Ephesians 6:10-11 (NKJV) 10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles (schemes) of the devil.
Why? Because there’s schemes. The bible says Satan goes around like a roaring lion seeking who to devour.
How do you think animals such as lions hunt?
Lions patiently study and watch their prey. They wait for a moment of weakness.
In life, we get pity, but in spiritual warfare, there is no pity or mercy. You may get pity from your family or the government but there is no such thing with the enemy. Obviously be strong in the Lord because to be weak or to say I need to get back to church, or I need to get more into God is like saying “Hey come and attack me”.
Ephesians 6 12-13 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
As you know people are not the enemy. Satan can use people, but we pray for people. Satan is the real enemy who has a legion of evil spirits with a hierarchy that is designed to attack you. The only way you can defeat him is by being strong in the Lord. This can be summed up in the Lord’s power and your communion with the Lord. Without communion in the Lord, you cannot be strong in the Lord. You cant live 100 yards away from God and use His power, you have to walk with Him.
One of Satan’s strategies is to separate us from intimacy with Christ because you cannot be strong in the Lord if you don’t think about the Lord, or read your bible, Christian books, go to church, bible study etc. You can quote “I can do all thing through Christ who strengthens me” and still be weak in the Lord because you don’t spend time with Him.
This spiritual warfare that we are all (and the Apostle Paul) are involved in is ongoing. Satan is not afraid to attack anyone, he attacked Jesus. He tempted him several times, and looked for a more convenient season. When Paul is telling us in Ephesians for YOU (brethren) to be strong in the lord, he includes himself in verse 12 for WE wrestle not against flesh and blood, but principalities. He know what it’s like, we wrestle. Nobody is exempt.
When Satan failed at tempting Jesus, he left him alone until a more opportune / convenient season. What does this tell you about Satan?
Satan does not know everything. He studies all of us. He knows what weaknesses you used to have and the sins you used to indulge in before you knew Christ. He knows that a former thief won’t necessarily blow up in anger for example. He also knows when best to attack us. We are all attacked and tempted and we always have to be on guard. Jesus told his disciples to watch and pray so they don’t fall into temptation. The bible says in the day of evil, having done everything to stand.
When do you think would be a day of evil?
This seems to be times of special temptation. The lord tells us to pray on a daily (even hourly) basis so we do not get led into temptation and be delivered from the evil one. When do you think Satan plans his assaults?
When you heart has been broken and you’ve been let down, you can become sad or depressed. Maybe the loss of a loved one. We can easily take our eyes of God and get into self-pity and he attacks. Elijah had a low moment and wanted to take his life. He was God’s prophet and he wanted to kill himself. We all have suffered from low moments. He is not likely to attack right now, we are on guard learning the Word. He will wait for lonely moments, down moments.
When do you think is another time when Satan attacks?
Another time he attacks is when you are excited or happy, or highly elated. You can be so elated and rejoicing that you can get caught up in your emotion and take your eyes off the Lord. Great success can make you take your eyes of God too. He watches us when were down, and when we get up, we can say look at me, look what I did.
The bible says don’t give place to the devil, don’t give him a foothold. He watches when were down and kicks us then, and he watches us when we are up, get caught up in a moment and make emotional decisions. We cannot let our guards down even in the ministry when things are going well. You must check and discern everything and make sure it’s coming from God. Why? What? Where? When? Who? How? And check it with the Word.
If God has all the power, why does he permit these battles to go on?
Romans 8:28 (NKJV) 28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.
The more God wants to use you, the more battles you fight. The main thing Satan does is he seduces. He shows you something that looks good to the eye but it has a sting in it. That’s how he tempted Eve in the garden. He shows you how good something is but does not show you the repercussions of it.
Sometimes the battle is hard. We go through bad times and say “God is good all the time”. Why do they say that? When you are attacked, and you go through a real battle. One that you can’t even tell anyone about, and you wonder where God is in all this. Why is so hard? Discouragement is everywhere.
How do you think battles work for our good?
Nothing in this world builds faith like a good fight with the devil. You can be relaxed, not pray, be lukewarm and let the enemy attacks and then you realize …”I got to get close to God in a hurry”. Without faith it is impossible to please God, but faith has to be purified. We all have faith but some of it is mixed (contaminated) with other stuff. The way God purifies it is by trials, tests, difficulties, and even spiritual warfare to get rid of the junk in our faith, that which is unreal, stuff we think we know but really don’t know. The enemy comes in like a flood and we run to God and we cling to Him.
James 1:2-4 (NKJV) 2 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. 4 But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.
Have your battles and trials brought you closer to God?
When battles occur, it teaches us how to pray. There are many types of situation that were going to have to deal with. Matthew 17: However, this kind (of demon) does not go out except by prayer and fasting.” Some of us don’t even fast, or really know how to pray. This is something we need to really get ahold of and remain on the offensive with the enemy, not until we get into a problem and then you are in the middle of a battle.
God uses spiritual warfare and permits it because it makes us cling to God, and get close to him. God will never disengage with you, it’s always us that disengage with Him. God wants you to cling to him, to depend on Him. One thing we need to learn to do is humble ourselves. Many of us don’t have a bragging problem, but is more of an independence that we can go by our day without consulting with the Holy Spirit. When we go through a battle we tend to humble ourselves and become less judgmental. We all tend to lean toward self-righteousness. Just let the devil have a good 5 rounds with you and you will see how helpless you are without God. You won’t be so quick to put people down.
God uses spiritual warfare to not just take away judgementalism from our lives but to give us compassion. It makes us humble, merciful with others. It also prepares us to be blessing to others. How can you be a blessing unless you’ve been in the fight yourself? Unless we know how much we need God, how can we help others?
When we see others going through what we went through we can say hey brother, let me pray with you, I have been in your situation and God brought me through it and He will bring you through it. All the battles you go thorough are not just for you, but for others as well. It’s for the person that God will send you to because it’s made you humble, made soft, you’ve had compassion, and you can lift someone up.