Dwight Fletcher | Defeating the enemies within - Part 2
This week, we wrap up our series on how to fight and win the war that is within us. We have been looking at how the things that we can't see affect some of the outcomes in our lives. Our enemy - Satan and his demons - can negatively impact our spirit, our soul and our body by preventing us from receiving Jesus' salvation or hindering our growth as Christians.
Jesus came to set us free from the power and punishment for our sin but many of us unwittingly choose captivity. We allow Satan to gain access to our lives in six primary ways:
1. Deliberate sin
This occurs when we know that an activity or thought is sinful, but we indulge in it anyway. Disobedience makes us vulnerable to Satan's attacks.
"If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins." Matthew 6:14-15 NLT. We are the ones who ultimately suffer for our decision to withhold forgiveness.
3. Inner vows
"Let your yes be YES. Let your no be NO. Anything more than this comes from the devil." Matthew 5:37 NLV. Inner vows are negative mental or vocal declarations about ourselves, such things as, "I am an idiot" or "I will never" We can recognise an inner voice when the thing that we say we hate, is the very thing happening in our lives.
4. Judgmental attitudes
"Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you." (Matthew 7:1-2 NIV). This passage is speaking about not being judgmental, which is when we decide other people's motives, their guilt or innocence, and what their punishment should be.
5. Generational curses
"...I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God ... I lay the sins of the parents upon their children; the entire family is affected -even children in the third and fourth generations of those who reject me." Exodus 20:5 NLT. Generational curses often manifest in tendencies in certain families toward particular addictions, sin patterns, or illnesses.
6. Spiritual and emotional trauma
Harsh words, broken promises or abuse can end up producing pain, anger and bitterness in our lives. They affect people in different ways such as your inability to form good relationships, resistance to authority figures or body pains.
The enemy will look to attack us from every direction that he can, but "For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil" 1 John 3:8 NKJV. So what do you do if you think Satan has gained access to your life?
God has given us spiritual weapons with which to fight:
1. The Truth -"...you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."( John 8:32 NLT). The truth destroys the lies the enemy tells us to keep us in bondage.
2. The Name of Jesus - The disciples told Jesus, "Even the demons submit to us in your name."( Luke 10:17 NIV).
3. The Blood of Christ - This is more than just a symbol of the suffering of Jesus on the cross. The truth is, "They triumphed over him (Satan) by the blood of the Lamb" (Revelation 12:11 NIV)
4. Praise - "Through the praise of children and infants you have established a stronghold against your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger." (Psalm 8:2 NIV). Praise glorifies God; encourages you, and makes the enemy flee.
5. Declaring the Word - In Matthew 4:4 when Jesus was confronted by the devil, He countered with the Word of God. In the Word of God, we can always find a verse to silence the enemy's lies.
As James says: "Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and He will come near to you." (James 4:7-8a NIV).
This war has already been won for you! Are you going to continue choosing captivity or freedom in Christ Jesus?
- Dwight Fletcher is pastor of the Transformed Life Church. Send feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org