Continuing the teachings on the sermon series “God Wins: The Story of God And His People.”
This is a short summary of the fourth sermon, titled “Cosmic Struggle: Five Facts About Spiritual Warfare.”
The summary for part one is here, part two is here, and part three is here.
C.S. Lewis says there are Two Errors we can make about Satan –
1) Unhealthy fascination, or 2) Purposefully ignoring it.
Most of us will fall into the 2nd Category.
There is a Bigger Story over us that we do not naturally comprehend: a story about God, Satan, angels, and demons, and the people of this earth whose souls are headed for one direction or the other.
The Bigger Cosmic Story of the Bible is:
How the work of the cross was to remove every single obstacle between us and God.
This includes uppercutting Satan and his minions.
Yet while Jesus made a decisive victory on the cross (Colossians 2:15), we are still doing “clean-up” duty to overtake the remaining enemy factions. Satan is still giving his best shot to drag others with him until Jesus returns.
There are five things we must know in this cosmic struggle.
1) The spiritual realm really exists.
Psychology, sociology, and biology certainly explain many elements of human nature, but without acknowledging the spiritual realm, we are decreasing our arsenal to fight real human problems.
The Bible never quite defends itself: it automatically asserts that God and Satan exist.
When we hear “Satan” or “Devil,” we think outdated, archaic, superstitious ideas.
We say it’s “close-minded” – but isn’t it more close-minded to dismiss the possibility?
And that is exactly what Satan would want: to make his work unknown.
2) The Devil’s purpose is to distract, divide, and destroy.
According to Ephesians 6:12 —
The enemy is not one another. The enemy is Satan and his deception.
Satan’s Origin and Plan are in: Isaiah 14, Ezekiel 28, Revelation 12
Satan hates God, and Satan hurts God by hurting the people that God has made.
Satan does this by aggravating the pre-existing sin in our heart through conflict & circumstance.
3) The Devil has an arsenal of schemes.
Back to Ephesians 6 —
In the Greek, the word “devil” = diabolos = liar.
In the Greek, the work “schemes” = methodias = strategic methods, step-by-step gridlock, closing in.
We must not think that the Devil only deals with “spectacular sins” like murder or adultery.
The Devil’s Plan: A cumulative, increasingly sluggish, confused, muddled fog of tiny sins and distractions that leads a person in the end to say –-
“I spent my life doing neither what I ought to nor even what I liked to do.”
It’s an imperceptible shallow living where we settle for comfortable consumption instead of any intentional life-mission from God Himself.
4) We have the Full Armor of God.
Ephesians 6:11 says, “Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.”
The Greek work “stand” is much like “keep position” as a defensive measure.
Our defense is to be filled with truth daily by Scripture and Prayer.
Our strategy is to Expose the Lie and Insert the Truth.
A few examples:
Lie: “If I looked like this, I’d have self-worth, value, and acceptance.”
Truth: If you got acceptance by the way you looked, that’s not REAL acceptance.
Lie: “If I forgive that person, I’m letting them get away with it!”
Truth: If you don’t forgive the person who hurt you, you’re letting them keep hurting you.
After a while, as you grow wiser through Prayer, Scripture, Fellowship, Mentors –
You expose more and more lies and find out: Satan actually has a pretty lame gameplan.
5) Do everything to stand and fight.
Ephesians 6:13 says, “Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.”
The Greek word for stand here is antihistemi (where we get antihistamine), which is an offensive strategy of actively engaging in battle.
First we’re to be prepared. Know that Satan attacks those who are HALT: Hungry, Angry, Lonely, and Tired.
Satan will also attack those who try to live out the Word of God, who are actively loving, serving, and giving.
The absolute best thing you can do to attack Satan is:
Grab Hold of God’s Vision and Calling.
Simply live the Christian life and pursue Jesus.
Satan hates it when we obey God, love people, and serve the church.
Let’s do what pisses off Satan.
For the whole sermon, click here.
Check out Pastor Tim Keller’s sermon on Spiritual Warfare here.
Also check out the “Say That” podcast, Episode 33, about Spiritual Warfare here.