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Standing Firm Against the Schemes of Satan Part 2

Understanding Adversity  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  48:09
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Introduction - Review

There are six types of spiritual warfare.

1. Territorial - Warfare in the unseen realm between Satan and his followers and God and His angels. Deut. 32:1-8; Dan 10:12-13, 20
2. Blinding - Satan prevents non-Christians from seeing the truth of the Gospel. 2 Corinthians 4:4; Mark 4:3-25, 15
3. Teaching - False religious teaching initiated by demons to prevent people from knowing the truth of the true God. 1 Timothy 4:1
4. Enticing - The attacks on the minds of people to confuse and lead them to turn away from God and commit sin. 2 Corinthians 11:2; 1 Chronicles 21:1
5. Interfering - Manipulating circumstances and inflicting physical health problems on people. Luke 13:10-17; 1 Thess. 2:17-18
6. Demonizing - Demonic tormenting of people, at times controlling some physically to lead to sin and destroy them. Mk 5:1-20; 9:14-29

There are five elements of defeating enticing warfare.

1. Our preparation: Be strong in the Lord.
2. Our opponent: Satan and his followers.
3. Our concern: Struggling with his various schemes.
4. Our role: Put on the armor.
5. Our goal: To stand.
In part one of this message we covered the first three. Today we’re going to cover aspects four and five.

4. Our role when facing an enticing attack: Put on the armor.

We made a list of the different things people do to try to defeat Satan. Here is our list.
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.
How do we figure out what is right? This isn’t that hard. What does the Bible say?
The only way we are taught is to resist Satan with the armor of God, which includes quoting Scripture. We see this in James 4:7 and Ephesians 6:11, 13, 14.
James 4:7 NIV
7 Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
James tells us to resist the devil but doesn’t say how. Paul tells us how.
Ephesians 6:11 NIV
11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.
Ephesians 6:13 NIV
13 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.
There are no verses that teach us to do the other things on that list. It really is that simple. When people ask if it’s okay to use any of those other methods I say, “Use the armor of God first. Then do whatever you want.” I say that because if you put on the armor first, you won’t need to do any of the other things. Satan will flee!
I guess we should turn our attention to the armor of God. First, let’s think about armor in general. Armor is designed to protect against specific types of attacks. For example,
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.
If you are given armor, you can figure out pretty easily what problems to expect. If on your first day at a job you’re given a hard hat, there’s a pretty good chance something may hit you in the head.
The armor of God works in the same way. The problem is that it isn’t physical armor. When we see the parts of the armor of God we get that deer in the headlights look in our eyes. Why? Because the armor of God isn’t physical.
The armor of God is mental and spiritual, designed to protect us from mental and spiritual attacks. Let’s look at the armor.
Before we do, 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? First I’m going to point out an error people make with the armor. Here is what many 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.
People say the armor is a belt, breastplate, shoes, shield, helmet, and sword. If you’re like me, you’ve probably heard messages that go into great detail describing these. That isn’t the armor of God. That’s Roman armor. Paul uses Roman armor 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 of God: truth, righteousness, readiness, faith, salvation, the word of God.
There is a big difference between a belt and truth. Here’s a belt. I can put it on. Somebody hand me some truth, would you? How about some righteousness?
Hmm, see the problem? We can’t touch or hold the armor of God. That’s because the armor of God includes principles, concepts, perspectives and attitudes. They aren’t tangible but we can still put them on.
First, 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.
The armor defined.
Truth: Reality, facts, what has happened, what you know
Righteousness: What is right in God’s eyes
Readiness: Being ready to do something for God
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
Let’s use each piece of armor to identify Satan’s tactics. There are opposites to each of these.
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.
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. I’ll give you a moment to do this.
Here are the answers:
Which Armor? = Attacking thought
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 describe it that way 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.
Let’s see how Jesus used the Armor of God. Jesus was attacked by Satan. Matthew 4 is one of the places we read about this.
Matthew 4:1–11 NIV
1 Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2 After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. 3 The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” 4 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” 5 Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. 6 “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written: “ ‘He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’” 7 Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’” 8 Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. 9 “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.” 10 Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’” 11 Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him.
Let’s unpack this.
Satan: If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” He was in essence saying “Jesus, you deserve better! You’re God, use your power to satisfy your hunger.
Jesus resisted and said “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” Jesus put on truth, what comes out of God’s mouth is more important than what I put in my mouth. He put on righteousness, no I won’t do that. He put on readiness by not giving up on God. He put on faith and salvation by trusting God to give him what he deserved. He put on the sayings of God by quoting scripture.
Do you see that? There is a ton packed into the interchange but every piece of the armor is part of his response.
Armor: Truth, righteousness, readiness, faith, salvation, sayings of God.
Satan didn’t give up. He took Jesus to the top of the temple. Then he said, “Oh, you want to talk about Scripture, what about this?” For it is written: “ ‘He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’”
“Why don’t you throw yourself down from here and see if God keeps His word?”
Jesus resisted and replied, “It is written: Do not put the Lord your God to the test.”
Armor: Truth, righteousness, readiness, faith, and the Saying of God.
Satan still didn’t give up. He tried one more time. This is why we are told put on the full armor of God. Satan will use different attacking thoughts. Put on all the armor as you need it.
Satan took Jesus to a high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world. He said, “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.”
He was trying to tempt Jesus to sin by appealing to his sense of worth. He knew Jesus was going to be the king. He told Jesus, “You want to be king, I can make you king today! Just worship me!”
Jesus resisted. He said, “It is written: Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.”
Armor: Truth, righteousness, readiness, salvation, sayings of God.

The armor is general. The way we use it specific to the attack.

Too many people think the armor is the words you say. It isn’t. People tell me all the time, “I put on the armor every morning?” Really, how do you do that? What they mean is they pray it something like this, “Father I put on truth, righteousness, readiness, faith, salvation and the word of God. Protect me with it.”
There is nothing wrong with praying that, but that isn’t putting on the armor.

Putting on the armor in the morning.

Let’s say you sleep through your alarm or maybe the power went out and your alarm didn’t go off. You’re going to be late for work. You have a very important appointment first thing in the morning. You’ve been preparing for it for weeks. People are depending upon you. Yikes?
What kind of adversity are you facing? It’s a trial.
However, Satan attacks you. Thoughts like this start filling your mind.
“This is all your fault! You blew it! You messed up your life! You’re a worthless, lazy piece of dirt! God doesn’t care about you! What kind of God let’s you sleep through your alarm on an important day? Call the office and tell them you’ve been violently sick all night and you can’t come in. You’re going to get fired anyway. What difference does it make to tell a lie. Everyone does it. No one cares about you.”
That isn’t adversity, that’s an enticing satanic attack.
Let’s choose a biblical response?
I rebuke you Satan! I bind you Satan and cast you out!
I rebuke you alarm clock!
I put on truth, righteousness, readiness, faith, salvation and the word of God.
Sleeping through the alarm is a trial. Now I’m under an attack. The truth is the power went out. It wasn’t my fault. Things are a mess but I know God loves me, is in control and everything is going to be fine. I’m going to do the right thing, tell the truth and not give up. I’m going to press on and figure out the best thing to do. The Bible says, “You shall not lie.” God also says, “I will never leave you or forsake you. The Lord is my helper, I will not fear.”
Which one is putting on the armor? See the difference?
The armor isn’t a prayer. It is principles to be applied to your mind specific to your unique attack. You have to find the truth you need and say it back. The righteous thought or action you need to counter the evil one that is being pushed into your mind!

5. Our goal: To stand firm

Our goal is not to bind, rebuke, cast out or send Satan and demons to the pit!
Our goal is not to attack Satan. Many people say the “sword” is an offensive weapon. Let me say three things about that.
Any sword can be offensive or defensive.
We aren’t told to attack with it, just to stand firm with it.
It isn’t our sword, it belongs to the Spirit. If anyone is going to do the attacking with it, it is Him.
Our goal is to stand firm.
Ephesians 6:11 NIV
11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.
Ephesians 6:13 NIV
13 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.
Ephesians 6:14 NIV
14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place,
Finally, once we have stood firm and the enemy has fled, our minds are free to pray. They were confused before, but now they’re clear. So we are to pray. Here’s how.
Ephesians 6:18 NIV
18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.
Pray in the Spirit. Quiet your heart that the Spirit may lead you as you pray.
Pray with worship.
Pray by making requests.
Pray for ALL the Lord’s people. It’s okay to pray for yourself but that isn’t what it says. Why not? You’ve won the battle. Pray for those around you who are going to fight it soon!
Discussion Questions:
1. Can you identify a satanic attack in your mind in the past?
2. What were some of the attacking thoughts you had?
3. What pieces of armor would you use not to resist that thought?
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