It’s all over the news: Christians being called bigots and “haters”, Christian businesses and any local government daring to put up a nativity or pray before meetings being sued…and anyone wanting to share the gospel with strangers being told in no uncertain terms to “shut up.” Meanwhile, many in the church are walking in a spirit of failure and defeat, as they are continually bombarded with negative thoughts, feeling worthless or helpless in their circumstances, maybe even doubting their salvation. In case you hadn’t noticed, Christians have an enemy. And while the people doing the attacking are only unwitting pawns, the real enemy is often unseen, behind the curtain pulling the levers and strings that work together to bring down this world and all in it. Teacher and Author Kathi McCarty is here with her lesson on being “Battle Ready”.
Table Talk Notes
Know the Enemy: Eph 6:10-13 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 against the schemes of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. 13 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 firm.
The battle began in heaven…
“How you are fallen from heaven, O Day Star, son of Dawn! How you are cut down to the ground, you who laid the nations low! You said in your heart, ‘I will ascend to heaven; above the stars of God I will set my throne on high; I will sit on the mount of assembly in the far reaches of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.’
But you are brought down to Sheol, to the far reaches of the pit.
Those who see you will stare at you and ponder over you:
‘Is this the man who made the earth tremble, who shook kingdoms, who made the world like a desert and overthrew its cities, who did not let his prisoners go home?’ All the kings of the nations lie in glory, each in his own tomb; but you are cast out, away from your grave, like a loathed branch, clothed with the slain, those pierced by the sword, who go down to the stones of the pit, like a dead body trampled underfoot. You will not be joined with them in burial, because you have destroyed your land, you have slain your people.
“May the offspring of evildoers
nevermore be named!
5 “I wills” of Satan:
- Ascend above the heights of the clouds
- Set my throne on high above the stars of God
- Ascend to Heaven
- Sit on the mount of assembly…
- Make myself like the Most High
5 “You will” of the Lord God (vs 15-20)
- Be cast out of your grave like a carcass
- Be gazed upon (made a spectacle)
- Be thrown into hell
- Be talked about (mocked & scorned)
- Be alone
GOD ALWAYS HAS THE FINAL WORD!
…and continued on earth
Lk 10:18-20 | “I saw satan fall like lightening from heaven…” 18 And he said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. 19 Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you. 20 Nevertheless, do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”
Gen 3:1 | “The serpent was the shrewdest (Hb – strategic)…. ‘Did God say?’”
Facts: He is a created angel (being), named Lucifer, Beelzebub, prince of darkness, father of lies, accuser of the brethren, power of the air, tempter, deceiver, god of this age. He lies, imitates and counterfeits.
When did the battle begin for you?
1 We are born with the spiritual DNA of Adam; and into a sin-infested world Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions.
2 Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin!
3 For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me.
4 Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you may be justified in your words and blameless in your judgment.
5 Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me…
10 Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right[b] spirit within me.
11 Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.
13 Then I will teach transgressors your ways, and sinners will return to you.
14 Deliver me from blood-guiltiness, O God, O God of my salvation, and my tongue will sing aloud of your righteousness. O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare your praise.
16 For you will not delight in sacrifice, or I would give it; you will not be pleased with a burnt offering.
17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.
1 John 3:9-10 | When you become born again, you get Father God’s DNA! No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God. By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother.
I Pet 5:7b-11 | As surely as God loves you, the devil hates you. As surely as you belong to God, you are an enemy of the devil. Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen.In this battle, you are either advancing or retreating – there is no in between. Click To Tweet
Three important truths:
- Satan is NO where near to being equal to God (although the world, especially Hollywood, would like you to believe so.)
- Satan can do nothing in the life of the believer without permission of God, or our openness to him
- Satan doesn’t want you to know he cannot control you.
Satan is not like God.
- Omnipotent – unlimited power
- Omniscient – to know everything there is to know – all knowing
- Omnipresent – Ever present and present everywhere
He can do nothing w/out permission
God’s permission or yours overtly or by default…
OT: Even after the fall, he had access to the throne (see book of Job)
OT: He had to ask permission to “harm” Job
We can keep the door closed by obedience
(see Gen 39 – Joseph & Potiphar’s wife) RUN from temptation
OT: Lk 22:31 “Satan has asked permission to sift you like wheat…”
He cannot control you… unless you believe his lies rather than GOD’S truth
The power is not in the words, but in the agreement with the words.
“It is written…”
Col 2:15 – “…made a show of him – disarmed him…”(but he wants us to think we have no recourse, that we’re no match for him)
2 Cor 12:7 “…a messenger of Satan to buffet me…”
Christians cannot be demon possessed, but they can be tormented.
The call to battle: Eph. 6: 10+ Dress for battle daily-breastplate of (intentional) righteousness, gospel of peace, shield of faith, helmet of salvation, sword of Spirit, prayer in Spirit
James 4:7 “Submit to God, RESIST the devil…
2 Cor 10:5 – “Take every thought captive to obedience…”
Eph 5: 10 “Carefully determine what pleases the Lord.” (Intentional righteousness – sin crouches at the door!)
Eph 5:15 & 18b “So, be careful how you live…Be filled with the Holy Spirit…”
Heb 10:25 “…do not forsake the assembly…”
The challenge & the blessing
Rev 12:11 & 12 “And they overcame him …by the blood of the Lamb, and the word of their testimony and they did not love their lives even as unto death…”