Summary: What Ephesians 6 teaches us about spiritual warfare.
WELCOME TO THE WAR
We’re finishing a series on Ephesians,
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.
Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. (NIV)
Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.
A woman got sick and tired of her husband always getting home late from work, after stopping by the local bar on the way, so he’s half drunk, so she decided to teach him a lesson. She dressed up like Satan and hid behind the front door, and when he walked in that evening she jumped out at him and screamed.
He just looked at her calmly and said, you don’t scare me. I married your sister.
The Bible says that all of us,
whether we like it or not,
are in a spiritual war,
and we have an enemy that is fighting us.
If you are a believer, If you are following Christ, and trying to obey God,
trying to do what’s right in your relationships, in your marriage, with your family in your workplace, then you have an enemy,
you can be sure that Satan is after you.
Now most of us would say,
I don’t want to fight anyone.
I just want to be left alone.
Maybe you’d say,
I’m not even sure if I believe in Satan,
I’m not even sure if I believe in a literal devil,
who goes around trying to wreck people’s lives.
I don’t know if I believe that Satan can actually affect my life,
so maybe if I just ignore this whole area of spiritual warfare,
and if I just ignore the devil,
maybe he’ll just leave me alone,
because I don’t want to fight.
I’m sorry to say that
you don’t have a choice.
1 Peter 5:8 says, Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. (NIV)
There’s a notice from the Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game,
that warns hikers and campers to be on the alert for bears
in the Alaskan wilderness.
It advises hikers to wear noisy little bells on their clothing,
so that they don’t stumble on a bear and startle him,
and also advises hikers to carry pepper spray in case they do encounter a bear.
The warning goes on to say,
It is also a good idea to recognize the difference between black bear and grizzly bear droppings. Black bear droppings are smaller and may contain berries and squirrel fur. Grizzly bear droppings contain little bells and smell like pepper.
This verse tells us,
Be alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.
Spiritual warfare is not an option in the Christian life.
You’ve got an enemy who is out to get you,
and if you ignore him
you’re just making his job easy.
I think the church in past generations had a better awareness of this battle.
When I was growing up we used to sing the hymn, ONWARD CHRISTIAN SOLDIERS?
all the time.
Remember that one?
It goes like this…
Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war, with the cross of Jesus going on before. Christ, the royal Master, leads against the foe; forward into battle see his banners go! At the sign of triumph Satan’s host doth flee; on then, Christian soldiers, on to victory! Hell’s foundations quiver at the shout of praise; brothers, lift your voices, loud your anthems raise.
The fact is,
If you are a believer you are involved in spiritual war. and it’s a war that you have to fight.
no one else can fight the battle for you.
In this war there are no civilians
who can sit at home and send the marines off
to fight the battles for them.
You’re in the battle and whether you like it or not
we have to fight.
We can’t just ignore spiritual warfare.
When we try to ignore the devil,
or ignore the fact that we’re in a spiritual war,
its like a little child covering his eyes and going
You can’t see me, You cant find me.
The devil doesn’t go away just because we don’t believe in him,
and he won’t leave us alone just because we leave him alone.
In spiritual warfare, ignorance is not bliss.
Ignorance can lead to
bondage and defeat, and pain in our lives.