Sunday Scriptures — Spiritual Warfare

By Sandy Kirby Quandt

In the book, Peace With God, Billy Graham states Christians have three distinct dangerous, vicious enemies who will use any method to defeat us in our Christian life; Satan, the world, and the flesh. So, we must be prepared to ward them off.

First off, Satan. We know he was defeated at the cross by Jesus, but he still has power to influence us toward sin. Just look at the names the Bible gives him. The wicked one. Devil. Murderer. Liar, and the father of lies. Adversary who seeks to devour. Serpent. Accuser of the brethren, and other none flattering titles.

Satan is not happy when anyone gives their life to Christ. In fact, it makes him really mad. Billy Graham says we shouldn’t rely on our feelings, because that’s where Satan attacks first. He’ll do whatever he can to tempt us and lead us into sin, to make us doubt, to discourage, and disappoint. Satan might tempt us by making us feel proud and important to make us confident in our our powers, instead of trusting in God.

There are a lot of ways the deceiver can tempt us; jealousy, hatred, envy. The father of all lies would like nothing more than for us to follow his example and become liars and lead others astray. He is powerful, crafty, and subtle. He is called the god of this world, the prince of this world, and the prince of the power of the air.

In his book Mr. Graham told a story regarding Satan’s attacks.

Years ago I heard my friend J. Edwin Orr compare the Christian attacked by Satan to a mouse being attacked by a housewife wielding a broom. The mouse does not sit there contemplating the housewife or the broom. It is busy looking for a hole — a way to escape. So we Christians under satanic attack should look for our “way of escape.”

He goes further to say, “The devil will tremble when you pray. He will be defeated when you quote or read a passage of Scripture to him, and will leave you when you resist him.”

Next, among our enemies is the world. Mr. Graham said when anyone asks him how to know what is “okay” to do, and what isn’t he tells them to “earnestly and prayerfully ask, ‘What would Christ have me to do?’ ‘Can I ask His blessing upon this particular thing for me?’ ‘What would Christ think about my amusements, recreation, books, companions, and television programs?’ ‘Could I ask Christ to go along with me to this particular event?’ Being omnipresent, He’ll be there anyway. The point is, should you?”

He continues by saying, “This does not mean that in society we are snobs or have a superiority complex, lest we be in danger of spiritual pride — which would be far worse than any worldliness. But today there are so many professing Christians who are walking hand in hand with the world that you cannot tell the difference between the Christian and the unbeliever. This should never be.”

Lastly, Mr. Graham addresses the third enemy we face; the lust of the flesh, which he calls that evil tendency of your inward self. “It is the battle of the self-life and the Christ-life. This old nature cannot please God. It cannot be converted, or even patched up. Thank God, when Jesus died He took you with Him, and the old nature can be made inoperative and you can “reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin” (Romans 6:11). This is done by faith.

Aren’t we glad we don’t have to fight these battles alone?

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For we are not fighting against human beings but against the wicked spiritual forces in the heavenly world, the rulers, authorities, and cosmic powers of this dark age. Ephesians 6:12 (GNT)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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