Updated: Dec 12, 2019
Defense vs. offense
There is a real enemy out there, HIS DESIRE is to DECEIVE, DIVIDE AND DESTROY. Sometimes it comes out of no where. We ask why is this happening? Everything was going so well or it just never seems to stop. One bad circumstance after another.
In the spiritual realm, especially when we are in service, spreading the Gospel and offering goodness, the enemy likes to get in the way. It is for this reason, we have to engage with offense and defense in our relationship with the Holy Spirit and stay strong.
In Ephesians 6 10:20 New International Version, Paul gives us several answers.
The Armor of God
10 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 FIRM against the devil’s schemes. 12 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. 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. 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.
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. 19 Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.
I highlighted some of the verses so that you can meditate and take heart to what scripture is telling us about spiritual warfare. There's plenty of options in our battle plan, but check out these two simple things to understand but hard to live by:
1. Identify he enemy- Notice what verse 12 says "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"
Satan will use other people as his vessel. So it’s not brothers and sisters in Christ we are up against. The enemy uses people to deceive, divide and destroy. Let's not fight one another, the real enemy are the dark forces using us against each other. We get bitter, and we develop resentments Let's fight the REAL enemy!
2. Stand Firm - put on the full armor of God so you can stand firm. Paul says "Stand Firm" several times. How do we stand firm?
It is hard to stand firm when we are not prepared for the battle. It often comes when we least expect it. It is hard to get ready after the battle. Like NFL football players, they don't go to the football field without putting on their protective gear. Once their equipment is on, they are ready to withstand the rigors of a professional football game against their opponents.
Paul uses the analogy of the roman soldier and talks about the belt of truth.
WE WILL ALL BE HIT. THE HOLY YOU LIVE, THE MORE GODLY we are with our CONDUCT, ETC. THE MORE WE GET ATTACKED.
Summary - in the context of today's blog, let's make sure we identify the real enemy in our spiritual battle. As we engage with offense or defense, stand firm with the belt of truth around our waste knowing God is our ultimate force and authority behind us.