“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.”
spiritual warfare is resisting, overcoming and defeating the enemy’s lies (in the form of deception, temptations and accusations) that he sends our way.
There are three things that we can expect from the devil. The Bible tells us that we struggle not against flesh and blood, but against demonic forces. Ephesians 6:12, “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.” The three primary things we struggle against include:
1. Deception: When the enemy sends deception your way, it is an attempt to deceive you into believing something that is not true, so you will fall into error. Strongholds are built through deception. A stronghold is formed when deception takes hold in a person’s mind. A stronghold is an incorrect thinking pattern that stems from believing something that is not true. From the very beginning, Satan deceived Eve into believing that God’s Word was not true. In Genesis 3:4, the devil told her that she will not surely die as God said she would in Genesis 2:17.
We have two weapons to deal with deceptions: the belt of truth (Ephesians 6:14) and the sword of the Spirit (Ephesians 6:17) which is the Word of God. You use the belt of truth (God’s Word) to guard against the enemy’s deception (lies) he sends your way, while you use the sword of the Spirit (also God’s Word) to tear down existing strongholds (deception that took hold) in your mind.
2. Temptation: Temptation often follows deception. First the enemy tells us, “You won’t surely die!”, then he makes the fruit on the forbidden tree look good to us. Since Eve accepted Satan’s deception (his lie), now the tree that she was not supposed to touch looked good to her. She was tempted (enticed) to sin, because she allowed herself to first be deceived. Temptation is when we are enticed or encouraged to sin in one way or another. In Matthew 4, Jesus was led out in the desert to be tempted by the devil. The devil tried to convince Jesus that it would be harmless to jump off a building. Jesus saw through Satan’s deception, and resisted the temptation by speaking God’s Word. King David said in Psalms 119:11, “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.”
In James 4:7, we are told to submit to God and resist the devil and he will flee from us. But it’s not that simple; in the same verse, we are also told to draw near to God. Dealing with temptation is a two-fold process of resisting the devil and drawing near to God. The closer you get to God and the more you become aware of His love, the less power temptation will have over you.
3. Accusations: The devil is known as the accuser of the brethren (Rev 12:10). He is known to take a believer who has done an embarrassing or gross sin in their past, and continue to rub it in their faces and beat them down with guilt and condemnation over their past. But we have overcome by the blood of the lamb (Rev 12:11).
The fiery darts of the enemy in Ephesians 6:16 are accusations sent our way. For example, when the devil tries to accuse us of our past sins, we are to have faith in the work of the cross and know that they are forgiven and not to look back. Faith is what we use to put out the fiery darts of the enemy (Ephesians 6:16). We are not to meditate about our pasts, because they have passed away (2 Corinthians 5:17), and our sins have been forgotten (Hebrews 10:17).
The moment a person accepts Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior and receives God’s Holy Spirit, that person is instantly and literally translated from the kingdom of darkness of this world into the kingdom of God’s light by God’s Holy Spirit of truth. The Apostle Paul describes this process as the “mystery” revealed, which is “Christ in you” the hope of glory.
God rescued us from the power and bondage of the world, the flesh, the devil, and supernaturally empowered us with the light of His truth, love, and Holy Spirit. The power of darkness is anything that blinds a person to the reality of sin, the true love of God, and the victory we have in Christ. It is the power of darkness that blinds a person to his or her need for salvation, and from receiving God’s free gift of The Holy Spirit. God draws humanity from enmity towards Him to an illumination of truth that leads to salvation in Christ by the cross, preaching of His Word, and the conviction of His Holy Spirit. Whoever rejects the truth of Christ is under the control or deception of the god of this world, which is the devil.
Our battle against the devil is a battle against good and evil, the goodness and power of God against the evil and power of the devil. Therefore we are in direct conflict with the god of this world, “the devil.” He has power over the world and the flesh and is our ultimate enemy. However, we are promised the victory in Christ!
Take up the sword of the Spirit (God’s Word) today, and start slaughtering the enemy’s assets that he’s been using against you!
Scripture of the day: No weapon formed against you shall prosper, And every tongue which rises against you in judgment You shall condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, And their righteousness is from Me,” Says the LORD. ~ Isaiah 54:17 NKJV
From Pastor Peter Okereke Jr.
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