“Our adversary the devil prowls around as a roaring lion seeking someone to devour…”
Our 2nd test – Will you work on strengthening your faith? - When the enemy comes & whispers in your ear and he will) will you resort to worry or to the Word?
Keep in mind the word picture Peter gave in 1 Pet.5:7-9 (Remember Peter knew very well about faith failures)
7“Cast all your cares [all your anxieties, all your worries, and all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares about you [with deepest affection, and watches over you very carefully].8 Be sober [well balanced and self-disciplined], be alert and cautious at all times. That enemy of yours, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion [fiercely hungry], seeking someone to devour. 9 But resist him, be firm in your faith [against his attack—rooted, established, immovable]…” Amplified Version
Verse 8 “Our adversary the devil prowls around as a roaring lion seeking someone to devour…”
Picture a herd of zebra grazing and the pride of lions looking over the herd to find their weaknesses.
Dynamic – Satan knows where you are vulnerable and weak. --So does God.
Verse 9 “Resist him, firm in your faith” How?
Knowing who you are in Christ, so that you may have Victory over the enemy, DO what He calls you to do, and exercise your Authority in the Spirit realm
What will you have victory over/in, or be given power to DO, or have authority over?
1. You are God’s workmanship, created in Christ unto good works (Ephesians 2:10)
2. You were transferred into His kingdom when you were born again (Colossians 1:13)
3. You are a believer and the light of the gospel shines through you (2 Cor. 4:4)
4. You are a child of God, a joint-heir with Christ (Romans 8:14, 16-17)
5. You are a new creation in Christ (2 Cor. 5:17)
6. You are free from condemnation (Romans 8:1)
7. You are reigning in this life by Jesus’ grace and righteousness (Romans 5:17)
8. You are redeemed (bought with the precious blood of Jesus Christ) (Ephesians 1:7)
9. You are free from the law of sin and death (Romans 8:2)
10. You can resist Satan and he will flee from you (James 4:7)
11. You are a conqueror through Him who loves you (Romans 8:37)
12. You are greatly loved by God (Ephesians 2:4)
13. You can do all things through Christ who strengthens you (Philippians 4:13)
14. You are crucified with Christ and He lives in you (Galatians 2:20)
15. You are seated in heavenly places in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 2:6)
16. You are blessed with all spiritual blessings in the heavenly places in Christ (Eph. 1:3)
17. You are delivered from the evils of the present world (Galatians 1:4)
18. You can be a doer of the Word and blessed in your actions (James 1:22)
19. You can quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one with your shield of faith (Eph. 6:16)
20. You are redeemed from the curse of the law (Galatians 3:13)
21. You are an overcomer by the blood of the Lamb and the Word of your testimony (Rev. 12:11)
22. You can be holy and blameless before Him in love (Ephesians 1:4)
23. You are accepted in the Beloved (Ephesians 1:6)
24. You can let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly (Colossians 3:16)
25. You are being transformed by the renewing of your mind with the Word (Romans 12:2)
26. You are strengthened with all might according to His glorious power (Colossians 1:11)
27. You are born of God and can have within you the faith that can overcome the world (I John 5:4, 5)
28. You are a partaker of His divine nature (2 Peter 1:3, 4)
29. You are complete in Him (Colossians 2:10)
30. You have been crucified with Christ and are now free from the power of sin (Romans 6:7)
31. You are alive to God through Jesus Christ (Romans 6:11)
32. You are the righteousness of God in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:21)
33. You have been given life through Jesus Christ (Romans 6:23)
34. You are an ambassador of Christ, given a message of reconciliation (2Cor. 5:19-20)
35. You are the salt of the earth (Matt. 5:13)
36. You are running with endurance the race set before you, fixing our eyes on Jesus (Heb. 12:1-2)
37. You are a light to the nations so that His salvation may reach to the ends of the earth (Is. 49:6)
38. You are being renewed day by day by the transforming of your mind through the Word
So you want to be used fully by God? Of course you do. It doesn’t come by osmosis.
Only as we empty ourselves can we be fully filled by God. God will not fill a space that is already occupied. Often we are occupied with the things of life. We need to put ourselves aside by verbally telling God that we are surrendering ourselves to Him, emptying ourselves of anything that would stand in God’s way of being fully filled by Him. Below we will endeavor to be more specific by expanding this more.
What would happen in our day, if believers were to get serious about pursuing the heart of God?
Might we experience the manifest presence of God in our lives?
Might we see God supernaturally convert multitudes of lost sinners to faith in Christ?
The heart that God seeks us to have …
…must be in agreement with His Heart and His word. As we empty ourselves of ourselves,
… then we are free, clear and available to be fully filled by God.
Emptying Ourselves of ourselves: We invite your prayerful consideration of the following areas of agreement between you and God. As you read each point, ask yourself, “Do I agree with God in this area?” Take the time to look the scripture up as a part of your devotional time. Use each statement as a prayer to God.
God’s View of My Life Yes___ or No ___
1.Lord, I agree that You are continually drawing me with an everlasting love (Rom. 8:35-39)
“Thank You Lord for …
2.Lord, I agree that when I follow Your plan for my life, I attain the greatest degree of happiness and usefulness possible (Matt. 5:3-12).
“Help me to follow…
3.Lord, I agree I must wisely regard each day as if it were my last, and live it solely to the praise of Your glory (Psalm 39:5).
“Help me Lord to live today…
4. Lord, I agree that You purchased me on the cross, and therefore, all my time, money,
thoughts, desires, and actions must be under Your control (Rom. 14:8).
“Because I am Yours Lord, take my…
God’s View of my Sin -- Yes____ or No____
1. Lord I agree that there is no secret sin in my life that You do not know about (Ps. 90:8 -“You have placed our iniquities before You, our secret sins in the light of Your presence”)
“Forgive me for…
2. Lord, I agree that all sin is against You (Psalm 51:4) and for my sin You suffered in my place so that I wouldn’t have to go to Hell (Rom. 3:9-23).
“Against You and You only have I sinned. Forgive me of all of my sin …
Thank You for …
3. Lord, I agree that times of spiritual refreshment cannot come unless there is repentance of sin (Acts 3:19-20). Repentance is a change of mind concerning my sin. Turning in the opposite direction from the sinful direction I was going in.
“Lord, I want that spiritual refreshment that comes from You. I repent of…
4. Lord, I agree to speedily confess my sin and to accept Your forgiveness and cleansing (I John 1:9) “Help me Lord to spot my sin right away and confess it immediately so that I might maintain …
God’s goal: Point out your vulnerabilities
- Increase your faith
- Increase your boldness
- Increase your ministry
- Increase your relationship with God
- Do great things for God
Praying on the Armor of God
I know we’re in a spiritual battle. Keep me clothed in Your full armor. (Ephesians 6:10-18)
The armor is my lifestyle in Christ—my armor of light! Help me to live a life that exhibits the truth of my salvation: that I’m a child of God, given new life in Christ, and Satan cannot harm me. (Romans 13:12, 14; John 1:12; 2 Corinthians 5:17; 1 John 5:18)
I take up the belt of truth, acknowledging Christ as my truth—the way, the truth, the life. May I always tell the truth. Don’t let me settle for half-truths,
exaggerate, or withhold the truth. (Ephesians 6:13-14; John 14:6; 16:8; 1 John 1:9)
May right living guard my heart like a breastplate of armor, for my heart affects everything I do. Help me to make godly choices that keep me centered in Your will. (Proverbs 4:23; Ephesians 6:14)
May the truth of the gospel and the peace that it brings give me sure footing, like boots on a soldier’s feet. Help me to stand in the confidence that my sins are forgiven, that I belong to You. Keep me ready to share the good news that Christ died for our sins, that we are saved by faith. (Ephesians 6:15; 2:8-9)
I take up Christ as my shield of faith, for He is the reason for my faith. May I live by faith, trusting in the promises of the Bible. Keep my faith strong enough to extinguish the flaming arrows Satan sends my way. (Psalm 84:9; Ephesians 1:15; 6:16)
Christ is my helmet of salvation, for there’s no other name by which I’m saved. Jesus is my Redeemer, who laid down His life for me. May that truth keep me steadfast in my thinking. (Ephesians 6:17; Acts 4:12; Titus 2:13; Psalm 19:14; John 10:11)
Jesus defeated Satan with Scripture. May speaking the Word give me victory as well! May Your Word, spoken in prayer, be the sword in my hands that defeats the powers of darkness. May the Scriptures I pray be Your Word that does not return empty, but accomplishes Your purposes. (Matthew 4:1-11; Ephesians 6:17; Isaiah 55:11) In Jesus’ name, amen
As we take our stand in prayer, let us keep in mind where the real authority and power lies. May we keep our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith (Hebrews 12:2)!
Satan is a fallen angel (Luke 10:18)—
but Jesus is the creator of all things! (Colossians 1:16)
Satan rules a kingdom of darkness (Matthew 12:26; Revelation 2:13)—
but Jesus is King of kings, Lord of lords!
Satan is the prince of this world (John 12:31)—
but Jesus is the Prince of princes! (Daniel 8:25)
Satan is roams the earth like a roaring lion
(1 Peter 5:8)—
but Jesus is the Lion of the tribe of Judah! (Revelation 5:5)
Satan is a deceiver (Revelation 20:7-8, 10) and the father of lies (John 8:44)—
but Jesus is the way, the truth, the life!
Satan is a tempter (Genesis 3:13; Matthew 4:1-11)—
but Jesus brings us through every
temptation! (1 Corinthians 10:13)
Satan is our accuser (Revelation 12:10-11)—
but Jesus is the One in whom there is no
condemnation! (Romans 8:1)
Satan is a thief, out to steal, kill and destroy (John 10:10a)—
but Jesus is the giver of abundant life!
Satan is the destroyer (Revelation 9:11—Abaddon and
Apollyon mean “Destroyer”)—
but Jesus is the One who holds everything together! (Colossians 1:17)
How am I then to live?
What lifestyle prepares us for taking up the full armor of God to stand our ground against Satan?
Paul describes it in Ephesians 4-6:9. Let’s go through the points he makes as a way to examine our conscience and confess any sins God brings to mind:
Father, am I walking worthy of my calling?...
Does my character, do my relationships reflect—
Is there in my life any—
Am I constantly putting off my old nature and any sinful habits, my former conduct?
Am I letting You renew my mind?
Am I consciously putting on my new nature, seeking righteousness and holiness?
Do I ever lie? exaggerate? shade the truth? fail to correct wrong impressions?
Have I gone to bed angry without apologizing and making things right?
Have I given the devil a foothold by failing to deal with all the sin in my life? Am I hanging on to any sins without confessing them, without repenting—turning away from them in God’s strength?
Have I stolen anything? —
Am I sharing with others in need?
How am I then to live?
Do I ever say things that are unwholesome?
Am I an encourager, always building others up? Or is my spirit critical and judgmental?
Do I grieve the Holy Spirit with sins?
Am I bitter about anything?
Do I lose my temper? Have anger or show rage?
Do I slander others with my talk?
Am I kind? Compassionate?
Do I forgive others as God has forgiven me?
Am I living a life characterized by love?
Have I been immoral? Impure in thought or action?
Am I greedy? Materialistic?
Do I engage in obscene language or foolish talk? Off color jokes?
Am I living as a child of the light, giving no place to deeds of darkness?
Do I live wisely, making the most of every
opportunity for Christ?
Do I seek to understand the Lord’s will when faced with choices and decisions?
Am I daily filled with the Spirit?
Do I sing psalms, hymns, spiritual songs with
others? Make music in my heart?
Do I always give thanks for everything?
Do I submit to others?
Do I love my wife as my own body
Do I respect my husband?
Are my children obedient?
Am I bringing them up in the training and
instruction of the Lord?
Do I honor my parents?
Do I serve my employers or those in ministry
wholeheartedly doing God’s will from my heart?
Handbook for Spiritual Warfare
The Apostle Paul’s letter to the Ephesians has been called our handbook for spiritual warfare because it gives clear instruction about standing against Satan.
Paul said we are to be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. We are to put on the full armor of God and stand our ground against the devil’s schemes. But before we pray on the armor of God, let’s consider that Paul didn’t begin his letter to the Ephesians with the armor—that’s how he concludes.
The first three chapters of Ephesians focus on our position in Christ, on who we are in Christ. This is essential for us to understand if we are to stand against Satan and his evil spirits. Then Paul makes clear the life we are to live in Christ, in chapters 4-6:9. Note his strong language:
I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling….
Make every effort…
I insist...that you must no longer live as
You must put off…get rid of…have nothing
to do with…
There must not be even a hint of….
Be careful how you live...
Once we understand who we are and how we are to live in Christ, Paul gives us our assignment: we’re to clothe ourselves in the full armor of God, stand our ground and pray. The battleground is prayer.
If we are to successfully stand our ground against Satan, we must pay careful attention to everything Paul said leading up to the armor of God. Otherwise, we may have chinks in our armor, no matter how fervently we pray.
Who Am I in Christ? (also see below #4. Spiritual Preparation: Knowing Who You Are In Christ )
Positive affirmations of the truth of our position in Christ. Excellent verses to speak aloud and to use as prayers of praise and thanksgiving to our gracious God!
I have been blessed with every spiritual blessing.
I was chosen before the creation of the world.
I am holy and blameless in God’s sight.
I have been adopted as God’s child.
I have been redeemed by His blood.
I have been forgiven by His grace.
I have been chosen according to His purpose and will.
I have been predestined to be His own.
I have been marked with the seal of the Holy Spirit.
I have been guaranteed an inheritance.
I have been made alive with Christ.
I have been saved by grace.
I have been affirmed as God’s workmanship, His masterpiece.
I have been assured that God has prepared good works for me to do.
I have been granted access to the Father by the Holy Spirit.
I have been joined with others in the body of Christ to become a dwelling for the Holy Spirit.
I have been given assignment to make known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms the manifold wisdom of God.
I have been given freedom to approach God with confidence through faith in Christ.
- cripple you [lion biting into the hind leg]
- take you down [lion brings animal to ground
- defeat your faith [no chance will get away]
- destroy you [kills the prey]
“lay aside every encumbrance (unnecessary weight –anything that distracts us, anything that keeps us from
making progress in growing in faith.)
Hindrances: - too many commitments
- over involvements in others goals
- entangled in others problems
“lay aside, (strip off) the sin that so easily (cleverly) clings to and entangles us (wants to trip us up)
“let us run with patient endurance (steady, active persistence)
“The (appointed) race (course) that is set before us
“looking away [from all that will distract]
“to Jesus, (who is) the Author
What do we need to do?
Spiritual preparation is a matter of surrendering. And I for one need to do that daily. I want to be used by God as fully as possible. It’s my prayer that God will keep each of us walking closely with Him and surrendered daily.
To the King of Kings be Praise and Glory and Honor forever!
The Most Important Preparation…is Spiritual Preparation!
Years ago each person going on a mission trip would fill out a trip evaluation at the end of the trip. One question would be asked, “What would you have done differently for this trip?” The most common answer was “Prayed more”!
If you forget socks, you can borrow some. If you forget toothpaste, we can buy you some. But if you fail to be spiritually prepared, you can’t borrow it or buy it! The last thing you want to so is carry the “kitchen sink” with you overseas, but then stand in panic at someone’s door, realizing too late that you gave the least attention to the very thing you needed the most! So make spiritual preparation your 1st priority.
What can you do to be spiritually prepared? Several things:
Therefor . . .
Start praying NOW.
Get into the Word NOW
Begin your spiritual preparation NOW
Faith building Verses
What has God called us to do?
“Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God” (Rom. 10:17)
We need to meditate on these passages and what the heart of God is saying to us:
1. Like Jesus we need to be about the “Father’s business.” (Luke 2:49) And what was that? “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save those who are lost.” (Luke 19:10)
2. His last command was to ( Matt. 28:19-20) “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all nations … and teach them to observe all that I have commanded them.”
3. He told us to follow Him and we would make us “fisher’s of men.” (Matt. 4:19)
We call ourselves “Followers of Christ,” but if we are not fishing for men, are we really following Him?
4. In Isaiah 49:6 God told his people that He would make them a “ light to the nations, so that My salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.” That’s what He wants to do with us – make us His lights, so His salvation reaches the world.
5. God has told us that we are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a special people for God’s own possession, so that we may declare the excellent things about Him who called us out of darkness into His marvelous light.” (1 Peter 2:9.)
Recap: We are special to Him. He has chosen us, called us to tell others these great things concerning salvation.
6. Our job according to 2 Cor. 5:20 is to be “Christ’s ambassadors. God making His appeal [to people] through us. Therefore we beg people on behalf of Christ - be reconciled to God.”
7. “God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and has committed to us the message of reconciliation.” (2 Cor. 5:19)
8. “We have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not to please men, but God.” 1 Thess. 2:4
9. “Not that we are fit (qualified and sufficient in ability) of ourselves to claim or count anything as coming from us, but our power and ability and sufficiency are from God. (2 Cor. 3:5 – Amplified)
10. When a person comes back from a mission trip, “They cannot stop speaking about what they have seen and what they have heard. (Acts 4:20)
11. “God always leads us in triumph and through us spreads the aroma of the knowledge of Him everywhere. For we are the sweet smelling aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing. (2 Cor. 2:14-15)
12. God told us that He was sending us to “open their eyes, so that they might turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God and that they might receive forgiveness of sin . . .” (Acts 26:18)
13. This is what God thinks we should be- “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be
hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, so that it gives light to allin the house.” (Matt. 5:14-15)
14. Jude 1:23 tells us to “save others by snatching them out of the fire [of Hell].
Recap: We are to be the “spiritual heroes” to those who are perishing.
15. “Thanks be to God who gives us the victory through Christ. Therefore stand firm, let nothing move
16. “He who calls you is faithful, who will also do it” (1Thess. 2:23)
17. “He will strengthen us, He will help us, He will uphold us, therefore we do not need to fear.” (Is. 41:10)
18. “We are more than conquerors through Christ…” (Rom. 8:37)
19. “The battle belongs to the Lord” (2Chron.20:15)
20. “And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things, at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.” (2 Cor. 9:8)
21. “ Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory.” (Eph. 3:20)
Your Daily Walk with the Lord -- Yes___ or No___
1. Lord, I agree that You deserve my daily praise and adoration (Heb. 13:15).
“Upon waking and through out the daily, remind me of how worthy You are of…
2. Lord, I agree to protect as special those times of private prayer and study of Your Word in
order that I may be equipped for living a godly life. (Col. 4:2, 2Tim.2:15)
“Lord, I want to be diligent in spending…
3. Lord, I agree that I need Your constant help in establishing and maintaining a daily walk
with You (Gal. 5:25) “Lord, help me to walk in Your Spirit…
Your Witness for God -- Yes___ or No___
1. Lord, I agree that being an effective witness means being open to confess You before others (Luke 12:8) “Help me Lord to be bold in proclaiming the mysteries of the gospel…
2. Lord, I agree that You are able through Your surpassing great power to use me mightily as an instrument of righteousness and a vessel of mercy (2 Cor. 4:7).
“Lord, use me to minister to those I meet …
3. Lord, I agree to continually make myself available to You for Your use, and by faith to
live in regular expectation of bearing fruit to bring You glory (John 15:1-8, 16).
“Help me Lord to bear fruit by…
4. Lord, I agree that in the light of all that You have done for me, I am to live in victory and
power through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ (1 Cor. 15:57).
“Thank You Lord for giving us the power to be victorious through…
God’s Honor & Glory -- Yes___ or No___
1.Lord, I agree with Your first commandment to love You with all my heart, soul, strength and mind (Matt. 22:37-38).
“Help me Lord to love You with all that is within me…
2. Lord, I agree that You alone are worthy of praise, honor, and glory, and I refuse to glory in myself or to seek or accept that praise and honor which are Yours alone (Rev. 4:11).
“May the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable in Your
sight, my Lord and my…
“Lord, I want to be fully used by You…therefore I empty myself that You may fill me with the fullness of Yourself” (Eph. 3:19)
Adapted from Lord, I Agree by Richard Owen Roberts
for Biblical Church Ministries
Spiritual preparation is so very important. But none of should think that we will go on our mission trip as people who have “already arrived spiritually.” God wants to use this time before we go to draw us closer to Himself. Many of us have feelings of inadequacy that get in the way and can ultimately defeat us if we let them. The Scriptures address this thinking, present the balance needed and show us how to counteract wrong thinking so that God gets victory over it.
What hinders most people from doing the things God wants them to do?
Feelings of Inadequacy –
1. All of us should realize that we are:
2. Remember that this is a “God-size job” we’ll be undertaking. It’s bigger than any one of us, BUT