Spiritual Warfare-The Thought War
Ephesians 6:10-18 (NCV)
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his great power.
11 Put on the full armor of God so that you can fight against the devil’s evil tricks.
12 Our fight is not against people on earth but against the rulers and authorities and the powers of this world’s darkness, against the spiritual powers of evil in the heavenly world.
13 That is why you need to put on God’s full armor. Then on the day of evil you will be able to stand strong. And when you have finished the whole fight, you will still be standing.
14 So stand strong, with the belt of truth tied around your waist and the protection of right living on your chest.
15 On your feet wear the Good News of peace to help you stand strong.
16 And also use the shield of faith with which you can stop all the burning arrows of the Evil One.
17 Accept God’s salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
18 Pray in the Spirit at all times with all kinds of prayers, asking for everything you need. To do this you must always be ready and never give up. Always pray for all God’s people.
I. Winning Spiritual Warfare By Overcoming Temptation By Submitting And Resisting. James 4:6-10
James 4:6-10 (NCV)
6 But God gives us even more grace, as the Scripture says, “God is against the proud, but he gives grace to the humble.“
7 So give yourselves completely to God. Stand against the devil, and the devil will run from you.
8 Come near to God, and God will come near to you. You sinners, clean sin out of your lives. You who are trying to follow God and the world at the same time, make your thinking pure.
9 Be sad, cry, and weep! Change your laughter into crying and your joy into sadness.
10 Don’t be too proud in the Lord’s presence, and he will make you great.
It is becoming more evident by the violence in our world that we have looked at the physical side for solving the sin problem in the world. We know that Scripture tells us all have sinned, but what many people don’t understand is that the nature of any sin is addictive because of the pleasure it brings. The sad thing is that the pleasure of sin diminishes with every act of sin. The Apostle James gives us a very practical way to fight the “good fight of faith” as he gives a illustration in James chapter 2 as that true faith has for it’s identity “good works in the purpose of God”. The devil still employs his same game plan of temptation, deception, disobedience(sin) and death on a cross for the victim. If we war to overcome temptation and are successful, the devil will flee.
God’s instructions about how to overcome temptation work. Even if one has been enslaved by some sin for years, submitting to God and resisting the devil will cause the devil and temptation to flee. But note this: if a person has been enslaved by the sin—drugs, alcohol, illicit sex, smoking, pornography, overeating, whatever—the temptation will continue to attack him for days and perhaps weeks and months. But the believer must remember something: he is now in the army of God. He is now a soldier under the command of God. Therefore, every time the enemy attacks, the believer is to submit himself to God and His Word, and he is to resist the devil. He is to persevere and keep on persevering—to submit to God and resist the devil and to keep on submitting to God and resisting the devil—and he will discover a most wonderful thing. As time passes—days, weeks, or months—the devil and temptation will flee farther and farther away and attack fewer and fewer times. The believer will walk in more and more victory over the devil and his evil. The believer will never be completely without temptation, but he will walk through life more and more victoriously, triumphing more and more over all evil.
“Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: neither give place to the devil” (Ephes. 4:26-27).
“Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:7).
“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8).
“Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10).
“And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt” (Matthew 26:39).
“And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her” (Luke 1:38).
“Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God” (Romans 6:13).
“Teach me to do thy will; for thou art my God: thy spirit is good; lead me into the land of uprightness” (Psalm 143:10).
“Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand” (Ephes. 6:13).
“Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness” (2 Peter 3:17).
“My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not” (Proverbs 1:10).
“Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men” (Proverbs 4:14).