How to Be Victorious in Spiritual Warfare, Part 27 (Revive the Family, Revive the Church, Awaken the Nation, O Lord #79)

spiritual-warfare

A series of homilies on Ephesians 5 & 6

A homily is “a short talk on a religious or moral topic; a usually short sermon; a lecture or discourse on or of a biblical theme.”


I am sharing a verse-by-verse series of short messages on Ephesians 5 & 6 (as well as other passages of Scripture) specifically targeted at reviving families and encouraging and exhorting husbands, wives, fathers, mothers, and children to do what God has commanded them to do, for if the church is to be revived and the country is to be awakened, the family must be revived first.

Ephesians 6:10-18:

10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.

11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;

15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;

16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.

17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:

18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

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A.W. Tozer said, “The church that is not jealously protected by mighty intercession and sacrificial labors will before long become the abode of every evil bird and the hiding place for unsuspected corruption. The creeping wilderness will soon take over that church that trusts in its own strength and forgets to watch and pray.”

Leonard Ravenhill said, “Someone asked me, ‘Do you pray for the dead?” I said, “No, I preach to them!” I think every pew in every church is death row. Think about that! They’re dead! They sing about God; they talk about God, but they’re dead! They have no living relationship (with God).”

—-

Today, we are going to take a closer look at what it means to “watch” in the midst of our spiritual warfare. The Bible tells us that we are to be “watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.” The word “watch” occurs 115 times in the Bible. In the New Testament, it means to “to be sleepless, to keep awake, to be circumspect, to be attentive, and to be ready.”

To be ‘sleepless’ in the spiritual realm is to never let our guard down. As we heard yesterday from C.S. Lewis, there are no holidays or vacations in the spiritual battle. You might be taking some time off physically, but your spirit ought to always be awake, alert, and watching. If you are not sleepless in your spiritual conduct, the devil will wait until you have let your guard down to strike. When he sees that you are engrossed in a basketball game, or in a good movie, or in play time with your children to the point where you have forgotten that you are still a soldier in a war zone, that is when he will move in. You might have been awake physically, but your spirit was sleeping.

The Bible Exposition Commentary says, “Watch. Pray with your eyes open. Watching means ‘keeping on the alert.’ The phrase ‘watch and pray’ occurs often in the Bible. When Nehemiah was repairing the walls of Jerusalem, and the enemy was trying to stop the work, Nehemiah defeated the enemy by watching and praying. He said, ‘Nevertheless we made our prayer unto our God, and set a watch.’ ‘Watch and pray’ is the secret of victory over the world, the flesh, and the devil. Peter went to sleep when he should have been praying, and the result was victory for Satan. God expects us to use our God-given senses, led by the Spirit, so that we detect Satan when he is beginning to work.”

We ought to keep awake at all times. Things may seem quiet and peaceful in your life right now. Don’t let that fool you into slipping into spiritual dormancy. The devil might have just decided to engage with you on a Cold War level. He may not be attacking you outright, but rest assured that he is stockpiling weapons and ammo to use against you in the near future. You don’t know when he is going to attack, but an attack is coming. That is why you must remain watchful.

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