We are in a war for our souls—think strategy. We can’t fight the way the world fights—with weapons and shouting matches. God wants us to be spiritually prepared to stand up and fight–the good fight of faith–so we can enter God’s rest.
Violence and hatred are spreading throughout the world right now. Many people are offended. Strife is rampant. We see ethnic group against ethnic group. Rumors of war abound. But, we do not have to be afraid—these are just the physical manifestations of the spiritual battle prophesied in the Bible (Matthew 24:3-14).
Watch the video presentation or review the notes below:
Matthew 24:3-14, New King James Version – 3 Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?”4 And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you. 5 For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. 6 And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.
7 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these are the beginning of sorrows. 9 “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. 10 And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. 11 Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. 12 And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.
13 But he who endures to the end shall be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.
God has a good plan for this world, and His plan will stand (Isaiah 9:6-7). We will remain standing too, if we abide in Jesus Christ (John 15:7-8). A soldier who is equipped for battle is not afraid when he knows he has superior weapons, the best strategy and an experienced commander to lead him into battle. We have all of the above in our commander, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, Jesus Christ (Joshua 5:13-15; Joshua 6:1-27). When we go into battle with the Lord Jesus, we can rest.
The believer’s number one strategy is to rest in the Lord.
Hebrews 4:1 & 3, New Living Translation – “God’s promise of entering His rest still stands, so we ought to tremble with fear that some of you might fail to experience it… For only we who believe can enter His rest.”
Zechariah 4:6, GOD’S WORD Translation – You won’t succeed by might or by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord of Armies.
God has given us superior weapons—but we must use them!
Ephesians 6:12-18, GOD’S WORD Translation – 12 This is not a wrestling match against a human opponent. We are wrestling with rulers, authorities, the powers who govern this world of darkness, and spiritual forces that control evil in the heavenly world. 13 For this reason, take up all the armor that God supplies. Then you will be able to take a stand during these evil days. Once you have overcome all obstacles, you will be able to stand your ground. 14 So then, take your stand!
Fasten truth around your waist like a belt. Put on God’s approval as your breastplate. 15 Put on your shoes so that you are ready to spread the Good News that gives peace. 16 In addition to all these, take the Christian faith as your shield. With it you can put out all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Also take salvation as your helmet and God’s word as the sword that the Spirit supplies. 18 Pray in the Spirit in every situation. Use every kind of prayer and request there is. For the same reason be alert. Use every kind of effort and make every kind of request for all of God’s people.
We need to know our enemy’s weapons too. Here are three common ones:
- Lies (John 8:44)
- Accusation (Revelation 12:9-11)
- Deception (Genesis 3)
The enemy will come at us with all three weapons—and just keep rotating them. Be ready to block all of his attacks.
- Know God loves you because the bible says so (1 John 4:18-19). This is the breastplate that protects your heart (Ephesians 6:14). Salvation starts in your heart by your confession of faith (Romans 10:9-10). Guard your heart.
- Know the Word of God (which is the sword of the Spirit) so you are not deceived by the enemy’s lies. Is the enemy lying to you? Respond with scripture (Ephesians 6:17).
- Know that God forgives you when you confess your sins and repent (1 John 1:9).
- Believe God wants to and will help you (Luke 11:10-14 and Ephesians 6:17).
- Pray for everything you need (Ephesians 6:18).
Remember, the Lord’s approval = the world’s disapproval. However, standing for your faith now, will pay off forever.
1 John 2:15-17, New King James Version – 15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. 17 And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.