Ephesians 6:10-12 ESV
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 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.”
When we believe in Jesus Christ with God-given faith in him, we are crucified with Christ in death to sin and we are raised with Christ to walk in newness of life in him, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. Our old self is crucified with Christ in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we will no longer be enslaved to sin, but to God and to his righteousness. And now we walk (in conduct, in practice) no longer according to the flesh, but now according to the Spirit, by the grace of God.
But when this takes place in our lives, if it ever does, Satan then comes against us because he no longer has control over our lives, because sin no longer has dominion over our lives, because Jesus Christ delivered us from our slavery (addiction) to sin so that we might now live holy and godly lives, pleasing to him, in his power and strength. And so Satan (the devil) is on a rampage seeking whom he may devour, and he wants to devour those of us who are committed to walks of purity and holiness in our Lord Jesus.
[Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Lu 9:23-26; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Pet 5:8]
So, we need to be aware of the devil’s (Satan’s) evil schemes against us so that we might fight against them with the armor of God supplied to us by God. And many people who profess faith in Jesus Christ are not aware of the devil’s schemes, and they are being “taken for a ride,” and they are being deceived into believing his lies and following after his servants, thinking that they are following servants of the Lord. But remember that Satan disguises himself as an angel of light and his servants masquerade as instruments of righteousness.
So, we need to test everything that we hear against the Scriptures (in context) and not just put a cursory “like” on everything that sounds good on a surface level. Remember that Satan is not going to outright lie to you because he knows you won’t receive his lies. So, he is going to disguise his lies as truth, and he is going to use people who have good reputations among the people to spread his lies disguised as truth. And he is very clever in how he blends his lies in with the truth to make the lies appear as truth.
One of the tricks he uses is to insert Scripture passages into his servant’s writings, thus suggesting that what the author is talking about is indeed Scriptural, or that it applies to the Scripture quoted, when neither may be the case. Another is to pull Scriptures out of their context and to twist them to say what the author who serves the devil wants to covey to the people. And another is to cleverly blend truth and lies together to where it may be difficult, but not impossible, to discern truth the from lies. And much more.
Ephesians 6:13-17 ESV
“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. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”
So, if we do not want to be taken in by Satan’s lies and become participants with him in spreading his deceptions, then we must be students of the Scriptures, and those who are walking in the truth and in righteousness and holiness, and who are not walking in habitual and deliberate sin against God. For if we are giving the devil a foothold in our lives by the things that we do or by the things that we take into our minds and eyes and ears on a daily basis, we are not going to be able to discern his lies and deceptions.
For putting on the armor of God is not just words we say or some religious ritual we go through or some one-time experience in our lives and then we feel it is a done deal. Putting on the armor of God is something we do all the time and it is us applying the truths of God’s word to our daily lives in how we live, in what we do, in the things that we say, and in how we treat other people. And how we treat other people must be in line with the teachings of Scripture, not in line with our culture or with the opinions of our peers.
And we must be testing everything we read and see and hear against the Scriptures (in context), and in prayer, and against what we know biblically of the divine character and will of God for our lives. For I assure you that there are many men and some women who are out there teaching in the name of Jesus, and who are writing books, who are teaching the Scriptures out of context and/or who are cleverly blending the truth in with lies and who are willfully and cleverly working to deceive you with their lies so that you will follow them and their lies and so you will reject the truth of the Scriptures.
Ephesians 6:18-20 ESV
“Praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.”
So, we need to be people of prayer. We need to be in a prayerful frame of mind at all times so that at any moment of the day we are in direct communion with our Lord and we can hear when he speaks truth to our hearts and when he reveals to us deceptions. And this is so we can talk with him at any time to share with him what is on our hearts and minds, and to seek his counsel, and his wisdom, and to put into practice the things we are learning in his Word, by his grace, and in his power and strength.
We also need to be praying for one another, first of all, I believe, that we would have our eyes opened to Satan’s tactics against us, and that we would be the people of God armored up daily to fight off Satan’s evil schemes, and that we would be willing to have our eyes opened to things we are believing that are not the truth, or to see people who we may admire as they really are, and that we would not give them an easy pass just because of who they are, but that we would test everything they write and speak, too.
And then we need to be praying for one another to remain strong in the Lord and in his strength, and that we will not give up when we are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, but that we will persevere in being who God called us to be despite all opposition against us, and despite all mistreatment and rejection that we will face for being people of truth and integrity who stand on the word of truth and who are walking according to the Spirit and no longer according to the flesh. For, if we are walking in truth and in righteousness, we will be opposed and attacked by Satan and by his hordes.
Praise the “I AM!”
An Original Work / February 24, 2012
Jesus, my Savior, full of compassion,
Glorious in power, mighty in strength;
Gracious Redeemer, mighty deliv’rer,
My heart adores Him. Praise to His name!
Perfect salvation my Lord provided
When He died for my sins on a tree;
Crucified my sins; conquered in vict’ry,
When He arose, so I could be free!
I am so thankful for His forgiveness;
Grateful that He chose to pardon me,
Giving me new life full in His Spirit,
So I can serve Him; His servant be!
Walking in daily fellowship with Him,
Obeying Him whate’er He commands;
Forsaking my sins, living in freedom,
I will endure with Him to the end!
He gives me peace and calm reassurance
In times of sorrow, or in distress.
His grace is sure, and oh, how sufficient
To meet me in my need for sweet rest.
Oh, how I love You, Jesus, my Savior.
My heart longs for You where’er I am.
Your word is precious; speaks to my spirit;
Brings comfort, healing. Praise the “I AM!”