Standing your ground against the enemy

A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. Ephesians 6:10-13

From the text, the Apostle Paul used the analogy of a soldier describing how Christians should prepare themselves when they are facing a battle. It is important that every soldier knows and can identify the enemy. The same is true of every believer. Each day of your life while here on earth, you will be constantly engaged in a spiritual battle. As Paul described the enemy, you “are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.” You could easily be disarmed or defenseless when you are not aware of the enemy’s tactics. Throughout the life of Paul, he was continually under attack by the enemy. The purpose is to beat him up to the point of death. They were not just intending to harm his ministry of sharing the gospel (see Acts 9:23; Philippians 1:17; 1 Timothy 1:15-20; 2 Timothy 4:14) but to totally stop him. At one point, because of the intensity of the persecutions he was facing, he even desired to be with the Lord. “But I am hard-pressed from both directions, having the desire to depart and be with Christ, for that is very much better; yet to remain on in the flesh is more necessary for your sake” (Philippians 1:23-24). He did not lose sight of the nature of his struggles. Those who oppose him were instruments of the spiritual darkness. When you are attacked because of your faith, do not let yourself be overcome with anger, although this is the natural response when provoked. But if you give in to such emotion, you might miss a deeper spiritual dimension that God wants you to be aware of. God might use the occasion so you could intercede for the person attacking your faith. Through your patience and love, God could soften the hardened heart that the person attacking your faith could be freed from the bondage of sin. This is what happened to Paul when he was not a believer yet. God took hold of him and changed him. “This is a trustworthy saying, and everyone should accept it: “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners”—and I am the worst of them all. But God had mercy on me so that Christ Jesus could use me as a prime example of his great patience with even the worst sinners. Then others will realize that they, too, can believe in him and receive eternal life” (1 Timothy 1:15-16). Be aware of the enemy but at the same time be reminded that there is greater power within you. “But you belong to God, my dear children. You have already won a victory over those people, because the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world” (1 John 4:4). Always place your trust to the One who made it possible through His death on the cross the defeat of the enemy.

Blessings,

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SANTA MONICA:

1430 Centinela Ave.

Los Angeles, CA 90025

 

Every Sunday:

Small Groups & Discipleship:

   10:00 AM - 10:50 AM

WORSHIP CELEBRATION:

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(Lunch Fellowship follows after the Service)

 

 

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Study in the Book of 2 Thessalonians

Meets at Room 1, 2nd floor @

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Facilitated by Pastor Noel

FRIDAYS: 8:00 - 10:00 PM

Topical Bible Study

Meets at the Novales' in Hollywood

Facilitated by Lito Salazar 

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By Westside Baptist Church