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TRADITION: To win over the enemies of your soul "You must (grit your teeth) and exercise additional will power and intestinal fortitude"
TRUTH: To win over the enemies of your soul you must allow God's power to be exercised by faith
In our past two newsletters we learned of God's plan for victory over the first two enemies of our soul, the world and the flesh. The last and most powerful of the three enemies is the author of all sin and wickedness the devil himself. Although he wields great power as "the god of this world", and can be transformed to appear as an "angel of light" and also commands a large company of vicious demons, we as born-again the Bible way Christians can have victory over him through our Lord Jesus Christ if we obey and follow the simple guidelines recorded in Scripture.
We must return to Paul's "Book for the Battle", the book of Ephesians. His summary and outline for the book is found in the commands of 6:10,11. The third of these commands gives us the ammunition we need for victory over the devil: "Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil". With this powerful enemy of our soul we must "stand against" him, "resist him steadfast in the faith" (I Peter 5:9), "resist the devil and he will flee from you" (James 4:7). All of these significant commands of Scripture are rooted in the same greek word meaning "to take a position in the battle, to oppose, to fight with a great struggle".
How do we oppose, resist, stand against, taking a position in the battle as we fight the devil? By first putting on the "whole armor (literally: all the weapons) of God"! How do we put on the whole armor of God? By putting on the Lord Jesus Christ who is described here in the specific pieces of armor. It is an action of simple childlike faith! Through faith we must have "our loins girt about with truth" our vital spiritual lives protected by Him who is Truth (John 14:6), the Lord Jesus Christ! Then we must have "on the breastplate of righteousness" the righteousness of the One who is our Righteousness (I Corinthians 1:30). Our spiritual feet must be "shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace" through Him who is our Peace (Ephesians 2:14). Taking the "shield of faith" the spiritual shield of faith is found in Him who is the Author and Finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:2). The spiritual "helmet of salvation", only through Jesus can we have salvation for "Neither is there salvation in any other, for there is none other name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved."(Acts 4:12)
In this next piece of armor lies the secret for the putting on of all that went before. The Sword of the Spirit is the very source of our faith, for "Faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word of God."(Romans 10:17) The powerful Sword of the Spirit is the source of our faith and through it, we gain all that is necessary to perform the supernatural fetes of faith in winning the battle with the forces of darkness! This all powerful, liberating Word must be consumed and digested through memorizing and meditation, engrafting it into our entire being! The Lord Jesus gave us the key for victory in the very beginning of His earthly ministry when He quoted Old Testament Scripture to the devil during His temptations. He did not quote it once nor twice but three times He defeated the devil with precise quotations from existing Scripture to provide us with the supreme example for victory over our most formidable foe! Apart from utilizing the living Word of God in our battle with Satan there is no guarantee of victory, but if we obey the repeated admonitions found in the Bible to literaly hide the Word of God in our hearts, we can have victory through the Living Word, our Lord Jesus Christ!
The final piece of armor mentioned is the method whereby we commune with the King and put all the other pieces of armor in position by faith! Prayer, without it we would be still in our sin! It was prayer that brought us to the foot of the Cross, it was prayer that gave us the ability to cry out to God in repentance as we laid hold upon salvation by faith in what Jesus did to pay the penalty for our sin as He bled and died for us upon the Cross! Yes, prayer, the humble utterance of faith brought us to salvation and now brings us to Him who alone can save and deliver us from the presence and power of this evil author of sin! "Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit".
If we are willing to follow God's specific formula for victory over each of the enemies of our soul we will by faith experience the peace of God that passes all understanding through Christ Jesus our Lord!