Summary: 5th in a series on Spiritual warfare continuing from previous message on alertness to Satan's schemes.
"Spiritually Aware, Alert, Armed and Aggressive" Pt 5
I. Be Aware
A. Aware of the God we serve
B. Aware of the position we possess
C. Aware of the battlefields we face
1. Fight with the WORLD -- separation
2. Fight with the FLESH – live by the direction and power of the Spirit
3. Battle with DEVIL and his angels – resist the devil
D. Be aware of the enemy engage
Satan was an angel created along with all the other angels to serve and worship God but became proud and ambitious and rebelled against God. They are spirit beings (not flesh and blood) that reason, feel and choose a course of action based on those thoughts and feelings. Because of their refusal to submit to God’s authority, they became twisted in their thinking, feeling and actions. He and his well-organized unseen angel army are thoroughly and eternally corrupt. They have ungodly personalities and character.
Satan is out to prevent or pervert followers of Jesus Christ. Even though he may win a battle or two in the present, his doom is sure along with any who agree to follow him.
We must be aware that there is a battle that wages around us whether we like it or not.
No level of denial will change the fact that we are at war. The Bible is very clear about the continual nature of this war. Satan's evil activity has been documented in Scripture or from Genesis to Revelation. Ignorance or apathy regarding the war raging around us will only make us more susceptible to the schemes of the enemy. Every Christian must be biblically aware of the truths associated with spiritual warfare. Beyond awareness however we must also be alert. Awareness and alertness are two different things.
To be aware of certain facts is one thing. To be continually alert to the personal application of those facts is essential.
II. Be Alert
The Scripture instructs us to be continually aware that things are not what they seem.
There is an unseen war against a formidable foe. We face a fierce enemy that is unbeatable apart from our standing in Christ. The bible calls us to be continually sober and alert.
Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8
This is not the only place in Scripture where we are called to be alert to Satan's devices.
Since Satan continually seeks to devour the unaware and un-alert, we must heed the admonition of Scripture to be continually sober and continually alert against the enemy.
We are at war and there is no real rest on the front lines of war. It is when we lay back and try to carve out a comfortable niche in this life down here that we become open targets and susceptible to the subtle schemes of the evil one. We must live this life alert and sober not asleep and numbed out. We develop alertness through the Word and prayer.
A. Alert to broken down walls of protection
God has provided protection from the enemy through various means. The last time we were together we mentioned the four main walls of protection.
1. Living according to the Ways of God (Biblical Morality)
2. Protection of a Strong Family Line
3. Protection of the Church
4. Protection of Government
We live in a culture today where all of these natural protections are fading away.
B. Alert to Avenues of Invasion (Influence)
Last time we were together, we dealt with some of the theological issues. There are many misconceptions regarding spiritual warfare. Some say most of Satan's activity takes place in Africa or ignorant peoples of the world. One honest look at Scripture and one must realize that the bulk of the recorded activity of Satan by God’s word had nothing to do with those areas. One honest look at our culture and one cannot discount an obvious and increasing influence of the enemy.
Another misconception has to do with giving attention to Satan's activity. Some have said we shouldn't talk about Satan's activity or we give him undue credit. If that were the case, great sections of Scripture would need to be deleted or ignored. As in any issue, one can get unbalanced in their emphasis. The correction is not to ignore the truth altogether but to keep balanced in our thinking. We should never be so focused on Satan's activity that we neglect the overwhelming truths of God's work in our life and in the world.
Another misunderstanding regarding the activity of Satan has do with the words used to describe his work. Most translations describe the activity of Satan by the word demon possession, or demon possessed. That translation gives the impression of ownership.