Ephesians 6:10-13 NIV
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.”
The Devil’s Schemes
What kinds of schemes? There are many. For one, Satan convinced the church at large in America, and in some other nations, perhaps, too, to water down the gospel message to make it more attractive and acceptable to the world and to human flesh.
They inverted the truth and turned it into a lie. Instead of teaching death to sin (repentance), obedience to Christ, and submission to Christ as Lord, they are teaching that none of that is required, and they are calling it “works-based salvation,” and they are warning people against it.
The church, which is Christ’s body, his church, which is spiritual, and which is a living organism with Christ as her head, has also been turned upside down, and it has been turned into a marketplace for conducting business with the world, and so it has been patterned after the world.
The church also unequally yoked together with the ungodly by partnering with the government in an unholy union via the 501c3. And they brought government worship into the gatherings of the church via the pledge of allegiance to the government, via patriotic songs of worship to the government, and via the honoring of our military as our heroes.
So, now we have many people calling themselves Christians who are still living in sin, doing what they want to do, refusing to obey the Lord, thinking they don’t have to, so refusing to give God the honor he deserves. But they are honoring and worshiping the government via their vows of fidelity and via their undying loyalties and devotion to government leaders.
And this is why our nation (the USA), and perhaps other nations, too, are in the mess that they are in because the church stopped being the church, and it stopped being the light which cannot be hidden, and it stopped being the salt of the earth, and it got involved in marketing and in politics, instead, and it became one with the world instead of one with Christ.
And Satan is laughing, and he is rejoicing, because he talked the church into denying their Lord and into following him, instead. He convinced them that good is evil and that evil is good, and many bought into his lies. For he persuaded them that sin was good and that righteousness was evil.
Be Strong in The Lord
So, what must we do to be strong in the Lord and to fight off the devil’s evil schemes against the church? First of all, we must listen to the Lord and to his word (in context), and we must stop listening to liars and deceivers and stop following after their lies while rejecting the truth.
Then we must put the word of God into practice in our lives, but not just cherry picked Scriptures taken out of context, but the whole counsel of God which Paul said he taught, which he did. So, we need to study the Scriptures in context so that we know what they are teaching.
Then we need to obey the Lord and the teachings of Scripture under the New Covenant, some of which are in the Old Testament, too, according to where the same teachings from the Old Testament are repeated for us under the New Covenant, which many are.
And one day at a time, as the Lord shows us the lies we are believing, we must put those off and put on the truth in place of them and apply that truth to our lives by putting it into practice. And, depending on where we are in relationship with the Lord, this may require cutting many things out of our lives and replacing them with the things of God and with doing his will.
The Spiritual Forces of Evil
If we are at all in tune to the voice of God’s Spirit because we are walking in holiness and righteousness in the power of God, and because we are not giving the devil a foothold in our lives, we should be well aware of these forces of evil and these powers of this dark world.
We should be able to spot them, to identify them for what they are, and we should not be taken in by them now, even if we once were. Yes, Satan is behind them all, and he is our true enemy, but he has many humans who work for him, even many who disguise themselves as servants of righteousness but who are wolves in sheep’s clothing.
But we don’t fight evil with our own flesh, for flesh can’t drive out flesh or the devil, and we don’t fight evil with the weapons of this world, as many try to do. And that is not including just physical weapons of warfare, but that includes psychological weapons of warfare, too, which we are not to use.
We also must not allow other humans, especially those who are living worldly lives, to determine for us what or who is evil. We must let God show us who or what is evil based on the truth of his word and not on the criteria set down by humans in their deceitful scheming.
One of Satan’s evil schemes against us is to manipulate our minds into believing his lies, and he does this through the media (TV, movies, music, video games, the internet, social media, and the news media, and smart devices, etc.). And those who are consumed with the media are most likely being hypnotized into believing lies without even realizing they are.
So, this is where we must pull away from media consumption and spend much time in the word of God, in prayer, seeking God’s face, and asking him to reveal to us what the lies are so that we reject them and we don’t follow them. For they are many, and they are subtle and very deceptive.
Especially now, with all that is going on in the world and in our individual nations we must be people of much spiritual discernment, which we are not going to be if the media is what we are following instead of the word of God. For the media lies to us, but God does not.
The Full Armor of God
Again, we are not going to be able to put on the full armor of God if we are putting on the full armor of men in their deceitful scheming. If we are those who believe everything we hear coming from the news media or from specific politicians or political platforms, or even from some preachers, we are ripe for falling prey to the devil’s schemes against us.
So, again, pull away from media consumption and get alone with God as much as possible and feed on his word and let it sink into your minds and hearts and begin to obey it as the word speaks to you, if this is not yet your practice. Let the Holy Spirit open your mind and heart to all lies you are believing and begin to now believe and live the truth of God’s word.
When Satan tries to trap you or trip you up or to deceive you, use that armor of faith, righteousness, truth, the word of God, the gospel, and your salvation (according to the truth of Scripture) and fight off his lies, and proclaim and live the truth of God’s holy word. And don’t let the devil have a foothold in your life, for your life is now hidden in Christ, who is your life.
Thank You, Lord
An Original Work / May 19, 2011
Thank You, Lord, for saving me;
From my sins set free.
Crucified and risen Lord,
They hung on a tree.
They thought they had finished You.
You came back to life;
Triumphed over hell and sin;
You gave eternal life.
Thank You, Lord, for victory
Over all my sin,
So that I might live with You;
You cleansed me within;
Filled me with your love and pow’r;
Give me strength each day,
So that I might live for You,
To love You and obey.
Thank You, Lord, for your return.
Soon You will arrive
To receive Your bride to You;
Meet You in the sky.
You’ll wipe away all our tears;
Free us from our fears;
Crown our heads in victory.
We’ll praise You with our cheers!