Summary: Often our spiritual battles are fought behind bars made of human reasoning. This sermon discusses breaking through that stronghold and destroying the debates of Satan.
A new soldier was on sentry duty at the main gate. Security levels were high. His orders were very clear. No car was to enter unless it had a special sticker on the windshield. A big Army car came up with a general seated in the back. The sentry said, "Halt, who goes there?"
The driver, a corporal, said, "General Wheeler."
"I'm sorry,” he replied. “I can't let you through. You've got to have a sticker on the windshield."
The general barked to the driver, "Drive on!"
"Hold it!” the sentry said to the driver. “You really can't come through. I have orders to shoot if you try driving in without a sticker."
The general repeated, "I'm telling you, son, drive on!"
The sentry walked up to the rear window and said, "General, I'm new at this. Tell me, Sir. Do I shoot you or the driver?"
As we have been discussing, sometimes we don’t know whether to shoot Satan or our own flesh. Reality is we battle both. Satan and his demonic powers are very real. They influence and tempt us often throughout the day. And our own flesh is very real. It tempts us to surrender to our lusts and desires often throughout the day. And caught in the middle of this battle is our spirit. On one side are demonic influences and on the other are our fleshly desires, all tugging at our spirit to wander from God and his calling on our lives.
Paul described this when he declared, “When I want to do what is right, I always do what is wrong. My mind and heart agree with the Law of God. But there is a different law at work deep inside of me that fights with my mind. This law of sin holds me in its power because sin is still in me. There is no happiness in me! Who can set me free from my sinful old self?”
The answer to Paul’s question is, of course, Jesus. Remember He came and unbound us. It’s when we allow our flesh to overpower our spirit that we become bound up by sin again. We will never overpower sin by a fleshly manner. It’s only through our spirit that we can overcome sin.
Let’s read 2 Corinthians 10:3 “We are human, but we don’t wage war as humans do.”
What a revelation from God’s word. We are human. The Greek word for “human” meant to walk around and inhabit the area around you.
We are not spiritual beings. We are fleshly beings. When we hear of someone doing something in the flesh we usually assume it was a sinful act. But everything we do is done in the flesh. We eat in the flesh. We have fun in the flesh. We sleep in the flesh. Just being flesh is not a sinful thing. Remember Jesus was the Word and the Word became flesh.
Furthermore we are locked into this flesh. We can’t escape it. We can’t trade it in until we die or Jesus returns. Even God recognizes that fact. The Bible says “For he knows how weak we are; he remembers we are only dust.” In other words, He knows we are human beings, spiritual beings. So He doesn’t expect us to fight our spiritual battles in the flesh. So what do we use to battle against Satan and our own lusts?
The answer is found in 2 Corinthians 10:4 “We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments.”
The Greek word for mighty weapons is stratos. It is where we get the word strategy. Therefore, it is God’s strategy, not ours, with which we are to fight the battle. We have the weapons but we lack the strategy to use them.
Since its football season, imagine a team with the best talent the NFL has to offer but they have no game plan. They have no strategy. The receivers don’t know their routes. The quarterback doesn’t know who to throw to. The running backs don’t know the direction to cut. The offensive line has no idea of the count or who is getting the ball. The team would be in chaos.
We are commanded by the word to put on our spiritual armor to protect us. But unless we are given a God delivered strategy on how to use these weapons, we are as ineffective as a football team with no game plan.
In order to be effective the football team must spend time with the coaching staff. They must study the game plan for each week. They must be as focused on winning as their head coach is. In order to get an effective strategy from God we must spend time in prayer. We must study the word for each day. We must be focused on living a sinless life to the best of our ability.