A Wake up Call...You have an Enemy. Ephesians 6.10 BE STRONG.
Listen to this podcast: https://www.pastorwoman.net/podcast/episode/234dbddc/a-wake-up-call-you-have-an-enemy-be-aware-october-1-2022
‘An enemy, really?’ ‘Yeah, his name is Satan.’ ‘Oh, come on, Christine, it is 2022, do you mean to tell me you really believe in the Devil?’ ‘Yes, I do, and you should not be ignorant, nor should you be afraid.' I have been teaching the Bible for 30 years - and nobody has an issue when I talk about Jesus, but mention the Devil? I have had women get up and walk out--they just do not want to hear about him, but come on- look around you... be aware. Here we are—at the beginning of the end of Paul’s letter of Ephesians, where he writes, “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.” ->The passage: https://www.bible.com/bible/111/EPH.6.10-20.NIV. Next, Paul will talk about putting on the armor of God to stand strong against the devil. Paul goes there, so I must. Hmmm…what do we know about the devil … like, where did he come from? He was a created being, the most powerful angel in God’s original creation, named Lucifer.1 It was his pride and warped desire to take God’s place that introduced sin into the universe. He led a rebellion in Heaven that caused his expulsion, and a ‘host’ of other angels as well. The name “Satan” in Greek and Hebrew means the same thing: adversary. ‘Telling, isn’t it? “Devil” is often used in the New Testament, and comes from the word ‘diabolos’, which means ‘one who slanders or accuses’. (Also very descriptive) One day Satan will be bound, and cast in the pit of Hell forever2, but until Christ comes again, he has power as the ‘prince of this world,’ as the Bible calls him. Note: when Jesus was on earth, he defeated him in every confrontation he had with him. Satan may best be identified through his tactics: he is a liar, and targets the mind.3 The first mention of Satan in the Bible comes early--in Genesis chapter three, where he comes as a talking serpent to Eve. Eve’s fateful decision to listen to him ushered sin into the human race. Satan targets the mind because >our thinking affects everything about how we live life< Satan destroys right thinking through lies. [Friend, we see evidence all around us in culture, but the longer a lie is repeated it gets to be accepted--such that you can choose your own gender, that abortion is healthcare] Notice the difference: God accomplishes his will on earth through truth— John 16.13 – the Holy Spirit is the ‘spirit of truth’ Satan accomplishes his purposes through lies. John 8.44 – Jesus said, "there is no truth in him. . . for he is a liar, and the father of lies” **These are powerful words of Jesus, describing the devil. Satan is a destroyer. If Satan cannot defeat you by deceiving your mind, he will try to destroy your body. ‘Remember Job? He lost everything—his children, his flocks and crops, and then, finally, his body was wracked with disease. Still Job trusted God. [Nothing touches the life of the believer unless God allows it, but God is not the cause of illness or suffering] There have been times I know God has answered my prayer, but then comes the question—‘was that really God or was it a coincidence?’ (The voice of confusion, the words of the thief) How I need to remember not to question in the dark the things I know to be true in the light! Also a note to self: the devil specializes in working over tired minds . . . he does his best work at night when we are tired, making people feel beaten down and alone. Satan is an accuser. He will keep you feeling guilty about your sin . . . defeated . . . worthless, ashamed. Interestingly enough, while you may experience extreme remorse, staying focused on your guilt keeps your eyes focused on your sin! Friends, Satan wants you to live under a cloud of guilt, but your Heavenly Father wants you to know that you are forgiven--that Jesus came to set you free. The voices of ‘you’ll never measure up,’ ‘you can never change—you’ll never get it right,’ ‘you’re such a loser‘—those are not the thoughts of your Savior toward you; he does not put such ideas in your head. Those kinds of thoughts are from the Accuser, the devil. Just a little information about the devil … so, what can we do to stand up against the Liar, the Destroyer and Accuser? Most importantly----know who you are, and whose you are---for as Paul said, we are to “Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.” Be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.4 Stand on Scripture, Friend! Awesome song here from Crowder: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=US1-R-R9lYQ gotta listen to the punchline-- Christine 1 – Isaiah 14.12-15 2 - Revelation 20.10 3 – Warren Wiersbe, The Strategy of Satan 4 - Joshua 1.9, NLT