Sunday, June 12, 2016

Who is the Real Enemy?

Written by Ken and Me
When you are fighting with your husband or children and you sense your family falling apart, who is the real enemy behind it all? Satan. His goal is to kill, steal, and destroy. Don't allow him to destroy your family! How are we told to fight this enemy of ours? It's all given to us in Ephesians 6.

Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. {Verse 10} The Lord is in you and is fighting your battle. All He asks is for you to believe in Him, His power in you, trust Him, and do as He tells you to do.

Put on the whole armor of God that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. {Verse 11} How very strong and powerful the armor of God must be to be able to stand against the schemes of the Devil! Too many believers do not know they are to be properly prepared to wage spiritual warfare.

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. {Verse 12} So your real enemy is not your spouse's or children's behavior, not even your own sins, but rather the power of darkness behind those sins to confuse and distract from the lies that inherently lie behind the misbehaviors. The root of much wickedness is found in the strongholds and high places of our lives, and the lives of others. Spiritual battles must be fought in spiritual ways with the Lord's power that comes from the armor He has given us to use in our battles.

Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. {Verse 13} It is "the whole armor of God" that is necessary when going into spiritual battle. Imagine the soldier who forgets to bring his belt that holds up all the rest of his armor!  Or the one who shows up without his shoes? How fast do those who are unprepared fall in battle, then wonder why God did not deliver them from evil? You cannot lose a fight when God is with you, but to run into battle unprepared and without His armor is to test God, with a lack of faith. How can we, who believe Him, not also believe that we must do things as He commands us to do and put on the whole armor of God? 

Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; {Verse 14} Jesus said, "If you continue in my Word..., the truth will set you free" {John 8:31-32}.  We, as believers, have no hope of winning the battle if we do not know God's truth and can apply it in battle. We also will only be able to limp into battle if we ourselves are living in sin. How weak the Christian warrior seems when Satan has us questioning our own righteousness as we try to battle against the strongholds of others. Before battle, we must repent of {turn from} our own sins and take on the breastplate of the perfect righteousness that belongs to all who are in Christ Jesus.

And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; {Verse 15} Shoes may seem like the most unlikely of armor until you try to go any distance in bare feet. The Roman army conquered great lands in part because the shoes of the soldier would allow them to quickly pass through great amounts of territory peacefully. Why fight when peace can conquer the land? The Christian does not need to always be in fight mode, but instead we can peacefully share the good news of a risen Savior who brings peace. Will your armor and fighting tactics begin with peace and not the sword?

Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. {Verse 16} When we go into battle we must know that our faith will be tested. How often do we confront wickedness just to find Satan trying to disqualify us because our faith is incomplete?  The same faith that we have to believe on Him for eternal life, must now walk into all of His promises. When Satan's lies and fiery darts come our way, we must swat them away with our strong shield of faith where we never doubt Him or His Word.

And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: {Verse 17} The helmet of salvation provides us hope that no matter what happens on this earth or in our battles, we always are in Christ and Christ is always in us. We are of a different world, and the Kingdom of God. Be secure in your eternal salvation and use the Word of God to bolster your faith and the faith of others. Be in the Word consistently since His Word is our sword, and when w are called to give a response in the midst of the battle, let it not be our thinking or logic, but let it come directly from the Word of God. "For the Word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of the soul and spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the soul" (Hebrews 4:12). WOW! 

Christian, how many want to fight spiritual battles with with fleshly means, or by only applying the Word of Truth without seeking the Spirit? How many others want the Spirit to intervene, but are unwilling to be in the Word to discover what truth God wants to speak to us in the midst of the battles? Here we have the heart of the matter, where God tells us to put on our helmet of our confidence in His salvation and allow both the Spirit and the Word to do our battle for us. What psychology or human invention can compare to a two-edged sword that can divide soul from spirit and joints from marrow? Rest in Jesus since He is the Spirit and the Word.

Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; {Verse 18} Pray consistently for your family; that they will know Him, love Him, and live for Him. "So you fight and quarrel and you do not have because you do not ask" {James 4:2}. Is that you, Christian?

If you want to win your family, you must begin by living the gospel out before them. Preach to them the gospel with your life, and if necessary, use words. If they cannot see Jesus in you, why would they ever want Him in their lives?  This is how you defeat the enemy of your soul. Satan doesn't have a chance of destroying your family when Jesus is fighting your battles as you model the Christian life for all to see Christ in you.