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December 11, 2020 7:05 am
When we think about our spiritual enemy the devil working overtime toward our demise. It's downright frightening. Paul said our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the spiritual forces of wickedness. So how do we maintain a healthy measure of fear. Fusing our trepidation with confidence.
How do we keep from becoming the latest victim of Satan's attacks today on Insight for living. Chuck Swindoll teaches from Ephesians chapter 6 in this calming passage, Paul explains how to win the battle, job title, today's message standing firm against Satanic schemes. The strength of the warfare was on the Lord of the text should visit his armor and with it with them both. We stand against schemes of the devil. Could you put a 3 x 5 card two or three of his schemes. Could you fill out that answer for the quiz today. Name two or three of the schemes that he regularly uses and get specific and say he uses these on me and I can usually tell this from him and that sensitive. The third thing I want to say after saying that our strength is in the Lord and our protection is in his armor is our store is the our strategy is based on the knowledge of his scheme working from another angle altogether. He is brilliant he is coming he knows what it takes and he's relentlessly at it back to Ephesians 612.
Our struggle is not against flesh and blood to the word struggle. It comes from a verb, which means to sway SW a Y to sway, but this word is not about swaying.
It's about wrestling A better rendering our wrestling is not against flesh and blood. Now if you're an idealistic party turn me off.
This is too raw for you. This is too ugly.
I haven't been nearly vile enough. This is the most vicious murderers lie to contemptuous insidious structure struggle you can even match and what you and I are thumbing our way through our fun little magazines he dances with just keep thinking that it's out of place to bring him into that kind of scene.
I will not portray for you in verse 12 is a scene of terrible truth in the enemy territory set forth here like no other place, and it is here the chilling exposť of the enemy is brought to your attention.
He is called one who works with the rulers, the powers the world forces and the spiritual forces of wickedness all 12 all for right there in verse 12 this is what I call the spiritual Mafia. This is the spiritual Mafia near the cosmic rats cosmic supernatural, unseen, insidious at work, relentless file, they were there.
The top guns are called the rulers some it may this passage walk on all fours and divided those the government, condiments, and those that govern countries and those that govern states and those that govern people's nice thought.
I just don't see it here so we won't go there.
I do say that there some sense of order. It certainly arranged because of the word ruler could be rendered first place.
Those who are in first place.
So these are the top guns of the Mafia and then there are the Xers see group called the powers these are the influential ones who control perhaps control the group that there are over as well as control sections of our world don't know against the world forces of this darkness, listen to the Greek word constable Crocker loss: possible Kratz. These are possible cracks you can't see them. You can't measure them. You don't hear them, but they are here for the multiple millions. And then there are those spiritual forces of wickedness in vast and powerful in the organized hierarchy of satanic activity.
The Mafia think of the Mafia there there but we don't know we can't see. Usually there constantly at work against the good and wholesome there difficult to identify, even for the trained there hard to nail down and bring to trial.
They are well organized and powerful and consistent and effective.
They are committed to disrupting whatever is wholesome and good, they will press by intimidation.
They are diabolical to the core. We know all of that and to exacerbate it with the demons they are evil is only intensified because they work under the authority of ultimate evil who was brilliant and appealing inexperienced and far-reaching and determined kits. You said it best in two sentences from his book on Ephesians. Satan has no conscience, no compassion, no remorse, no morals he feeds on pain anguish and fill therefore verse 13 take up the full armor of God so that you will be able to resist in the evil day that now it isn't coming.
It's now anybody ever known a more evil time not with your head screwed on straight. Not if you thinking straight ever known a time when more wrong is called right and those who stand for right are called strange men lose their jobs because they're not politically correct in their language. It's all part of the system that is increasingly having its way is the God of this world is finding great delight in more and more following him without struggle, take up, resist stand firm in the world, with devils fill should threaten to undo us. We will not fear for God has willed his truth to triumph roots. The Prince of darkness grim Trimble.
Not for him. His rage we can endure lowest doom is sure one little word shall fell him you know that the Lord Jesus Christ. The blood of the Savior will move him away. It will resist him. I have never seen him treat the blood or the statement of the Lord Jesus Christ. Nor will you ever it's a power he cannot fight again but without it, you are absolutely at his mercy. John Stott writes wobbly Christians who have no firm foothold in Christ for an easy prey for the devil and Christians who shake like reeds and rushes cannot resist the wind when the principalities and powers began to blow. I'm calling today for Christians to stand firm in the things of God and not to run scared because of what we see about us or portrayed in front of us. So with that in mind I have for concluding principles to stand on one for each of the four verses we looked at.
Here's the first no satanic assault is stronger than the Lord our God, no satanic assault is stronger than the Lord our God, you go to sleep tonight. Afraid you missed the message. This is not about being afraid this is about standing strong. You can only do that in Christ, if you're without Christ. Your blind and that's why we appeal to you with the close of every service we hold that you would know the joy of seeing for the first time in your life and finding a power greater than the one that's been controlling you know satanic assault is stronger than the Lord our God in history, mercy, here's the second no satanic scheme can penetrate the armor of God, you put it on your protected no satanic scheme can penetrate the armor of God clothed in his armor were safe and sure here's the third no satanic Mafia can defeat the work of God will pause there no satanic Mafia can defeat the work of God.
I want to talk to you straight were new church were brand-new baby church and we just keep multiplying. We just keep getting bigger. We can't hurry up are getting older but were getting larger and as a result, we own the staff are feeling and increase intensity in spiritual warfare were not afraid of it were just aware of it. There is a growing sense of impatience on the part of some of you in the flock, and I understand that I'm not pleased with it. But I understand how you can feel that way. Whether it's a complaint in the parking lot to complain over some correspondence or a complaint about how something was or was not handled understand, but the tendency is to think in the midst of all of this, that the enemy is in here, but he isn't. Remember, old Hickory's words when two Confederate soldiers were having a fistfight in the chow line. He grabbed the boat, but the colony said gentlemen, the enemy is over there what you doing slogging each other. Please, please be patient. Please help us in the process of growth. Please pray for us without asking for pity here, let me just say were all doing the best we can to just keep up.
If you have trouble understanding what that's like me just tell the ladies imagine having four sets of twins in about 40 months with network and then be blessed with a set of triplets. Nine months later. By then you move your husband way out on the patio and on a romantic night once again you're there and you have quadruplets for a final session of romance.
It's delightful until you have to feed him rear room clothed him bathe them burp and level. That's where we are folks liking up like not were all part of the body are all learned how to do this together should've added to that story of all the twins and triplets. You even have your own home.
You gotta two-bedroom apartment and the neighbors are complaining we can handle the waves that come in the windows and the oppression pool with each other were building a ship while were at sea were still were still building it taken on water on one end and were pumping the water of the over just try to keep afloat staring at the right direction back to the principal. Did you remember no satanic Mafia can defeat the work of God. We will be attacked but you won't defeat us.
Here's 1/4 and final no satanic evil can withstand the prayers of God's people no satanic evil can withstand the prayers of God's people. Let me tell you from experience to reason nothing like prayer in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ cleaning the blood of the cross to resist the enemy pray for one another by name. Pray for protection direction piece because it will be the prayers of God's people that will withstand the enemy. True story Oz Guinness a Christian author went to England to give a lecture series at Essex University. He was being introduced to the audience and moments before he was about to speak. He looked and noticed a young woman sitting in the front row.
What caught his attention was at the young woman had the most peculiar expression on her face, a look of fierce anguish, recalling a warning he had received that anti-Christian protesters might attempt to disrupt his lecture series. Give us pause to pray that God would bless the meeting and restrained Satan so that God's message would go forth with power then Dennis stepped to the lectern and proceeded to give his talk. The lecturer proceeded without interruption and was enthusiastically received after his talk. The young man. The young woman with the strange expression walked up to him. She was angry and Beth how did you do that, she demanded how to do what what sort of spell that you cast on me to keep me in my seat. She knew I been sent here by the witches scope and to protest your talk, didn't you, and you put some kind of spell on me to keep me silent. The only spell I used to get this reply gently was to pray in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.
A few weeks later I was Guinness was back in America. Christian lady asked him how his Essex lecture series had gone the reason I ask, she explained, is that at the same time you are about to begin your lecture in England. I was suddenly overcome by an impression of your standing on a platform and a woman seated in the audience.
I have a sense that a battle is going on between the two spiritual battle between the power of God and the power of Satan and I immediately went to my knees and prayed for you and for the woman in the audience you stepped into the Christian life. You didn't step onto a playground. You stepped into a battleground. We'll never leave it and it'll never get easier. Let's take this seriously, especially as we grow a new church.
Let's take this seriously. Space assuming that most of you have met the Lord. I would say to you here in this room and to those in overflow rooms. It's it's probable that a few of you have never come to Christ you been living in the if you will, in the lap of the evil one, and not even knowing it, not even knowing you been running his errands, carrying out his mission playing right into his hands.
He's had your mind and he's appealed to it in a number of different attractive ways, today's the day to stop it regardless of your age or church affiliation or or even lack of church involvement.
I offer you today, the victorious risen Christ as Savior and Lord. You're surrounded by believers in Christ and this is your moment to join ranks on the victory side where you will win in the end you will have power to get you to that place of ultimate victory. Simple prayer Lord, I know I'm a sinner and I know I'm lost and I need your son to become the God and guide of my life and I take him now. I believe he died for me and I place my trust in him alone, by faith alone today. Thank you for coming into my life, the Lord, I know the spiritual forces of wickedness worked against everybody's coming to this place today in 100 different ways. But they're here and they've heard.
I also know the enemy being being insidious as a years will try to convince us otherwise of what we've heard and hold us back from what we will hear next time about the armor. I pray that we will resist through the power of the Lord Jesus Christ and the blood of the cross all alluring temptations to hold us away from the truth and help us.
Our father in the growing of the church to be protected from enemy attacks and from the Col. reactions those who walk in the flesh. May we be people of God in heart and motive in action and in prayer.
Keep us on our knees, Lord, especially through this week for we ask it in the name of Christ are victorious Lord in his name alone, and all of his people said a personal message delivered to the congregation in Frisco, Texas where Chuck Swindoll serves as senior pastor. He titled his message standing firm against satanic schemes and this is insight for living. To learn more about this ministry. Visit us email@example.com right before we hear a personal illustration from Chuck like remind you that insight for living ministries has curated a wide variety of books and resources that are especially meaningful over the holidays. For instance, draw your attention to an illustrated keepsake called Crago's treasury of illustrated Bible stories.
Many times we remember the stereotypical depictions of Bible stories from our Sunday school days, but this book is designed to engage every member of the family in these historic events and to ignite imagination and curiosity is a collection of masterpiece paintings, each one paired with a favorite story to purchase the hardcover book called Kregel's treasury of illustrated Bible stories go to insight.org/store or call one of our friendly staff members if you're listening in the US dial 1-800-772-8888 a long time ago when our oldest children were still babies.
Cynthia and I were living in the Northeast Cynthia whose father had been violently dysfunctional or sinking into a pit of depression. She had seen one counselor after another. She had taken medications that doctors now know are in fact dangerous.
They didn't know that then everything we tried made things worse. We felt so alone behind our home was an hourly one night of Cynthia slept soundly and babies as well. I went out for a late night walk, all alone. I got about halfway down the dark alley and I just stopped. I looked up and cried out.
Help me Lord, I don't know what to do please help me I'm running out of hope. Have you ever been there. Are you there right now.
If 20/20 is not you to your knees, you understand better than most. So listen to my next words closely. God is in that long dark alley. He's not oblivious he's not absent. He cares, and best of all, he is working in that alley. I couldn't fathom how we were going to make it through the next week to say nothing of the next year. How could the Lord sit Cynthia free from such depression.
I had no idea I had no understanding that he would one day use her testimony to help others battling the same darkness many years ago insight for living ministries wasn't even a dream was even a blip on the on the screen. I had no idea the Lord would take my calling to preach and build a wonderful ministry under the leadership of my wonderful wife who pulled out of that depression beautifully. Having suffered through such dark days. She became a woman of strength grit with a heart set on reaching all the nations I had milk. We had no clue. But God did. Our God is the God of impossibilities believe that he's the one who brings light when everything around us is night when all hope is lost. He brings back hope Christmas demonstrates the truth so will because in that first Christmas. God sent his son as Emmanuelle. The word means, God with us. God is still with us in this year of loss and violence division and pandemic. God is with us in our own long dark alleys in 2020, God is still grieving his sovereign tapestry to accomplish his divine will. Don't overlook him. Whatever dark valley you're during Jesus is still Emmanuelle God is still sovereign.
He is able to carry out his plan. When we can't see it this Christmas, would you please join insight for living ministries and proclaiming the scalding reassurance worldwide. You can do so by sending your generous donation before December 31 would you do that your much-needed gift will bring the light to others who this very day, or stumbling through a dark alley of fear, disappointment, discouragement and depression they need to know as Moses said to the Israelites and their moments of terror. Do not be afraid to not panic for the Lord your God will personally go ahead of you. He will either fail you nor abandon you. I'm counting on you for your gift.
Thanks very much. And here's how to respond to Chuck Swindoll right now to give a donation today is call us if you're listening in the United States dial 1-800-772-8888 or give by going online to insight.org and then starting with the next program will be placing our study in Ephesians on hold order to begin a brand-new sequence of holiday messages will come back to our study in Ephesians after the new year and why you have a little extra time this weekend. We encourage you to set your alarm on Sunday morning to join us online, you're invited to take a front row seat in the worship center stone briar Community Church.
Thousands are taking advantage of this weekend worship experience only as they hear checks Bible teaching, but the majestic music as well. Find all the instructions it insight.org/Sundays. Join us again Monday as we begin a brand-new series designed right here on insight for living. The preceding message standing firm against satanic schemes was copyrighted in 2000 2001 and 2009 and the sound recording was copyrighted in 2009 by Charles R.
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