How to Be Victorious in Spiritual Warfare, Part 33 (Revive the Family, Revive the Church, Awaken the Nation, O Lord #85)

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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George Downame said, “The Christian soldier must avoid two evils-he must not faint or yield in the time of fight, and after a victory he must not wax insolent and secure. When he has overcome, he is so to behave himself as though he were presently about to be assaulted. For Satan’s temptations, like the waves of the sea, do follow one in the neck of the other.”

Leonard Ravenhill said, “The Bible, the whole Bible, and nothing but the Bible is the religion of Christ’s church. The devil’s aim today is to keep people away from the Bible.”

In their book, The Ten Greatest Revivals Ever, Elmer Towns and Douglas Porter share with us: “An evangelical revival is an extraordinary work of God in which Christians repent of their sins as they become intensely aware of his presence in their midst, and they manifest a positive response to God in renewed obedience to the known will of God, resulting in both a deepening of their individual and corporate experience with God, and an increased concern to win others to Christ.”

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Today, we are going to begin looking at the use of the word “watch” throughout Scripture in the Old Testament and the New Testament. We will learn the various uses of this word as it applies to spiritual warfare in many different contexts.

The first use of this word in the Bible is in Genesis 31:48-49: The passage reads, “And Laban said, This heap is a witness between me and thee this day. Therefore was the name of it called Galeed and Mizpah; for he said, The LORD watch between me and thee, when we are absent one from another.”

The Hebrew word used here is “tsa-faw.” It means “to look out or about, to spy, to keep watch, or to observe.” The Hebrew Lexicon adds that the primary idea is of a person inclining or bending forward in order to get a better view – to pay attention to.

In this passage, Laban and Jacob had just had a family conflict. Jacob and his wives and children had left Laban’s homestead abruptly. Unbeknownst to Jacob, his wife Rachel had stolen Laban’s family idols. Three days later, when Laban found out, he was upset over the missing idols and over the fact that Jacob had not let him know he was going to leave. It took him seven days to chase Jacob down. When he finally caught up with his son-in-law, he and Jacob had an argument. Laban was furious over his stolen idols and his daughters and grandchildren being taken away from him; Jacob was furious that Laban was not paying him enough and that Laban had accused him of stealing from him. Even though this situation could have escalated into violence, the relatives decided to let the situation go. They sat down and ate together, and then erected a pile of stones by which they agreed to remember their truce.

Before he left, Laban said, “The LORD watch between me and thee, when we are absent one from another.” Perhaps you have heard this phrase out of context at the end of a church service and assumed that the pastor was asking God to protect the members. But that is not the meaning Laban intended. He asks God to serve as a watchman between him and Jacob.

We, too, ought to emulate this request and serve as watchmen in our families. The devil is out to destroy the family, and he will take any advantage, any point of disagreement, and blow it up to cause discord. Therefore, we should watch — keep a look out — for the devil’s working in the family and in the Church.

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