KNOW YOUR ENEMY…

EPHESIANS 6:10-12: “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” (‭ESV)

OBSERVATION: Someone has wisely said – “Before going into battle…know your enemy!” This is true for nations, and it is also true the for the believer. We need to know and identify the real enemy in life. So many times we get distracted and entangled in battles that are misdirected. This always leads to frustration, and ultimately more collateral damage. If we are going to walk victoriously in Jesus Christ – we must know who are enemy is!

In order to know who our enemy is – we must first establish who he is not! Paul is quite clear in these verses, as he is in other writings. Our enemy is not “flesh and blood”. What does this mean? Very simply – we are not called to engage in a battle of any kind against another person, including ourselves. The Christian is not called to take up arms and convince the world through brute force. We are not called to overcome our struggles in life by battling against our neighbor or even those who speak evil of us, persecute us, or despitefully use us. They are not the enemy. We have only two enemies in life, and they are two sides of the same coin. They are sin and the devil!

In Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians he writes – “For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, being ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete.” (‭2 Corinthians‬ ‭10‬:‭3-6‬ ESV)

Jesus clarified our enemy when he said – “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” (‭John‬ ‭10‬:‭10‬ ESV)

The enemy defined is Satan and all of his demonic hosts that try to captivate and darken hearts through deceptive lies that stand against the knowledge of God and endeavor to kill, steal, and destroy all of God’s purposes in our lives through bondage to sin, fear, and doubt.

This is a spiritual warfare. It is not physical. It takes a physical toll, but it is not won through physical effort. It is won through the Spirit of God, the power of the Blood of Jesus, and God’s Word! The “wrestling” that takes place in our lives is not in arguing with other people, it is in confronting the lies of the enemy in our hearts and minds with the knowledge of Christ – and taking them captive! We do this not through a shouting match with the devil or his demons. We do this by hiding the Word of God in our hearts, and renewing our minds with His Truth.

Revelation 12:11 is one of my favorite verses in the Bible. Toward the end of the tribulation Satan is physically confined to earth, and he knows his days are numbered. Filled with rage, he begins to pour out his wrath upon the saints. How do they overcome him? “And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death.” (‭Revelation‬ ‭12‬:‭11‬ ESV) They overcame the enemy by the precious blood of the lamb (Jesus sacrifice – Heaven’s currency), and the word of their testimony. What was their testimony? It was the Word of God – JESUS IS LORD!

Martin Luther, in his great hymn, “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God”, understood this important truth. He had spent years trying to overcome the enemy and his sin through human effort. He would beat himself with cords until he bled, trying to atone for his sin and overcome Satan’s power. He did this until one day he learned the power of the blood of Jesus, salvation by grace through faith, and the power of one name – the name of JESUS! He writes in this great hymn – “One little word shall fell him”! That “little word” was – JESUS! Martin Luther knew that his victory was found only in Jesus Christ! He overcame the power of the enemy and the power of his sin – by the blood of the Lamb, and the word of his testimony!

Lord, open my spiritual eyes to see and understand my enemy. Help me resist wrestling with “flesh and blood”. Help me to put on the whole armor of God, to hide Your Word in my heart, to renew my mind with Your Truth, and to take every deceiving word that rises against the knowledge of God – captive in the name of Jesus Christ! Help me to overcome the schemes of the devil and the power of sin by the blood of the Lamb and the word of my testimony. JESUS IS LORD! JESUS IS TRUTH! JESUS IS MY VICTORY! In Jesus Name!

About Kirk's Devotional Journal

Kirk L. Zehnder is the Founder of Resurrection Christian Outreach. RCO is a ministry that promotes the growth and vitality of the local church through speaking engagements, seminars, various media tools, and written curriculum and books. This ministry was started over 35 years ago by Kirk as a means to strengthen the church that he was pastoring. It grew as Kirk began to share these tools with other churches. Today many of the materials are being used by local churches both nationally and internationally. Kirk's Devotional Journal is a result of struggling with Bible reading programs that never seemed to work. Kirk feels the Lord helped him discover an easy to follow program to Read, Reflect, Pray, and Journal through the Bible in one year. This program is called L.I.F.E. Unlike other programs there are no dates to follow. You can miss a day and still complete your reading. You never feel like the dates and verses you missed are chasing you. You are free to enjoy your daily Biblical journey and listen to the voice of The Lord. For more information on the L.I.F.E. plan, send an email to rcoutreach@aol.com. Kirk is also available for speaking engagements, seminars, and retreats. With over 40 years of professional business and pastoral ministry experience, Kirk brings a unique combination of practical wisdom, humor, and Biblical insight. If you would like Kirk to speak at your church, school, or ministry, please send an email to rcoutreach@aol.com and we will get back to you as soon as possible to discuss your opportunity.
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2 Responses to KNOW YOUR ENEMY…

  1. Deborah Jemente says:

    Of the 3 ways you describe spiritual warfare is the Blood of the Lamb ( Jesus Blood – Heavenly Currency) executed by speaking or praying it over /against evil/dark powers/principalities? Not sure how to engage this concept in our spiritual war?

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    • Deborah:

      The Blood of Jesus Christ is the “heavenly currency” because it was shed for the remission of our sins. In the Old Testament they offered the blood of bulls and goats over and over again as an atonement for sin. The blood was given for atonement (our provision for forgiveness and cleansing) because “Life” was in the blood. The penalty of our sin was death, the loss of life. We could not redeem ourselves. Only a perfect sacrifice could do that. Jesus, who lived a sinless life, was that perfect sacrifice. He offered Himself in our place, He took our punishment, and through His blood – once and for all He paid for our redemption – “heaven’s currency”.

      Our victory now through the Blood of Christ is not is something we do. There is no prayer formula or method by which we enter into this victory. It is entered into by coming to Jesus Christ, through the provision made available in His blood, and receiving His forgiveness, cleansing, help, healing, and restoration. It is by His Grace through faith! When we come to Him we must come open to hear His voice. Although the price for our forgiveness and healing has been completely paid – on our part it is a process. We must let go of anything that we are holding on to so that He can freely work in and through our lives. This is the process of what we call sanctification – which simply is the outworking of our new life in Christ as we grow daily in grace and become more and more like Jesus Christ.

      This is why the Book of Revelation says – “They overcame him (the enemy) by the word of their testimony and by the blood of the Lamb.” Jesus affirmed this when He said – “If you are my disciples you will continue in my Word, and you will know the Truth, and the Truth will set you free.” The greatest weapon we have against the enemy is “rest”. Resting on nothing else but Jesus Christ and His righteousness. When we stop striving, when we rest in the completed work of Jesus Christ on the Cross, we find forgiveness, cleansing, healing, and rest for our souls. The enemy is defeated and he will flee. This is our victory in Jesus Christ!

      Like

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