Dwight Fletcher | This Means War - Part 2
In any war, a tactic of the enemy is to destroy fortified locations to gain control of an area. These would be like forts controlled by soldiers in an opposing army. Similarly, the goal of the devil - the enemy of our soul - is to destroy you and discredit Jesus Christ.
Last week, we established the fact that we are all engaged in a spiritual war. Satan wants nothing more than to destroy our faith, take away our credibility, and lead us into sin. He attempted to do it with Jesus, but Jesus lived His life in a way that neutralised Satan's power. You can do that too.
The devil could not destroy Jesus' witness of God, limit His power, kill His joy or deny His destiny. Jesus accomplished what He came to earth for and is now seated at God's right hand. As Jesus said: "The evil prince of this world approaches. He has no power over me, but I will freely do what the Father requires of me." (John 14:30a-31b TLB)
So, what is the strategy to make the devil powerless over you?
The answer is to live like Jesus. He did not allow sin in His life, so, as Christians, our aim is to live a sinless life; but, if we sin, we are to keep short accounts. "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness."
(1 John 1:9 - NIV).
If you are not a Christian, Isaiah states that "your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear". (Isaiah 59:2 - NIV).
But choosing to confess and turn away from your sins to believe in Christ Jesus as Lord and Saviour allows you to tap into the true source of power and live like Jesus did.
The Bible tells us, "Be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. Put on all of God's armour so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil." (Ephesians 6:10-11 - NLT). Further down in verses 13-17, Paul explains what is the spiritual armour.
In short, the amour is Jesus.
- The 'belt of truth' is Jesus who said: "I am the way, the truth and the life..." (John 14:6 - NIV)
- The 'breastplate of righteousness' is Jesus: "...Righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe." (Romans 3:22 - NIV)
- The 'sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God is also Jesus: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." (John 1:1 - NIV)
Once our sin is forgiven, the devil's power is broken by Jesus. But the devil continues to hurl lies, insults, and condemnation at us. If we allow him to win, he will destroy our witness of Christ, limit our power to be who Christ called us to be, kill our joy, and deny our destiny. But we do not fight for victory; we fight from victory, once we believe in Jesus Christ. We need to change our mindset and take on the attitude of victors.
STOP LISTENING TO THE WRONG VOICES
Don't listen to the voice of compromise. It says, "Everybody else is doing it." Listen, instead, to the Lord's voice of conquest, "Little children, you are of God [you belong to Him] and have [already] defeated and overcome them [the agents of the antichrist], because He who lives in you is greater (mightier) than he who is in the world." (1 John 4:4 - AMP).
Don't listen to the voice of complacency. It says, "Why bother? It's too hard." Instead, have an attitude of determination. "I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me." (Galatians 2:20 - NIV).
Don't listen to the voice of defeat. It says, "You will never win. The devil is too strong." But the voice of victory assures you that it is already done. "For every child of God defeats this evil world, and we achieve this victory through our faith. And who can win this battle against the world? Only those who believe that Jesus is the Son of God." (1 John 5:4-5 - NLT)
Jesus Christ has already defeated the devil. "He cancelled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross. In this way, He disarmed the spiritual rulers and authorities. He shamed them publicly by his victory over them on the cross." (Colossians 2:14-15 - NLT)
So, don't be afraid of war! Fight from the place of victory!