Summary: Can we stand in the face of terrible threats?
Protection for the Christian in Combat
Does it ever seem to you that you have had more trouble after becoming a Christian than you did before?
You may not be imagining that. When you accepted Christ as Savior you enrolled as an agent of Heaven and declared yourself an enemy of all evil and the Evil One himself. The Deceiver is committed to the destruction of your faith. He works to confuse us and demoralize us so that we will conclude Christianity is a cruel hoax, an empty promise.
Must we live in fear of attacks of evil?
Are we merely defenseless pawns in the cosmic battle waged in the spiritual realms?
Let me answer that by asking you, do you live in constant fear of becoming ill?
Normal people do not. We know that if we practice good health: getting good nutrition, exercising properly, and providing rest for our bodies; we can reasonably expect to live a healthy life. Thus, if we get the flu, we don’t think we’re about to die. Instead, we take a day or two to rest and then get on with our life.
Evil attacks us like the germs that attack our physical bodies. Evil come from many sources; self, the systems of this present world, and even Satan, through his messengers.
We know that if we are taking care of our spiritual health, regularly giving ourselves to prayer and the truth of the Scriptures, we are able to resist the evil assaults. Sure there are times when the attacks are ferocious and we need to get prayer support and even take a couple of days to rest, but we do not live in mortal fear of the forces of evil. We know that God is greater and that He is working in us. This week I wrote to my TFTD list on Wednesday about the great promise of the GOSPEL, i.e.; God is on YOUR side! That is the heart of the message.
Do you realize that He is for you, not against you? "Gospel" is the translation of the Greek NT’s word, ‘euaggelion,’ a compound word meaning, the good message! The Gospel of Jesus Christ is summed up by Paul with these words, (Romans 5:8) God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.
The most basic defense that we have when evil attacks is to remember: God is on my side!
Demons do their most effective work in our minds! Using lies, twisting and manipulating, they work to create fear, confusion, and doubt. We must learn to shut them off, to still their evil chatter with the undeniable truth of God’s Word.
The disinformation campaigns of demons reminds me of the propaganda wars that were waged on the morale of the troops in both the European and Pacific theaters of WWII. At night on the shortwave radios, the troops could tune in to Tokyo Rose or Axis Sally. These women would tell the Allied troops how successful the Japanese and German forces were, how that they were going to die in battle. They would remind the soldiers how much they missed home and even play music to stir up feelings of homesickness. The lies of these agents weren’t ultimately successful, but no one knows how many American men suffered torment because of the lies they told over the radio. They would have spared themselves much grief if they had turned off the radio. The disinformation was destructive and untrustworthy, so why listen in? There was a war to be fought that was not won or lost because of propaganda.
When demons torment us with lies, we place ourselves at risk by listening, repeating, and agreeing.
Instead, let’s take up the Word of God and find the truth that equips us for living as victors. God has not left us defenseless.
In our text for this morning we discover the Protection given by God to the Christian Believer who is in combat for the kingdom of God.
Turn with me to Ephesians 6. In your Pew Bible the text is found on page 1823.
This is a familiar passage so some of you might be thinking about tuning out at this point. Please don’t. Though you may have read these verses dozens of time and even heard a hundred sermons and Bible studies on them, you will be encouraged in hearing them again. The instructions and promises found here are bedrock foundations on which our assurance as Christ-followers rests.
Staying protected requires the Believer’s ACTIVE participation with God.
We read these directives: “Be strong... put on... stand firm ... take up... pray in the Spirit.”
Dr. Neil Anderson writes:
You may be wondering, “If my position in Christ is secure and my protection is found in Him, why do I have to be actively involved? Can’t I just rest in His power and let Him protect me?” That’s like a soldier in the United States Army saying, “Our country is a major military power. We have advanced weapons systems: planes, missiles, and ships. Why should I bother with my helmet? Why post guards or learn to shoot a gun?” When the battle is on, guess who the first will be to get picked off?