Summary: To stand against the forces of evil, we must both "get real" and "get ready".
* To read the writings of Paul is to be reminded of several things. We are reminded that the believer lives differently than the non-believer. We are reminded that the believer, has a specific way to develop and grown. Our beliefs should impact our lives, families, work, play, and performance.
* We are also reminded that this life will bring struggles, tests, temptations, and the like. He clearly teaches us that there is a power who attempts to get us away from God and His perfect will for us. Paul illustrates this in Romans 7 when he reveals his own struggle. He says, “I don’t even know what I am doing…what I want to do, I do and what I don’t want to do, I do”.
* A Truth which we need to get our hands around is this: Satan is a alive and well, he is still waging war against God’s creation, he knows your weakness and when you’re weakest, and he intends on using every tactics he can against you.
* So, what are we to do? 1 John 4 teaches us that “greater is HE who is in us than he who is in the world”, but make no mistake, the one who is in the world (Satan) is greater than we are, if we choose to go it on our own.
* The begs the question, “how are we to stand against the forces of evil, darkness, and Satan. Our text gives us hope.
* READ TEXT. Remember the Alamo. The year was 1835; it was called “The Battle for Texas Independence.” The final assault came on March 6 where the badly outnumbered defenders were slaughtered. Even though this battle became the ‘battle cry’ for the Texans and the 13 days holdout allowed Sam Houston to regroup and mount a successful campaign, the very reason this battle was lost was that help never came.
* What we find in God’s word is this; we cannot stand against the forces of evil on our own, we need help, Intel, & prep.
1) Get Real about the Real Enemy – Of all the truths I have discovered in my life, the one which still amazes me is wrapped in the fact that most believers don’t see Satan and His forces as the real enemy. We tend to see those who don’t agree with us. Thus, churches are dividing & the spreading of the gospel message is hampered.
> Consider 3 Truths about the enemy:
a) The Make-Up of the Forces – Satan has an organization which is setup to pull down. The text uses 4 different levels of the opposition. Rulers (this is the word which is translated other places “the beginning.” We get our word “arches” from the Greek word. This word refers to a chief in various applications of order, time, place, or rank. It is also translated, “principalities” and who would rule this? A prince. ), next we are told of authorities (some translate this word as “powers.” It is the same word Jesus used in Matthew 28:18 when He said, “all authority is given to me.” This indicates ones who has the ability). Next is the world powers of darkness (This indicates “rulers” or the upper echelon of spiritual evil), Finally, the spiritual forces of evil (We must understand that spiritual is not of this world and not of the flesh. In High Places confirms this thought. Evil speaks of depravity, malice, & more).
b) The Methods of the Forces – So does He have a plan? The word “tactics”, “schemes”, “strategies”, “deceptive tactics,” are all a part of this thought. Here what we need to understand; Satan has a plan, and His plan is to do “whatever it takes.” If we don’t have a plan to be on the offensive for our lives, He’ll give us one.
c) The Manager of the Forces – I was in a room where a television was showing a Braves baseball game. There he was, the manager of the Braves, Bobby Cox. Bobby calls all the shots for the team and he’s lasted so long because he knows how to win. The tactics used are those of the Devil. He is on the offensive to win in everyway possible. He has shown his determination and influence as he rebelled against God.
TRANS: If we are to stand against evil and for God, we would do well to “Get Real about the Real Enemy,” but also
2) Get Ready for the Real Enemy – I offer 3 suggestions;
a) Request the divine strength – Verse 10 offers these words, “Be strengthened by the Lord’s Strength.” At the risk being thought political, have you ever considered why many countries and people around the world want the US as their ally? Our strength. We can access His strength when we are “HIS”.