Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Ephesians 6:10-24

Ephesians 6:10-13 – The Battle

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.”(Eph. 6:10).  How do we do that?  We should trust Him in all things and believe in what He says.  Paul tells us to put on the full Armor of God so when evil comes, we will be able to stand our ground and not be deceived.  We should also study His Word, pray, give Him control and be united with fellow sisters and brothers.

The devil is very crafty and a master of deception.  He is the ruler of the world, the father of lies, a deceiver and a murderer.  He is the enemy!  He’s out to get us on his side and away from God.  We need to be aware and be on-guard so we won’t give in to his deceptions.  He is very good at what he does.  In Gen. 3 he caused Eve to doubt and question God.  In 2 Sam. 11 he distracted David by staying home from battle and when he did, Satan caused him to lust.  In Dan. 4 Satan caused the king to be prideful and praised himself instead of God.  In Matt. 4 he tempted Jesus even using God’s own words.  We should not underestimate the devil.   He’s working very hard to snare people, because he knows he’s running out of time and he knows God will win the ultimate battle.

When we first believed, Jesus came to live inside us and now we are a target for the enemy of God, but Satan was defeated at the cross.  He hates us, because we are Christians.  He schemes for believers and is set to destroy.  There is a battle going on for those who belong to Jesus.  He even tempted Jesus.  God allows him to roam the earth with his demons.  God promises to fully equip us with His presence and resources.  The more we know God and recognize Satan’s work the more we understand Satan schemes. 

Satan has many schemes.  He can cause us to doubt God and His trustworthiness.  He brings false teachings.  If the teaching is slightly truthful, then we think it must be OK.  He makes it hard to live as a Christian.  He hinders the work of the ministry of Jesus working against our efforts for God.  He wants you to live the way the world does with its pleasures, hypocrisies and being independent of God.  He discourages us when we are lonely, have free time, facing death, etc.

Do you doubt God’s love?
Has He asked you to serve, but you say you don’t have time?

Ephesians 6:13-17 – The Battle Armor

Should we fear Satan?  No.  God has given us the full Armor of God for our defense as a weapons against him.  If we use these weapons, he cannot harm us.  These weapons are:
Belt of Truth – Know God’s true Word so you won’t be deceived.  The truth holds us up in battle.
Breastplate of Righteousness – When we receive salvation, we receive the righteousness of God.  It protects us.  None of us are righteous on our own.  We should live and reflect His righteousness.  Right living is a protection for your heart.     
Feet fitted with Readiness – By knowing the Word you can be ready when Satan attacks.  Be ready and willing to share the good news with others.
Shield of Faith – Faith is our trust in God.  Our shield is as big as our trust in God.  If we have faith, we are protected from Satan’s flaming arrows.  How big is your shield?  Do you find your faith is protecting you?
Helmet of Salvation – The enemy wants to destroy your salvation.  Salvation is our hope.  He wants to attack our hope and our mind.  The helmet is the security of our mind. 
Sword of the Spirit – This is the an offensive weapon, God’s Word.  Satan cannot win against God's Holy Word.  Stab those threats with the Word of God! 

Why is the Word of God so powerful?  It’s the revelation of God.  It assures us a win.
Why does the enemy work so hard?  He doesn’t want us to know and believe in the power of God.  He knows he only has a short time before his ultimate defeat.

How can you apply God’s Armor?  Believe, put your faith and trust in Jesus, know His Word, stay in His Word, listen and obey the Holy Spirit, stand firm and don’t be deceived, pray for strength and guidance, pray in all circumstances, pray for others and don’t let Satan get a foothold.  “Submit yourselves, then to God.  Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” (James 4:7)

Have you accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior?
If you are a Christian, where is your soft spot?  Is it fear, anger, control, being all things to all people?
How are you going to draw on the protection of His Armor?
Is your Belt unbuckled?
Are you living with peace in God?
Who is robbing you of your peace?

Ephesians 6:18-24 – The Battle of Prayer and Platoon

Prayer is the key.  We are to be good soldiers for God.  He is the Commander-in-Chief.  We need to be in prayer.  He saved us because He wants to fellowship with us.  That’s prayer.

“And pray in the Spirit an all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.  With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.”(Eph. 6:18).  How can you pray for someone, if you don’t know them?  We need to be alert to the needs of others so we will know what to pray for.  We also need to be alert to what’s going on around us in the world to pray more effectively.

Paul asks the Ephesians to pray that God would give him the words to speak the gospel and that he speak with boldness and without fear.  We should pray for the same things.  It is very important that we pray!  We can be a witness and plant the seed.  It is the Holy Spirit who convicts.  We need to let God to do His work.  We should pray this for ourselves and other believers.  When we pray, it also changes us making us closer to God and more compassionate toward others.

How willing are you to ask for prayer from others?
How trust worthy are you as you pray for them?
What hinders your prayer life?
Have you prayed and prayed for something and it seems that God is not answering?  Don’t stop praying.  Eph. 6:18 says to keep on praying.  There is no out.  The enemy says, “Well you tried so move on.”  Pray and trust the will of God.  It’s up to God not you.  Don’t give up on your prayer.

Believers are never alone in the battle of life.
Believers are fully equipped in Christ to stand firm in the battle of life.
Living in a constant dialogue with God gives perspective and power for the battle of life.

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