Friday, January 17, 2014

Is It Spiritual Warfare?

Is It Spiritual Warfare?
Ephesians 6:10-18

I have asked myself many times in my life time, “Is this Spiritual Warfare?” If it is, “What do I do?” The Apostle Paul, in his letter to the Ephesians, tells Christians what to do during times of waring against the forces of evil. Some people think that everything they encounter is the devil’s doing but this not so. Satan cannot be faulted with all things because human beings still have the old nature that dwells within. The flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, the Holy Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh, these are in opposition to one another. Even though one may be a believer, there is still remaining sin. The battle is not always outside of the Christian, because one does not need the devil for that war, the fallenness of man is sufficient.

Where do we begin in our battle against spiritual wickedness in high places, forces of this darkness... and against the fiery darts of Satan? We begin with the preparation and the preparation is to understand that we have to rest in the strength of Christ, and then stand firm. When we stand in the strength of Christ and in the power of His might for the purpose of positioning ourselves against the schemes of the devil, we withstand with Christ’s equipment on, “The Whole Armor of God.”

Satan is described throughout Scripture with the reputation of being a murderer and a liar.  He works openly in the wickedness of the world and secretly in the false religious systems of this world. He will be religious when he needs to be religious, hypocritical when he needs to be self-righteous and blatantly wretched, and vile when it suits him. He is the enemy of God. Lucifer, a name given to him in heaven, is known as: the son of the morning, the anointed cherub fallen from heaven, the ruler of the demon world piling his wretched assaults on God’s Kingdom through the humans that are his subjects. We cannot be ignorant of his wicked schemes or of his evil devices. We must endure hardness and fight as good soldiers because the Bible instructs every believer to do so. (2 Timothy 2:3-4)

How do we defeat Satan and get the victory? There are people today who want to perform exorcisms, and bind Satan while using certain formulas for dealing with the devil. Scripture says in I John 3:8 that Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil and Hebrews 2:14 says, He came to destroy him who had the power of death to whom we were all our lifetime subject to bondage. We need to know that the Lord has already taken measures against the works of Satan. When a believer is saved he receives the Spirit of God, the same power that defeated Satan on the cross. God’s power indwells the believer by the Spirit of God making this power our resource. We have the power of God available to us to resist Satan. We are not asked to bind, or cast out Satan but to resist and not to give place to the devil (James 4:7; Ephesians 4:27). "Resist the devil and he'll flee from you." This is the same word used in I Peter 5:8,9 where it says the devil goes about like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour, and verse 9 says who resist steadfast in the faith. Same word. Standing, withstanding, and resisting is what we're called to do.

How do I keep from giving place to Satan? 2 Corinthians 2:11 says, "Be not ignorant of his devices." What are his devices? Satan targets the believer’s mind and brings false teachers with wrong doctrine into view to destroy, divide, and devastate what God has planned for every believer. His schemes are relentless, persistent, and ruthless, but God has already provided us protection through the Word of God. I Timothy 6:11 encourages us to “Flee youthful lusts," flee temptation, "and follow after righteousness." We are to fight the good fight of faith and admonish others to do the same encouraging them in what matters most, eternal life. We are to minister with a heavenly and eternal perspective to which we were called. Resist the devil, flee temptations, and stand firm in the power of His might. Be clothed in the Whole Armor of God spiritually, and mentally be prepared for the battle of a life time. 

Thought: The more we stand for Christ in the world the hotter the battle is going to get and the greater our God is going to be glorified, we need to be ready. Father, preserve us from the stupidity of our flesh, the deceitfulness of Satan and the subtly of his demons. Help us to come out and be separate, with our armor on standing firm in the power of Your might. Help us to live with boldness according to Your principles and Your righteousness in obedience to Your will. Amen!

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