Precious Remedies Against Satan’s Devices


  1. By presenting the bait and hiding the hook [4 remedies]
  2. By painting sin with virtue’s colors [4remedies]
  3. By the extenuating and lessening of sin [7 remedies]
  4. By showing to the soul the best men’s sins and by hiding from the soul their virtues, their sorrows, and their repentance [3 remedies]
  5. By presenting God to the soul as One made up all of mercy [5 remedies]
  6. By persuading the soul that repentance is easy and that therefore the soul need not scruple about sinning [6 remedies]
  7. By making the soul bold to venture upon the occasions of sin [2 remedies]
  8. By representing to the soul the outward mercies enjoyed by men walking in sin, and their freedom from outward miseries [8 remedies]
  9. By presenting to the soul the crosses, losses, sorrows and sufferings that daily attend those who walk in the ways of holiness [7 remedies]
  10. By causing saints to compare themselves and their ways with those reputed to be worse than themselves [3 remedies]
  11. By polluting the souls and judgments of men with dangerous errors that lead to looseness and wickedness [7 remedies]
  12. By leading men to choose wicked company [4 remedies]


  1. By presenting the world in such a garb as to ensnare the soul [7 remedies]
  2. By presenting to the soul the dangers, losses and sufferings that accompany the performance of certain religious duties [5 remedies]
  3. By presenting to the soul the difficulty of performing religious duties [5 remedies]
  4. By causing saints to draw false inferences from the blessed and glorious things that Christ has done [5 remedies]
  5. By presenting to view the fewness and poverty of those who hold to religious practices [6 remedies]
  6. By showing saints that the majority of men make light of God’s ways and walk in the ways of their own hearts [3 remedies]
  7. By casting in vain thoughts while the soul is seeking God or waiting on God [7 remedies]
  8. By tempting Christians to rest in their performances [4 remedies]


  1. By causing saints to remember their sins more than their Savior, yes, even to forget and neglect their Savior [6 remedies]
  2. By causing saints to make false definitions of their graces [4 remedies]
  3. By causing saints to make false inferences from the cross actings of Providence [4 remedies]
  4. By suggesting to saints that their graces are not true, but counterfeit [2 remedies]
  5. By suggesting to saints that the conflict that is in them is found also in hypocrites and profane souls [6 remedies]
  6. By suggesting to the saint who has lost joy and comfort that his state is not good [5 remedies]
  7. By reminding the saint of his frequent relapses into sin formerly repented of and prayed against [6 remedies]
  8. By persuading saints that their state is not good nor their graces sound [3 remedies]


  1. By causing them to seek greatness, position, riches and security [6 remedies]
  2. By causing them to act against the people of the Most High [5 remedies]


By moving them to pride themselves on their parts and abilities, and to despise men of greater grace but inferior abilities [4 remedies]


By dividing them and causing them to ‘bite and devour one another.’ [12 remedies]


By causing them to affect ignorance and to neglect and despise the means of knowledge [4 remedies]


By suggesting to men the greatness and vileness of their sins [8 Remedies]
  2. By suggesting to sinners their unworthiness [4 Remedies]
  3. By suggesting to sinners their want of certain preparations and qualifications [3 Remedies]
  4. By suggesting to sinners that Christ Is unwilling to save them [6 Remedies]
  5. By causing sinners to give more attention to the secret decrees and counsels of God than to their own duty [2 Remedies]

Adapted from Precious Remedies Against Satan’s Devices by Thomas Brooks. [download PDF] It’s time to read a classic book. There is nothing like an old Puritan book from the 1600’s!.

thumb licks [12.3.11]

Beholding the beauty of Christ in Wal-Mart

What Tim Tebow can’t do? Some want to make him super man, but he’s not.

The Devil’s playbook. And how he aims to defeat you.

Lessons for the church from Joe Paterno. Listen up young and old.

How to be better prepared for your next major presentation.

Are you mature? Mature believers possess these 5 indicators.

Man enough to love a real woman. Great post for daters or want-to-be daters.

God with us. Such a great promise from God.

the spiritual war and your enemy

The past few weeks we have been discussing matters of the heart. Your heart is the control center of your being. Your heart defines who you are and what you do. We have already discussed two specific factors that can distract your heart from what God desires to define you heart. First, the world, an external factor that seeks to distract your heart. Second, worldliness [i.e. flesh], an internal factor that seeks to distract your heart. Today, we will look at final factor, supernatural forces of evil [Devil & demons] a spiritual factor that seeks to distract your heart from following after Christ wholeheartedly.

Spiritual warfare is the real deal [Ephesians 6:10-20]

From the beginning to the end of Jesus’ ministry he warned, overturned, taught, and fought against spiritual foes. Much of Jesus’ ministry portrayed power encounters, exorcisms, and exposes a real supernatural warfare in this world.[1] Since, spiritual warfare is real, how do we deal with it?

Paul wraps up his letter to Ephesians with a battle cry similar to that Joshua, “be strong in the Lord and the power of His might.” Right out of the box, preparation for this battle against spiritual warfare is exclaimed, “put on the whole armor of God.” There is an air of readiness for believers to put on the whole armor of God because spiritual warfare is eminent. Here are 5 truths about spiritual warfare from Ephesians 6:10-20:

#1 You are at war [6:10-11]. Believe it or not, and most do not realize it or try to ignore it, you are at war. From the moment you are born to the moment you die you are in the midst of a heated battle. It is the clash of the kingdom’s—the kingdom of light versus the kingdom of darkness. This world is not a playground; it’s a battlefield. This world and your heart is the battle zone. Are you ready for this spiritual warfare?

#2 You are at war with evil supernatural powers [6:11-12]. “For we are not contending against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” Paul would agree that your flesh and blood is evil, but we see in this text that the conflict is also fought against supernatural, demonic forces.

#3 You are charged to stand [6:11-14]. Three times in this passage Paul tells believers to stand so you do not fall [vs.11, 13-14]. These powerful forces cannot be faced in the power of your own might. If you stand alone, you will fail.

#4 You are able to stand by the provisions made by God [6:14-17]. “be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might.” It is nothing about what strength you have, but everything about the strength of your God [cf. victory in Christ, 1:20-23]. The provision of God is the armor. The armor must be “put on,” for the spiritual armor is an external counterpart to Paul’s emphasis on inward growth and the edification of the church [cf. 4:12, 16].

#5 You are charged to be prayerful and watchful [6:18-20]. Prayer is not a weapon of warfare, but a sounding horn to God for continual preparation in the battle and communion with Him through the battle.

This text is clear, spiritual warfare is real and ferocious. Paul gives a clarifying call to believers in the church to stand firm against the supernatural powers seeking to destroy their unity and reputation in Christ as ambassadors of the gospel of Christ. Spiritual warfare is the real deal, but what about the enemy?

Know your enemy

Throughout history, military strategists have noted the effectiveness in winning battles is to know your enemy. As Victor Hugo said, “A good general must penetrate the brain of his enemy.” As followers of Christ, you have an enemy that is well document. You have dirt on how you can win the war against him. He is not invisible and impenetrable.

First, Satan is limited. He cannot do anything he wants anytime he wants. God limits Satan because he created Satan [Genesis 3:1]. God has Satan on a short leash [Revelation 12:12]. He cannot do anything without God permitting him. Satan knows humans are limited too. God limited Satan’s ability to touch Job when tempting him [1:12]. His limitation is a tactic he uses to deceive your hearts too. He knows your limited, “You can’t win. You can’t fight. Give up!” That is a lie from the pit of hell.

Second, Satan is not like God. Satan cannot know your thoughts. He does not have the power to force you to do anything. He cannot even be everywhere at once. He gets far more credit that he deserves. He has lots of help from his fallen minions, the fallen world, and your wickedly deceived heart. He is not capable in power, wisdom and presence like God. He can’t do what God can do. Only God can do what God can do. No one is like God.

Third, Satan is the defeated enemy. Have you read the end of the Book—the Bible? God will deal with Satan [Revelation 20]. God will throw him into the lake of fire for all eternity. Satan does not win. He ultimately loses. The cross of Christ crushed Satan’s hope for victory [Colossians 2:15]. Jesus defeats the devil through His death and resurrection. Although he is defeated he is not going out quietly. He is on a rampage to inflict as much chaos and catastrophe in the world and your life as possible before his end.

Your enemy’s strategy is to destroy you

During America’s Civil war General Ulysses S. Grant’s men were impressed—even scared of—southern commander, General Robert E. Lee’s brilliant war strategies. One northern sergeant said, “You never quite know how he is going to move. Wish we had ‘im on our side.” Now Robert E. Lee is not the devil [you can still get shot is some places for making a statement like that], but my point is, the strategies of the enemy often inflict fear in those on the defense.

Don’t underestimate Satan’s power [1 Corinthians 10:12]. He is strong, sly, and stealthy. He has ruined many lives. In Jesus’ words, he tries “to steal, and to kill, and to destroy.” [John 10:10; cf. 1 Peter 5:8] Satan’s sole purpose is to bring you down, to take you out, and inflict you with so much fear that you have no other hope than to escape this life.

Have you ever known someone paralyzed by fear? They tell you how powerful and cleaver the devil is [Ephesians 2:2], and how scared to death they are of his strategies. They give up to his tactics in defeat. They give glory to his strength, rather than giving it to God who is infinitely mightier and more powerful.

What your enemy doesn’t want you to know [1 John 4:1-6]

Do not be intimidated by the devil. Do not give him any ground [Ephesians 4:27]. Keep short accounts with sin. You have resources in Christ to effectively counter his attacks. Believe it or not, Satan believes Jesus [Matthew 4:3]. He fears Jesus [James 2:19] because he knows Jesus will judge him. The devil does not want you to know he is out matched by the power of Christ. He does not want you to know he has been conquered and constrained through the death and resurrection of Christ [1 John 3:8]. In Christ, you have victory, authority, protection, power, and position.

Any voice, word, or idea that violates Scripture or is constantly demeaning to you [i.e. you’re fat, you’re stupid, you can’t change, God can’t help you, you should take you life, etc.], it is not of the Holy Spirit and must be ignored. Test the spirits with the Word of God [1 John 4:1]. Call on the power of God with offensive prayer. Let God fight for you. He will protect because He is the Savior and Sovereign King. He sends His heavenly angels to guard His people [Psalm 34:7; Hebrews 1:13-14]. He gives strength in Christ to stand against and resist the devil [Ephesians 6:10; James 4:7-10; 1 Peter 5:6-9]. You are safe with Christ. Stay close to Him, “The Lord is faithful. He will strengthen and protect you from the evil one.”

Recommended Resources on Spiritual Warfare:

[1] Matthew 4:1-12, 22-23; Luke 8:26-29; 10:17-20; 13:10-17; Acts 5:1-5; 19:13-20; Romans 8:31-39; 2 Corinthians 10:3-5, 11:1-4, 13-15; Ephesians 2:6; 6:10-17; James 4:7-10; 1 Peter 5:6-9; Jude 8-9; Revelation 12:10-11

lead me not into temptation

Computer viruses are almost like human viruses. Computer viruses have memories, can be caught anytime or anywhere, they can even be lethal to your computers health by sabotaging your files, programs, security system, and causing your hard drive to crash. Computer viruses have cause a lot of damage, cost lot’s money, and caused a lot of frustration from lost information [Solution = Buy a Mac. I just had to throw that in there!].

Temptations are a lot like computer viruses. As followers of Christ, you have incredible foolproof anti-virus software. 1 Corinthians 10:13 says, ”No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and He will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation He will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.” Before we look at how to handle temptations, let’s look at the sources of our temptations.

What is the Source of My Temptation?

The Tempter. Satan in the Scripture is called, the tempter [Matthew 4:3; 1 Thessalonians 3:5]. He is sneaky and sly little serpent. He is like a computer hacker that seeks to cause havoc in your life. He knows when your security system is the weakest. He doesn’t know your wiring quite like God because he is not omniscient. However, he has been around humans for a long time. Therefore, he knows your heart tendencies.[1]

People tend to give into Satan’s lucrative temptations. It is too easy to blame your sin on the serpent. Therefore, when people sin, you will often hear the excuse, “The devil made me do it.” Does the devil really make you do it? Does that devil really cause you to sin? No, you decide to sin. You do not have to choose to sin no matter how enticing it is. “Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” [James 4:7]

The Heart. The Bible describes the heart as your inner man—the real you—where your beliefs affect your behavior. Your heart is your control center. The Bible says there is something seriously wrong with your heart. Your control center has a glitch in its main frame, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” [Jeremiah 17:9] Your heart is sick and contaminated with a spiritual virus inherited from birth by your first parents in the Garden of Eden.

The World. Your world is warped by sin and temptation. Love for the world begins in the heart. The Bible warns, “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in Him.” [1 John 2:15] Worldliness is exalting yourself and excluding God, for the next verse says, “For all that is in the world—the lust of his flesh, the lust of his eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world.” [1 John 2:16].

The world knows you crave love and affection, fame and fortune, comfort and peace. The world makes it so appetizing you got to have it. And the devil is the world’s best promoter and commercial advertiser because he is the “god of this world.” [2 Corinthians 4:4]. He has corrupted the system by placing a lie in your mind that you are the center of the universe and God is subservient to all your wants and wishes. James 4:4 says contrary, “Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself and enemy of God.”

Do you believe Common Lies Concerning your Sin and Temptations?

It is common to believe lies about the temptations you face. 1 Corinthians 10:13, clears up many lies you will have about daily temptations you come across.

LIE #1: “No one else is going through what I’m going through.” Whatever temptation you face is not unique to you. Someone in human history has faced it too. Your temptation is not a “special case.” Satan would love to convince you that it is special so that you do not seek help because no one will understand. Although, a member of your church might not have walked in the shoes of your temptations more than likely they have walked through similar temptations since “no temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man.” Seek accountability through temptation for a single string by itself is weak, but strings woven together into a cord are strong [1 Corinthians 12].

LIE #2: “God must not care about me, since He caused this temptation.” God is never the cause of temptation [James 1:13-14]. God does not tempt because He is not evil. He allows temptation [Job 1-2] within certain parameters. The Bible is clear; you are tempted by your own desires [James 1]. On the flip side, “God is faithful.” He will help you through temptations, giving you the strength to overcome, and restoring those who fall seeking Him for repentance. Sinners are never beyond God’s ability to restore.

LIE #3: “My temptations are too strong for me to resist.” Temptations do become stronger the more you give in. However, you will never have a temptation too strong you can’t get out because God “will not let you be tempted beyond your ability.” This is a precious promise from God.

Often we interpret this verse to have reference to temptations that test our limits to the extreme. We make the verse say something that is not really there. We use it to create an illustration that the war against Satan and temptation is no problem at all. God, will not cause us to go up against something that we are not eminently qualified to face. And when life throws things at us that are overwhelming, we wonder why our experience doesn’t match our understanding of this verse. It is easy to lose heart. Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against powers and forces of darkness [Ephesians 6:12]. He allows us to go up against these enemies, and gives us the resources to engage them and endure through the struggle [Ephesians 6:14-18].

LIE #4: “There is no way out, therefore, I must give in.” God always gives you an escape hatch, “with the temptation He will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.” If you do not know a way out, pray. As Jesus taught you to pray, “Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” [Matthew 6:13; cf. John 14:14; James 4:2] Often our only escape is to endure through it [cf. James 1:12; 1 Corinthians 6:7]. As A.B. Simpson wrote,

“Temptation exercises our faith and teaches us to pray. It is like a military drill and a taste of battle for a young soldier. It puts us under fire and compels us to exercise our weapons and prove their potency. It shows us the recourse of Christ and preciousness of the promises of God. Every victory gives us new confidence in our victorious leader and new courage for the next onslaught of the foe.”[2]

How Can I Overcome Sin, Temptation, and a Wicked Heart?

First, read, know, and rehearse the Word of God. When Jesus was in the wilderness being tempted by Satan, the devil undermined God’s Word, twisting it, and mixing enough truth to make it sound so tasty [Matthew 4:1-11]. Satan is crafty and cleaver with his use of Scripture. Be ready for the devil by reading the Word of God regularly and daily. Don’t just read it, know it, and memorize it. Filling your memory with God’s Word can help you detect tempting viruses. This is why David wrote, “Your Word I have hidden in my heart that I might not sin against You.” [Psalm 119:11] The Word of God is the sword of the Spirit [Ephesians 6:17]. It is a defensive weapon against the wiles of the devil. Wield it. Train to use it well [1 John 2:5]. Be ready to whip it out for action.

Second, run from sin, Satan, and temptation. There is no sense in sticking around to see if you are strong enough to fight sin on your own. You will lose. Guaranteed. Therefore, run like hell or else hell will have a handle on you. If you hop in a canoe and begin paddling down the Niagara River you will soon find the current moving faster and faster. It is easier to pull out far upstream than just before the falls. There comes a point of no return when you will not have strength in yourself to turn back and fight the current. It is best to not even get into the boat or go near the river. Run.[3]

Third, love your Lord Jesus Christ. When you love Jesus, things of this world and desires of your heart seem shallow compared to the depths of Christ’s riches. Think about the cross of Christ and His love for sinners [1 John 3:16]. James 1:12 says, “Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for he has been proved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.”

In conclusion, temptation is something every human faces. Temptation in and of itself is not sin, but it is the first stage towards sinning. Temptation comes at you like blazing arrows at from Satan, the world, and your wicked heart. Your only vaccination to combat the constant nagging attacks of temptation is using the Word of God and loving Jesus Christ. Jesus was tempted, but did not sin [Hebrews 4:15-16]. Therefore, He knows the full weight of temptation because He did not give into it.

Is there hope for me if I have given into temptation and sinned? Yes. Restoration through Christ is possible. You never can go to far from God not to be made right through Christ. Repent of your sin and restore your need of Christ for the strength to endure through temptation. Live victorious because Christ is your sin conquering King. He has crushed your foes upon the cross.

For further reading check out John Owen’s work, Overcoming Sin and Temptation.

[1] 10 Temptation Truths: 1. Satan is a real Enemy; 2. Satan will H.I.T. you (Hungry, Isolated, or Tired); 3. Jesus is your victorious Warrior-King; 4. The Holy Spirit is your power; 5. Biblical truth is your counterpunch; 6. Christ is your identity; 7. Escape is always possible; 8. Satan eventually taps out; 9. Repent whenever you tap out and fight another round; and 10. Life is a battle with many rounds.

[2] A.B. Simpson, Christ and the Bible: The Epistle of James. Christian Publications, Harrisburg, PA. 1886. 9.

believing a lie from the wrong voice

The Garden of Eden was a place of beauty; a place untainted by sin and its crippling, polluting, heartbreaking effects; a place where they could hear and communicate with the voice of God; a place of intimacy with man and of intimacy with almighty God. Everything God created He says is “good.” Adam and Eve’s world was a paradise.

One rule. All Adam and Eve had in the Garden was one rule, “You must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will certainly die.” [Genesis 2:17] Like a kid left alone with a cookie jar, our first parents started the first rebel-ution against their Heavenly Father.

If Genesis 1–2 was paradise, then Genesis 3 is paradise lost. Through one foolish and rebellious rule breaking act—eating the fruit God had forbidden—Adam and Eve lost their innocence, dignity, home, and relationship with God, “through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned.” [Romans 5:12] How did the Fall of Mankind happen?

The voice of God is the only voice Adam and Eve have know, however, a strange voice enters the Garden. The voice comes from a serpent. The serpent is defined later in Scripture as the “one of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world” [Revelation 12:9]. He is a voice filled with lies. Jesus calls him the “the father of lies” [John 8:44]. Satan is sneaky and his first recorded words are deceitful and crafty [3:1]. Satan is no less crafty and deceitful today. How does he deceive with craftiness?

Satan seeks to confuse. His question for Eve was, “Did God actually say?” [3:1]. In other words, “Are you sure that’s what God said?” Eve heard God’s command loud and clear, but the serpent planted doubts in her head. He tries to confuse you too, “Maybe that verse doesn’t really mean what it looks it means. Maybe God doesn’t mean for you to take that literally. Maybe…Maybe…Maybe…” Satan’s strategy is to make you doubt the clear teachings of the Bible.

Satan twists God’s words. Satan puts words in God’s mouth, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?” Nope. God did not say that! God told Adam and Eve they could eat from any tree of the garden—except the one [2:16–17]. Satan makes God look like a bully. Satan will says things like, “God won’t care if you take just one look. It won’t hurt anyone.” Or, “If it’s fun, why would it be bad?” Remember, God is good and Satan twists.

Satan comforts your conscience despite the consequences. He tries to ease the idea of actual consequences, “You will not surely die!” [3:4]. It is as if Satan is saying, “God’s not going to kill you over a small bite. Eating that apple is not a big deal. Go ahead. You know he will forgive and forget.” He is essentially saying God is a liar, but Jesus says that Satan is the liar [John 8:44]. This is where man needs to make a choice—believe God or not? God speaks the truth, “the wages of sin is death” [Rom. 6:23].

Satan speaks enough truth to make sin sound tasty. There is enough truth in Satan’s statement, “God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” [3:5]. Satan is making sin sound so freeing. Satan promised Adam and Eve freedom, instead they received guilt [3:7]. Sin’s promises are like a mirage that never appears. They were fooled into thinking they would be like God, instead they found themselves hiding from God [3:8–10]. Satan fell to pride and he knows mankind is just as foolish. Today, we view pride as a virtue and submission to authority as a weakness. The world says, “Do want you want. Do what makes you feel good. Go for it. Live you best life now. Be proud of yourself. Have more self-esteem.” All the while Satan has you heart bait-and-switched on yourself.

It is important to note that God created the smart-mouthed serpent, Satan. What you do not hear in Genesis, but is explained later in the Scripture is that Satan and 1/3 of all the angels of heaven who sided their allegiance with Satan’s ego-trip rebellion against God were cast out of heaven. Satan is not co-equal with God, over God, or in some cosmic battle of good and evil with God. God has no match; He has no equal, nor is there anyone like Him. God has Satan on a tight leash and Satan knows it. Satan, like mankind is a created being and is dependent upon God like all for God’s creation, however he has been around a while and knows the sinful ways of man, which makes him very smart and more experienced in the ways of sin than you. Be careful what voice you listen to. Make sure the voice matches the character of God.

are you ready for warfare?

Do you go out with your armor on? There are many careers that wear armor, but none more common than the armed forces. It is not uncommon to see a soldier dressed in battle gear on the news. In Jesus day it was not uncommon to see a Roman soldier or centurion. Paul uses this as an illustration to teach followers of Christ a valuable spiritual truth.[1]

You are at War [Ephesians 6:10-12]

Paul makes it clear. Christians are living in a war zone. Here is how your spiritual war is described: First, the war is intensely ferocious [v.12]. It is intensely ferocious because your enemy has one purpose in mind—to destroy your heart and distract you from following God. Your enemy might seem like a friendly foe that offers opulent peace treaties and enticing bribes. He is no friend; he is a ferocious foe in camouflage seeking to ransack your heart with baits and traps.

The spiritual war in which you are engaged is against the “principalities, powers and rulers of darkness.” [v.12] These evil rulers are lead by sergeant Satan the sly strategist and his band of menacing minions. Satan is so sly that he uses your strengths against you. Just as he tempted Jesus in the wilderness he can even distort the Word of God to get his way with you [cf. John 4]. Evil is a Weapon of Mass Destruction and the enemy is as nasty as an Al-Qaeda terrorist. The spiritual war is staged on the battlefield of “heavenly places.” It is waged in a spiritual realm in your midst, but unseen to your naked eye.

This is not the kind of war where you lob grenades, shoot semi-automatic guns, send computer-guided missiles, or have sea and air arsenals. This battle is fought as a wrestling match [i.e. hand-to-hand combat or guerrilla warfare]. Wave after wave of evil savages struggle against you in a continual onslaught seeking to sidetrack and devastate you spiritually. They do not take prisoners of war; instead they look to execute their captives.

Second, the enemy is scheming to take you down hard and fast [v.11]. Satan is not the red-horned, tail-wagging, pitchfork-carrying goofball you commonly see depicted in modern cartoons. He is dark, but is referred to as the Angel of Light. He is incredibly beautiful and intelligent, but is known for being a deceiver and father of lies. He is cunning, tricky, deceptive, and like a predator waiting to devour you like a juicy prey.

What kind of schemes does Satan slyly strategize against you? [cf. 4:22-29] Satan’s weapons of trade are taking little things and making them look big and taking big things and making them look little. He gets you to carry tomorrow and yesterday around today. He makes sin look fun, refreshing, and freeing, but in reality it is guilt-ridden, old as dirt, and bondage. Most importantly he gets you to live contrary to the Word of God and the cause of Christ.

Third, the only way you can win this war is with God’s power [v.10]. “Be strong in the Lord,” is like a war charge towards the troops. This phrase did not originate here, but in the OT.[2] God used this charge towards His nation and its commanders reminding them He will fight right along side them even go before them [cf. 5:8, 11]. Often God fights for His people who are against insurmountable odds. God is a warrior and spiritual warfare champion, which is a source of courage and comfort in the heat of an intensely ferocious war.

Arm Yourself for Battle [Ephesians 6:13-17]

Soldiers of Christ are charged to stand. [vs.11-14] Three times in this passage Paul tells you to stand so you do not fall [vs.11, 13-14]. The enemy—Satan and his cronies—are powerful forces that cannot be faced alone in the power of your own might. Armor might seem clunky, bulky and difficult to wear. However, if you were in danger you would not think twice about putting on thick armor. God has supplied you with a complete storage shed of weapons to wield for this war:

Weapon Physical Purpose Spiritual Purpose
Belt of Truth Keeps your armor up. Keeps arms and feet useful for action. Be prepared. Protection against hypocrisy and false gospels (1:13; 4:15, 21, 24, 25; 5:9; cf. Luke 12:35-37)
Breast of Righteousness Protects your heart and vital organs Protection against condemnation (4:24; 5:9)

Shoes of Readiness

Helps you to run well and stand strong. Durable for long distances. Firm footing. Protection against fear. Bearing the message of the gospel of peace (1:2; esp. 2:14–18; 4:3; cf. 6:23; Romans 3:21-26).

Shield of Faith

Protects you from a variety of attacks. Dodging and distinguish fiery arrows. (Genesis 15:1; Psalm 5:12; 18:2, 30, 35; 28:7; Proverbs 30:5; 1 Peter 5:8-9) Protection against dangerous temptation: doubt, disobedience, discouragement, and despair (1:1, 13, 15, 19; 2:8; 3:12, 17; 4:5, 13; Romans 10:15)
Helmet of Salvation Protects your head and your precious noggin Promise of ultimate victory (1:13; 2:5, 8; 5:23)
Sword of the Spirit

[Only offensive weapon mentioned]

Offensive weapon to wound and kill enemy. (Revelation 19:15) Battle is won with the Word of God. Truth defeats deception (1:13; 5:26; cf. Hebrews 4:12-13).

The Bible describes you as a soldier and you are called to wear special armor. You are in a spiritual battle. It is a fight for your life. Armor is not an option it is required to even have a chance to face your foe. Why must I take my armor seriously? You are able to withstand the intense battle and stand firm under immense pressure because you have God’s armor. Only He is able to keep you from falling, therefore, stand tall [cf. 1:20-23]. Each of the pieces of armor is a call to arms that deal with the character of God within you. The armor must be “put on.” Therefore, spiritual warfare is an external counterpart to Paul’s emphasis on inward growth and the edification of the church [cf. 4:12, 16].

Don’t Forget to Watch and Pray [Ephesians 6:18]

Be on guard. One of your greatest weapons is prayer. In the midst of the battle you can call on your commander-in-chief without using the red-phone. God is a unique commander. He is not oblivious to your warfare, He is right there with you. Therefore, when you pray to God you are not surprising God with your needs or trying to change God’s mind; rather you are acknowledging His presence and asking how He wants to change you through the battle.

How should you pray? Be committed to a lifestyle of persistent prayer in the Spirit. This brings your prayers in line with God’s will; making prayer about God’s agendas not yours. If you want to know how to pray look at Jesus [cf. Matthew 6:9-13] who praises God’s greatness and glory [v.9], agrees with His will [v.1], and acknowledges dependence upon God for daily survival [vs.11-13]. Prayer is powerful weapon because it is direct communication with the battles Conqueror and King.

Ground Yourself in the Gospel [Ephesians 6:19-20]

Why is the gospel such a big deal? Why can’t you win the spiritual war without being grounded in the gospel? The gospel is where you choose sides. The gospel chooses the winning side of the battle. In the gospel, Christ defeats death, sin, and the powers of evil, partnering you with the power of Christ to be able to fight against your foes.[3]

How can I ground myself in the gospel? First, pray for opportunities for the gospel [v.19a]. Second, proclaim the gospel [v.19b].[4] Rather than proclaiming your personalities, talents, influence, and spiritual affluence, proclaim Christ. Don’t get hung up on side issues like: politics, culture, end times, or Christian patriotism. Each of these issues is not wrong to discuss, but they can be distractions derailing you from getting to the Gospel. Stick with the gospel; it’s the power of God unto salvation.

Third, proclaim the gospel with boldness and without excuse [vs.19c-20]. You are an ambassador of the King of kings and Commander-in-chief of the armies of heaven. Speak as His representative with boldness, eagerness and unashamed passion making known the mystery of the gospel [Romans 1:16]. Remember the cross of Christ is foolishness to those who do not know the gospel. Be prepared to offend people with the gospel. Sometimes the gospel brings on more foes and persecution.

In conclusion, Christian, you are at war with a ferocious enemy in a hostile world. Have a wartime mentality. This war is a difficult fight with evil foes. Ephesians 6:10-20 is a clarion call to arm yourself for battle with the weapons God makes readily available to you. Don’t forget to pray agreeing with God concerning your need of His presence, power, and utter dependence upon Him for victory. Finally, ground yourself in the glorious refuge of the gospel. In the gospel, you will find rest and safety in the secure arms of your Savior and Warrior King Jesus Christ who has fought the battle in your stead, defeated the foe, and claimed eternal victory. The battle truly belongs to the Lord. Have you put your armor on today?

[1] Throughout Ephesians 6:10-20on spiritual warfare Paul’s sustained imagery is drawn from the prophecy of Isaiah, which describes the armor of Yahweh and his Messiah (11:4–5; 59:17; cf. 49:2; 52:7).

[2] Cf. Joshua 1:6-9; Deuteronomy 31:6-7, 23; Zechariah 10:12

[3] Paul often asks for prayer for himself and his colleagues, particularly in relation to their ministry of the gospel (Rom. 15:30–32; 2 Cor. 1:11; Col. 4:3, 4; 1 Thess. 5:25; 2 Thess. 3:1, 2; cf. Phil. 1:19).

[4] Great passages to proclaim the gospel of Christ: John 1:12; 3:16; Romans 3:23; 5:8; 6:23; 10:13; Ephesians 2:8-9; Titus 3:5; Hebrews 9:27.

you can’t tell me what to do

What do you think of when you hear the word, “rebellion”? I think of Darth Vadar. He is doctor of rebellion. How would you feel if he were your father?

Whose authority do you struggle to submit to? Could it be an unfair teacher that everybody agrees has unrealistic expectations, an abusive parent, a coach who will not play you, a boss who doesn’t listen and shows favoritism to others, or a friend who is trying to help you? How do you react to their authority in your life? We live a day when it is cool to be rebellious. You hear people say, “I am the boss. I call the shots. I will do what I want to do, when I want to do it. This is my life. I make my own choices. I…I…I… me…me…me…You can’t tell me what to do.” You’d think people were trying out for the selfish opera.

Why do we think like this? Why are some people so rebelliousness? There are many reasons why people are prone to rebellion: jealous for control, delusional from a false view of authority, ungrateful for the place God has put them, stubborn, disappointed by their situation, or simply untrusting of anyone. In that last few generations we have seen an enormous upswing in rebellion against authority. Rebellion didn’t start in the “rebelutionary” 1960’s. It began in the beginning [Genesis]. Rebllion is the oldest sin in the Book.

The story of Satan is rebellion against God: also known as the me, myself & I monster. Satan was the worship leader of heaven. He didn’t like his gig. He wanted to be the top dog and run the show. He wanted to usurp God’s authority or so he tried [cf. Isaiah 14:13-14, “I will ascend to heaven, above the stars of God I will set my throne on high…I will make myself like the Most High.”]. This story sounds like a lot of people I know, myself included. When I rebel I try to take the place of God in my life.

Throughout the Bible we read story after story of rebellious people. In 1 Samuel, we read the story of Saul, King of Israel, who is the poster child for having authority issues. The prophet of God Samuel says to Saul who repeatedly disobeys God commands says, “Rebellion is the sin of witchcraft.” [1 Samuel 15:23] What is witchcraft? It is saying you are on the same team with Satan. Rebellion is having the spirit as the devil that allows him to rule our lives. Let’s see how God deals with this in the Bible:

Summary of Rebellion in the Bible:
Genesis 1—God sets up His authority over mankind and makes man in His image
Genesis 2-3—man rebels and listens to the serpent [Adam & Eve]
Genesis 4—man rebels again with an unworthy sacrifice [Cain & Abel]
Genesis 6—man rebels with worldwide wickeness [Noah]
Genesis 10—man rebels trying to aspire to God [Tower of Babel]
Exodus-Deuteronomy—man rebels by complaining in the wilderness [Moses]
Rest of the OT—man rebels against the prophets message [i.e. Jonah]

So are you wondering where authority issues lead? It should be somewhat clear from our summary of Scripture. Satan is cast out of heaven, Adam and Eve are cast out of the Garden, the children of Israel are cast out of Promised Land, Jonah is cast out of the boat, and we will be cast out of the presence of God for rebellion. There is a common theme of rebellion in the heart of man and common response by God: cast out.

If you look in the word authority the word “author” is in its beginning. God is the author of authority. What does good authority look like? Sovereignty: His rule in our lives. God has established His authority in our life from the beginning. He shows us and teaches us what good and godly authority looks like.

Jesus is the author and finisher of our faith [cf. Hebrews 12:1-4]. He is submitted Himself to the Father even to the point of death. Jesus submitted to God’s authority and the authority of man [Mt.22:21 “Give to Caesar the things that are Caesars and God the things that are His.”]. Lack of submission to authority is cowardly. The world thinks just the opposite. However, the manliest man in the entire world submitted Himself to sinful authorities that forced Him to carry the cross to His death. He did this for your example and your salvation.

Paul thought he was the authority of his own life. He was brilliantly smart, fanatically religious, came from a strong family, and was respected by his compadres, which fueled his pride and rebellion against God [cf. Philippians 3:4-8]. One day on the Road to Damascus he came under the submission of Christ. He finally realized what true authority was all about [cf. Romans 13:1-2]. God has appointed authorities in our life for our good. So what are we to do?

We need to get under the things God has put over us, so we can get over the things God has put under us.

Why does God put authority over us? First, to protect you. God want us to live under authority for our protection. He is like an umbrella that protects us from harsh elements. If I take myself out from under His authority I am vulnerable to all sorts of pain, temptation and mess. Second, God desires to mature you. As I look back in my life God has used some authorities in my life to help me grow up in my faith. Even those some were unfair, ungodly or abusive; they were placed there by God to mold me like clay into the person He wanted me to be. Third, God desires your worship. I am made in the image of God [cf. Gen. 1:26-28, You are a dominioneer]. Everything I do is about worship. 24/7 I am worshiping someone or something, and God desires that it be He alone.

Again, whose authority do you struggle to submit to? Is it a parent, spouse, mature friend, teacher, coach, boss or God? Do you believe God’s authority can transform the way you submit to the authorities or Darth Vadar’s in your life?