Archive for the ‘Christian Living’ Category

Take Up the Full Armor of God

Friday, March 3rd, 2017

take-up-the-full-armor-of-god

We have come to the final installment of the “Unmasking the Enemy” series: Take Up the Full Armor of God. If we do not arm ourselves with spiritual weapons, we will not be able to overcome the enemy.

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.” Ephesians 6:10-11 NASB

Realize that our battle is on a different, unseen realm. “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.” Ephesians 6:12-13 NASB

Here is the full armor of God. Put on each piece:

1. Truth (recognizing and rejecting the deception of the enemy)

2. Righteousness (pursuing personal holiness)

3. Salvation (standing secure in our knowledge that no one can snatch us out of God’s hand)

4. Faith (believing God, that His Word is true)

  • The shield of faith has to be raised in time to extinguish the darts of the enemy. In other words, we need to be able to recognize when the darts are coming from the enemy to render the darts useless and for them to fall to the ground without piercing the soul.
  • The shield of faith is the ability to discern what is happening on the spiritual realm rather than on the physical realm. If God says our struggle is not against flesh and blood, we must have the faith to believe the true nature of the battle. If we lose sight of this, we will double over in pain from the piercing darts, and we will be so discouraged that we can hardly get up. At that point (having let the arrows into our body), we need other believers to do prayer battle so that God can clear the fog and enable us to see the accusations from the enemy and discern what is truly happening so that we are not utterly destroyed.
  • “What’s so awesome about the shield is that apparently there’s not a single lie or accusation that we can’t extinguish—for God says we will be able to extinguish all the flaming missiles of the evil one.” – Kay Arthur

5. Preparation to share the gospel (desire the salvation of the lost and be willing to lead others to Christ)

6. Sword of the Spirit (study God’s Word to use it offensively against the enemy; specific verses against specific sins; knowing God)

Here is the video explaining the armor of God and how to use it:

To teach your children about the armor of God, go here: Armor of God for Children

How to Resist the Enemy’s Attacks

Friday, February 24th, 2017

how-to-resist-the-enemys-attacks

So far we have learned about our authority in Christ and the four basic strategies of the enemy in attacking believers. Today we will show several ways that we can resist the enemy’s attacks:

How to Resist the Enemy’s Attacks

1. Be vigilant.

  • We are to be sober and WATCH for the enemy (I Peter 5:8; Matthew 26:31). We are not to be unaware of his tactics. (II Corinthians 2:11) The Bible teaches that we are highly vulnerable to the attacks of the enemy. Unless we watch and pray, we will fall.

2. Ask God to keep you from the evil one.

  • “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.” Matthew 6:13 NIV Jesus says: “I do not ask You to take them out of the world, but to keep them from the evil one.” John 17:15 NASB We must ASK to be kept from the evil one. If it was not necessary to ask, Jesus would not have instructed us to ask.

3. Acquire a disciplined mind.

  • The undisciplined mind makes it a prime target for attack. If you are not taking every thought captive (II Corinthians 10:4-5), Satan will introduce his own ideas and you won’t even notice.
  • “We are, at that moment, pleasing self and not God, which then opens us up to the arrows of the enemy. We are vulnerable and wide-open prey because our emotions are uncontrolled, our thoughts wild, and our desires totally self-centered. We have obviously given the enemy many holes to attack… giving Satan a perfect inroad for his strongholds.” – Nancy Missler
  • “Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” (James 4:7) Even though demons are Satan’s representatives, they are doing the will of Satan in the same way that angels do the will of God. Satan is the one we are resisting though the temptations.
  • “Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” I Peter 1:13 KJV We are not to be slack in our thought lives.
  • We need to be able to discern if it is the accuser. If our thoughts are accusing, they are probably from the enemy because God doesn’t talk that way! A friend once said to me: “Usually when the Lord wants me to share, I have peace or I am nervous about it…When the enemy stirs I feel agitated, upset, and looking for a scapegoat.”

4. Walk in Personal Holiness

  • Walking in personal holiness is the best way to avoid the traps of the enemy. Attack one sin, the worst sin in your life, at a time. Ask God to show you how He sees the sin; the sin will get uglier and worse in your life. This is because you are seeing it for what it really is. Grab Scripture against it, don’t give it a foothold, and turn your face away from it. Keep continuous watch over the area. Have a plan of attack of what you will do instead of the sin; for example, replace anger with patience and compassion. You will soon break the habit and have victory over it.
  • “If perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will.” II Timothy 2:25b-26 NASB We have been seared in our conscience, and we are unable to come to our senses until we pursue holiness rather than our own self-gratification.
  • We are to be renewed in our mind (Romans 12:2). The more we concern ourselves with the things of the Lord, the more the worthless things fall away and we can see clearly right and wrong and not be so deceived.
  • The mark of a Christian ruled by Satan is an unchanged life. He sees everything as it relates to himself rather than how something can further or hinder God’s kingdom. If his life is not being constantly transformed, he has given himself over to the enemy in some area. God is continuously able to use those who are fully committed to Him.
  • Satan renders us useless by tempting us to indulge in squandering our time on the worthless things of this world. We become lulled into complacency. We squander hours, days, weeks, and years pandering to our own desires while failing to ask God what we should be doing. Satan laughs at our impotent spiritual life and our lack of growth.
  • To align your heart to the will of God, you must die to your own will. The presence of self-will in your life will be your downfall. Ask God to show you when you display self-will, and to help you to crucify it. “ I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” Galatians 2:20 ESV

5. Take up the full armor of God

  • “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.” Ephesians 6:10-11 NASB (There will be a separate video next week about the armor of God.)

6. Seek the Lord with all your heart

  • Condition yourself to hear the Holy Spirit’s still, quiet voice. You will feel uneasy before sinning, and it becomes obvious what you should and shouldn’t do.
  • If you have had no spiritual growth in your life for years and you’re bored with your Christianity, set aside a day for fasting and prayer to seek the Lord with all your heart. God will reveal Himself to you in a new way, and you will see what is blocking you from growing. “For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” Matthew 16:25 ESV Your life will always be futile until you are fully surrendered to Christ.

Here is the 6th video in the series “Unmasking the Enemy:”

Stay tuned for the next installment: “Take Up the Full Armor of God.” If you don’t want to miss this series, follow my Prayer page and subscribe to my monthly newsletter below.

Sexual Purity for Teen Boys

Monday, February 20th, 2017

sexual-purity-for-teen-boys

If you are concerned about sexual purity for teen boys as a parent in our day and age, you are not alone. Sexual sin is rampant in our culture, and things are getting worse as internet porn shows more and more violent sexual actions against women to be desirable. How is a young man to keep his way pure? By keeping it according to God’s Word. Hal and Melanie Young have just made this task easier for Christian parents by writing their new book Love, Honor, and Virtue: Gaining or Regaining a Biblical Attitude Toward Sexuality.

Everything is covered in this book, from pornography to masturbation to sexual perversion to how to find a good wife. How to regain purity is also discussed. Everything is spoken of in a clean, frank way that is necessary for addressing these topics. The book is also thin enough to be read in one sitting. One of my teen sons finished it in two hours one morning. Another son spent two days reading it. Nothing came as a surprise to my sons because I’ve addressed sexual issues head-on every time they have been mentioned in Scripture or in literature over the years.

love-honor-and-virtue

Dr. Tedd Tripp, author of Shepherding a Child’s Heart (my favorite parenting book that addresses heart issues instead of outer behavior) has read the book and recommends it, if you need the endorsement of a well-known Christian speaker.

For every Christian mother who has wrung her hands, wondering if her son may be viewing pornography behind her back or with friends, this book will address this awkward conversation so that your son doesn’t have to feel weird talking about this to his mother.

sexual-purity-book

I praise God for a husband who was able to have the “birds and bees” conversation with our sons when they were twelve. Each of our sons heard about sex first from his own father instead of his peers, and it was mentioned as something you were only supposed to do with your spouse. This is one reason many people homeschool their kids, to control the amount of sexual smut that comes in from public schooled peers. But you can’t shelter your teens forever, no matter how much you try, especially when they leave home for college. Our sons must make up their minds to be sexually pure before marriage BEFORE they leave home.

Our teen boys must learn self-control before they face the world on their own. They MUST. We cannot leave this to chance and hope for the best.

I met Hal and Melanie a few years ago when they spoke at a homeschool conference here in Spokane. They are the real deal, people who love and honor God wholeheartedly. If you are going to buy the book, please buy it from their website to bless them : Love, Honor, and Virtue: Gaining or Regaining a Biblical Attitude Toward Sexuality.

Satan’s Strategy: Control

Friday, February 17th, 2017

control

Today we will discuss how Satan seeks to gain control of the Christian. Yes, demons can influence Christians and rule over them in specific areas of sin. Even though Christians have the Holy Spirit in them, many Christians are often grieving (Ephesians 4:30) and quenching (I Thessalonians 5:19) the Spirit. Nowhere in Scripture are we told that Satan and his demons can’t control us.

Peter loved Jesus with all his heart, but he was controlled by Satan when he told Jesus not to go to the cross. I’m not saying that Satan stepped into Peter like he did to Judas. (“Satan entered Judas”–Luke 22:3) Instead, Satan had control of Peter’s thoughts by whispering into his ear. Spirits can place thoughts into your mind in a non-audible way. These thoughts sound like your own thoughts, but they are not yours.

Peter had no idea that his thoughts were planted by Satan into his mind. He spoke them to Jesus, and Jesus replied to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan.” The Son of God proclaims that the thought came from Satan. Satan was invisible and no audible sound occurred. Peter was bewildered that Jesus addressed him as Satan because he had no clue how demons whisper to people and plant thoughts in their minds.

See more examples in Scripture where we are told that Satan plants thoughts in people’s minds or hearts: Matthew 13:19, 2 Corinthians 11:3, Acts 5:3, 1 Chronicles 21:1, John 13:2.

Satan’s Strategy: Control

Don’t allow yourself to be controlled by the enemy. Take every thought captive and be filled with the Spirit. Renounce all sin in your life, because sin is the gateway that allows demonic influence. Do not give ground to the enemy by allowing him to get a foothold in your life.

Stay tuned for the next installment: “How to Resist the Enemy’s Attacks.” If you don’t want to miss this series, follow my Prayer page and subscribe to my monthly newsletter below.

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