Summary: Last message in a warfare series applying the mandate to stand firm being fully armed.
I. Be Aware
A. Aware of God and His purposes
B. Aware of our Worth and position in Christ
C. Aware of the enemy and battlefields we all face
1. Fight with the WORLD
2. Fight with the FLESH
3. Battle with DEVIL and his angels
Things are not as they seem on the surface. Somewhere behind every struggle in our world is a formidable enemy at work directly, through the manipulation of circumstances or through other people. Our battle is not against flesh and blood but against invisible forces bent on our destruction and the establishment of a kingdom of beings bent on rebellion against God. Ignorance is defeat. Avoidance is defeat. Arrogance is defeat. Awareness is the first step in victory.
II. Be Alert
We must be aware that there is a war. We must alert to the specifics of the war.
A. Alert to broken down walls of protection
1. Protective walls of moral living
2. Protective walls of a godly family line
3. Protective walls of the Church
4. Protective walls of God ordained government
B. Alert to Avenues of Invasion (Influence)
1. Influence authorized by God for a specific purpose
2. Influence established thru family line sin
3. Influence permitted by our own willful sin
4. Influence gained through some traumatic experience
5. Influence achieved through deception
6. Influence attained thru close association with a demonized individual
7. Influence obtained thru untested "spiritual" or religious experiences
8. Influence acquired thru participation or association with a cult group
9. Influence allowed thru participation prohibited witchcraft activity
C. Alert to the specific sphere of attack
1. Operate in and through the thoughts
2. Operate in and through the emotions
3. Operate in and through the will
4. Operate in the body
5. Operate through other people
D. Alert to possible symptoms of infiltration (influence)
1. Prolonged inability to choose what I know to be right
2. Plaguing (compulsive) destructive behavior
3. Plaguing thoughts of evil that cause me repulsion
4. Uncontrolled feelings of anger and bitterness
5. Plaguing fear that keeps me from doing what I ought or desire.
6. Unexplainable unpleasant physical symptoms with no apparent cause
7. Strange events or sense of an unseen evil presence
8. Unexplainable negative feelings with no apparent cause
9. Condemning evil voices (thoughts) concerning self or others.
10. Sudden attitude changes
The key is the inability to see change in my life after a long period of time. Inability to grow more like Christ in spite of desire and effort may indicate a deeper battle.
III. Be Armed and aggressive
The war against these unseen forces is not defensive. The army that plays only defense will eventually suffer defeat. Scripture calls us aggressively engage the kingdom of darkness. The church is built by saints confidently marching against the devil’s gates that block recapturing the territory stolen by him. Ephesians 6 tells us prepares us to do that.
A. Be fully empowered by His strength through submission)
B. Be fully armed with His armor through the word and prayer
1. Girded with the truth of Christ
2. Protected by the Righteousness of Christ
3. Prepared with the Peace of Christ
4. Shielded by the Faith of Christ
5. Protected by the Salvation of Christ
C. Be fully engaged with His strategy by standing against and resisting)
Engagement of the enemy takes place on two levels; the personal level and the corporate level.
1. Fight for yourself (James 4:7-10)
a) Submit to God
The ground for demonic strongholds in our life is rebellion against God’s rule and direction over our lives whether passive or aggressive. Whenever we resist God’s direction we open ourselves up to a stronghold of the enemy. The beginning of the way back is to humbly acknowledge our failure to submit to Him and to re-submit ourselves to His agenda for our lives. A simple statement will do.
Lord, I admit my pride in trying to run my own life apart from you. I acknowledge You as my Lord and willingly submit to You. I place myself under Your authority once again.
b) Resist the devil and reclaim surrendered territory
We are to RESIST the devil. The word melds the word “to stand” and “against” resulting in “stand against”. Scripture employs the term three times in relation to engaging the enemy. Ephesians 6, James 4 and 1 Peter 5
We resist Satan the same way our Lord resisted Satan through a direct declaration of the Word of God reinforced by the power of the Holy Spirit. He not only spoke the words of Scripture applied to the specific attack but then specifically commanded Satan to leave.
Those who think we should ignore or avoid any direct conflict with Satan ignore a specific and clear instruction to stand against him. Jesus authoritatively resisted his attack.