We are all at WAR so act like it.

 
(2 Pet 1:2 KJV)  Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord,  3  According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: 4  Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. 5  And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; 6  And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; 7  And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. 8  For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.  9  But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. 10  Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: 11  For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
 
We are all at WAR with the devil  so act like it. Real actions are still required on our part. Complacency, presumption, an ostrich approach are all unacceptable still too
(1 Pet 5:8 KJV)  Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
(1 Pet 5:9 KJV)  Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.
 (James 4:7 KJV)  Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
(James 4:8 KJV)  Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.
(Mark 8:33 KJV)  But when he had turned about and looked on his disciples, he rebuked Peter, saying, Get thee behind me, Satan: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but the things that be of men.
 
RATHER BY  FAITH APPROPRIATE GOD’S EMPOWERNMENT  INTO  YOUR LIFE FOR THE HOLY,  GODLY, MIRACULOUS  LIVING AS FOUND IN THE SCRIPTURES 
 
(John 15:5 KJV)  I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. 6    If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. 7   If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. 8  Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples. 9   As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love.
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Just cause the preacher may say it is alright to take Charge of your life does not make it so, are you now taking Charge of your own life or are you letting  God to take Charge of his  life.
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(Jonah 1:2 KJV)  Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness is come up before me. 3   But Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish from the presence of the LORD, and went down to Joppa; and he found a ship going to Tarshish: so he paid the fare thereof, and went down into it, to go with them unto Tarshish from the presence of the LORD.
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Just cause the preacher says it is alright does not mean it is so… here is the truth, the reality still
1: Doing your own thing is still sinful, as Adam and Eve had found out  or
2: doing nothing good is also sinful as Jonas found out..
for we are not our own, we all are slaves of God, and we have to first obey him and do only what he says for us to do and not what the preaches say is alright.  (Acts 5:29 KJV)  Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.
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So do you read your Bible daily to fins out God’s instructions for you or do you easily still just do your own thing, that which is right in your own eyes.
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(Exo 15:26 KJV)  And said, If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the LORD thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the LORD that healeth thee.
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(Deu 12:8 KJV)  Ye shall not do after all the things that we do here this day, every man whatsoever is right in his own eyes.
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(Judg 17:6 KJV)  In those days there was no king in Israel, but every man did that which was right in his own eyes.
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(Prov 12:15 KJV)  The way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise.
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Troubled?

INSTEAD OF DWELLING WITH GOD IN HIS WORD AND HIS EMPOWERNMENT, PROMISES TO  US IN HIS WORD THE BIBLE  are you rather still looking at your circumstances, other people, friends, your surroundings, your resources, your needs, your problems or are you firstly looking at God?

(Prov 24:10 KJV)  If thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength is small.

Quite often I find myself counseling effectively, giving insights to  some really trouble senior persons who have found themselves in an unexpected negative situation and the do not know what to do about it, how it started or how to get out of it. I can often simply recognize these persons by their worried looks they manifest as they are walking around in circles,  prowling like a cat. They are trying to find some answers and solutions

Rule number one do not look to man for help… their answers are very very unreliable, distorted, inapplicable too often.. for example he went to the doctors for help and he still died..  rather first log on to God for help in a humble prayer, so first ask him what happened, what to do and where to go first.

– Secondly do not do your own thing nor be in a haste to do something personally without having first  a deeper understanding of the whole events. ” I am  troubled because I seem to have suffered a severe memory loss” . Likley caused by your depression or sleeping pills too.. or the lack of sleep, lack of food..

Unrealistic expectations and laziness can be another reasons you are unable to crawl out of the deep pit you find yourself in..

– Too many self centered persons go to extreme habits or improper, poor values as well that can now have a very serious negative effect on them too.. some people talk too much and do very little real listening still too,

– Or Karma, you now are reaping negative results for your negative personal works.. such as your past neglects, abuses, cheating, lying, slandering, stealing, alcoholism, adultery, etc., better to repent quickly.

(Psa 1:1 KJV)  Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. 2   But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. 3    And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.

(Jer 12:4 KJV)  How long shall the land mourn, and the herbs of every field wither, for the wickedness of them that dwell therein? the beasts are consumed, and the birds; because they said, He shall not see our last end.

(Prov 24:6 KJV)  For by wise counsel thou shalt make thy war: and in multitude of counsellors there is safety.

(Prov 24:8 KJV)  He that deviseth to do evil shall be called a mischievous person.

(Deu 27:16 KJV)  Cursed be he that setteth light by his father or his mother. And all the people shall say, Amen.

(Deu 27:17 KJV)  Cursed be he that removeth his neighbour’s landmark. And all the people shall say, Amen.

(Deu 27:18 KJV)  Cursed be he that maketh the blind to wander out of the way. And all the people shall say, Amen.

(Deu 27:19 KJV)  Cursed be he that perverteth the judgment of the stranger, fatherless, and widow. And all the people shall say, Amen.

(Deu 27:20 KJV)  Cursed be he that lieth with his father’s wife; because he uncovereth his father’s skirt. And all the people shall say, Amen.

(Deu 27:21 KJV)  Cursed be he that lieth with any manner of beast. And all the people shall say, Amen.

(Deu 27:22 KJV)  Cursed be he that lieth with his sister, the daughter of his father, or the daughter of his mother. And all the people shall say, Amen.

(Deu 27:23 KJV)  Cursed be he that lieth with his mother in law. And all the people shall say, Amen.

(Deu 27:24 KJV)  Cursed be he that smiteth his neighbour secretly. And all the people shall say, Amen.

(Deu 27:25 KJV)  Cursed be he that taketh reward to slay an innocent person. And all the people shall say, Amen.

(Deu 27:26 KJV)  Cursed be he that confirmeth not all the words of this law to do them. And all the people shall say, Amen.

(Jer 48:10 KJV)  Cursed be he that doeth the work of the LORD deceitfully, and cursed be he that keepeth back his sword from blood.

(Psa 4:5 KJV)  Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, and put your trust in the LORD.

(Psa 31:6 KJV)  I have hated them that regard lying vanities: but I trust in the LORD.

(Psa 40:3 KJV)  And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the LORD.

(Psa 115:11 KJV)  Ye that fear the LORD, trust in the LORD: he is their help and their shield.

(Psa 118:8 KJV)  It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man.

(Psa 118:9 KJV)  It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in princes.

(Psa 125:1 KJV)  They that trust in the LORD shall be as mount Zion, which cannot be removed, but abideth for ever.

(Prov 3:5 KJV)  Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.

(Prov 29:25 KJV)  The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the LORD shall be safe.

(James 4:2 KJV)  Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not.

(James 4:3 KJV)  Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.

(James 4:4 KJV)  Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.

(James 4:5 KJV)  Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy?

(James 4:6 KJV)  But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.

(James 4:7 KJV)  Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

(James 4:8 KJV)  Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.

Also

(Eccl 7:13 KJV)  Consider the work of God: for who can make that straight, which he hath made crooked? 14  In the day of prosperity be joyful, but in the day of adversity consider: God also hath set the one over against the other, to the end that man should find nothing after him. 15  All things have I seen in the days of my vanity: there is a just man that perisheth in his righteousness, and there is a wicked man that prolongeth his life in his wickedness. 16  Be not righteous over much; neither make thyself over wise: why shouldest thou destroy thyself? 17  Be not over much wicked, neither be thou foolish: why shouldest thou die before thy time? 18  It is good that thou shouldest take hold of this; yea, also from this withdraw not thine hand: for he that feareth God shall come forth of them all.
(Psa 149:6 KJV)  Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a two edged sword in their hand;
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When we do a sacrifice of praise, a serious effort, cause it is not always easy to praise God when we are down,  we are allowing God into our life, we are giving God permission to deal with all those negative forces, circumstances surrounding our life presently.
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(Psa 4:5 KJV)  Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, and put your trust in the LORD.
(Psa 37:3 KJV)  Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.
(Psa 40:3 KJV)  And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the LORD.
(Psa 73:28 KJV)  But it is good for me to draw near to God: I have put my trust in the Lord GOD, that I may declare all thy works.
(Psa 115:10 KJV)  O house of Aaron, trust in the LORD: he is their help and their shield.
(Psa 115:11 KJV)  Ye that fear the LORD, trust in the LORD: he is their help and their shield.
(Psa 118:8 KJV)  It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man.
(Psa 118:9 KJV)  It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in princes.
(Psa 125:1 KJV)  They that trust in the LORD shall be as mount Zion, which cannot be removed, but abideth for ever.
(Prov 3:5 KJV)  Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
(Prov 28:25 KJV)  He that is of a proud heart stirreth up strife: but he that putteth his trust in the LORD shall be made fat.
(Prov 29:25 KJV)  The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the LORD shall be safe.
 
Put these words into practice in your own life..
 
One of the funny things I find about real  life for me is that it is too often  still is periods of either feast or famine, of one having an abundance or one faces poverty, having an absolute minimum essentials.. one has too much work or not enough.. one has too little time or too much free time, or one can’t find the time to be alone, to rest, versus one has  too much solitude and the same thing applies to one’s friends..  one has loads of superficial friends, or a bare minimum of good, trustworthy friends. But when it finally comes to reality, the basics each one of us now still has to personally  live our own life, that includes taking power over the devil, taking power away from the devil by the name and blood of Jesus..
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(Eccl 5:19 KJV)  Every man also to whom God hath given riches and wealth, and hath given him power to eat thereof, and to take his portion, and to rejoice in his labour; this is the gift of God.
(Eccl 6:2 KJV)  A man to whom God hath given riches, wealth, and honour, so that he wanteth nothing for his soul of all that he desireth, yet God giveth him not power to eat thereof, but a stranger eateth it: this is vanity, and it is an evil disease.
(Eccl 7:14 KJV)  In the day of prosperity be joyful, but in the day of adversity consider: God also hath set the one over against the other, to the end that man should find nothing after him.
(Eccl 7:15 KJV)  All things have I seen in the days of my vanity: there is a just man that perisheth in his righteousness, and there is a wicked man that prolongeth his life in his wickedness.
(Eccl 7:16 KJV)  Be not righteous over much; neither make thyself over wise: why shouldest thou destroy thyself?
(Eccl 7:17 KJV)  Be not over much wicked, neither be thou foolish: why shouldest thou die before thy time?
(Eccl 7:18 KJV)  It is good that thou shouldest take hold of this; yea, also from this withdraw not thine hand: for he that feareth God shall come forth of them all.
(Eccl 7:19 KJV)  Wisdom strengtheneth the wise more than ten mighty men which are in the city.
(Amos 3:10 KJV)  For they know not to do right, saith the LORD, who store up violence and robbery in their palaces. 11   Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; An adversary there shall be even round about the land; and he shall bring down thy strength from thee, and thy palaces shall be spoiled.
 Thinking about God reduces distress, study finds
http://www.ctv.ca/CTVNews/Health/20100806/religion-stress-study-100808/
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If you want to reduce your stress level and feel less upset, perhaps you should think about God. Investigators at the University of Toronto Scarborough found that when people think about God and religion, their brains respond in ways that allows them to react with less distress.

Stress, Religion and God

The physiological and psychological impacts of stress are well known and range from depression and anxiety disorders to gastrointestinal problems, high blood pressure, sexual dysfunction, hair loss, obesity, and diabetes, among others. Findings effective ways to help people cope with or manage stress, therefore, is an important goal.

Given that 85 percent of people in the world have some type of religious belief system, Michael Inzlicht, assistant psychology professor, and Alexa Tullet of the University of Toronto Scarborough decided to uncover what functions such beliefs might serve. http://www.emaxhealth.com/1275/reduce-stress-think-about-god

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 I am a slave to no man, or evil spirit . Jesus is the only commander I respect, know, follow now too.. Now I also do know some persons claim to be modern day prophets. God’s chosen leaders,  called by God, some even think they are supposedly God appointed rulers like king David was, even some confused members of my own family now too.. well they are always mistaken here too.

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Do see also
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thenonconformer

I am a Canadian, retired and I do have an Engineering degree, from Concordia University , Montreal 1968, plus I had also now worked as a Re/Max Realtor in Calgary too. I follow Jesus, as per Matthew 2:37 The Old covenant from God is only to the Jews, Israel. Now I am very heatedly involved in both Christianity and politics as well and I am very popular for my Graphic sites. I have Pastored a Church or a few years and have dealt with many many politicians. I am a moderator on two Donald trump political sites on Google+ : Liberty Price, and PRESIDENT TRUMP My own most Popular face book sites are https://www.facebook.com/Christian.Graphics.Free.Pictures.Posters/ https://www.facebook.com/The-lies-of-the-false-Christian-Zionism-Movement-166907416793938/ https://www.facebook.com/His.Christian.Ministry/ My own most Popular wordpress sites are https://thenonconformer.wordpress.com/ Canadian Politics https://musttrustobey.wordpress.com/ American Politics https://postedat.wordpress.com/ Christian Topics https://dispensatiionalism.wordpress.com/ https://asposed.wordpress.com/ About the Messianic Jews https://stayinhealth.wordpress.com/ https://putin1hero.wordpress.com/ https://freechristianwallpapersposters.wordpress.com/ https://jesussayscome.wordpress.com/2018/09/02/links-free-scenic-wallpapers-with-bible-verses-bibles-christian-writings-ebooks/ https://cityocean.wordpress.com/ Ocean City, New Jersey USA https://nclgetaways.wordpress.com/2015/12/09/ caribbean-cruise Google Plus https://plus.google.com/104514506324197617910 I am also a Conversation starter, 1/ 45 most popular posters the last month President Donald J. Trump Supporters Group! https://www.facebook.com/groups/1187047314639471

15 thoughts on “We are all at WAR so act like it.”

  1. How Can I Resist Satan? Ephesians 6:16,17
    Coty Pinckney, Community Bible Church, Williamstown, MA Feb 8, 1998

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    Introduction

    The time: December 1944. Allied forces, after advancing quickly in the summer months, have slowed. Low cloud cover and fog hamper the use of Allied air superiority. Hitler, perceiving an opportunity to divide British from US troops and spotting a weakly defended area near the heavily-wooded Ardennes, masses his troops and, on Dec 16, attacks. The US high command, after taking some time to realize that this is a major offensive and not simply a skirmish, determines that the area around Bastogne is key to stopping the German advance; the commanding general orders the 101st Airborne division under General Anthony Mcauliffe to move into Bastogne and hold it. They succeed in occupying the town, but shortly thereafter are surrounded by enemy troops. As an airborne division they have little artillery and after fierce fighting, ammunition is running out. Continued bad weather hinders all resupply efforts by airdrops. Medical supplies too are running out; wounded cannot be treated.

    Imagine yourself as a soldier in that situation. The coldest winter in 50 years in Europe. Fog so thick German and American troops get confused and don’t even know where battle lines are. Many of your buddies killed or wounded or lost in the last few days.

    A delegation of Germans approaches carrying a white flag: This is their message: “You are surrounded. We know you have little ammunition and little artillery. We have massed our forces around this city; unless you surrender, we will annihilate you.”

    What would you have done in that situation?

    What do you do today when faced with similar situations? Because we are in a war, we are all in a great war, as part of the army of God. And in this war, we can feel surrounded, we can feel as if the enemy is about to annihilate us; we can feel as if our fight, and the cause for which we fight, is hopeless.

    Have you ever felt this way?

    Paul is writing this section of Ephesians for those of us who experience these situations. We must realize that no matter what appearances may indicate, the outcome of the struggle in which we are engaged is assured: God will be victorious. He has decreed that he will utterly defeat the Enemy, and that we will play some part in that defeat. Our struggle is not in vain; just as Hitler was defeated within 6 months of this seemingly hopeless situation for the 101st Airborne, so Satan will be defeated, regardless of how hopeless our situation may appear at present.

    This section of Ephesians is sometimes isolated from the rest of the book, as preachers focus on spiritual warfare. I believe, on the other hand, that this section flows from the rest of the book, that Paul’s instructions here are based on the truths about our relationship to Christ that he brings out in the first three chapters, as applied to the interpersonal relationships Paul has been emphasizing in chapters 4, 5, and 6. So let’s examine the context of this passage.

    In the first three chapters, Paul tells us who we are in Christ: that we are chosen in Christ to be holy and blameless; that we are given the Holy Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing our redemption; that though we were dead in our transgressions and sins, God made us alive by his grace and seated us with Christ in the heavenlies. Furthermore, God has broken down the divisions among us, making us one in Christ, uniting us into one glorious church, that (3:10) will make known the manifold wisdom of God to the principalities and powers in the heavenlies.

    Let me say that again; it’s vital for understanding today’s passage: God has united us into one glorious church that will make known the multifaceted wisdom of God — to whom? To the principalities and powers in the heavenlies: to spiritual powers, to angels, both good and evil, so that all spiritual creation will see the church and be amazed at God’s wisdom — loving it if they are obedient to him, hating it if not, but amazed in both cases. That is what God is accomplishing through his church, through us.

    So Paul then turns in 4:1 from stating these great truths about us to drawing implications for our lives:

    4:1 Therefore I beg you to live a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called, 2 with all lowliness and meekness, with patience, forbearing one another in love, 3 eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace

    Paul is saying, “Your calling is so glorious! Live up to it!”

    How does he tell us to live up to it? By escaping into the desert, living alone, sleeping on a bed of nails? No. By going to a mountaintop and living alone, reading the Bible by ourselves? No.

    Paul’s first examples here, clarifying what he means by living a life worthy of the calling, are concerned with the way we relate to other people. Patience. Forbearance. Meekness. We live a life worthy of the calling not by isolating ourselves but by being Christlike in the midst of the daily routines where God has placed us.

    He then goes on to say that we are not left to our own devices in our attempts to build up others in the church, but that God has gifted each one of us specially and supernaturally, so that we might build each other up.

    Then, in the latter half of chapter 4 and first half of chapter five Paul affirms that we must no longer live as the Gentiles, but must put off the old man and put on the new man. And look at the examples that he gives, beginning in 4:25: speak truth to your neighbor; do not let the sun go down on your anger; steal no longer; don’t speak evil, but impart grace with your tongue; put away bitterness, forgive each other; be imitators of God; walk in love; avoid any semblance of fornication, impurity, or covetousness; redeem the time:

    You see? Relationships, relationships, relationships. This is where we become imitators of God, this is where our Christian walk is tested.

    Paul proceeds to tell us to be filled with the Spirit. What does this mean? How does he exemplify this? Does being filled with the Spirit mean to go into an ecstatic trance? Or to sit and contemplate our navels? Or to repeat magic words over and over? Not at all.

    Instead, he tells us that our being filled with the Spirit shows itself in the way we speak to each other, in the way we praise God in our hearts, in having a thankful attitude no matter what our external circumstances may be, and — most importantly — in subjecting ourselves to each other out of reverence for Christ. He then elaborates on this: How do we submit to each other in each of our most intimate relationships? In a lengthy passage, he tells us how to submit to each other in marriage, in family, in work. Paul is saying that someone who claims to be spiritual but is not a good husband, or does not honor his parents, or is not a good employee, is a liar; such a person is not filled with the Spirit.

    This brings us to our present section, Ephesians 6:10-18. I want to read this now, and ask you to listen with fresh ears. Think of this section as flowing from the previous emphasis on redemptive interpersonal relationships, on acting out the love of God in our lives as we live a life worthy of our calling:

    10 ¶ Finally, be strong in the Lord, and in the strength of his might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenlies. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and, having done everything, to stand firm. 14 Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you shall be able to extinguish all the flaming missiles of the evil [one]. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: 18 with all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints.

    So how is this passage related to interpersonal relationships? The key phrase in integrating this passage with its context is “our struggle is not against flesh and blood.” Think about this phrase. Our struggle is not against flesh and blood — but it sure seems like it is!

    When our relationship with our husband or wife breaks down — doesn’t our struggle seem to be against flesh and blood?
    When our parents seem to nag us and limit us, and treat us like little children — doesn’t it seem that our struggle is against flesh and blood?
    When our children exclude us from their lives, reject all that we’ve taught them, and behave in ways that will end in their own destruction – doesn’t it seem that our struggle is against flesh and blood?
    When our employer fails to appreciate us, pays us a pittance, and works us like a dog, doesn’t it seem that our struggle is against flesh and blood?
    But Paul assures us here that these problems in interpersonal relationships are fundamentally spiritual problems. So that this advice — STAND FIRM! PUT ON THE WHOLE ARMOR OF GOD! — does not apply only to those parts of our Christian walk which are obviously a spiritual battle — our attempts to pray regularly, our attempts to read the Bible regularly, which Satan surely fights — but also WE MUST PUT ON THE WHOLE ARMOR OF GOD IN ORDER TO LIVE A LIFE WORTHY OF GOD”S CALLING IN OUR PERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS: in marriage, in our families, at work, everywhere.

    Last week, Doug discussed having our loins girded with truth, having the breastplate of righteousness, and having our feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace. The picture here is of a soldier ready for battle. Remember, at this time the normal garment consisted of loose robes. In order to be ready to fight, the soldier must gather up those loose robes with his belt, put on the breastplate to protect his vital organs, and put on the Roman soldier’s sandals. These sandals were tough, to protect the feet, but also were equipped with spikes in the bottom, so that the soldier could stand firm when necessary, and move with good traction when necessary.

    Note the verb used with these parts of the armor: “Having”. All these items are fixed to body. A soldier not actively engaged in battle, just doing his normal routine, would generally be wearing these parts of the armor.

    What is the spiritual implication of this? If we are saved, if we are chosen by God before the creation of the world, then we are grounded in the truth; Jesus himself is the way, the truth and the life. Furthermore, Christ himself is our righteousness. As Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 5:21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. Third, we are at peace with God, as stated in Romans 5:1: Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.

    These three pieces of the armor are always there. When Satan attacks our emotions, our heart, when he frightens us, or makes us feel unworthy, we need to remind ourselves of that breastplate of righteousness, guarding our heart — but we don’t have to take it up, we are already righteous before God.

    But note the contrast with verses 17 and 18. Here the verb is “take up.” The image is one of entering the battle. The soldier has been doing his normal routine, wearing the breastplate, the sandals, and having his belt around his robes. Imagine a soldier hearing the battlecry. Should he run out to the battle equipped only with his breastplate, his belt, and his sandals? No. He must remember to take up his shield, his helmet, and his sword. We are to take up the full armor of God, not try to resist the forces of darkness only half-prepared.

    In Ray Stedman’s series of sermons on this passage, he suggests the armor can be thought of as an elaboration of Jesus’ statement in John 14:20: You in me, and I in you. The first three pieces of the armor represent us in Christ: Christ as the source of all truth, as our righteousness, as our peace that satisfies and calms us amid the world’s tribulations. And the last three represent Christ in us, Christ appropriated to deal with the specific situations we face, as we take him up and wield him, to do as Paul says in Colossians 1:29, “striving with all his energy which so powerfully works in me.”

    So now let’s consider the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

    The Shield of Faith

    The word for this type of shield comes from a root that means “door.” And the standard Roman shield was almost as big as a door, measuring 4 feet by 2.5 feet. It was made out of wood, but was covered in the front with metal, so that it could deflect attacking projectiles. A Roman phalanx could cover itself in front almost completely with a wall of shields, or if bombarded with flaming arrows, protect itself from attack by holding the shields up high. Armies would use flaming arrows like an artillery bombardment, frequently not aiming at any particular object, but trying to cause confusion and panic prior to an infantry assault by causing terror, starting fires, and even catching robes on fire. The shields were designed to fend off such attacks, so that the soldiers would maintain discipline and remain prepared to defend against the full assault which was yet to come.

    How does this apply to our life? What are some of these fiery darts of the evil one, and how does our taking up faith, our exercising faith offer further protection than our breastplate of righteousness? While we will be examining this issue in Sunday School in some detail during the next two weeks, here let me suggest a few of these attacks.

    First, Satan attacks us by filling our mind with doubts. All Christians experience this at times; some of the greatest Christians have left records of the ways Satan has attacked them by suggesting doubts. These doubts include questions such as:

    Is the Gospel really true? Or is it all a lie?
    Is the Bible dependable?
    Satan also likes to attack our personal position before the Lord, to get us to doubt our salvation:

    Am I really a Christian?
    How can be a Christian after falling into such sin?
    Alternately, Satan can appeal to our pride:

    What a wonderful Christian you are! Look at what you’ve done! You’re so much better than all those others!
    In addition, Satan will fill our minds with imaginations: lusts, desires, envy, anger. These are the attacks in the area of interpersonal relationships, when Satan tries to get us to believe that our fight is against that particular person who wounded us, or let us down, or has something that is “rightfully” ours.

    All of these attacks cause confusion, cause panic, and serve to soften us up before a more specific attack.

    Brothers and sisters, let me assure you: this is common. You are not alone. Peter tells us as much in 1 Peter 4:12: “Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal which comes upon you to prove you, as though something strange were happening to you.” These ordeals cause us to grow, to prove who we are, when we use the shield of faith appropriately.

    John writes similarly of our shield in 1 John 5:4: “This is the victory that overcomes the world: even our faith.” As Martyn Lloyd-Jones writes, “faith here means the ability to apply quickly what we believe so as to repel everything the devil does or attempts to do to us.” We have to be nimble, we have to recognize the attack for what it is and call upon the resources God has given us to repel the attack. So faith points us back to the fact of Christ being in us, to the fact that the power of God is in us. Our faith is not a conjuring up of positive thoughts about human potential; it is not a faith in faith per se. Rather, our faith is in Christ. We sang this morning, ON CHRIST THE SOLID ROCK I STAND; His oath, his covenant, his blood support me in the whelming flood; When all around my soul gives way he then is all my hope and stay.

    Paul puts it this way when discussing Abraham in Romans 4:20:

    He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; 21 And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.

    What God promises, he is able to perform. Know that; rely on it

    The Helmet of Salvation

    The second piece of armor Paul tells us to take up is the helmet of salvation. A helmet clearly is designed to protect the head, the mind. So the helmet of salvation is intended to protect our mind, our thought life, protecting us from Satan’s attacks on our thought life. But how does this piece of the armor differ from the breastplate of righteousness? After all, salvation and righteousness are intimately linked.

    Paul elaborates on this thought in a very helpful way in 1 Thessalonians 5:8, where he writes, “Put on for a helmet the HOPE of salvation.” The hope of salvation! That’s what protects our minds, our thought life, from the attack of Satan.

    It is helpful in this regard to consider the three tenses of salvation: past, present continuous, and future. There is a sense in which those of us who are Christians can think of our salvation as something in the past, something that has already occurred. We were chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world; we have been justified; our position before God is one of being holy and righteous, as we appropriate the righteousness of Christ.

    But there is another sense in which our salvation is present continuous: we are in the process of being saved, of being made righteous. This is our sanctification. God is not done with us; the good work he has begun in us is being carried out to completion. God is scraping off the rough edges, maturing us, refining us, purifying us, so that we are ever changing from glory to glory, becoming more Christlike.

    In addition, there is another sense in which our salvation is not complete until we stand in the presence of Christ and God the Father clothed in His robes, pure and spotless, never to sin again, to rejoice in His presence eternally. This is our glorification. We’re not there yet; but these epistles, indeed the entire Bible, holds this out as a hope: a hope for the time when Satan is utterly defeated, when there will be no more crying, no more pain, when justice will have been accomplished and all wrongs righted, when we will be living in the New Jerusalem, with new, incorruptible bodies, praising God.

    The hope of this glorification is the helmet we are to take up. This hope, always held before us, motivates us, helps us to see the final outcome when all the world around us appears to be going to hell.

    Think again of an individual soldier of the 101st Airborne Division surrounded in Bastogne. All around is confusion: in the heavy fog, you are unaware of the position of the lines; you don’t know when you might stumble upon the enemy, or when explosions might start all around you; you know supplies are low but don’t know how long they may last; you know the Germans have marshaled all their available resources to attack YOU. What’s the logical conclusion in these circumstances? The logical conclusion to reach is “We’re dead meat!” And the result: panic, hopelessness, surrender.

    But although that attitude would have been logical for an individual soldier, it would have been incorrect. The individual soldier could not see the big picture. He could not know that the cloud cover would break and supplies would be dropped by air. He did not know that even at that moment General Patton was on his way, determined to relieve the division. Furthermore, he did not know that within 6 months Hitler would be dead, the war ended.

    The situation is different for you and me. As bad as our individual circumstances may appear, WE KNOW THE END OF THE WAR; we know that God will be triumphant.

    It is so easy to allow ourselves to be overwhelmed by the problems we face, to be overcome with hopelessness. Life is indeed difficult; this world is full of real tragedies. We can stand before God and wonder,

    “How could God allow me to be unemployed?”
    “How could God allow me to be trapped in this stressful marriage?”
    “How can God allow my child to become sick and die?”
    “How can God allow my country to fall apart at the seams, to degenerate into chaos?”
    But when we ask these questions we are allowing the details to overwhelm the big picture that God has given us in his Word. So much of the Bible is written to help us in times like these. The Book of Hebrews, for example, was written to Jewish Christians who, facing persecution, apparently facing the end of the period of many miracles, were tempted to go back to Judaism, to renounce their faith. Wouldn’t it be easier to admit that Jesus is not Lord, and just worship at the temple? That was good enough 40 years previously; why not now? But the author of Hebrews challenges them, proclaiming,

    Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and run with perseverance the race marked out for us, keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising its shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you may not grow weary and lose heart.

    Similarly, Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 4 that he was troubled, perplexed, persecuted, and cast down. He had all these problems. YET he was NOT in despair, NOT forsaken, NOT destroyed. Why? He writes,

    “we also believe and therefore speak, knowing that he who raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise us up also by Jesus. . . . for our light affliction works for us an eternal weight of glory.”

    This is the hope that is ours: the eternal weight of glory. Jesus says in Matthew 10:22 “He that shall endure to the end shall be saved.” Our cause is right and the outcome is certain. Even individually, while tragedy may occur in this life, the true nature of reality is that we will all as a triumphant church glorify God for eternity, rejoicing in his presence, living in a world made perfect by the blood of Christ. So do not be terrified, do not be discouraged: Our God reigns.

    The Sword of the Spirit: The Word of God

    The final piece of armor that Paul tells us to take up is the sword. Now a sword is both an offensive and a defensive weapon. In our battle with the spiritual forces of evil, we are not only to resist them but to defeat them. Peter tells us, “Resist the devil and” what? Not “resist the devil and you won’t fall into sin,” but “resist the devil and he will flee from you.” The sword is the weapon we use to utterly defeat Satan, to make him turn heels and run.

    Note the link between the Holy Spirit and the word of God. The Bible is the Holy Spirit’s book; the Spirit moved men to write this book. We need the Spirit’s help to open our eyes that we might see the truths in this word; we need the Bible to teach us about our God, and our life, to keep us from being deceived by Satan. The Spirit and the word go together.

    As an example of the use of the word as a sword in our battle with Satan, Jesus’ temptation in the wilderness is useful. For every temptation Satan threw his way, even when Satan tried to quote Scripture, Jesus retorted with another Scripture. Jesus knew the word; he had spent hours and years learning the word as a boy, and when temptation came, his sword was sharp and ready both to defend and attack.

    How can we be similarly prepared? We must know the word, we must feed upon it, we must ask the Spirit to open it up for us. This is true both in general and in specific ways. In general, we must have a knowledge of the word in its entirety, so that we can understand specific verses in the context of God’s entire revelation. Satan, as in the case of Jesus, will try to twist Scripture to his own purposes, and the history of cults is full of cases where he has confused millions by so doing. So we must read the entire Bible, hear preaching on all sections of the word, and become familiar with the overarching themes of this great book.

    But we must also know where we are most vulnerable to Satan’s attacks. What lies has he successfully deceived us with in the past? What types of sins have we fallen into? After answering these questions, we should learn particular Scriptures that we can use against Satan the next time temptation comes our way. For example:

    If we are tempted to take our wives for granted, “Husbands, love your wives as Christ loved the church, and gave himself up for her.”
    If we are tempted to lash out in anger when provoked, “Love is patient, love is kind; it does not envy, it does not boast; it is not proud, it is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.”
    If we are tempted to feel alone and unloved: “If God is for us, who can be against us . . . For I am convinced that nothing in all creation can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
    If we are tempted to feel weak, helpless, and discouraged: “God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but of power, of love, and a sound mind.”
    If we are tempted to lust, fornication, and adultery: “You are not your own; you were bought at a price; therefore, honor God with your body.”
    And for serious temptations, don’t learn only one verse. Memorize as many as possible! Don’t just parry the devil; rout him. Use your sword, which is the word of God.

    CONCLUSION

    Let’s return to Bastogne 53 years ago. The Germans have demanded surrender, threatening annihilation. How does General Mcauliffe respond?

    With a one word reply — now the shortest entry in Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations: “Nuts.” (The Germans were confused upon receiving this reply, and had to ask what it meant.) General Mcauliffe saw the big picture; he did not know that he would be rescued, but he saw the proper role for his division in the overall scheme of things. He would hold Bastogne at all costs.

    General Eisenhower had been a bit more loquacious at a staff meeting a few days previously, when the extent of the German advances had first become apparent. As he entered the room, he saw that all his senior generals were looking glum and discouraged. He took one look at them and gave an order: “The present situation is to be regarded as one of opportunity for us and not of disaster. There will be only cheerful faces at this conference table.”

    And that proved to be the case. The Battle of the Bulge was the last gasp for Hitler’s forces. After the losses sustained there, the Wehrmacht was finished, and the end was assured.

    And for you? “Consider it pure joy, my brethren, when you face trials of various kinds.” Whatever the results in your part of the battle, whatever the appearance of the triumph of evil here or around the world, we KNOW that the Battle is the Lord’s; we know that we are part of the Lord’s army, and while we may fail individually and evil my triumph locally, in the end, God will be triumphant, his church victorious. Each and every Christian will be a part of that triumph.

    So put on the full armor of God. Stand in the day of evil. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. “The body they may kill, God’s truth abideth still; his kingdom is forever.”

    http://tcpiii.tripod.com/spwarfare.htm

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