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Standing Firm Against the Schemes of Satan Part 1

Understanding Adversity  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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The armor of God is the key to recognizing and resisting satanic attacks on our minds.

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Introduction:

We are in a series entitled Understanding Adversity. We have already talked about five kinds of adversity that although painful can have positive results in our lives and in the Church.
Trials
Tests
Pruning
Discipline
Persecution
We also have talked about adversity from two of our spiritual enemies.
The flesh
The World
The attacks of these enemies definitely fit into the category of adversity in our lives but unlike the other kinds of adversity the goal of our enemies is not to make us stronger or help us in our walk with God but to destroy us.
Today is the first of two messages on the aspect of adversity that we face from our enemy Satan. This adversity is commonly called spiritual warfare. It’s a vast subject and I think the most misunderstood of our three enemies and of adversity in general. Sometime in the future we’ll devote an entire series to this subject but for now, we’re going to devote two messages to this topic.
Visual “How to defeat Satan? What do people say?”
Let’s start out by making a list of the ways to defeat Satan. First I’d like to know what you think. Then, if we haven’t covered everything, I’d like you to tell me different things you have heard people say, teach or try to use to defeat Satan. We’re going to write your answers on this flip chart.
Let’s make a list of the ways you have heard people say, teach or try to use to defeat Satan?
INTERACTION: [Have people give answers.]
Here are the most common responses I have heard:
The most common responses I hear are the following:
Pray.
Rebuke Satan.
Bind Satan and cast him out.
Quote Scripture.
Flee from him.
Ask him to leave you.
Resist him.
Turn your eyes on Jesus.
Plead the blood.
Put on the armor of God.
Now I’d like you to make a choice. For the purpose of this illustration you can only choose one of these methods, just one. Please look at the list. How many of you choose “Pray”? You are in good company. That is far and away the most common answer people give.
I asked you to make that choice because the Bible really only teaches one way to defeat Satan. The only way the Bible teaches us to defeat Satan is to resist by putting on the armor of God.
I need to make a distinction here that you may not have considered. It is the distinction between being taught something and seeing something. It is the difference between when the Bible prescribes or teaches something versus describing or showing us something.
The Bible never teaches us to rebuke Satan. There is no verse in the Bible that says, “Rebuke Satan and he will flee from you.” You might respond by saying didn’t Jesus rebuke Satan? Yes, He did. Then you ask, then why can’t I do it? My answer is a question for you. Did Jesus walk on water? Yes. Then why can’t you? Maybe someday you’ll be able to do that. I want to be around to watch when you do. My point is this. There is a difference between what the Bible describes, Moses parting the Red Sea, Samson killing a lion with his bare hands, Elijah going into heaven on a chariot and what it prescribes for us. Those things are cool. What we need to look for is what the Bible prescribes. What it teaches us to do.
Some of the methods listed are things that are described. Resisting Satan with the armor of God is the only thing we’re taught to do to defeat Satan.
There is one other thing we need to understand before we tackle the topic of defeating Satan. We need to understand there isn’t just one kind of spiritual warfare but six types of spiritual warfare.
Before we jump into our topic of defeating Satan we need to understand the six different types of spiritual warfare.

Six Types of Spiritual Warfare

Unfortunately when people talk about spiritual warfare they invariable dump it all into one pot. Since we’re talking about evil stuff I’m going to use a witches cauldron to represent all of the stuff that Satan does.
Everyone knows a little bit about spiritual warfare kind of like we all know a little about cooking. Some of us know more and some are experts. The average Christian knows something about Satan and demons. They are the ones cooking up this mess.
It surprises me how often I hear people talking about Satan. Satan and spiritual warfare is randomly injected into sermons, Bible studies and even personal conversations. A common way this happens is when someone says, “Satan loves to . . .” fill in the blank. How many of you have heard a preacher or teacher says that?
INTERACTION: What are some of the ways people end this sentence, “Satan loves to _____________.”
Satan loves to destroy churches.
Satan loves to destroy marriages.
It frustrates me when people say that kind of thing because the Bible doesn’t say any of those things! When people say that it just adds to the mystic of Satan. It makes him seem more powerful than the Bible says he is and elevates him. May I suggest that you stop talking about him in normal conversations and stop giving him credit for anything. Let’s only say what the Bible says about Satan.
It frustrates me when people say that because it adds to the mystic of Satan. It injects Satan into discussions that have nothing to do with him and makes him seem more powerful than the Bible says he is. Stop talking about him. Stop giving him credit for anything. Let’s only say what the Bible says about Satan.
Let’s take the pot of the witches brew called spiritual warfare and see what’s in the pot, shall we? There are six types of spiritual warfare found in the Bible. [See handout.]
Here are the six types of spiritual warfare found in the Bible. [See handout.]
Territorial - This is warfare in the unseen realm between Satan and his followers and God and His followers, good angels. This warfare includes the spiritual oppression and control of territories of our world. , ; ,
Blinding - The blinding of non-Christians to the truth of the Gospel. ; ,
Teaching - This is false religious teaching initiated by demons which emphasizes the role of demons, called idols, gods or various names in various cultures, to promote ungodly behavior and to prevent people from knowing the truth of the true God.
Enticing - The attacks on the minds of people to confuse and lead them to turn away from God and commit sin. ;
Inflicting-Interfering - The manipulation of circumstances and inflicting of health problems on people to torment and destroy them and keep them from knowing and serving God. ;
Demonizing - The demonic tormenting of people, including at times controlling them physically to lead them to sin and destroy them. ; ,
It would take us several hours to go through this table in detail. Here’s what we need to understand. There is only one of these six aspects of spiritual warfare that the Bible expects every Christian to recognize and resist.
INTERACTION: Look at the list. Which one of these do you want? Okay, none of them. Got it. You have to pick one and since the first, Territorial doesn’t specifically touch you, it has to be two through six. It looks like Enticing is the least worst.
Enticing spiritual warfare affects every Christians and is the type of spiritual warfare that we can learn to recognize and resist. That is what we’re going to look at today. If you’re interested in learning more about the other types of spiritual warfare I can point you to resources.
The key passage for learning how to recognize and resist enticing satanic attacks is . If this were the only teaching in the Bible on this topic, it’s enough. It is enough for us learn how to recognize and defeat Satan. Let’s work our way through this passage.
Ephesians 6:10 NIV
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.
Ephesians 6:10–11 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.

Five aspects of enticing spiritual warfare.

These two verses summarize everything we’re going to learn about enticing spiritual warfare. I’m going to rearrange the aspects as the are expanded in the passage.

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.

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.
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.
Our preparation: Be strong in the Lord.
be strong in the Lord
Our opponent: Satan and his followers.
Our concern: Struggling with his various schemes.
Our role: Put on the armor.
Our goal: To stand.
put on the armor
stand
Satan
His methods: schemes. A spiritual struggle with various schemes.
This passage is going to tell us everything we need to know about each of these points. Today we’re going to look at the first three and in the second message numbers four and five. We begin with Paul’s admonition

1. Be strong in the Lord.

Spiritual warfare requires spiritual strength that we don’t have. How do develop spiritual strength? Like this? [Show picture of toddler doing one armed push up.] No. I recommend you do that but not for spiritual strength.
We need spiritual strength because according to humans have less strength and power than angels. Read through the Bible and you’ll see some pretty amazing stuff that angels can do.
The way to be strong in the Lord is to consider oneself weak. James 4:6-7
James 4:6–7 NIV
But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.” Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
James 4:7 NIV
Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
The way to consider oneself weak is to humble ourselves and admit we can only succeed with God’s help. It’s common sense that you can’t defeat Satan on your own. But humbling yourself? That’s actually not easy to do, but it’s where we have to start.
I haven’t heard many messages preached on humility, have you? I don’t feel qualified to teach on it but let’s see if we can discover from the Bible what humility is and why it’s important in spiritual warfare.
Humility is seeing ourselves as God sees us, as we truly are. We were made by God from dirt . Is there anything lower than dirt? No, yet that’s how we started. Then God did something only He could do, He breathed life in that dirt and made us in His image. He graciously gave us a soul and spirit to know Him and a free will. Imagine looking at yourself from far out in space. Each of us is tiny, like a spec of dust only here for a short time in this form as human. Then we return to dirt.
However, we aren’t just dirt and shouldn’t think of ourselves as just dust. But that’s a good reminder for the times when we have an exaggerated sense of who we are. At times everyone one of us is judgmental and looks down on others. We criticize people from our lofty, self-righteous, all knowing perspective. That’s just wrong. How much sense does it make to think you’re a better piece of dirt than some other piece of dirt? That’s what we do.
There are many times, plenty of times, in our lives, in fact for most of us every day, when we mess up. Forget about the ones you’re criticizing, think just about yourself. We make mistakes often enough that we need to have the perspective that we are always just one word, just one second from saying or doing something so stupid we could regret it for the rest of our lives. We are all sinners, saved from the penalty and power of sin but still sinners.
Jesus taught something about what our perspective should be in regarding this in .
Matthew 5:25–26 NIV
25 “Settle matters quickly with your adversary who is taking you to court. Do it while you are still together on the way, or your adversary may hand you over to the judge, and the judge may hand you over to the officer, and you may be thrown into prison. 26 Truly I tell you, you will not get out until you have paid the last penny.
Matthew 5:25-26
Jesus is talking about more than just lawsuits here. He’s talking about someone who is wrong and won’t admit it. He’s talking about someone who needs some humility. He is talking about someone who is self-deceived, whose pride has made him think he will succeed when there is no possibility that could happen. He’s talking about me. Is there anyone else in this room that He’s talking about?
I don’t think the adversary in this passage is the devil, but the principle is the same when we face a satanic attack. Don’t foolishly trust your own righteousness.
Humility is agreeable.
When you are accused of something there is often a grain of truth in the accusation. When we are in a battle with Satan he is going to accuse us. If we cling to some false sense of self-righteousness we will fail. The issue isn’t whether or not we have done wrong. It isn’t whether or not we said something foolish. The issue is whether or not we agree that we cleansed, forgiven and accepted by the Father.
When we are in a battle with Satan he is going to accuse us. If we cling to some false sense of self-righteousness we will certainly fail. The issue isn’t whether or not we have done wrong. It isn’t whether or not we said something foolish, it is whether or not we trust God for His righteousness.
How do you respond to accusations, to accusations that have some element of truth in them? Do you try to defend yourself? Do you try to justify yourself? Most arguments can be prevented by agreeing with our accuser.
If your spouse says you weren’t kind, what if you agreed? Yes, you could have been kinder. What if your spouse said “You don’t understand me” and you agreed? “No, I don’t understand, help me understand.” What if a friend calls you disappointed because you forgot to do something for her and you agreed? Yes I forgot, I was wrong please forgive me.
Humility doesn’t make excuses for mistakes.
You will fail. Many times when the enemy attacks us there will be a morsel of truth to the accusations. We can humbly agree with the truth. Yes, I was mean to that person. Yes, I lied. Yes, I was selfish.
Agreeing with an accusation doesn’t mean accepting the lies of the enemy that goes with it. The enemy will say, “You lied! You’re a worthless piece of dirt. How can you call yourself a Christian? You hypocrite!”
You will fail. Many times when the enemy attacks us there will be a morsel of truth to the accusations.
Humbly, we agree with the sin, with the mistake but not with the satanic implication. “Yes, I lied. I’m a piece of dirt but not a worthless piece of dirt. I’m a piece of dirt that the Father loves and who is forgiven by Jesus. I’m not a hypocrite, I’m flawed person who makes mistakes and is still loved and accepted by the Father.”
When we look at the armor we’ll see that the enemy twists the truth to discourage us and make us feel isolated and confused.
Humility admits the need for help.
It means agreeing with the Father regarding our need. That is where understanding our weakness comes us. We can agree, yes, I made us mistake, but I have the forgiveness of the Father and the power of God to overcome my weakness because of Jesus. How do you act with that knowledge?
How do you act with that knowledge?
says we have access to the Lord’s strength, power and might. This verse uses three different words for strength that when combined could be understood as the unmatched, overwhelming power of the Lord.
APPLICATION: Let’s apply this principle to one of the biggest problems people have with spiritual warfare, fear. People are afraid of demons. If I told you that later today when you’re all alone a demon is going to attack you, how would you feel? Most of us would be afraid. But what if I said that the moment the demon started to attack Jesus visibly appeared standing right beside you? Would you be afraid then? No. Okay, except for the visible part of my illustration, it’s true. Anytime a demon attacks you, and by they way, it has happened and it will happen again, you need to say, “Father. I’m under attack and I have no power to defeat Satan. I trust you for Jesus’ power I’m ready. Let’s do this.” That’s all. It has to be a prayer of faith.
Here’s how we do it. If you think you’re experiencing an enticing satanic attack, bow your head and say, “Father, I think I’m under attack. I am have no power compared to this demon but all power in Jesus. I trust you now for Jesus’ power to resist.” That’s all. It has to be a prayer of faith.

2. Our Opponent.

The next phrase I want us to consider is “the devil’s.” Satan has many names in the Bible. Perhaps it’s more accurate to say he has many titles. None of them are actually names. What are some of the names or titles of Satan you can think of?
Satan has many titles in the Bible, most are bad.
Satan
“the devil’s”
Devil
The serpent
Angel of light 2 Corinthians 11:14
The great dragon
The god of this age
Devil
Accuser
Adversary
The serpent
Liar
Murderer
The serpent
Deceiver
Prince of the power of the air
The great dragon
Ruler of this world
Enemy
The god of this age
Evil one
Tempter
Father of lies
Accuser
Morning Star Not Lucifer which is Latin for Morning Star.
Belial ]
Adversary
Liar
Lawless one 2 Thessalonians 2:18
Murderer
Deceiver
Prince of the power of the air
Beelzebul
Ruler of this world
These names tell us a lot about him. However, notice in that Paul after referring to the schemes of the devil Paul gives us a list of different kinds of spirit beings.
Ephesians 6:12 NIV
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.
Enemy
Satan has an organized group of followers.
Satan himself isn’t listed. Instead we have
Evil one
Rulers
Tempter
Authorities
Father of lies
Cosmic powers of darkness
Morning Star
Belial
Spiritual forces of evil in the heavenlies
Lawless one 2 Thessalonians 2:18
Beelzebul
This is a list of different levels of spirit beings who have Satan’s authority and carry out his schemes. Jesus called all the fallen angels that follow Satan, “Satan.” Look with me at . This passage describes a confrontation Jesus had with the Pharisees. The Pharisees said Jesus was able to cast out demons because was empowered by Satan
Matthew 12:24–26 NIV
24 But when the Pharisees heard this, they said, “It is only by Beelzebul, the prince of demons, that this fellow drives out demons.” 25 Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand. 26 If Satan drives out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then can his kingdom stand?
.
Notice what Jesus said in verse 26. “If Satan drives out Satan.” Who does the first “Satan” refer to? Satan himself. Who does the second Satan refer to? The demons Jesus was casting out. “Satan” is the name for an individual being and it is used collectively of any of his followers.
The term “Satan” can be used to refer to the individual or collectively of all his followers. Matthew 12:26
My point is the term “Satan” is the name for an individual being and it is used collectively of any of his followers. When I say “Satan” attacked me, I don’t for a moment think it was the same being who tempted Eve and Jesus. I’m not that important. It’s one of his followers. Got it? When people say, “Satan attacked me” don’t for a moment think it was Satan himself.
When I talk about Satan, I’m using the name collectively. If I say “Satan” attacked me, I don’t for a moment think it was the spirit being who tempted Eve and Jesus. I’m not that important. It’s one of his followers. Unfortunately many people think Satan himself is running around attacking everyone.
Satan isn’t like God. He is not omnipresent. We see in that Satan is only in one location at a time. God asked Satan where he had been and Satan said he’d been walking around on earth. That question would have made no sense if he were omnipresent like God.
Our opponent is Satan and his followers, other fallen angels.

3. Our concern: Struggling with his various schemes.

“take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood.”
We now get into the heart of the matter. When I teach on this I sometimes say how I experience Enticing satanic attacks. On the average it’s two or three times a year. I keep a journal and make a notation on a page every time I’m attacked and describe the attack. [The last time I was attacked was March 19th of this year.]
When I teach I usually say how often I’ve been attacked. On the average it’s two or three times a year. I keep a journal and make a notation every time I’m attacked and describe the attack. The last time I was attacked was March 19th of this year.
When I say that I’m only attacked a few times a year people are surprised. First they’re surprised that I can be so certain about being attacked. We’ll get to that in a minute. Second, they’re surprised with how seldom I’m attacked. A common response is “I’m attacked all the time.” Or, “I get attacked every day.”
Once when a woman said she had been attacked several time the past week I asked her to describe the satanic attacks. Her response was something like this. “I started the week sick in bed. Then my husband lost his job. After that my daughter got expelled from school. Then my mother had a health emergency. That caused my father to have a mental breakdown and they live far away so I can’t be there to help them.”
There’s no denying she had a really bad week. I felt bad for her. Unfortunately she didn’t understand that was going on in her life. She had the perspective that many people have and thought spiritual warfare was about Satan interfering with our lives. Yes Satan does that but even in the Bible it’s rare.
Do you know there is not one verse in the Bible that says “Beware of Satan attacking your circumstances”? Do you know there is not one verse in the Bible that says “Watch out so that Satan doesn’t make you sick.”?
This is such a common perspective that I decided to write the verse that many people think is in the Bible. Have you ever written a verse to put in the Bible? Would you like to see the verse I’ve written? Here it is:
“1 Lucifer 6:66 Beware lest Satan manipulate your circumstances to ruin your life or entrap you and destroy your health or family or belongings; take care lest you are unknowingly controlled by the adversary against your will!”
There are lots of people who think that verse, or the essence of what it says, is in the Bible. It isn’t. That woman, like many Christians, confused trials with satanic attacks.
Enticing satanic attacks do not include general adversity.
Trials
Tests of our faith
Discipline
Pruning
Persecution
Persecution
Attacks from the flesh
The first four happen for our good. The last one isn’t for our good but good can come out of it.
I’ve been asked many times, “Can’t Satan cause trials?” Yes, but why would he? and tell us that trials strengthen our faith. Does Satan want to strengthen our faith? Nope.
Even persecution isn’t an attack from the devil. It may be motivated by a thought the devil put in the mind of your persecutor, but it isn’t from the devil. It’s from the person persecuting you. God tells us to love and pray for that person who is persecuting you. He tells you to resist the devil. There’s a big difference.
Also note that an attack from Satan isn’t the same as an attack from the flesh or the world. They are different. Many people think Satan controls our flesh, causes our flesh to attack us. First, there is nothing in the Bible that teaches that. Second, the flesh doesn’t need his help. Why then do people say that? Because they don’t know what the Bible says. They don’t make the distinctions that the Bible makes and they the misunderstand how Satan attacks.
How then does Satan attack? It isn’t by flesh and blood.
Enticing satanic attacks are mental or spiritual. ,
We know this because we’re told we don’t struggle with flesh and blood. It’s a spiritual battle. Let’s consider a couple of verses that reinforce this. Paul wrote the church at Corinth and expressed his concern about Satan attacking them.
Paul wrote the church at Corinth and expressed his concern about Satan attacking them.
2 Corinthians 11:3 NIV
3 But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ.
Paul’s concern wasn’t that Satan would make them sick, give them a flat tire or cause the refrigerator to stop working. His concern was for their minds, that they not be deceived.
Acts 5:3 NIV
3 Then Peter said, “Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land?
Satan attacked a couple named Ananias and Sapphira. What did he do? Did he destroy their marriage? No. Did he get them fired from their jobs? No. Did he make them sick? No. Did he cause a heart problem? Ah, he did cause a heart problem but not physically. We don’t wrestle with flesh and blood. He filled their hearts to lie. We aren’t told how he did it but it’s easy to guess. If you’d to learn more about that, I preached an entire message on this passage. It’s on our website.
Satan attacks our minds. This is the primary way Satan attacks the average Christian. And it is the only kind of satanic attack that we are taught how to recognize. We can recognize demonization if it is extreme, but sometimes even that can be hard to recognize at times. The other four kinds of attacks are practically indiscernible.
If you’re following me and see the difference between adversity and enticing satanic attacks you may be wondering, “Okay, when does Satan attack?”
If you’re following me and see the difference between adversity and enticing satanic attacks you may be wondering, “Okay, when does Satan attack?”
Satan only attacks when God allows. , ;
First it is only when God allows. In we learn that God had a hedge of protection around Job so Satan couldn’t attack him. Jesus said that Satan asked and received permission to attack the disciples when Jesus was arrested. . I believe that’s true of everyone one of God’s children.
Satan attacks when he has an opportunity. ,
Let’s say God give Satan permission to attack me. When does he attack my mind? When he sees an opportunity.
1 Peter 5:8 NIV
8 Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.
1 Peter 5:7–8 NIV
7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. 8 Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.
The enemy looks for opportunities. What is a good opportunity? How about when you get angry?
Ephesians 4:26–27 ESV
26 Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, 27 and give no opportunity to the devil.
Ephesians 4:2
When we are angry our emotions are running high. We are bothered and often aren’t thinking clearly. It’s the perfect time for Satan to stealthy add a lie about the person you’re angry with. Something like, “She did that because she hates you and is out to get you fired from your job.” Or “She did that because she doesn’t like you. She has never liked you and she is always talking about you behind your back.”
Those thought may have nothing to do with why you’re angry but if you don’t see them as a satanic attack and accept them you could do something you shouldn’t
Any negative event could be an opportunity for an enticing satanic to occur. A trial isn’t a satanic attack but Satan often attacks me in the midst of trials. After all, you’re already feeling bad so it’s the perfect time for Satan to pile on and hope you don’t recognize his attack.
Here is a list from the Bible of some things that Satan used as opportunities or can use as opportunities to attack us.
Finances -
Anger -
Abstinence -
Unforgiveness -
Idleness -
Pride -
Satan can use any negative experience as a means of twisting the truth and attacking our minds to try to lead us to sin. These negative experiences are not the attack.
The key to recognizing and resisting enticing satanic attack is the armor of God. We will continue here in two weeks.
The key to recognizing and resisting enticing satanic attack is the armor of God. We will continue here in two weeks.

4. Our role: Put on the armor.

Let’s think about armor in general. Armor is designed to protect against specific types of attack.
Kevlar Vests protect you from . . . ? Bullets
A robot and this kind of protective clothing protects you from . . ? A bomb
This kind of air tight clothing and mask protest you from . . ? Biological or chemical weapons.
The armor you’re given tells you everything you need to know about what problems to expect. If you start a new job and the first thing you’re given is a hard hat, there’s a chance something may hit you in the head.
This makes perfect sense when talking about physical armor. Helmets protect your head from things falling on it. But what about mental armor?
Each piece of armor is designed to protect us from a specific category of mental and spiritual attacks. Let’s look at the armor.
No we need to focus on how Satan attacks our minds when we get that flat tire on a snowy night because we didn’t see the nail in the road.
Each piece of armor is designed to protect us from a specific category of mental and spiritual attacks. Let’s look at the armor.
If you are someone who underlines things in your Bible this is a good time to do that, but not yet. Don’t underline until I tell you, okay? Too many people misunderstand the armor and I want you to get it right. At first it’s going to sound like I’m telling you what the armor is but I’m not. First I’m going to point out an error people make.
Here is what people mistakenly think the armor of God is.
Ephesians 6:14–17 NIV
14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, 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.
Ephesians
Like me, you’ve probably heard many messages on the armor that go into great detail describing the belt, the breastplate, the shield, the helmet and the sword. That isn’t the armor of God. That’s Roman armor. Paul uses it as a memory tool, an object lesson. That’s all. There is nothing about the Roman shield that has anything to do with the armor of God.
This is the armor: truth, righteousness, readiness, faith, salvation, the word of God.
Truth, righteousness, readiness, faith, salvation, the word of God.
Do you see the difference? The armor of God includes principles, concepts, perspectives and attitudes. Let’s define each one. Each of you have card, it’s pocket armor to carry with you in your pocket or purse. Let’s look at it and see the definitions of each piece of armor.
a) Truth: Reality, facts, what has happened, what is known
b) Righteousness: What is right in God’s eyes
Righteousness:
c) Readiness: Being ready to do something for God
Readiness:
Truth: Reality, facts, what has happened, what is known
These are all principles, concepts
d) Faith: Godly conviction and determination in the face of uncertainty and the unknown
Faith:
Salvation:
e) Salvation: Knowing one is saved, not alone, of worth to God, delivered from the penalty and power of sin
Righteousness: What is right in God’s eyes
Readiness: Being ready to do something for God
Sayings of God.
Sayings of God: What God’s Word says about your thoughts, feelings and situation
Faith: Godly conviction and determination in the face of uncertainty and the unknown
Salvation: Knowing one is saved, not alone, of worth to God, delivered from the penalty and power of sin
Sayings of God: What God’s Word says about your thoughts, feelings and situation
These are straightforward and easy to understand. That’s good because we want to use them to see how Satan attacks. There are opposites to each of these six concepts. These are give to us to protect us from their opposites. Remember bullet proof vests protect us from bullets.
In your notes is a list with the armor on one side and a list of attacks on the other. The attacks are the opposites of the armor. However, I’ve mixed them up. I want you to figure out which piece of armor protects us from each type of attack.
Take a moment and read through these two lists. Then draw a line from each piece of armor on the left to the things it protects us from on the right. We used to do this in school remember? It was a good teaching tool then and it is now.
I’ll help you with the first one, Truth. Which of the six different types of attacks does truth protect us from? Lies, wrong thoughts, speculation, half-truths. Do you see that? Draw a line. Great now you do the rest. Draw a line from the armor to the attack that piece of armor protects us from.
Truth - Lies, speculation, half-truths, thoughts we know are wrong
Righteousness - desires and temptations to do wrong things
Readiness - quitting, giving up, discouragement
Faith - doubt, confusion, questioning God
Salvation - worthless, alone, shamed
Sayings of God - contradicting what God says
In order to defeat the attacking thoughts on the right side we have to put on the armor of God. Here’s how.

Putting on the Armor is Putting on Thoughts

We put on thoughts all the time. We don’t use those words to describe it but that’s in fact what we do.
Let’s say you’re at work and a coworker insults you or blames you for something that happened. First you had nothing to do with and second you’re being attacked. Inside your brain is on fire! You are in full blow fight or flight mode and you’re ready to fight. But you know you shouldn’t and that if you say what you’re thinking you will make matters worse. How many of you have ever been in that situation?
You pause and have a conversation in your mind with yourself. “Calm down. Don’t say what you’re thinking. What is the best way to react. Tell her that she doesn’t have all the information and say it nicely. No matter how she reacts speak softly.”
How many of you have done that? We all have. We do it in different ways at different times. Whether it is a family member attacking your political views or a rude stranger telling you to hurry up at the Redbox video machine at the store, we have learned how to put on thoughts.
Here’s how it works with Satan. I’m going to use a volunteer for this. I’ve asked him in advance so this isn’t the surprise to him that it’s going to be to you.
Situation: David at work.
Satanic thoughts. - Truth

Discussion Questions:

1. Before today, when you thought of spiritual warfare, which of the six kinds were you normally thinking of?
2. Why are so many Christians afraid of spiritual warfare? What is it that they are actually afraid Satan will do? Which kind of spiritual warfare?
3. Why is it so hard to be humble, especially in our personal relationship? What is the biggest help in learning to be humble?
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