The Bible tells us we are in a cosmic conflict and Satan is doing everything he can to make you fail. In this study we hope the reveal a few ways to how you can be victorious over the schemes of the evil one by learning how to use the supernatural weapons God has provided to protect you and those you love.
Find out how to fight back!
After World War II ended, there was a treaty signed, we were at peace, but did you know on multiple islands throughout the South Pacific, the battle raged. There was guerrilla warfare and the bullets were just as real. The war was over and victory completed and yet Marines were still on the islands fighting the enemy, even though there was nothing at stake with regard to the relationship between the countries or the world powers.
The war was over but the battle continued. We are living in a day now where, when Jesus died on the cross, he broke the power of sin and disarmed and triumphed over the enemy Satan. We've been taken from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of light. The old things are past; behold, all things become new. Right?
God's given us some armor we just need to know how to put it on and how to use it.And yet there's guerrilla warfare going on to damage, discredit, discourage and ruin your life and my life and the life of the church. Fortunately, God has provided us with clear commands and clear protection to be victorious in the skirmishes in the battle.
Armor of God.
Let's read the passage, and let's discover how to prepare yourself for Satanic attack, from Ephesians 6:13, 14, and 15:
"Therefore, take up the full armor of God." Why? "That you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. Stand firm, therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace."
This is a picture of a mighty general calling the troops to assembly, and he puts them in rows, and he says, "In front of each one of you, I want you to know there's an M-16 and there's a helmet and there's a backpack and there's a special vial in here if you're under gas attack, and there's a gas mask. Now listen up. Take up your equipment, right now." There's a sense of urgency here. The tense of the verb has the idea of "right now, get up, get ready, take up notice." It's something that you do. God doesn't do this for you.
The verb here is a point in time, "Take up the full armor of God." It's the General, the Lord Jesus Christ, urgently saying to all of his children: "Everything you need to defeat the enemy, I'm putting at your feet. Now, I want you to take it up." And if it was a Marine, it would be a certain kinda rifle and a flap jacket and a helmet and a backpack. But because Paul lives in a different day, so he's going to use the picture of a Roman soldier.
By the way, in the film The Cabin when Roy is putting on his armor please do not think we were trying to trifle its spiritual importance. The scene was intended to be a metaphor created to help better understand the kind of protection offered in the scriptures. Take the 'fuzzy slippers' Roy's Guardian Angel Josiah presents to him in the scene where he is putting on his armor. The slippers simply reference to concept. It's a picture of what Paul was trying to teach us - that's it is not so much about the evil coming and not being pushed around but more about holding the ground that you already have.
Check this out, when you accepted Christ, you came out of the kingdom of darkness. This stage is the kingdom of light. You've been adopted. You've been sealed with the spirit. You've been given spiritual gifts. You're a part of a body. You have a spiritual inheritance. You have forgiveness. You have peace. You have the fruit of the spirit.
All of this territory because of Christ, you now possess it as a child of God. What he's saying is all of this is who you are. Ephesians 1, 2, and 3. Walk in that way. Now stand firm. Hold on to what you possess, because darts are gonna come and lies are gonna come and people are gonna come and circumstances are gonna come to tell you you're not worthy, you don't have peace, God doesn't love you. Why should you forgive someone else? And it will encroach and encroach and encroach on your life until how you live and how you think actually looks not much different than how you used to live and how you used to think and how you used to treat people and where your priorities used to be.
See, this standing firm is not just like you're standing and something's coming at you. You are holding on to that area that you've already possessed. Imagine an army that has taken a town, and now what do they wanna do? They wanna hold their position so the enemy can't take back that territory.
The Evil Day
Why do we need to stand firm? To enable you for those difficult times for the evil day. Did you know, the evil day means on a particular day at a particular time.
Life battles aren't all the same, are they? Of course not. When he says "the evil day" here, he's saying there are specific opportunities and times when the enemy is going to come and try and deceive you or discourage you or to turn you away from your General and Commander, the Lord Jesus.
On those kinda times when you're tired, when you've had a little conflict with your mate, when the economy drops and you didn't realize how much of your security was in that 401(k). When you're in the ICU with one of your kids and you're wondering whether they're going to make it and you're tempted to believe God's not a good God. When you've prayed and prayed and prayed and asked God for something, and circumstances turn just the opposite, and you hear this little voice that says, "See? God doesn't hear your prayers. Why are you living like this?"
When you're a single person and, unlike most of your contemporaries even in the church, you're living a pure life. And you're not getting a lot of dates, and a lot of people seem to be going out and, quote, "having a lot of fun," and you have this condemnation that says, "You fool. You are missing out on life."
You see, what he's saying is, is that there are different times in different people's lives, there will be an evil day, and you must be able to oppose or resist him. You need to come against him. You need to be able to guard your territory so that who you are in Christ doesn't get negated in how you think, how you begin to talk, and how you begin to live.
Let's unpack more of the full armor of God. It says "having girded your loins with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, having have your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace." It is very important to understand that these things have to have already occurred, and they have to be a practice in your life for you to live out this new life.
So "having girded your loins with truth." The belt of truth and on that belt all the rest of the armor was hooked. For example, the sword (God's Word) would go where? On the belt. And we find later the shield would actually attach to the belt. And so that's the picture. The word "truth" here means candor, sincerity, truthfulness. It's rooted in the objective reality of the truth of God's Word.
And what is already true of you? You're accepted in the beloved. You've been redeemed. You've been bought with a price. You're a part of God's family. You've been sealed with the spirit.
But when he says, "This is the part that you do: you put on the belt of truth," this is the practical application of you seeing God, seeing yourself, and seeing others through the worldview and the clarity of what is accurate and true. It means you don't play games. It means you're not deceived. It means you're honest with God, you're honest with yourself, and you're open when the spirit of God speaks to you.
By contrast, the enemy is constantly whispering. Deceive, deceive, deceive. What was his tactic the very first time we ever hear of Satan? He was crafty, and what did he do to Eve? He deceived her. How did he deceive her? He did it in multiple ways, but he said – first of all, he questioned God's goodness. Then he questioned the accuracy of the truth that she knew: "Well, surely you won't die." Then he took some truth that was really true and said, "If you eat this, this will give you the knowledge of good and evil." That was actually true. Then he'll take truth and he'll twist it. Then he'll make sin look appealing.
You know what? She looked at it, and it was appealing to the eyes, and to make one wise. And then he lies to her about the consequences: "Nothing's gonna happen bad." And you know that M.O. has not changed, he tells us, what you have doesn't measure up. If you wanna be significant, if you wanna be lovable, if you wanna be accepted, if you wanna be secure, if you wanna be a someone, if you wanna be happy, you need – and then you fill in the blank, and it's a lie. It's a lie. And we're buying it.
We can go to church on Sunday morning, read the Bible in the morning, pray a few prayers, and let the media infiltrate our thinking to the point that we raise our kids just about the same way the world raises their kids. We handle our money just about the same way the world handles their money. We talk and live and act and are honest about the same way the world – why? We're deceived.
Top FIVE most deceptive lies that ruin Christ followers.
1. Take care of yourself first and foremost; nobody else will.
That's the American way. Just read Matthew 10:29.
2. The Bible's written centuries ago, and in many areas it's just not relevant anymore.
This usually comes from a famous person who just found religion, a co-worker or some other anti-intellectual fool that tries to change the the Bible to fit their life agenda. We get sucked into this lie all the time.
3. Truth is relative.
You've heard this, "You know, what's true for me isn't necessarily true for other people. Or what's true for you – that doesn't mean – I mean, just 'cause the Bible says or that's your convictions. That's different for me." It's a lie.
4. If God was loving, He wouldn't let these bad things happen.
It's a lie.
5. Stand up for your rights, regardless of the consequences.
"I know the Bible says you're not supposed to sue, but he probably wasn't really a Christian, and this is what happened in this church. And I'll tell you what, man, I'll sue his pants off and I'll get all my money back." It's better, brethren, to be defrauded than defame the name of the church in God. It's shameful that so many Christians are suing other Christians.
See, he says, "Put on the belt of truth." Satan's first attack was deception, and what our response is hiding, denial, and blame shifting, and that hasn't changed much either, has it? We see the truth about ourselves, and I don't know about you, but it's painful, and it takes such courage to face the truth, we just kinda go into denial: "That really couldn't be happening. That can't be true of me."
The belt of truth begins with getting honest and owning your own stuff, without excuses, without blaming, and saying, "God, until I get honest with you, there's no hope to live and defend and stand firm against the lies, because his goal is deception." Kenneth Wuest writes, "The best of truth is the man or woman whose mind will practice no deceit and no disguises in their walk with God."
Psalm 139:23 and 24, and it is a passage that I think is well worth not just memorizing, but maybe, more importantly, it's well worth applying. David, a man after God's own heart, and we sure learned from him, that doesn't mean you have it all together, right? I mean, his morality wasn't ship-shape.
"Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me and see if there be any wicked way in me, and then lead me in the everlasting way." That is a good prayer to pray, like, every day."
What made David a man after God's own heart was, when confronted; he did what we all do: he was in denial. Then he went to blame shifting, and then he hid it, and then God brought Nathan and said, "You're the man." And when he finally saw the truth, it broke his heart.