Summary: We are not ignorant of Satan’s devices (2 Corinthians 2:11) and knowing his character, strategy, and tactics equips us for victory.
THE ART OF WAR (PART 3): THE DRAGON-SLAYER
Sermon Objective: We are not ignorant of Satan’s devices (2 Corinthians 2:11) and knowing his character, strategy, and tactics equips us for victory.
Supporting Scripture: Genesis 3:13-15; Psalm 41:11, Psalm 103:9-12; John 10:10; John 8:44; Romans 8:31-39; 2 Corinthians 2:11; Ephesians 6:10-18; Colossians 2:15; James 4:7; 1 Peter 5:8; I John 3:7-8; 1 John 5:4; Rev. 2:10-11
>>Show the video “Deep Thoughts on Spiritual Warfare from a Shallow Christian”<<
Ah, sometimes nothing drives home a point like humor. But seriously, don’t you think there are some Christians who consider spiritual warfare (and a spiritual enemy) to be hypothetical possibilities? Don’t you think there are some who live like it is a worldview from “another day and age?
Our enemy certainly does not mind such a mindset that’s for sure.
Our enemy would love for us to be naïve and uninformed.
He would love for us to think there is no war and there is no real threat. Sun Tzu said, “Supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy’s resistance without fighting.”
Do you remember the book I introduced you to in the first sermon on our enemy titled “The Screwtape Letters”? It is a book written by C.S. Lewis of an imaginary account of a senior demon giving the benefit of his experience to his young nephew, Wormwood, who is also an apprentice.
One of those letters addresses this issue:
I wonder you should ask me whether it is essential to keep the patient in ignorance of your own existence. That question, at least for the present phase of the struggle, has been answered for us by the High Command. Our policy, for the moment, is to conceal ourselves. (Chapter VII)
Sun Tzu’s book, “The Art of War” also warns us about the danger of not taking the enemy seriously, “If ignorant both of your enemy and yourself, you are certain to be in peril.”
But God has made sure this is not the case. For the last two weeks we have been looking at God’s exposé of our enemy from Revelation 12.
And that is one of the reasons God has exposed the enemy’s schemes for us … so that Satan might not outwit us. As 2 Cor. 2:11 tells us we are not ignorant of Satan’s devices.
Let’s take some time to identify some specific character traits, motivations, and tactics of our enemy, the Devil. By doing so, we will be armed (equipped) to engage in the spiritual battle that we must inevitably fight. So far, we have looked at three. If you have missed these you can find these sermons on the website so I will not review them, I will only list them for you.
1. Our enemy is real
2. Our enemy seeks to neutralize us
3. Our enemy is determined to lead the world astray (v. 9)
I closed last week’s sermon with an admonition to “discipline and training.” Without spiritual growth and alertness we become vulnerable.
Again “The Screwtape Letters” are illustrative for us:
“I note with grave displeasure that your patient has become a Christian. Do not indulge the hope that you will escape the usual penalties; indeed, in your better moments, I trust you would hardly even wish to do so. In the meantime we must make the best of the situation. There is no need to despair; hundreds of these adult converts have been reclaimed after a I brief sojourn in the Enemy’s camp and are now with us. All the habits of the patient, both mental and bodily, are still in our favour.” (Chapter II)
Discipline and training must not be overlooked. Part of that is developing a keen sense of alertness to the enemy’s tools and traps. As Peter tells us (1 Peter 5:8-9): “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.”
This week we will look at one final trait: OUR ENEMY IS DEFEATED YET STILL FIGHTING.
1A great and wondrous sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head. 2She was pregnant and cried out in pain as she was about to give birth. 3Then another sign appeared in heaven: an enormous red dragon with seven heads and ten horns and seven crowns on his heads. 4His tail swept a third of the stars out of the sky and flung them to the earth. The dragon stood in front of the woman who was about to give birth, so that he might devour her child the moment it was born. 5She gave birth to a son, a male child, who will rule all the nations with an iron scepter. And her child was snatched up to God and to his throne. 6The woman fled into the desert to a place prepared for her by God, where she might be taken care of for 1,260 days.