Prepare for War
By Reverend Neal Cartin
Good Morning. It is so good to see so many smiling faces this morning. It has really been a long week has it not? Well, let’s turn to the Lord and give Him praises here this morning.
Father, we come before you this morning offering up our praises to you. We are so unworthy to approach your throne of grace. We are sinners Father, and we confess our sins to you this day and ask for forgiveness of those sins. Father we thank you for all that you do for us every day, we thank you for carrying us when we can go no more and Father we thank you most of all for Jesus on the Cross and our Salvation. Father we ask this day that you surround us with your blanket of protection. Keep us safe from harm and the evil one. We ask that your Spirit move mightily in this Church this morning, in this community, this county, this state, this country and around the world. Not for our glory Father but for yours. In Jesus name we pray. Amen.
Turn with me now to this mornings reading and please stand and follow with me as I read Ephesians 6: 10-20.The Whole Armor of God
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 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. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints— and for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.
Please be seated.
Well it has been a long week, a very long week for some. Once again that evil one has been throwing, no hurling his fiery darts at us. Spiritual warfare is a constant battle, and as Christians we can never afford to let our guard down. Well this morning, I want to help equip you for battle. Along with God and His Spirit moving among us, a message will be delivered to help prepare us for that daily battle. For too long now, I feel that as Christians we have allowed the world to walk all over us as we have stood by and done absolutely nothing. Our idleness has to end and end now before it is too late. We have allowed prayer to be taken out of our class rooms! We have allowed the Ten Commandments to be removed from our public places! We have allowed the pledge of allegiance to be taken out of our schools, just because it says, One Nation Under God..”
This morning, I have organized a group of men and women and formed our own SEAL team. Now, before you go get your guns, just relax and hear me out. This is not like the United States Navy SEAL team, not enough praises can go out to those folks. No, this is our own little SEAL team. SEAL in this case, stands for Saints Engaged Against Lucifer! No guns will be needed and the only hand to hand combat being done will be in praying, handing out Gospel tracts and maybe passing around a few petitions. We shall stand for Christ and His principles of forgiveness, love and sacrifice. In fact one of our principle rules can be summed up in CREAM! Yes CREAM! Christ Rules Everything Around Me.
Turn with me in your Bibles again, to Ephesians Chapter 6 and lets start this morning by looking at verses 10 and 11. Ephesians 6:10–11.
As a local congregation, as a regional congregation, we have certain goals that we’re praying and working towards: lives we want the Lord to change, ministry we ask God to bless, new members we hope to have join our family, and so on and so forth. When we talk about those kinds of goals, that type of God-sized vision, you can rest assured there will be opposition. We are going to anger our opposition, that evil one the devil. Basically we have drawn a line in the sand and we are daring Satan to cross it. Brothers and Sisters, he wants to stop it! Satan wants to stop us! He’s willing to go to battle to make that happen. The devil doesn’t want us to succeed, because he doesn’t want God to succeed.
There are four principles I want to share with you this morning that we must all understand if we are to win this battle.
1. The Danger Is Real ;Ephesians. 6:10 tells us it is real!
Let us take a look at the Scripture we just read.
“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.”
The word “wiles” is where we get our word “methods.” Meaning, this is the word for specific tricks, traps, and schemes that Satan will use to destroy us. He knows our weaknesses and he knows how to get to us, he knows how to push our buttons and how to make us fail in our lives. The devil will hurl fiery dart after fiery dart at you to get you to fail until you do fail. He will even try to do this publically so that non-Christians will see it and then shake their heads. Making us look like we are the bad guys or the hypocrites. So we must ask ourselves; are we Sunday Christians, social Christians, or are we on fire taking the battle to the front line Christians?
The devil will exploit our lustful desires and use them against us. He will use whatever means available to trap us in our sin. All of our sin is open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give an account on the day of judgment! Satan can use family and friends against us, so be careful with whom you associate with. The devil has been at this a long time, so he has gotten very good at setting his traps and snares. He has gotten very good at scheming against us.
It wasn’t so very long ago that I was asked to relocate and head up a mega church. Was this my dream come true, had my prayers been answered? I prayed on it; in less than a minute God gave me the answer that I already knew! NO! I called the Pastoral group that made the offer and I told them that I would not be able to accept their position. I know some of you are asking why? You would be preaching to thousands every Sunday? 1 of our own Deacons asked me if I was crazy.
Yes, I replied. Yes I am, I said again. As he looked at me I began to fire off; I am crazy on fire for the Lord my Savior, who died on the cross for my sins. I already have a mega church, every time I go out and do my open air I preach to the world. Their mega church isn’t that big. I take the battle to the streets, I am on the front line of the battle where my heart is, where my love is, where my passion is, where God has put the desire of my heart! Praise God! And until God tells me to go take a place away from the battle, that my Brothers and Sisters is where you will find me!
I guess I could have given the short version, “Get behind me satan for you follow man and not God,” but the fire within me burns to intensely. Instead of guarding the gates of hell, like some do, I go out and seek and save the lost, to prevent them from getting that far. I am on the front lines of the battle.
2. The Enemy Is Strong. Take a look at Ephesians 6:12.
“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
This teaches us that Satan is of a spiritual realm, beyond any human ability. To think that we can defeat him by conventional, human means is ridiculous. We are no match for his schemes, no match for his evil wicked ways. Just when you think you can win, when you think you can defeat him he will blind side you with something else. The devil will use guilt, fear and humiliation to get a reaction and defeat us. On our own we are nothing! But we have a Savior in Jesus Christ, the ultimate weapon, Jesus Christ; Jesus has already defeated the devil and has destroyed his works, the Bible tells us so. Which leads me to…
3. Our Protection Is Promised. Take a look at 1 John 4:4.
“You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.”
1 John 4:4
It’s important to resist the enemy’s attacks to have spirit-filled prayer, spirit-filled lives, and spirit-filled service. Satan can never move the hand of God but he can always move the hearts of men if we are not grounded in Christ. Those who believe and trust Him are the ones who can be assured that they can endure and overcome any spiritual attack! Are you reading your Bible every day? Are you praying often every day? Are you aware, that as a Christian, God is with you? It doesn’t matter where you go, God is right there with you.
I know that God is with me where ever I go, in whatever I do. I know that God is right here with me today because He promised me that and it’s recorded in the Bible! God is right here right now! Shout out to the Lord in house here this morning! Amen!
4. The Victory Is Ours. Let us look back at Ephesians 6:10-14.
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 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. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness,
Four times in this passage, the Bible says the words stand/withstand. You would think that if there is a battle, the Bible should have used the words fight, run, or move! But here, the Bible tells the believer that in the middle of the battle, he should “stand.” Be immovable, anchored. James 4:7 echoes this idea: “Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” The same Greek word for the word stand is also the same Greek word for resist or literally, “stand against the devil and he will flee from you.”
Draw upon our strength our refuge in Jesus Christ, for every time that you are tempted He will provide a way out. He will provide a means of escape. Jesus is our protector and He is with us. In Jesus we can not fail.
Very quickly let me bring this to a close and give you instruction on how to apply what we have just gone over here this morning.
Friend, if you are here today and you are not saved, you are walking around this earth without any protection from Satan! You need spiritual protection! You need a Savior Jesus Christ.
Have you been baptized? Every time a Christian is baptized it’s somewhat like a soldier being commissioned for battle. That is, you’re making a public profession, a public statement associating yourself with the triune God of Scripture who endured the wrath of God on your behalf.
3. Church Membership.
We are committed to equipping our members in the Word of God and discipling them to be a committed Christian who is protected from Satan. If you are looking for a church that sees this as a priority, then I invite you to join our church today.
How protected are you from Satan’s attacks? Just ask yourself,
how often do you commune with God every day? How often do you
ask Him to forgive you and cleanse you and give you His thoughts
Wherever you are in your Christian walk, even if it has not yet begun, I ask you today to draw a line in the sand. If you’re not a believer, do so through faith in Jesus and repentance from sin. If you are, take your stand with us, your brothers and sisters in Christ, as we go into battle!