Ephesians 6: 10-17
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armour of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armour of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled round your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
Last Sunday (21st May) Alan spoke at the 9.30 service but not at the 11.30 service. Today I’ll summarise that message and tomorrow I’ll summarise yesterday’s talk.
SUMMARY OF ALAN SCOTT’S MESSAGE FROM 9.30 AM SERVICE ON SUNDAY 21ST MAY
Paul here is indicating that there is a supernatural component to the struggles you are facing. In the middle of all that is coming against us, we are exhorted to stand firm. There are four things we need to know:
(i) Every work of God in your life will be resisted or contested.
Unusual warfare around your life is the sign that unusual favour is resting on your life. Because you are carrying great solutions, you are guaranteed great opposition. Because of what you are stewarding from Heaven, there is certain to be a struggle around that.
Paul said elsewhere: “There is a wide-open door for a great work here, although many oppose me.” (1 Cor 16: 9)
He’s having to process the pain while pressing into the Kingdom. The enemy’s schemes always surround Heaven’s dreams for your life. The greatest resistance is always around your inheritance. The warfare that surrounds your life is seasonal, but the favour that is on your life is eternal.
(ii) Warfare is the sign that the enemy has decided you have a future.
If he didn’t think you had a future, he wouldn’t bother fighting against you. The nearness of an enemy is always the forerunner of your destiny.
Goliath took the field so that David wouldn’t miss the moment of entering his destiny. Satan always attacks at the birth of something unusual in your life.
The enemy attacks the area that he fears most about your future. He doesn’t know the details, he just knows the good outcome. Because he can’t stop you, his only hope is that you’ll give up. Because he is filled with discouragement and defeat, that’s all he can give you. Anytime you get discouraged, bear in mind that it is because the enemy is discouraged. His only hope is that sustained attack will be enough for us to back off, back down, back out or backslide.
You will get wounds but don’t forget about your weapons.
(iii) Your biggest enemy is the gateway to your greatest destiny.
The greatest enemy to Israel becoming a nation was Egypt. It oppressed them for 400 years and the prosperity of Egypt was built on the back of slaves. However, behind the scenes God was amassing a storehouse of wealth that Israel would plunder when they were delivered and take with them into the Promised Land.
When the hordes of hell gathered against Jesus at the cross, they didn’t realise that they were opening the door for resurrection life for all humanity.
(iv) You are intimidated where you are anointed.
Stand firm when you feel like backing off.
Psalm 23: 5 says, “You prepare a table for me in the presence of my enemies.”
The abundance is hidden where the enemy feels closest.
Sometimes God lines all your enemies up at once so you can see the strength of His deliverance.
Recognise that you are not primarily standing against something, you are standing for something - justice in a world of injustice, freedom in a world of oppression, healing in a world filled with hurt.
The fight is because the good future of the Father is resting on you and the enemy is terrified by the impact your life is about to have. Stand firm knowing that God is going to do some things that will require courage on your part. Determine to make your heart a discouragement-free zone.
When you’ve experienced the pain and the pressure, take another step forward into your design. Your posture against the enemy isn’t defensive, it’s only ever expansive.