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Paul writes in Ephesians 6v10-12: “God is strong, and he wants you strong. So take everything the Master has set out for you, well-made weapons of the best materials. And put them to use so you will be able to stand up to everything the Devil throws your way. This is no afternoon athletic contest that we'll walk away from and forget about in a couple of hours. This is for keeps, a life-or-death fight to the finish against the Devil and all his angels.”
I said last time that I was going to probably start discussing more directly about the God we enjoy and in whom we have an abundance of life as Christian disciples. However, it was laid on my heart by God, that it would be prudent to do two more discussions in regards to dealing with sin & temptation.
Paul here says that just as God is strong, He wants us to be strong against sin, the world, our old nature and our ultimate enemy, satan. We have seen enemies in the world. But behind the world and the old nature, is the unseen enemy in the spiritual domain. A bit like the terrorists who try to strike surreptitiously at our cities. Satan is real, and we know this because Jesus spoke about him more than anyone else! Two errors made by the church are to have blind ignorance about satan or giving him far more importance and privilege than he deserves or warrants.
So who is satan and his minions? What does the Bible say about him? Some angels fell, rebelled against God and were put out of heaven (2 Peter 2:4; Jude 6; Isaiah 14:12-15; Ezekiel 28). Their leader is satan who has established his kingdom on earth. The role of Satan against the Christian is summed up by his various names’ adversary, devil, accuser, angel of light, the arch-deceiver. He stands hatefully opposed to all God’s work, God’s people and resourcefully promotes defiance among people (Mark 4:15; Job 2:4-5).
When satan sinned, he was expelled from Heaven (Luke 10:18), although apparently he still had some access to God (Job 1:6). A multitude of angels decided to follow him in his fall and subsequently became the demons mentioned often in the Bible (Matthew 12:24; Revelation 12:7). Although Satan’s doom was secured by Jesus’ death on the cross (John 16:11), he will continue to hinder God’s program until he and his demons are cast into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:10)
1. Satan’s kingdom - darkness
Other names of Satan
2. Satan’ s attack on believers.
What Satan does to us?
3. How to resist the attacks of Satan.
He is defeated
For more to think about, please do read for yourself Ephesians 6:10-18. Ask yourself the following question and suggestions, writing them down if you can, and see how you respond or react to them. Then why not share your answers with your spouse or a close friend, so that you can pray over any issues together.
Q1. Who are our real spiritual enemies?
Q2. What are the gaps in my armour and what can I do to fill those gaps?
Q3. Is there somebody I can talk to if I am feeling weak and discouraged?
G'day and welcome to Partakers Friday Prayers on the 23rd of September, 2011.
Father, as we commence, let our hearts and minds be right before you. We thank for your Son Jesus. It's in His name we offer you these praises, prayers and petitions in the power of the Holy Spirit who lives inside those who are your children. Amen
Let's have a time for you to offer your own praises to God! If for some reason words are failing you, simple say "Lord God, I lift up thanks and praise to you alone."
Father God, accept these praises as sweet smelling perfume! Amen!
We are told that it's a great thing to praise our God! So let's now have a Psalm of praise! We have Psalm 100, read to us today by Jenny!
Now there will be a short time of prayer where you can give to God things that are on your own mind and heart.
Time of silence
Father, we pray that your love will take over our lives! We also pray that we would follow you faithfully, live lives obediently and give praise to you alone in all circumstances we face together.
Lord in your mercy hear these prayers of your children. Amen
Father, we now lifts this troubled world to you! From your wellspring of mercy hear these petitions!!
May justice and peace come to places where injustice, strife and conflict currently dominate!
Where there is chaos, bring order.
Where there is hatred, may love be sown.
We pray that in areas of need following natural disasters, that aid will get through and infrastructure rebuilt.
Lord in your mercy, hear these prayers of your children! Amen!
We now pray for church services around the world this weekend.
Our Father God, we lift before you all those who are preaching, leading, serving and participating in church services around the world this weekend, we ask that the Holy Spirit would guide their minds and that the worship will be in Spirit and in truth, that the Word as it is faithfully preached.
For those in countries where to meet other Christians is illegal or not condoned by the government, we ask that you continue to strengthen, guide, grow and uplift them. Let them know through Your Spirit, the Spirit that lives within all believers that we are praying for them.
Father, be the strength for all those who are grieving and mourning the loss of loved ones. Father, we pray that those in despair will be helped and where there is darkness there will be light. O Lord God, give strength to the week.
We lift before you, O merciful Father, all those facing challenging situations: such as loneliness, confinement at home, geographical isolation, lack of employment, health issues, and financial pressures. O Father, please meet their needs in what ever challenging situation is being faced, and we put ourselves in your hands to help meet those needs where we can.
We ask these things, our Father God, in the name of your Son, Jesus Christ, and in the power of the Holy Spirit.
And now, as we close: Hebrews 13v20-21
Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
G'day! Welcome to Partakers Wednesday Worship on the 21st of September 2011.
Jesus spent complete nights in prayer seeking strength and wisdom from His Father in Heaven. We dare not go into battle with the enemy in our strength alone. The hymn writer wrote "Put on the gospel armour, each piece put on with prayer."
How do we put the gospel armour on? The armour we need is supplied by our Lord. It is described for us by the apostle Paul in Ephesians 6:10-18: "Be strong in the Lord and the power of His might that you may stand in the evil day" He then goes on to say "Take unto yourself the whole armour of God. "Leave no unguarded place" are the hymn writer's words. Very apt as we can be so easily forgetful and neglectful. We need to be aware of our weak points where we ma be unguarded. "Give the devil no room."
I find as a great help each morning to spend some time putting the gospel armour on. How? As I get dressed physically taking time to put each piece of my clothing on carefully making myself presentable before the mirror, I also take by faith my spiritual armour piece by piece coming before the mirror or God's Word the Bible, reminding myself of which piece does in order to be strong for the day's battles, whatever they may be.
(a) The helmet of salvation. To protect the mind. Here is a point of entry If I do not protect it. How? By the Scriptures. "Let this mind be in you which was in Christ Jesus." I ask for the mind of Christ.
(b) Breastplate of righteousness. This time I remind myself I am clothed in Christ's righteousness to gain me Heaven. This truth prevents me boasting and it keeps me humble. each moment of every day ever grateful to Jesus for His robe of righteousness. I need also to know there needs to be an outworking of that righteousness in my life through the power of The Holy Spirit. To seek to be like Jesus living to honour Him and be a light shining for Jesus.
(c) The belt of truth. I believe I must be held in by God's truth the Bible in all I think say and do. Not what I think but how God says I should react in any given situation during the course of the day. Not legalistically but trusting The Holy Spirit to bring the truth to memory to protect and instruct me.
(d) Feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace. The Roman footwear had to be strong and able to grip rough terrain. To walk steadily through the day without deviation to left or right not slipping into sinful habits but standing firm as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.
(e) Sword of the Spirit and shield of faith in our hands. Having Scripture ready to hand and mind to fight off scurry attacks from satan as he tries to buffet us. Do you remember how Jesus used these weapons in the wilderness when tempted by the devil? "Has God said" He reminded the devil of the word of God. How important for us to memorise God's Word to hide it in our hearts as the psalmist wrote. Read God's Word regularly improving our knowledge day by day. The devil never lets up neither should we.
(f) Putting on all prayer. Living through the day in an atmosphere of prayer with a prayerful spirit. Ready to call upon the lord for any special needs but also ready to praise Him for any blessing that he brings our way. Talk to Him, as you walk with Him. Strengthened and satisfied by Him. We glorify Him by so doing. "Jesus is my Rock and Fortress, in Him I trust for ever.
Prayer with Joy
Dear Heavenly Father,
We know we have failed to put on the Christian armour and some of us have fallen dreadfully. We know it is important to acknowledge this to you. To be honest and admit our faults. We know the devil appears like a roaring lion at times, but sometimes as an angel of light and we fail to see him coming and we fall.
Forgive us Lord and help us to take the advice given and to take time to be holy by spending time with you Lord and to put on the gospel armour and trust you Lord to make us aware of the enemy attacks of satan and to stand up against him in Your strength and power.
David fought against Goliath and won because he knew the battle was the Lord's. He had confidence in your strength and had faith in You.
Paul the apostle said "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Help us to remember to pray that same prayer for our safety and Your glory, Amen.
Prayer of Confession