OVERCOMING THE ENEMY (By: Mike Sherman)

Last week’s bulletin article helped to identify mankind’s greatest enemy. Without a doubt the Bible makes it clear our greatest enemy is Satan who is known to be a slanderer, the tempter, the deceiver, and the father of lies. The article also reminded us that the only way to be victorious over Satan is by putting our faith and trust in Christ who already defeated Satan by his death and resurrection from the dead. Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery. (Hebrews 2:14,15)

But what about the daily battle taking place in the trenches of our lives?

First- Accept and acknowledge it is NOT a carnal battle we’re engaged in.
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. (Ephesians 6:12)
Although we’re not battling flesh and blood this spiritual battle we’re engaged in will wear us down and eventually defeat us unless we put on the spiritual armor God provides and learn to utilize the only offensive weapon we’re given.

Second- Put on the Full Armor of God
Ephesians 6:10-11 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. (11) Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.
Paul gives a detailed description of the armor God provides.
Ephesians 6:13-18 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. (14) Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, (15) and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. (16) In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; (17) and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, (18) praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints,

Notice the only offensive weapon we’re provided is Word of God. Certainly we don’t have a chance in battle without the protective spiritual protective armor described by Paul. But just as an army can never win a battle, let alone a war, without offensive weapons neither can we in this spiritual battle we’re engaged in.

THIRD- Use The Sword- The Word of God
This is what Jesus did when he engaged the enemy in the wilderness.
Matthew 4:3-4 And the tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.” (4) But he answered, “It is written, “‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.'”
As the enemy tempted Jesus through the lust of the flesh Jesus picked up His sword and said “It is written….”
As the enemy continued to tempt and try Jesus and once again he replied “It is written….”
Matthew 4:6-7 and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down, for it is written, “‘He will command his angels concerning you,’ and “‘On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.'” (7) Jesus said to him, “Again it is written, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.'”

The enemy being persistent, as he so often is, tempted Jesus a third time and Jesus wielded His sword a third time saying “It is written….”
Matthew 4:8-10 Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. (9) And he said to him, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.” (10) Then Jesus said to him, “Be gone, Satan! For it is written, “‘You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.'”

Paul said, “be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might….”
The only way we can be strong and learn to overcome the enemy is to know what is written in His Word so we can wield our offensive weapon “ the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God…” Then and only then are we empowered to get off the defensive and say as our Lord did- “It is written….”

By Mike Sherman

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