How to Be Victorious in Spiritual Warfare, Part 52 (Revive the Family, Revive the Church, Awaken the Nation, O Lord #104)

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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William Gurnall said, “Let this encourage those of you who belong to Christ: the storm may be tempestuous, but it is only temporary. The clouds that are temporarily rolling over your head will pass, and then you will have fair weather, an eternal sunshine of glory. Can you not watch with Christ for one hour?”

Leonard Ravenhill said, “Today, all we have is a sinning-repenting cycle. That is not what Jesus died for! We need to shout from the housetops and tell people everywhere today — in the church and out of it — that Christianity is not a sinning religion.”

In their book, The Ten Greatest Revivals Ever, Elmer Towns and Douglas Porter share with us regarding the 1904 Revival: “During the time of the 1904 Revival, a man named Evan Roberts felt impressed by God that revival was coming to his native Wales. He told a friend, “I have a vision of all Wales being lifted up to heaven. We are going to see the mightiest revival that Wales has ever known—and the Holy Spirit is coming soon, so we must get ready.””

—-

Today, we are going to continue looking at the use of the word “watch” throughout Scripture in the Old Testament and the New Testament.

We are looking at Colossians 4:2 which reads, “Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving.”

At the beginning of his letter to the Colossians, Paul informed them that he had been praying earnestly for their spiritual growth. Now, as he closes this letter, he asks them to “continue in prayer” for him and his ministry. This word is built on the Greek root word meaning “to be strong.” Its meanings also include: ‘to adhere to a belief system; to be devoted or constant to something; to be steadfastly attentive; to continue all the time in a certain place or task; and to persevere and not to faint.’

Paul asks for constant, consistent prayer from people who could be considered his spiritual children. This tells us that God hears the prayers of all of His saints equally and that none of us are above benefitting from the prayers of others.

But, not only does Paul want the Colossian believers to pray for him consistently, he wants them to “watch in the same” (that is, in the same spirit of prayer) “with thanksgiving.”

The word “watch” in this passage is translated “vigilant” in other versions of the Bible. As seen before, this word literally means to be “wakeful.” It may seem as though Paul is telling the believers to remain physically awake as they pray (and some probably needed that admonition), but he means for them to remain spiritually awake and alert in their prayers. Too often, we pray dead prayers — saying meaningless words which do not reflect an awareness of the spiritual conditions around us.

Part of the work of a watchman is to not only pray consistently, but to be vigilant, watchful, and alert in his prayers. God will speak to us in prayer, and we must be ready to receive answers from him that have bearing on what is happening right now.

Let’s pray.

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