Summary: As believers, we are engaged in a spiritual war. We need to put on all of God’s armor, so we can stand firm against all the strategies of the devil.
THE INVISIBLE REALM #2: SPIRITUAL WARFARE
OPENING TEXT: “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” (1 Peter 5:8).
REVIEW LAST WEEK: “Angels and Demons”
In addition to the physical realm that we see, there exists an invisible spirit realm that the Bible refers to as the Heavenlies. This invisible realm is inhabited by good spirit beings called angels and evil spirit beings called demons, and affects our world every day.
• Discuss reactions to last week’s discussion of dust-mites. Ignorance is not bliss!
THE BIG IDEA: As believers, we are engaged in a spiritual war. We need to put on all of God’s armor, so we can stand firm against all the strategies of the devil.
KEY TEXT: EPHESIANS 6:10-18:
10 A final word: Be strong with the Lord’s mighty power. 11 Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies and tricks of the Devil.
• Our strength comes from the Lord. We can’t defeat the enemy on our own.
• Jesus came to defeat the works of the devil (1 John 3:8).
• Yes it’s true that Satan is a defeated a foe, but he is a deceiver!
• The Devil has strategies and tricks, and we need to be aware of them!
• We need God’s armor if we want to stand firm against the enemy.
12 For we are not fighting against people made of flesh and blood, but against the evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against those mighty powers of darkness who rule this world, and against wicked spirits in the heavenly realms.
• People are not the enemy! Never fight against another person. No ‘friendly fire’.
• We are to fight against the forces of darkness.
DISCERNING DEMONIC SPIRITS:
1. A Spirit of Heaviness (Isaiah 61:3)
- inner hurts, suicidal thoughts, depression, despair, hopelessness, self-pity, sorrow, grief
2. A Spirit of Fear (2 Tim. 1:7)
- untrusting, doubt, anxiety, stress, nightmares, torment, horror, many phobias
3. A Spirit of Infirmity (Luke 13:11)
- many different sicknesses can be causes by demons, but not all are.
4. A Spirit of Divination (Acts 16:16)
- desire for magic, witchcraft, horoscopes, fortune telling, sorcery, occult. Dangerous!
5. A Lying Spirit (1 Kings 22:23)
- false teaching, gossip, lies, slander, accusations, flattery, superstitions
6. A Spirit of Jealousy (Num. 5:14)
- cause divisions, envy, extreme competition, contention, strife, revenge, anger
7. A Spirit of Rebellion (1 Sam. 15:23)
- pride, rebellion, rejection of God and leadership, contentious, strife, arrogant
THE ARMOR OF GOD: (Ephesians 6)
13 Use every piece of God’s armor to resist the enemy in the time of evil, so that after the battle you will still be standing firm.
• How do we put on the armor of God? Some people over-allegorize and spiritualize this armor, and turn it into a religious ritual of “praying on the armor of God” in the morning.
• They miss the point that Paul is using a word picture to show us how we fight against the enemy. The armor of God is a picture of the lifestyle we need to live if we want to win!
14 Stand your ground, putting on:
1. The HELMET of SALVATION:
• Even though this piece comes later in this passage, I am including it first because it is the pre-requisite for all of the other ones.
• If we want to be strong in the Lord, we must first be saved – be a Christian.
• Until Jesus Christ is the Lord of our life, we are in the kingdom of darkness!
• Application: If you don’t know Jesus as Lord and Saviour, surrender your life to Him.
2. The BELT of TRUTH:
• If the devil is a liar and the father of all lies (John 8:44), then one of the surest ways we can stand against him is by committing to telling the truth.
• Jesus said: “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:31-32).
• There is no freedom apart from the truth. The devil uses deceit to trick and trap us.
• A lot of spiritual warfare happens in the realm of the mind. “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds.” (2 Cor. 10:3-4).
• This is why it’s important to guard our heart and mind, and watch what movies we watch and music we listen to, because it affects our thinking. Garbage in, garbage out.