[forthright] Arming for the Battle (2)

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From: Forthright Magazine <forthrightmag@...>
Date: Tue, 3 Nov 2009 05:03:32 -0800 (PST)
Forthright Magazine 
http://www.forthright.net 
Straight to the Cross

Richard Mansel goes to the Bible to answer ... "The
Most Important Question." Great for classes, groups,
evangelistic studies and individuals.
http://forthrightpress.com/#MostImportant


COLUMN: LIVING THE FAITH

Arming for the Battle (2)
 by Richard Mansel, managing editor

In the first chapter of Job, Satan fights for the soul
of God's disciple. He hunts all of us and employs every
lie at his disposal. He is a pathological liar who
possesses no redeeming qualities (John 8:44).

"God is light and in Him is no darkness at all." (1
John 1:5, NKJV). Jesus is light and perfectly good 
(John 8:12; Rev. 21:22-24).

   "For we do not wrestle against flesh and
   blood, but against principalities, against
   powers, against the rulers of the darkness
   of this age, against spiritual hosts of
   wickedness in the heavenly places" 
   (Ephesians 6:12).

If we will successfully take the battlefield for God,
we must know the enemy. It is not people, although they
do wear his uniform, but the power of Satan that leads
them.

   "Our enemies are not people. We must see
   beyond people. Satan may use people to
   persecute us, lie to us, cheat on us, hurt
   us, or even kill us. But our real enemy
   lurks in the shadows of the unseen world,
   moving people as pawns on the chessboard of
   time. As long as we see people as enemies
   and wrestle against them, we will spend our
   strength in vain."/1

People in sin are victims of Satan's deceptions. They
are doing his bidding under false pretenses. Yet, they
labor for him, nonetheless. 

They are responsible for their own actions, but we need 
to pray for them and reach out to their souls and try to 
bring them to Christ.

Satan uses them in nefarious ways that utilizes
whatever is necessary to pull us from God. He studies
us, is skilled at finding our vulnerable spots, and
pierces us through with his tricks (Ephesians 6:11).

   "Mention of the 'schemes' of the devil
   reminds us of the trickery and subterfuge by
   which evil and temptation present themselves
   in our lives. Evil rarely looks evil until
   it accomplishes its goal; it gains entrance
   by appearing attractive, desirable, and
   perfectly legitimate. It is a baited and
   camouflaged trap."/2

Satan will fade into the background so he will not be
responsible for anything. No one will find his
fingerprints at the scene of the crime. Darkness
obscures his movements.

In fact, "few of Satan's tactics are openly Satanic."/3

That makes him especially dangerous because he finds a
way to make everything that he wants appear as our own
decision. He speaks in our voice and convinces us we
are independent and making our own way. Yet, we cannot
hear his macabre laughter as he watches us walk away
from God.

Ephesians tells us that we are not fighting against
flesh and blood, but the power of the Devil. His
tentacles are in everything.

   "Satan keeps people in a state of darkness,
   and he has a legion of evil spirits whose
   supreme task is to fasten false ideologies
   like iron shackles on the souls of men."/4

However, "God does not throw us unprotected into the
battle against Satan's empire."/5 His grace and mercy
clothe us in goodness, which is antithetical to the
filthy robes of the evil one.

__________________

1/ John Philips, Exploring Ephesians and Philippians
(Grand Rapids: Kregel Publications, 1993), 187.
2/ Peter T. O’Brien, The Letter To the Ephesians in the
Pillar New Testament Commentary series edited by D.A.
Carson (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1999), 464.
3/ Kenneth L. Boles, Galatians and Ephesians in the
College Press NIV Commentary series edited by Jack
Cottrell (Joplin: College Press, 1983), 334.
4/ Phillips, 190.
5/ Phillips, 185.

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