Archive for the ‘devil’ Tag

Strong In The Lord’s Power: Part IV -Gear Up!   Leave a comment

“Wake up soldier! On your feet! There is a WAR going on! A war for your eternal life, and it’s time to get ‘stuck in’ !”

In Ephesians 6:13, your General is giving you a command: “Therefore take up the whole armor of God…”

He is not making a request; “Would you please?” And Generals seldom make mere suggestions. No, He is commanding it; “GEAR UP SOLDIER!” And He even tells us why in the preceding verse (see Part III), as well as in the rest of verse 13:

“…that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.”

ie. “Get your armor on, because the enemy is going to attack you, and I expect you to do all you can to WIN!”

I feel like there should have been an exclamation point at the end of this verse. This is a rouse from our Commander, our Leader, our General, to get up, put our gear on, and get ready to fight! And not only to fight, but to WIN! Or, at very least, to have giving one’s all to win… It is only He Who ultimately brings the victory, of course.

Question: In a physical battle…would you ignore such an order by your commanding officer?
No way! Of course not! So we NEED to take this very seriously! Just as we would if it were a physical battle we were preparing for. In fact, even more so. Afterall…this is not our mere physical lives we are talking about…but about our LIFE, ETERNAL!

Our enemy doesn’t want us to take this seriously. In fact, he doesn’t even want us to be thinking about how real this battle is. He wants us to de-prioritize it, to take these verses for granted, and even to believe that we are un-equipped and unable to fight.

There was a Chinese general, military strategist, and philosopher by the name of Sun Tzu. Perhaps you have heard of him. He is credited as having written the book, “The Art Of War.”  Here are a few tactics from his book, that you can be ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN the devil uses against Christ’s true Followers:

“Attack (your enemy) where he is unprepared, appear where you are not expected.”

“The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.”

“Supreme excellence consists of breaking the enemy’s resistance without fighting.”

If the devil can distract you from the fight. He knows how to make you feel it is not important or necessary enough to PUT ON The Armor of God every day, effectively keeping you from fighting back. If he is successful (and remember, he has had THOUSANDS of years to perfect his tactics) then he has half the battle one already.

And so our General of Heaven’s Armies it warning us here. He is “rousing his troops” if you will. In the preceding verses, He has made if very clear that there is a war going on, and who or enemy is. And no, in verse 13, our General says to YOU…”Soldier… get ready! Battle is nigh!  TAKE UP the whole armor of God!”

So do it! Put it on. Get ready to fight! For fight we must! Because, whether we are ready or not….whether we see it or not; whether we or feel it or not; whether we know it…or not….the devil IS at war with us, and he is ever planning his attacks. He is ever looking for the right moments, as well as just how to attach you and me. He is cunning. He is a master of propaganda, distraction, and deception. He is a master strategist. He’s had thousands of years to hone and perfect his tactics.

He will be fighting… the question is… will you?

 

 

 

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The Lord’s Prayer – A Closer Look – Part 5   Leave a comment

Continuing on from Part 4, I am taking a more in depth look at what is commonly known as “The Lord’s Prayer” or “The Model Prayer” found in Matthew 6.

Verse 13 Continued…

“…But deliver us from the evil one….”

We know who the evil one is. If not, we certainly should. The evil one of course is the devil and he works to deceive the whole world. (Rev. 12:9) In fact, one of his greatest deceptions perhaps is that many people don’t give him much thought or believe that he even exists at all, let alone that he influences every facet of society on a global scale.  The most dangerous enemy, is the one you don’t know or believe exists.

Now think about what his goal is… Is it simply to turn us to his side or to turn us away from God? Well, he does work to do those things, but to what end? What is his ultimate goal? If you guessed something along the lines of “destruction of all that is good”, you’ve probably got it right on the nose. He doesn’t just want us to turn from God…he wants us dead spiritually; destroyed; gone. He would kill us if allowed, but only after destroying us spiritually of course. He hates God and therefore hates anything to do with God. Including God’s plan for family. He hates that God has a plan to create a family out of us; these bags of flesh that we currently are; that one day we will be given more power and authority than the devil ever had, when we are brought into the very God Family itself (something else he can never have).

And so make no mistake…he hates you. He hates every one of us, whether we follow God or not. But he especially hates those who are striving to live God’s way now. He seeks to destroy them. Devour them spiritually and physically.  Just look at what he did to Job. God had to command the devil not to kill him physically as well. Further evidence is given to us in a warning found in 1 Peter 5:8. We are warned thus: “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour…”  He wants nothing less than our utter destruction.

“Be sober, and vigilant”.

This is interesting in that Christ, in the model prayer is showing us to ask God for His guidance, His protection, His deliverance from the devil. He wants us to be mindful that not only is the devil out there seeking to destroy us, but that we need to be asking God for protection that only He can give.

And so, we are reminded in the Lord’s Prayer, to ask God to deliver us from the devil. Physically, mentally and emotionally, we are simply no match for the devil.  We have no power ourselves against such a being as the devil.

Think of it like a boxing match…. In one corner, we have a super powerful being (not to mention his servants and minions). A former archangel who’s been around since man was created.  And in the other corner, we have…insert your own fantastic physique, lifetime experience, and mental prowess here.  Statistically speaking…it doesn’t look good for us.

Thankfully… in this spiritual battle that we have entered into, this spiritual boxing ring, (to continue with that analogy) we have something far superior to all that devil is and has at his disposal. We have God in our corner.

In FACT… we get to actually wear armor in this match, don’t we. And we get a shield! Eph 6:10-18. The “shield of faith,with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one”.  Hey, he’s using arrows in this “boxing match”, its only fair I suppose. 😉

So, our only safety we that have comes through always looking to God as our guide and making the decision to acknowledge God in every choice, in every path we take. God will lead us as we read previously. (see part 4)  And God makes available the strength of our Savior. (“I can do all things through Christ Who strengthens me.” Phil 4:13) He has also granted us the law that says, if we resit the devil he will flee from us. (James 4:7)

We also have 2 Thessalonians 3:3, “But the Lord is faithful, and He will strengthen and protect you from the evil one.”

It is very clear that our protection comes from God. In fact… truly, He and our Christ, are our ONLY protection. And so we are reminded in Christ’s prayer, to ask God for His protection from the devil.

“…But deliver us from the evil one….”