Wednesday, November 08, 2006

How Evergreen Deals with Demons - Part 1

My guess is that many of you would have wanted me to get to this part of the topic much sooner. However, I feel that a sound spiritual foundation needs to be laid. The US armed forces spend lots of time in training their members. Why? They have learned that a strong foundation of skills and mental preparation yields a greater chance of success on the battle field. The same can be said for God’s children going into spiritual battle.

Ephesians 6 says, “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. 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. 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. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.”

Six principles for spiritual warfare:

  1. Be strong in the Lord.
  2. Recognize the enemy.
  3. Stand for God—and, keep on standing.
  4. The belt of truth.
  5. The breastplate of righteousness.
  6. Our feet fitted with the readiness.
  7. The shield of faith.
  8. The helmet of salvation.
  9. The sword of the Spirit—the Word of God.
  10. Under-girded with prayer.

Be strong in the Lord: There are times when we are strong in the Lord and there are times when we are not strong in the Lord. It is important that we recognize our spiritual condition before going into battle with demonic forces (we should be mindful of our spiritual condition at all times, as well!). A person who does not spend time alone with God cannot be spiritually strong—they will have to depend on their own natural strength, and that will not be good enough. Athletes train six-day-a-week for years to prepare for a twenty-second race at the Olympics. Too many Christians spend one hour a week training for spiritual battle. There are times when our spiritual energy has been spent. A marathon runner does not run two marathons on back-to-back days. Many could, but they would not be at peak effectiveness. There are times when our spiritual “tanks” are near empty and need to be filled. Take the time necessary to regain your spiritual strength.

Recognize the enemy: Recognize that the enemy is a spiritual enemy and must be fought on a spiritual battlefield. People who do not believe in Satan, demons and the power of Christ cannot, and should not, go into battle against demonic enemies.

Stand for God—and, keep on standing: This is standing for God on the field of battle. It is easy to stand for God on Sunday morning during worship. We need to stand for God in close proximity to the enemy. We do not have a spiritual atomic bomb that can be fired from 4000 miles away. Jesus dealt with demons face-to-face. We have to deal with demonic forces face-to-face. We cannot run away. We have to keep standing. No matter what the attack, keep standing for God. He is the one who will win the battle—he will use us as his hands and feet.

Check back tomorrow as we look at items 4, 5 & 6.


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