Know Your Enemy

Ephesians 6:10-18

6:10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
6:11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
6:13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
6:14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
6:15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
6:16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
6:17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
6:18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

10
We all face many challenges each day. If you’re trying to live for God, some of those challenges have been sent by the enemy to try your faith or weaken your testimony. You are not expected to fight your battles alone. Our pride tells us we can handle our own problems, but God wants us to learn to lean on Him.

James
4:6 But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. 4:7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 4:8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. 4:9 Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. 4:10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.

When my trials drive me to my knees that’s when I can begin to stand. We see a lot of versions of this idea, but that is the point. When we reach the end of ourselves and reach out to God, He will lift us up.

11
The enemy is real. He knows the battle is real. He will attack us in many ways. The main way is through lies. He will try to make us doubt God and ourselves by lying to us. Just as God uses those around us to help us and build us up, the devil will use others to do his dirty work.

1 Peter
5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: 5:9 Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world. 5:10 But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you. 5:11 To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

As you go through each day, you have to resist the urges of the flesh to be angry or to judge or otherwise to be harmful to the people you meet. Just as you’re going through your battles each day, they are too. We are to let God’s love and word work in us to help one another.

12
The enemy is largely in control of this world. When satan was tempting Jesus in the wilderness, he offered to give Him all the kingdoms of the world if He would worship him. Jesus didn’t tell satan the kingdoms weren’t his to give, but told him that only God is to be worshiped. It’s fairly easy to see that the enemy has strong influence in government, media and even some churches. When you watch TV, browse the internet, or read the paper, the tools and lies of the enemy are there. Be aware of it and guard against it.

John
8:44 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. 8:45 And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not. 8:46 Which of you convinceth me of sin? And if I say the truth, why do ye not believe me? 8:47 He that is of God heareth God’s words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God.

We need to be hearing God’s words. They are our defense against the lies of the enemy.

13
“Take unto you the whole armor”. We like to pick and choose. We’ll read some part of the scripture for comfort, but we are to consider the whole word of God. It all hangs together. If you read one part and you think it disagrees with another part, maybe you didn’t understand either part correctly. We have to open our hearts and minds and get into the word. The Spirit will then open the scriptures to us so we can understand what God is saying.

1 Corinthians
2:1 And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God. 2:2 For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified. 2:3 And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling. 2:4 And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: 2:5 That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God. 2:6 Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought: 2:7 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory:

We have to start with Jesus. His sacrifice makes everything else possible. After that, get into the word. If you don’t understand something, don’t let that stop you. Maybe that part isn’t for you at this time. The more of the word you take in, the more it will clean you and the more you will understand.

The word of God is a living thing. Yes, there are words on the page in the Bible. That’s not all there is to it. The Holy Spirit will help you understand and apply those words. This isn’t the first time these verses in Ephesians were given to me for the message, but this is very different than the last time, and if we are brought back to this passage again, the message may be different then too.

14
Jesus tells us He is the way the truth and the life. Any truth has to start with Him. Any righteousness we have comes from Him. We have nothing to offer on our own, but His sacrifice allows us to stand in His righteousness.

Romans
3:24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: 3:25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; 3:26 To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.

When we’re saved, Jesus becomes part of us, and we become part of Him. We have to learn to trust in His truth, righteousness and grace to stand when we face trouble.

15
We have to prepare to stand. Our foundation must begin with the word of God. It is the only sure thing in this universe we can stand on.

Psalms
18:30 As for God, his way is perfect: the word of the LORD is tried: he is a buckler to all those that trust in him. 18:31 For who is God save the LORD? or who is a rock save our God? 18:32 It is God that girdeth me with strength, and maketh my way perfect. 18:33 He maketh my feet like hinds’ feet, and setteth me upon my high places. 18:34 He teacheth my hands to war, so that a bow of steel is broken by mine arms. 18:35 Thou hast also given me the shield of thy salvation: and thy right hand hath holden me up, and thy gentleness hath made me great.

The whole word is given for out instruction and benefit. Whatever you’re facing, someone in the Bible has faced the same thing. Sometimes we’re shown how following God leads to victory. Sometimes we’re shown how following man’s desires and wisdom lead to destruction. Once we take the truth of the word into our hearts, we can know that God is on our side. He won’t allow anything to happen that isn’t for our ultimate good. His strength is shown through our weakness.

16
Faith isn’t blind. We don’t just believe something because we want it and wish it would happen. Faith means we believe what God has said and we trust Him to be true to His word. That kind of faith gives us a rock to stand on when the world around us is shaking. God’s word is truth; it is eternal; and it will never fail.

Romans
5:1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: 5:2 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 5:3 And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; 5:4 And patience, experience; and experience, hope: 5:5 And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. 5:6 For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. 5:7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. 5:9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.

Before we ever knew God or thought we needed a savior, He had already made preparation for us. No matter what we’re going through, God has already made preparation to bring us out on the other side. What’s more, He wouldn’t have allowed it unless there was some value in it to make us better.

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Read the word. Think about God and what He means. The more we study, the more light God will shed on His word and our lives. It’s not enough to know the words. You can memorize the entire Bible and it won’t do you any good if it’s just word on a page. You have to accept that His word is true. When you know in your heart that God is real, it changes how you look at everything around you.

Hebrews
4:9 There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. 4:10 For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his. 4:11 Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief. 4:12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. 4:13 Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do. 4:14 Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. 4:15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. 4:16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

Jesus has paid the price and opened the doors of Heaven for us. It remains for us to rest from our own efforts and enter into that work.

18
God is always around and is involved in everything you do. It’s good to set aside special time for prayer and to pray about special things, but we should be always aware that God is near and speaking to Him and listening for His voice. God doesn’t want to control you. He wants to nudge you into doing the right thing at the right time. He knows what we need to do and when we need to do it. We have to be obedient when He calls.

Galatians
6:2 Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ. 6:3 For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself. 6:4 But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. 6:5 For every man shall bear his own burden. 6:6 Let him that is taught in the word communicate unto him that teacheth in all good things. 6:7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. 6:8 For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. 6:9 And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. 6:10 As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.

We are to be the hands, feet and voice of God in this world. We can’t let the lies of the enemy keep us from doing God’s will. Once we take that first step of faith, God will guide and strengthen us for the battle ahead.

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