Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: Satan doesn’t want you to think about spiritual things. Rather, he only wants us to dwell on our own selfish desires. Avoid the temptation to delay any thoughts of spiritual self-examination, and make it a priority to encourage others for self-examination

Opening illustration: During any war, the enemy’s strategy is to conceal/hide some important information from the adversary so that they will not be successful in their endeavor. In fact the enemy will try to subdue the adversary so that they succumb to defeat. The information that they intend to hide is usually so vital that it is the deciding factor for winning or losing the war.

During the 1971 Indo-Pak war there was an element in the war which India concealed from Pakistan. They let loose a battalion of monkeys in the battlefield strapped with dynamite on their bodies. This incident killed a catastrophic number of Pakistani soldiers on the ground and the war came to a closure.

Why do so many Christians lead defeated lives? Satan doesn’t want them to know that they are already in a spiritual battle and they could just live their lives out just as other people do in the world. He is sneaky and makes them believe by shrouding the truth from their eyes to look into God’s Word and be alert and at the same time to be defensive and offensive in the spiritual battle. They don’t explore scripture and get deep into His Word nor are pro-active in taking steps to have an intimate walk with him. They chose rather to just have a very casual relationship (FWB) with Him. Before they find the truth to set them free, they have already lost it all. Therefore it is very important for every Christian to know, understand and to be active in spiritual battle daily otherwise they can easily be consumed by the world and the demonic influences.

Introduction: When God called Jeremiah as a prophet to the nations, it came with a 6-fold prophetic-apostolic mandate to root out, pull down, destroy, throw down, build and plant. A humble Jeremiah accepted the calling and, despite the spiritual warfare that raged against him, he walked in obedience and fulfilled his mission in God.

Prophets or not, God’s people are still called to root out, pull down, destroy, throw down, build and plant. We don’t engage in physical battles, but we wrestle “against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12). We have spiritual weapons for offense and defense, including the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the shoes of peace, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, the sword of the Spirit and prayer (vv. 14-18).

As Paul said, “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, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled.” (2 Corinthians 10:3-6).

What are the 3 things Satan doesn’t want you to know?

1. Spiritual battle than a physical one (v. 12) - The Enemy

Satan doesn’t want you to know that you are wrestling against persons without bodies that are launching fiery, faith-stealing darts against your mind in the form of thoughts contrary to God’s Word. However, most savvy Christians understand their authority in Christ and realize they are in a battle that’s targeting their minds. Yet there’s still one thing Satan doesn’t want you to know about spiritual warfare: You can’t effectively pull down strongholds, cast down imaginations and bring every thought into captivity without casting down every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God in your own mind.

We all know we can’t battle Satan in the flesh, yet the temptation is to rely on the flesh in warfare in subtle ways. “You’re resisting the Devil, So Why Won’t He Flee?” we can take pride in our spiritual warfare skills. But it’s not just pride in our warfare skills that can hinder our effectiveness in destroying strongholds. It’s pride in any area of our life. Of course, we all have a measure of pride in our carnal nature. But when the Holy Spirit is dealing with us about pride in some area—or when we see our own pride and don’t cry out for the grace of humility—we’re walking in sheer disobedience. The Bible says we are to have a “readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled (2 Corinthians 10:6). I believe the more we seek to walk in obedience to the Word of God, the more effective we’ll be in spiritual warfare. Satan will attack you at your weakest time and spot. Be alert and vigilant always; ready to get into spiritual battle any moment.

So we return once again to the admonition of James: “He gives more grace. Therefore He says: ‘God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.’ Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded” (James 4:6-8). In our flesh, we’re no match for the devil. We need the power of the Holy Spirit to back up our authority in Christ to root out, pull down, destroy, throw down, build and plant. We can’t drive demons into obedience to the Word of God when we’re blatantly disobeying the Word of God in any area, whether it’s walking in pride or some other sin.

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