Posts Tagged ‘spiritual warfare’

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.

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.

Satan’s Strategy: Temptation

Thursday, February 9th, 2017

temptation

Today we will be discussing Satan’s strategy of temptation. We are unmasking the enemy so that we will not be unaware of his schemes. His four main tactics are deception, accusation, temptation, and control. Each one is addressed separately, and we are focusing today on how the enemy places thoughts into our minds to cause us to fall into sin.

Satan’s Strategy: Temptation

  • The enemy attempts to cloud our minds. He specializes in stirring up emotions and old thought patterns to cause us to go under and be discouraged and defeated. The enemy brings thoughts back that you’ve already handed to the Lord. If you are obsessing about something, this is always the enemy. Throw the thought out as soon as it comes. When the thought comes into your mind, you have not sinned yet. This is a temptation. Throw the thought out immediately, and you can walk in victory. You are not in chains any more. You are free. Walk in that freedom.
  • Within the flesh (often described as the old nature) resides the worst forms of evil. You are capable of greater evil than you could ever imagine if you give yourself over to indulging your flesh. The enemy will have you compromise little by little so you don’t notice to what extent your depravity runs. Do NOT allow your sinful flesh to rule over you. You are a new creation with the desire to do right. Choose right. Do not walk in darkness.
  • Suggestions are planted in the minds of Christians; we think they are our ideas, and we say them, little knowing they are straight from the enemy. (We give Satan control of our minds.)
  • Satan is the attacker of our minds. “But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ.” II Corinthians 11:3 NASB If you can capture the thoughts of a man, you can control him. If you can plant ideas in his mind, he’s yours. We are pawns or puppets in the hands of the enemy when we don’t notice what he’s doing to us.
  • If Satan has the power to take the truth away, then he has access to put suggestions into our minds. “…the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart.(Matthew 13:19—the Parable of the Sower)
  • Then Peter said, “Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land?” Acts 5:3 NIV Satan can fill people’s hearts with evil.
  • Besides Ananias and Sapphira, Satan also put thoughts into the minds of David (I Chronicles 21:1) and Judas (John 13:2).
  • Satan uses Christian people to say things to other believers that stab them to the core or that tempt them to open the door to evil in their lives. It doesn’t even sound like them. That’s because it’s not them.
  • When you catch yourself thinking evil thoughts beyond what you would normally think, know that you are being acted on from the outside, and that the thoughts are being imposed from the outside. For example, one time I was thinking of a woman who had hurt me deeply, and I suddenly felt hateful and venomous. I was shocked and bewildered at my own thoughts because that’s not my personality at all! I instantly recognized that these were not my thoughts. (Sometimes he does pander to your weaknesses and it does seem like your personality, and those are harder to detect.)
  • Just because an idea pops into your head doesn’t mean you have to indulge in that idea. You don’t have to accept every idea that occurs to you. Gain discernment to see what would lead you down wrong paths.
  • The enemy knows the secret longings of your flesh, and he will pander to them to make you fall into sin. You won’t resist them because you secretly want them. They key to overcoming is to be consumed with your love for the Lord. Desire holiness more than life, and you will be filled with a greater empowering of the Spirit, which will enable you to walk in greater victory. Do not let the enemy gain a foothold.
  • Satan will even use godly ambition to get us to stumble. He will put a godly twist on our sin to cause us to think we are doing something righteous when we sin.
  • “If you don’t conquer Satan’s temptation right at the threshold of your mind, you will begin to mull his thought over, consider it an option, and eventually choose to act it out.” – Neil Anderson
  • Their thoughts were speculations, empty speculations. Because they embraced them, these thoughts became strongholds of wrong thinking. As a result, they couldn’t believe or wouldn’t be convinced they were wrong… These are fortresses of wrong thinking which need to be torn down, destroyed.” -Kay Arthur. “We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.” II Corinthians 10:5 NASB Wrong thought > wrong action > appetite > weakness > habit > oppression

The printable about God’s voice vs. the enemy’s voice that I mentioned in the video is here: How to Hear God’s Voice.

To keep up with this series, like my Prayer page and subscribe to my monthly newsletter below. The next video will be “Satan’s Strategy: Control,” in which I will address how the enemy tries to rule our lives in specific areas of sin where we grant him jurisdiction.

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