Summary: The devil, and the whole armor of God. Link inc. to formatted text, audio.
Who is My Enemy?
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We move now from Walking in Unity, Purity, and Harmony to Walking in Victory.
The Christian life is not a playground, it's a battleground. It's not a frolic, it's a fight, the good fight! It's not a stroll, it's a struggle. It's not a waltz, it's all out warfare.
The Christian is a target in the center of the battlefield, and yet most aren't even aware that there's a spiritual war going on. We have an enemy to face every day that we live. We're in the Lord's Army!
Our external enemy is the world, society apart from God. Our world is in no way friendly to the cause of Christ. Rather, Christians are viewed by the world as the problem, not the solution.
The world caters to the lust of our flesh, our eyes, and pride. Media caters to these 3, as does entertainment, advertisers, Facebook, etc.
Our internal enemy is our flesh, the old nature. We got saved, the Spirit of God came into us, and now there's a war going on inside us! Paul said, what I want to do I don't do, and what I don't want to do I do do!
Our infernal enemy is the devil. He's real, he's on the earth, and he ahs quite a following, both demonic and human.
As we study now about our enemies, and this great warfare we must wage, I remind you in advance that Jesus Christ has already defeated the world, the flesh, and the devil! We don't fight FOR victory, we fight FROM victory. It is from that perspective we battle, simply walking in the victory already won for us by Jesus! The prize is waiting for us at the finish line, we must simply go to the line and claim it.
I'll hear somebody say, "I won a great victory this week over the devil or my flesh." I know what they mean, but in a strict, doctrinal view, that is not correct. I could smart off and correct them, instructing them to say, "I had success this week in appropriating the victory already won for me by my Savior." [not as nice a ring to it!]
ill.--Joshua led Israel thru Canaan, not winning victories, but claiming already assured, pre-guaranteed victories, trusting and obeying, following God's providential lead, mopping up and taking names!
Joshua came first to Jericho, representing the world. Note that God never told Joshua to fight with Jericho, but to march around it. We cannot overcome the world by fighting with it.
Faith overcomes the world. [faith]
For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.
Next, Joshua came to the little village of Ai, representing our flesh. It was so small, that Joshua didn't see fit to send the entire army there. They had confidence in their flesh, and it failed them. And they were utterly defeated, with 39 of them losing their lives. His soldiers hearts melted with fear. "We thought God was with us?" God said, there's sin in the camp. [Achan] They did business with God, and put away the flesh, and again walked in God's designed victory.
Confession and repentance overcome the flesh. [flight]
Next was the Gibeonites, sly and clever, representing the devil. God had said not to make any pact with non-believers in the land, and the Gibeonites knew it...so they set up a deception, a sting, using worn out shoes, moldy bread, worn out wineskins, and they traveled from over a hill to Joshua, saying, we traveled from far away, form a treaty with us. Joshua says, we can't have a treaty with Canaanites. They respond with a lie, saying, we aren't Canaanites, and we have all this evidence. Joshua fell to the deception, and it came back to haunt him. The devil does not attack in bright colors like the redcoats of the Revolutionary War. He doesn't introduce himself as Beelzebub. He deceives!
Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
Fighting overcomes the devil. Not in the strength of our flesh though. [fight]
Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.
Jesus fought the devil with the Word, and so should we.
I hate the way people of God are portrayed as weak sissies, and worldly people as strong. The strongest people I know aren't wimps, they are soldiers in the Lord's Army, doing battle!
ill.--Anytime Hollywood needs to cast a man of God, they make Him look weak and feminine. MASH, the TV show, said that the strong, macho men were those who boozed it up, cheated on their wives, etc. Who was Father Mulcahy? A pansy!