LFM – 2016 Oct 9: Spiritual Warfare => Countering the Enemy’s Strategies

LFM — 9 October 2016

 

Luke 4 = >Pillars of Spiritual Life => to be effective in ministry & spiritual life

  • Prayer =>  Relationship, communication, interaction, intimacy – praise, song, dance
  • Fasting =>  Ignoring flesh, focusing on spiritual -> sensitive to the Spirit ( not only food, but putting God & others before us)
  • Word of God => The knowledge of God -> Spiritual weapon

 

STRATEGIES OF THE ENEMY AGAINST US => SPIRITUAL WARFARE PERSPECTIVE

 

Matthew 4:1-11 (NKJV) ==>  The temptation of Jesus

Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2 And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterward He was hungry. 3 Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.”

4 But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’”[a]

5 Then the devil took Him up into the holy city, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, 6 and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down. For it is written: ‘He shall give His angels charge over you,’ and, ‘In their hands they shall bear you up, Lest you dash your foot against a stone.’”[b]

7 Jesus said to him, “It is written again, ‘You shall not tempt the Lord your God.’”[c]

8 Again, the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. 9 And he said to Him, “All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me.”

10 Then Jesus said to him, “Away with you,[d] Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.’”[e]

11 Then the devil left Him, and behold, angels came and ministered to Him.

 

 

Spiritual warfare perspective – Whose are we? Chama ni viwili tu !!

  • Matthew 12:30 (NLT)
  • “Anyone who isn’t with me opposes me, and anyone who isn’t working with me is actually working against me.
  • Temptation from the enemy is a trial / test from God to see where our heart truly is.
  • Vs 1 => Led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil
  • Deut 8:2 (NKJV)
  • And you shall remember that the Lord your God led you all the way these forty years in the wilderness, to humble you and test you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not.
  • Jesus applied the pillars of effective spiritual life
  • =>He engaged in prayer, fasting and the Word of God
  • Both God and the enemy want to claim us for themselves => But choice is ours

 

“If you are the Son of God…”

  • The enemy targets our identity/righteousness/relationship with God
  • Wants to cause doubt and confusion => so we turn away from God & His ways
  • As children of the kingdom, we should have access to things of the kingdom => mali ya baba – health, finances, peace …. The enemy will question why we haven’t got it…
  • Genesis 3:1 (NLT) => Eve was also put into doubt of what God said.
  • “Did God really say you must not eat the fruit from any of the trees in the garden?”
  • => Mungu amesema hii kweli? => doubt, confusion =>We start ?? the Word / prophecy
  • How we respond matters — whether through
  • => Our own / world understanding or
  • => From God’s perspective

“…command the stones to become bread.”

  • Enemy encourages gratify desires of the flesh / world & focus on self => Me, Myself & I
  • Why? => Gal 5:16-17 tells us that the flesh & spirit are opposed to one another
  • ==> Senses that gratify flesh ->  touch, taste, smell, hearing, sight
  • ==> kuskia / hisi vizuri -> tatua shida kivyako -> maisha ni kujienjoy
  • Jesus => use your divine power to satisfy yourself  ->  do a miracle & eat
  • Us => Why are you suffering? fanya tu — Mungu anaona hii shida. Tatua shida kivyako, mwanaume nikujipanga. Mungu, hii ni ngumu, tukutane mbele …Sunday?
  • The grass is always greener on the other side! Wanakunyanyasa? Na wewe je?

Man shall not live on bread alone, but by every word… from the mouth of God

  • Discerning the voice of God => Mungu amesemaje? Not watu wanasemaje?
  • God can speak to us in various ways => dreams, visions, prophecy, inner voice, donkey (Balam), a random person.
  • Warnings, instructions, revelation….
  • Job 33:14-16(NKJV)
  • 14 For God may speak in one way, or in another, Yet man does not perceive it.
  • 15 In a dream, in a vision of the night, When deep sleep falls upon men, While slumbering on their beds,
  • 16 Then He opens the ears of men, And seals their instruction.
  • Usually there is a confirmation of His Word in our lives, by 2 or 3 witnesses
  • => 2 Corinthians 13:1b (NKJV)
  • …“By the mouth of two or three witnesses every word shall be established.”[a]
  • => Example a dream may be confirmed with a prophecy.
  • We therefore need …Every Word that comes from the mouth of God…
  • => Jesus countered with the written Word =>  Deut 8:3

 

Jesus taken to the pinnacle of the temple

If normal flesh / worldly desire does not work, the enemy targets our knowledge of God -=> Word of God out of context – Pinnacle of the temple

Throw yourself down, the angels will come to save you => Psalm 91:11-12

  • The enemy also knows the scriptures and will try use  it against one
  • Jesus countered the first temptation with the Word, the enemy comes also with his version — out of context -> doubt & confusion
  • Psalm 91 context in vs 14 -> because he has set  his love upon me
  • –> i.e. Doing things out of Love for God, not for our own desires
  • Common for us also -> taking one part of scripture to justify our actions – Abraham & David had many wives, mimi pia…. Paul told Timothy to drink wine….

You shall not tempt the Lord your God => Deut 6:16

  • Importance of knowing & understanding the Word to reflect heart of God
  • Our focus => Seeking the kingdom of God & His righteousness (right way) – Mat 6:33
  • Issue with the religious leaders of the day – Pharisees & Present => personal benefit

 

Jesus taken to an exceedingly high mountain

Engaging higher level temptation: flesh / world à pinnacle of temple => high mountain

Give you power & glory (makuu) if you submit & worship me

Pride??

Finally getting what the enemy seeks => to be like God who is worshiped

Enemy strategy -> to get us away from worshiping & submitting to God

– Not looking up to God

– Not looking at the Word

– Be like a god

Jesus counter => You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve

  • At the end, whose we are (who we submit to & worship) is who claims us.
  • => If God, then we are taken to heaven where we submit & worship God
  • => If the devil, then he comes and takes us to his home in hell

The devil left & the angels came and administered to Jesus

 

Conclusion

  •  Spiritual warfare => The enemy targets the corruption of our Body (Flesh), Soul (Mind, Will, Emotions), Spirit (Connection with God)
  •  1 Thessalonians 5:23 (NKJV)

Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

  • Usually to divert our destiny => stealing our stars (last week)
  • – God has good plans for us, to give us a future and a hope (   )
  • =>Jesus came to do the will of the Father => come as a man and die on the cross so that men may be saved
  • =>The enemy tried to bring doubt and confusion so that His destiny may be changed
  • => He could have focused on self, justified Himself by taking the Word out of context and received power & glory and not fulfilled his mission from the Father.
  • => The same for us…If the enemy is not bothered with one!!!

 

Our Strategy against the enemy

  • Flesh => Self focus e.g. why are you suffering? => Fasting -> Spiritual focus
  • Word out of context? Si Mungu amesema? => Knowing & understanding the Word & Heart of God
  • Power & glory => makuu => Prayer => relationship / intimacy with God – Dependence on God

 

Romans 12:1-2(NLT)

And so, dear brothers and sisters,[a] I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him.[bDon’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.

 

Our Prayer

1 Peter 5:8-11 (NKJV)

Be sober, be vigilant; because[c]your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world. 10 But may[d] the God of all grace, who called us[e] to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you. 11 To Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.

 

 

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