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. – Ephesians 6:10-12 NKJV
FINALLY, is a closing statement…One last thought before we bring this to a close…something to leave you with…to surmise…. Be Strong in the LORD and IN the POWER of HIS might! Not our might, not about what MIGHT happen, or MIGHT NOT happen- in the Power of HIS MIGHT! We get so ‘wrapped up’ in the ARMOR OF GOD, what does it mean, what are the weapons of offense and weapons of defense, what does each item mean…we go running for meaning, that we miss the REASON, the PURPOSE, the NEED for THE ARMOR OF GOD. What is the reason we need to know, adorn and understand the ARMOR OF GOD? Paul says, “That you\me\we may be able to stand against the WILES of the devil. The great nemesis of the Roadrunner, in the iconic Saturday morning cartoons was Wile E. Coyote. The NKJV version uses the word WILES, and if you do not know what it means just remember our coyote friend and his helper, ACME. They would scheme, plot and devise schemes to trick, manipulate, trap, deceive, act AS IF…all to get him the Roadrunner. In other translations the words they use explain what is meant by wiles. Schemes, strategies, deceits, and tricks- those are the words that the other translations use, which defines the word, WILES. As one Bible expositor says that the book of Ephesians is about our POSITION, IN CHRIST. “In the first three chapters of Ephesians, Paul uses the terms “In Christ,” “In Him,” and “In Whom” (all referring to Jesus) 30 times. This lays the basic foundation of the book that you are to know your position as a believer—I am “In Christ” (which Paul declares in Colossians 1:27 was a mystery and is our “hope of glory”). Paul over-emphasizes this position of being “In Christ” in the first half of the book, and then in chapters 4-6 explains what this position looks like lived out day-to-day.
Leader, the Devil has many strategies, schemes, tricks, and deceits to move people away from their power source, which is their belief, their faith, their Jesus and his finished work in His ministry of reconciliation. God openly tells us one of the devils biggest schemes is to pretend he is an emissary, a representative, a member of the family of God. Hear the Word of the Lord; For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds. (2 Corinthians 11:13-15) The devil also wants to make you doubt, or question your position in Christ. That is why Satan is called the accuser of the brethren. Hear the Word of the Lord: And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, “Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God. And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death. (Revelation 12:10-11) One of the Devil’s greatest machinations is to have us be confused, to have us doubt God, doubt God’s Word, and doubt the truth and guidance of God’s WORD. CONFUSION is the #1 weapon formed against us. When we are confused we DO NOT RESPOND with POWER, nor with CLARITY, which means, without CONVICTION and COMMITMENT. Confusion leads to doubt and doubt leads to living a double minded life that glorifies Satan and horrifies our Lord. If we are not grounded in the WORD of God, then when the devil twists, perverts and distorts the WORD of GOD how will we know? Now the seeds of confusion blossom into doubt, fear and forgetting our POSITION IN CHRIST. The first 2 delusions of the devil that he uses against his foes, God’s chosen people is; 1- The devil is not real. 2- He is some caricature, some little man in a red suit with a pitchfork who encourages you to do what you want. In a recent nationwide survey of adults’ conducted by the Barna Group, it is again affirmed, ‘most American Christians Do Not Believe that Satan or the Holy Spirit Exist”. In other words, they do not know WORD and what they do know, they DON’T BELIEVE. Without Faith it is IMPOSSIBLE to please God! (Hebrews 11:6)
Conduit, If you can get beyond the 2 standard lies of the devil, and believe what the BIBLE says, instead of what the DEVIL and THE WORLD say– now you can STAND AGAINST THE WILES of the devil. In Matthew 4:1-11 and Luke 4:1-12 the great spiritual battle of Jesus and Satan in the Wilderness plays out. We learn 6 things from that encounter and the first one: 1-THE DEVIL IS REAL. 2-The devil wants to make us doubt God, and His provision. “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of Bread”. (Matthew 4:3) 3- The devil knows Scripture. We know the devil knows at least three verses- you should know more of the Bible, than the devil knows! Interesting that Jesus rebukes Satan’s twisting of scripture, with scripture. Jesus quoted the Book of Deuteronomy each time. There is debate about whether Jesus quoted Psalms or Deuteronomy more. 4- The Devil has great power. The Devil is a created being, but as far as Created beings go, Lucifer is the most powerful creature ever made- He was the original Morning Star. Even Michael could not battle Satan on his own accord. Jude 1:9 says, “But when the archangel Michael, contending with the devil, was disputing about the body of Moses, he did not presume to pronounce a blasphemous judgment, but said, “The Lord rebuke you.” The devil is a defeated foe, but never-the-less a powerful, formidable adversary. 5- Jesus has authority over everything, including the Devil. Satan shows his great power by first taking Jesus to the pinnacle of the temple and then to a mountaintop. If Satan can do such things, we should never underestimate his power here on earth. Furthermore, we should not be surprised by the evil we see all around us. Still, the devil can only do what God allows him to do (Job 1:12).6- The Devil is a defeated foe! The devil’s time is short, and his doom is sure. In this time before Jesus’ return, God is patient, “not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance” (1 Pet. 3:9). Take comfort, because Jesus Christ—your captain, your champion, your advocate, your hero—shall never waver in his love for you. He “will sustain you to the end, guiltless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Cor. 1:8).