets that say: “Surrender, give up, its hopeless, God is angry with you. Your cause is unjust. You had a ministry but you have lost it. You had a chance but it is gone.” However, how does God respond? He shows His power. He brings in just one angel and that is all it takes. We see in verse 35: “That night the angel of the Lord went out and destroyed 185,000 in the camp of the Assyrians. When they awoke early in the morning, behold, there were dead corpses all around. So Sennacherib, the king of Assyria departed, and went and returned, and dwelt at Nineveh. While he was worshipping in the house of his god, his sons came in and killed him with a sword.” It is amazing; the enemy was killed in his own house at his own game. Hallelujah!

Beloved, you may have bought into all the lies of the devil for five, ten, or even fifteen years. You could be reading this with a completely wrong concept of God and who you are in Christ, but God only needs to send one angel, one word, one messenger, one blast of truth and 185,000 arguments fall to the ground—dead. God is not against you, God is for you. God is not angry with you; God loves you with a passionate love. You are on the winning side, not on the losing side.

God’s part is to defeat all your enemies. Your part is to say, “Get away from me, all you workers of iniquity, the Lord has heard the voice of my weeping.” When you do, there is no limit to what God can do through your life.

Carter Conlon November 5, 2006 ©2007 Times Square Church