I began a series of teachings on Understanding Spiritual Warfare. We began with some verses that help God’s people understand what goes on behind the scenes – how spiritual forces operate and bring pain, grief and havoc into our lives. Also, we’re looking at how God tells us we can over- come these negative forces and be victorious and blessed in life.
This week, we have to be out of town, to be at the General Conference of the Southern Methodist Church. So, I went to prayer, to get God’s direction on who He would have come and bring the Word to you.
God opened the door for my friend and close brother in the Lord, Rev. Mark McCoy. Mark is a minister at Save the Seed Ministry in White Plains, MD. He works full time with men and women who have been brought to the bottom through addictions, drunkenness and other illicit lifestyles.
Some of these people have been the lowest of the low: down and outters. Others have been the highest of the high (literally!) the up and outters. Then, there’s those who have just been the in and outters; people who sometimes do really well, and other times get caught in the snare of the enemy.
One thing each one of them has in common is that Jesus saw them, reached down and saved them. That’s the first part of winning in life – asking Jesus to be your Lord and Savior. The closest thing to the heart of God is saving lost men, women, boys and girls.
The next step is learning to grow and be a disciple. That’s what Mark specializes in. A major part of his ministry is teaching his people how to not fall into the same old traps, and how not to make the same old mistakes. This is where learning to resist the devil and waging successful spiritual warfare begins. ”
Inner conversations. You’ll learn how to direct the inner conversations in your heart and head. You know what they are. They’re the voices, drives, old patterns and habits that try to get you to “act out,” and to act like the world.
You say, “Well, l’ve been a Christian for a long time, and l’ve never done drugs or alcohol or any of that.” Thank God! Thank God you have never given the enemy a foothold in any of those areas! But, that doesn’t mean he’s going to leave you alone!
No, the enemy loves to work on your mind, to trouble your heart and stir up your emotions and get you miserable, hurt and angry. He loves to bring up your past, to remind you of all the times life has been unfair to you, and to get you to go backwards instead of forwards.
Mark will use parts of his life story to tell you how he learned to use Ephesians 4:25, “Be ye renewed in the spirit of your mind,” to turn his life around. He had allowed the enemy to twist his thinking and get him in a pattern of self-destruction, to the point that his life was falling apart.
Mark McCoy wasn’t some ghetto kid who barely made it through school and then hung out on the streets. He spent nine years in the U.S. Air Force. While he was in the Air Force he gave his heart to the Lord, in 1978. His life was working, and he was on his way to the top.
But, when the enemy started working on him, Mark fell prey to temptation. He had never been taught about his authority in Jesus Christ. No one had told him there would be a battle going on for his mind. He had no idea how to resist the devil.
He caved in to the pressures of life and to the temptations that began to offer themselves – even though he was already a Christian! He ended up getting kicked out of the Air Force in 1983. Ultimately, he went on a 10 1/2 year backslide. He lived in darkness and frustration for more than a decade. Even though he had known Jesus and had served Him for two full years!
I don’t want that to ever happen to you! Nobody should have to know the misery of being lost, found and then going back out in darkness again! I’m telling you, nobody HAS to! Thank God, He’s given us everything we need so we can be successful in life and victorious in Jesus Christ!
That’s why l want you to be here to learn what Mark had never learned, until it was too late. lt does not have to happen to you, or your family like it did to him.
See, when Mark was out there angry, hurting and empty, God saw him, and had compassion on him. ln May 1990, Mark began to let Jesus be the Lord of his whole life, his heart, mind, soul and body. Mark came to Save the Seed Ministry, where he studied under Rev. Freeman every day for more than a year.
God showed Mark how to “be transformed by the renewing of his mind” like it says in Romans 12:2. Through filling his spirit with the Word of God, he overcame the enemy and his old patterns by faith. He graduated from Save the Seed Ministry and got a good job with the Veterans Administration.
As Mark kept drawing closer and closer to God, the Holy Spirit kept putting it in his heart to serve the Lord in full time ministry. God gave him a burning desire to serve God’s people. He knew he had to help them like he’d been helped. In December 1994, he left his job at the V.A. to serve full time with Save the Seed Ministry, where there are more than 200 people in the Residential Discipleship Ministry.
You’ll be thrilled, challenged and blessed when you hear the words Mark’s going to bring you from God. I receive all I can from God, but I don’t hear everything all the time! So, from time to time, the Lord will send someone here to bring you a nugget of truth or a word from God that will fill you with faith.