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Prepared for Battle

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Revival at Asbury

I have been following what has been happening at Asbury University in Wilmore the last week and a half.
If you aren’t aware, on February 8th a group of students decided to stay over after their regular Chapel service to worship and pray for a while longer.
That hand-full of students began to grow and the hours began to pass.
Now over a week and a half later, there has been continuous prayer and worship, led mostly by young adults and shepherded by the administration of the school.
The movement has spread to a few other college campuses and people from across the country have come to Wilmore to experience what’s going on there.
The testimonies coming our of Wilmore and other places talk a lot about the powerful presence of God and the peacefulness of the place.
God’s Spirit showing up in a powerful way.
We don’t hear about things like this happening much, a large scale movement of the Spirit of God on a group of people for a prolonged period of time.
But I think what we are seeing does happen on a regular basis, just in a much smaller and more intimate way in the hearts and lives of God’s people.
It happens when the Spirit of God allows us to see the Word of God in a powerful way, and in a way that speaks to something in our lives right now.
Some of you in d-groups this year have experienced that.
It happens when the Spirit of God convicts us of sin and draws us to confession and repentance.
Some of you have experienced this in your walk with Christ.
It happens when we experience God’s power and presence in the middle of a really hard season or difficult moment.
It happens when God blesses us with His peace that surpasses all understanding in the middle of our mourning or our despair.
I don’t mean to make light of what is going on in Wilmore
Rather, I believe we ought to be challenged as believers to not long only for Asbury to happen here, but for God’s Spirit to do what He is doing there in our hearts NOW.

Connecting to last week

Last week we looked at the meaty section of Ephesians between chapter 4:17 through 6:9.
In that section, Paul shares how the Gospel truths of the first three chapters are lived out in our lives and in our relationships.
But what this life we are called to in 4:1-6:9 really is a battle.
That’s Paul’s purpose in this last section, to help us to understand the nature of the battle and to help us to prepare to stand firm and stay strong in it.
Ephesians 6:10–24 CSB
10 Finally, be strengthened by the Lord and by his vast strength. 11 Put on the full armor of God so that you can stand against the schemes of the devil. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this darkness, against evil, spiritual forces in the heavens. 13 For this reason take up the full armor of God, so that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having prepared everything, to take your stand. 14 Stand, therefore, with truth like a belt around your waist, righteousness like armor on your chest, 15 and your feet sandaled with readiness for the gospel of peace. 16 In every situation take up the shield of faith with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit—which is the word of God. 18 Pray at all times in the Spirit with every prayer and request, and stay alert with all perseverance and intercession for all the saints. 19 Pray also for me, that the message may be given to me when I open my mouth to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel. 20 For this I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I might be bold enough to speak about it as I should. 21 Tychicus, our dearly loved brother and faithful servant in the Lord, will tell you all the news about me so that you may be informed. 22 I am sending him to you for this very reason, to let you know how we are and to encourage your hearts. 23 Peace to the brothers and sisters, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 24 Grace be with all who have undying love for our Lord Jesus Christ.


Paul says the battle we are in isn’t physical, it is SPIRITUAL.
The idea we are in an unseen, spiritual battle is something we probably don’t consider much in our everyday lives.
Andy Gullahorn wrote a song several years ago based off C.S. Lewis’s book “The Screwtape Letters”.
Lewis’s book is a fictitious conversation between Screwtape, a chief Demon of Satan, and his nephew Wormwood, who is also Screwtape’s understudy.
Lewis’s intention in the book is to confront our misconceptions about Satan and how he influences our lives.
Gullahorn’s song begins:
If I were the devil I wouldn’t wear red I wouldn’t have horns or a pitchfork I wouldn’t breathe fire cause it might give me away But if I were the devil you’d never know I’d befriend you quick and corrupt you slow So you don’t notice until its far too late
Andy Gullahorn, If I Were
Makes sense doesn’t it?
Cartoons and Hollywood have given us as image of the Devil that seems fictitious, un-powerful, and insignificant.
Lewis argues that is his central mission, to get us fixated on things that matter little in the scheme of what is eternal.
“Once you have made the World an end, and faith a means, you have almost won your man, and it makes very little difference what kind of worldly end he is pursuing. Provided that meetings, pamphlets, policies, movements, causes, and crusades, matter more to him than prayers and sacraments and charity, he is ours—and the more ‘religious’ (on those terms) the more securely ours. I could show you a pretty cageful down here.” ― C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letter
The Battle we are in is a spiritual battle, but it isn’t just a satanic battle.
The battle we face really has 3 fronts as the Bible speaks of three influences we must be aware of: The World, Our Flesh, and The Evil One.

The World

the world we live in is corrupted by sin and ruled by the values and ethics of the Evil One.
It speaks lies to us about what will satisfy us, seeking to convince us that we do not need God.
We must be aware that we live in a world that is against God and His ways and is a trap for us if we are not seeking truth.

Our Flesh

Our flesh is not the literal flesh on our bones, but the inner part of who we are, as opposed to the Spiritual part.
It is the source of our desires, longings, and lusts.
And our flesh is speaking lies to us and is corrupted by sin and a tool for Satan to lure and tempt us.
Telling us we do not need God because we should be our own gods, calling our own shots.
Our Flesh leads us to rebel against Christ being Lord/King of our lives, and leads us to put ourselves and our desires on the throne.


The Bible is very clear on Satan’s influence in our lives.
Hollywood has caused lots of confusion in this area. Leading us to think that satanic influence only shows up when you are levitating on a bed, cursing at a priest as he throws water on you.
The reality is, the bible speaks of Satan’s influence in much more subtle terms.
Satan and the demonic are liars that speak lies and telling us we don't need God, God is a liar and can't be trusted.
The Bible speaks of Satan as the accuser of the saints, speaking guilt, shame and condemnation over us to keep us from embracing the truth of the gospel and the identity is brings us.
It also speaks of Satan as the tempter. He makes the world and our flesh more appealing than the things of God.
An awareness of Satan’s influence is where “Schemes of the Devil” comes from. He has all kinds of schemes to keep us from following Jesus and trust Him.
2 Corinthians 4:4 CSB
4 In their case, the god of this age has blinded the minds of the unbelievers to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
As long as Satan can keep us from seeing Jesus then the world and our flesh will rule the day.
1 Peter 5:8 ESV
8 Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.


Have you ever walked into something totally unprepared for what was expected of you?
A ball game without the right shoes
A meeting without being prepared to speak
An interview with the wrong type of clothing on
If you were a solider in Rome 2000 years ago, the list Paul goes over here would have been items you literally couldn’t live without.
As believers fighting a spiritual battle in this broken world, these are the tools we need to prepare ourselves with if we are to stand firm and fight against the evil that effects us.

Belt of Truth

The belt in Romans armor was meant to hold up the robes and decorative aspects of a soldier’s attire to keep him agile and not trip him up.
As we have already said, the world, our flesh, and the demonic speak lies to us on almost nonstop.
We must be grounded and girded in the truth in order to know who we are, who God is, what He has done for us in Christ and why that matters.
the truth of the Gospel keeps us from stumbling and secures our identity in Christ.

Breastplate of Righteousness

The breastplate on roman soldiers protected their heart from attack.
The breast plate of righteousness is the assurance in our hearts that we are right with God, not because of our good works, but because of Jesus.
No condemnation for those in Christ is a declaration of our righteousness that protects our hearts from the guilt and shame of our sinful condition and gives us hope to security in Christ.

Shoes of Readiness

What a soldier wore on his feet was extremely important since it would either aide or hinder him from moving freely and readily.
Whether is was running away from evil or toward goodness, it was important that the shoes one is wearing freed them to run.
The factor that makes the shoes “ready” is the “gospel of peace”
The Gospel frees us to run away from sin and Satan, and run toward Jesus.
These are shoes of readiness and repentance, prompted and powered by the Gospel.

Shield of Faith

Archery is a distance strategy. Not requiring the enemy to get close in order to attack.
Arrows were lobbed over walls and shot from high places in order to pierce the soldier.
The “flaming darts of the evil one” are the accusations and temptations he uses to draw us away from Christ.
Our faith in the finished work of Christ and the reminder of who we are in Christ because of that faith extinguish those evil darts.
We are “more than conquers through him” and our faith in who He is and what He has done guards us from the arrows of the evil one.

Helmet of Salvation

2 Corinthians 10:5 ESV
5 We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ,
Just as a helmet would protect a soldier’s head from attack, the helmet of salvation is the Spirit’s way of protecting our minds from the schemes of the evil one
Lies, accusations, and whatever else seeks to dominate our minds are overcome as we understand the salvation we have received in Christ Jesus.
He died in our place, he defeated sin and death, he conquered our enemies, and our salvation is complete and eternal.
God so loved us that He SAVED us through Jesus His son.

Sword of the Spirit

The only offensive weapon mentioned here is the sword, an obvious tool for the roman soldier to yield to destroy his enemy.
But this is no ordinary sword, it is the sword of the Spirit, which is the WORD OF GOD.
We wield the Word of God in the battle for our minds.
Hebrews 4:12 ESV
12 For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
The Spirit uses the word of God in our hearts and our minds to fight off the schemes of the evil one,
He uses the Word of God to expose the defects of the ways of the World
He uses God’s Word to battle the desires and perversion of our flesh.
Psalm 119:11 ESV
11 I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.
We store the Word in order that is might be used to fight
Oh that we might be people of the Book.


Paul doesn’t start a new sentence in verse 18, he continues to speak to the Ephesian’s preparedness for the battle.
Of all the items and tactics they might put on or prepare, prayer is the most essential and most powerful.
We are Spirit-Dependent people and Spirit-Dependent people must be people of prayer.
Our power is Spiritual power not physical strength or aptitude.
As we have watched what is happening in Wilmore, KY we can’t help but ask the question “how can we spark that same flame here?”
The great British preacher Dr. Martin Lloyd-Jones says all we can do is build the altar of prayer.
He shares the story of Elijah on Mt. Carmel.
He built an altar and prepared a sacrifice. But he could not cause the fire to come from heaven to consume the offering.
This was God’s work alone. Elijah simply obeyed God’s instructions in faith and prepared for God to work.
And as he prayed, the fire fell.
True revival is impossible in our own strength.
It’s not a program or a plan or a product we create.
It is the gift of God alone.
Our role, like Elijah on the mountain, is obedient, believing, prayerful preparation.
The viability and stamina of the armor we wear is dependent on the power of the Spirit working in and through us.
Do you pray for truth to be your security?
Do you pray for Christ’s righteousness to be so real to you and to those around you that it would guard your hearts from lies and misrepresentations?
Do you pray that you would feel the peace of the Gospel in a freeing way to run to Christ and away from sin?
Do you pray for increased faith to protect against the darts of doubt and accusation?
Do you pray for a deep and meaningful understanding of the salvation you have received in Christ to protect your mind from untruth?
Do you pray for God’s Words to be in your minds and on your lips whenever you need them to remind you and to give you words of hope for those far from God?
the power to change us, move us, reorient us, remind us, conform us, and confront us.
Do you pray like that? Why not?
Do you pray for others like that? Why Not?
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