by Pastor Tim Burt
1 John 3:20 “For if our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and knows all things.”
In Israel, all young men and women have to become part of the army after school and before college. It is a part of how they have survived as a nation that is surrounded by people that hate them. They are so thoroughly trained in warfare because they have to be – the enemies around them are always plotting to destroy them. In a Wall Street Journal an article was written that said, “Last June, Palestinian television broadcast a sermon in a Gaza mosque in which the imam, Ibrahim Madi, made the following statement: “God willing, this unjust state Israel will be erased…” It is for this very reason the Israelis have to be so trained in warfare. These are not empty threats.
We should be more aware of a very serious enemy in our lives. Like Israel, we are surrounded by enemies. Not enemies that we can see with our natural eyes, but demonic influences that affect people every day that then ultimately touch and affect our lives. The Apostle Paul wanted to teach us about how to face spiritual warfare and wrote this: Ephesians 6:10-13 “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in heavenly places. Therefore take unto you the whole armor of God that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.”
Demonic influences are real. They operate in the earth. That is what the Apostle Paul was saying when he said, “We don’t fight flesh and blood” meaning don’t make people your enemies. He said, “…but principalities and powers and rulers of the darkness” – those are Satanic and demonic influences.
The devil isn’t something we have to be afraid of when we are living for the Lord. That is the point of Paul’s teaching. We can learn to recognize the devil’s attacks on our lives and as Paul said, “…that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.”
Paul continues this teaching in Eph 6:14-17 “Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness…”
First we are taught “having our waist girded with truth…” People think “truth” is just a nice thing we should tell. No truth is powerful. God is truth. Truth destroys lies – the most powerful weapon Satan uses in the earth today – lies and deception. Truth carries God’s anointing – which is the power to defeat demonic activity. It can only be told consistently in the Lord’s strength. Research has proven that most people lie frequently. Truth is a powerful force we can use to help defeat the devil getting a foothold in our lives.
Secondly we are taught “put on the breastplate of righteousness.” This is a spiritual truth that is imperative to take hold of. You will never be good enough to do everything right and pleasing to God in your own efforts. God doesn’t look for our perfect efforts although He cares about them. Our righteousness – our right standing with God is a gift to us through Jesus. 2 Cor 5:21 instructs us, “God made Jesus who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.” We cannot let the devil come and continually condemn us. We have to live honestly before God the best we can each day. When we miss it, we must be truly sorry, repent, and ask forgiveness. We must also receive His forgiveness. Then we must confess what God has said, “We are the righteousness of God through Christ Jesus.” That means you are accepted, loved, washed of sin, and right with God – not because you did everything right – but because of what Jesus did!
Satan uses our failures and imperfection as a weapon to make us feel condemned and to undermine our faith. He wants us to feel worthless and unworthy of God’s love. So let’s settle that now. You and I are unworthy of God’s love in our own efforts. But, it’s not about our righteousness. It’s about His righteousness within us. That is the meaning behind “putting on the breastplate of righteousness.” That spiritual truth is the basis for the spiritual weapons that defeats the condemning voice of Satan – the demonic warfare that comes against us. Righteousness is a gift from the Lord! That should greatly enhance our love and appreciation of God’s love and what Jesus did for us. It protects our heart from the condemnation of our failures and Satan’s accusations. As today’s Fresh Manna verse says, “For if our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and knows all things.” (1 John 3:20) He knows we are His righteousness because of His son Jesus. The question is, do we know it?
How do we answer Satan’s accusations? “Yup Satan you are right. I could have said that better. I could have acted kinder. I shouldn’t have done that but I repent before God right now. Thank you Heavenly Father for forgiving me and helping me to handle that better next time. I receive and thank you for your forgiveness. In Jesus name. Now Satan, shut up and flee. I am made right before God. You will never be right before God. I will spend eternity with Jesus. You are condemned to the lake of fire. I rebuke you in Jesus name. I praise the name of Jesus.”
We always stand on the promises of God’s protection but then we take authority over the enemy attacking our lives. This is how we begin to use the weapons of our warfare.
In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2008 Tim Burt, All rights reserved