GET TOGETHER- DON’T FORGET WHO THE REAL ENEMY IS
Eph 6:11-13 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.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. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
Wow! What a challenging time it is to be a Christian in the United States. We see Biblical values on marriage and many other areas of life being attacked. One scheme of the enemy in all of this is to try to get our eyes off of the Lord. In doing that He will try to convince us that people are our enemies.
The Apostle Paul is writing a letter to the church at Ephesus. It is a circular letter that will be passed around to other churches in that part of Asia Minor. Ephesus was home to the Temple of Artemis. There was a cult associated with that temple. Some scholars say that worship at the temple involved temple prostitution. Some of those Christians in Ephesus had come out of that cult. Other believers at Ephesus came out of Judaism and accepted Jesus Christ as their Messiah.
The Apostle Paul describes a demonic hierarchy that is under the command of the prince of darkness Satan. This hierarchy will try to impose its will upon nations, governments, companies, churches, schools, and families and individuals.
The enemy has a plan. In verse 11 this plan is referred to as the wiles of the devil. It means cunning arts, deceit, craft, trickery, and a scheme. One scheme that the enemy would like to make us as Christians do is get hard hearted toward those who oppose us. He wants to draw us into fleshly battles. We have to remember that we don’t battle against the leaders of big corporations, politicians, or individuals who promote worldviews that are demonic and contrary to a Biblical worldview. Our battle is with the demonic forces that have them under their influence.
Jesus gave some good advice on how to not be drawn into these fleshly battles. Mt 5:43-45 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ “But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, “that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.” Think about it. He didn’t call Pilate a scum bag. Yes, He spoke truth to Him, but it was the truth in love. Yes, we are to speak the truth in love. But remember that He died on the cross for those who are enemies of the cross that they just all of us who were born sinners and lived sinful lives might come to a place of repentance and put their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ to save them from their sins just as He did me and you.
I have said this before a solid mentor once told me that we are to win the lost rather than trying to beat them. By the way this mentor was solid Biblically on all of the hot button issues in our culture today. The devil gets great enjoyment out of seeing Christians rather than putting on the full armor of God like Paul tells us to do in verse 12-18 being drawn into a fleshly battle.
Recently as I was praying for people that either are living in lifestyles, or promoting those lifestyles that are contrary to scripture the Holy Spirit spoke this to my heart. Was I praying for them so that one day that I could say see I told you that we were right? Or was I praying for them because I loved them and wanted to see them have a life in the will of God and to live with Jesus Christ forever and ever?
One other thing that Mentor who had pastored many years told that I think would help us to not get into a fleshly battle. He told me to love pastorally and to preach prophetically. Preach the truth. But love people enough that they can see what God has done in your life. Remember the Apostle Paul also had this to say about how not to get in a fleshly battle 2Co 10:4 “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds,”(NKJV) The world trash talks. The Spirit filled believer prays, fasts serves, and loves. Remember Jesus loves sinners. He loves us unconditionally. But praise God that He loves us too much to leave us in the sinful condition that we were in when we came to Him.
Let Us Pray
Lord I know that many are like me we want to be sure that we don’t compromise in this culture concerning truth about things that the culture wants to impose upon us. We ask you Lord to help us. On the other hand, Lord help us not to get drawn into fleshly battles and to succumb to the traps that the enemy sets up for us. Help us to be like You. Help us to love people enough to pray for their souls. Help us to love people enough that they see the light of Christ in us. Help us to know that our battle is not with flesh and blood. Help us to put on the Full Armor of God every day.
In Jesus Name
Love you all.