Devil and Spiritual Warfare – The goal of the war is to capture every thought and make every thought obedient to Christ. This is the nuts and bolts of spiritual warfare. There is no need to go further talking about the supernatural until you realize it’s not about ugly faces, wizards, and magic. It’s not about Harry Potter, Democrats, or Republicans. It’s not about flesh and blood. It’s about you and your thoughts!

SUPERNATURAL
By Pastor Delbert Young

Spiritual Warfare

Audio

Devil and Spiritual Warfare

Scriptures: 2 Corinthians 10:3-4, Colossians 1:13, Ephesians 6:10-12, 2 Corinthians 4:4, Matthew 13:19, 2 Timothy 2:26, 1 Thessalonians 2:18, 1 Peter 5:8, Ephesians 6:13-18, 2 Kings 6:15-16, 2 Kings 6:17

For the next few weeks, we will be talking about SUPERNATURAL issues. Today, we will talk about the reality of the spirit world and SPIRITUAL WARFARE. Next week we will deal with the POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT, then ARE DEMONS REAL, and lastly ANGELS.

In my opinion, there are two major mistakes churches make concerning this. (1) The over-emphasis, where everything is a demon. For example, someone looses his or her job and blames the devil when in actuality they were laying out of work or doing an insufficient job. (2) Underemphasize, where there are no demons, or the devil has no power. This is more common today and probably the only thing worse than believing there is a demon behind every bush. What that philosophy is saying is there is no spirit world about which to be concerned. A reason we move in those two pendulum swings is we understand very little about the spiritual world. The church doesn’t teach it to us and Hollywood portrays the spirit world as ugly faces, wizards, and magic. It’s not ugly faces, wizards, and magic you should concern yourself with. Harry Potter is not what you are fighting. Let’s get started.

First thought is this is a very real war between two very real kingdoms.

2 Corinthians 10:3-4  For though WE live in the world, WE do not WAGE WAR as the world does. The weapons WE fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish STRONGHOLDSWE demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the KNOWLEDGE of God, and WE TAKE CAPTIVE EVERY THOUGHT TO MAKE IT OBEDIENT TO CHRIST.

If WE are alive and in the world, WE are in a war. There is a real war no matter if you believe there is a war or not. In fact, the enemy would love you to believe there is no war, no demons today, and no devil.

The war is raging and both sides have real and powerful weapons. What are the weapons? I will show you. The targets are STRONGHOLDS, but not cities or nations. The STRONGHOLDSare every argument and imagination (KJV) that sets itself up against the KNOWLEDGE OF GOD. Paul talks about taking prisoners, or captives. In a war, the prisoners/captives are the enemies, right? You must see what, not who, the enemies are. Paul said, WE TAKE CAPTIVE EVERY THOUGHT! Please don’t miss that. The enemies shooting at you, bombing you, in hand-to-hand combat with you, and wanting to take you captive/prisoner, are THOUGHTS, IMAGINATIONS! PRETENTIONS. The goal of the war is to capture every thought and make every thought obedient to Christ. This is the nuts and bolts of SPIRITUAL WARFARE. There is no need to go further talking about it until you realize it’s not about ugly faces, wizards, and magic. It’s not about Harry Potter, Democrats, Republicans, or Rosie O’Donald. It’s not about flesh and blood. It’s about YOU and YOUR THOUGHTS! It’s about capturing your thoughts. It’s about training your children to capture their thoughts. THAT’S SPIRITUAL WARFARE – the war against dark thoughts and enlightened thoughts.

THE FIRST POINT TO GRASP IN SPIRITUAL WARFARE IS YOUR PRIMARY ENEMIES ARE YOUR THOUGHTS. In the video, I said, “dark thoughts…” I don’t only mean lustful, or evil thoughts. You might battle with thoughts of fear. That’s dark. You might battle with thoughts of sickness, or depression. That’s dark. Any thought that attempts to control or possess you is from the kingdom of DARKness.

The war is about rescuing people from the kingdom of darkness.

Colossians 1:13  For he has rescued us from the one who rules in the KINGDOM OF DARKNESS, and he has brought us into the KINGDOM OF HIS DEAR SON.

The war is over you. You, your children, grandchildren, people you love are the prizes. Satan desires to put you in bondage and slavery. Jesus desires to make you free. Amazingly, it’s turned around and the thinking today is we are in bondage when serving in the Kingdom of God and free when in the kingdom of darkness.

A SECOND THOUGHT ABOUT SPIRITUAL WARFARE IS REALIZING THE DEVIL HASBIG PLANS FOR YOU.

Ephesians 6:10-12  Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the DEVIL’S SCHEMES. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, AGAINST THE POWERS OF THIS DARK {supernatural} WORLD AND AGAINST THE SPIRITUAL FORCES OF EVIL IN THE HEAVENLY REALMS.

There are heavenly schemes (plural)concerning you and I am not talking about the Lord’s heavenly plans. The NLT says strategies and tricks. KJV says wiles. You must be strong in the Lord. You are not strong enough in your own strength and power to go against this enemy. You need the Lord’s mighty power and armor to withstand the devil’s SCHEMES.

The devil has SCHEMES and the ultimate purpose of those SCHEMES is to destroy you. The devil has schemes to destroy your family. The devil has schemes to destroy your children. The devil has schemes to destroy everything about you. It’s not simply a random act where the enemy accidentally stumbles upon you. There are timed and designed SCHEMES, just for you, planned by SPIRITUAL FORCES OF EVIL IN THE HEAVENLY REALMS – SUPERNATURAL WORLD.

We are told of the time that Jesus was tempted by the devil. He had just experienced water baptism by John the Baptist. He stood at the door to enter his purpose in life.

Matthew 4:3  And WHEN the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. 

This was a personalized scheme of the devil. Turning a stone into bread would not be a temptation to me or anyone else. No one else could do it. That was a personalized, customized,scheme designed for Jesus. Also, connect the timing of the temptations. It says, “WHEN the tempter came…” He came at Christ’s weakest point and at the time he was about to step into his greatest accomplishment. Your temptation experiences are powerful schemes of the devil planned specifically for you. My next statement might be an “eye opener” to you. Just as God has a heavenly plan for your success, the devil has a heavenly plan for your destruction.

How does the devil devise schemes? How is it that he gets to us so easily? We will look at 5 ways he hits every one of us. See if you relate to them and realize Satan has already hit you with his schemes.

(1) BLINDED THE MINDS

2 Corinthians 4:4  Satan, the god of this evil world, has BLINDED THE MINDS of those who don’t believe, so they are unable to see the glorious light of the Good News that is shining upon them. They don’t UNDERSTAND the message we preach about the glory of Christ, who is the exact likeness of God.

How many of you have tried to focus, listen, and understand a teaching of the word of God, but caught your mind thinking about something miles away? You caught yourself thinking about a situation at home, or work, or lunch, whatever. What is that? That is Satan blinding your mind.It’s most likely happened to some of you today. You have been hit by Satan. Why does he do this? So you will not UNDERSTAND THE MESSAGE about Christ. It’s tough for believers to remain focused, but it’s a major struggle/battle for unbelievers. I do everything I can to keep your minds attentive – screens, examples, background, anything. I realize you are sitting there in a battle. He blinds our minds.

(2) STEAL GOD’S WORD FROM YOU

Have you ever heard a good truth from God’s word when it did something inside of you and you said, “That’s good! I am going to do that. I need to apply that.” However, a few hours later, or the next day, those spiritual thoughts you had were gone? You could not remember them. In fact, you could not remember what the lesson was about. Someone asked you what did the preacher talk about and you said, “Uhhhhhhhhhhhh…” What happened? Jesus told us how this works.

Matthew 13:19   When anyone HEARS the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, THE EVIL ONE COMES AND SNATCHES AWAY WHAT WAS SOWN IN HIS HEART

That’s what happened. The evil one’s schemes include blinding your mind, stealing God’s word, and…

(3) SET TRAPS TO ENSNARE YOU

When I was a boy, we lived in the country on my dad’s farm. I would make a little extra money by trapping, cleaning, and selling wild rabbits. I baited the traps with something that appealed to their appetites (apples), placed traps along rabbit trails, and rather easily caught those silly rabbits. This is exactly what Satan does to us. You unsuspectingly hopped along your “trail.” The devil baited and set a trap, just for you, with something appealing specifically to your appetite – your weakness – and, rather easily, silly you hopped into the trap.

For example, maybe you decide to break away from drugs, but the doctor made it so easy for you to get a prescription and you hop in. You want to stop talking about people, but then a close friend wants to talk about someone, stirs you up, and you hop in. You decide to break away from porn, but a lustful image pops up and you are in the trap. What’s going on? It’s a scheme.

2 Timothy 2:26  and that they will come to their senses and escape from the TRAP OF THE DEVIL, who has taken them captive to do his will.

His schemes include blinding your mind, stealing God’s word, trapping you, and…

(4) HE SCHEMES TO STOP YOU.

Maybe you hear a good lesson on getting out of debt. You decide that is God’s will and the next day your automobile engine explodes, or the washer goes out. You make a decision to begin tithing and giving, but that day on the news you hear about an unethical preacher. You want to improve your marriage, but something happens to cause the argument of the decade. You plan to witness to a person, the moment is right when they get an emergency call and must leave. What’s this? It could be you ignored your car maintenance, but you cannot discard the timing of the thing and Satan’s scheme to stop you.

1 Thessalonians 2:18  For we wanted to come to you – certainly I, Paul, did, again and again – butSATAN STOPPED US.

How many times did Satan stop Paul? He said, “again and again.” For us to think he will not scheme to stop us is being a little naive. He blinds the minds, steals the word of God, traps us, stops us, and…

(5) PLANS TO DESTROY YOU

1 Peter 5:8  Be self-controlled and ALERTYour enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to DEVOUR.

The word translated devour is katapino and means to drink down, i.e. gulp entire. I heard a preacher say that Satan can’t devour you because he is a “gum-less bully. Jesus pulled his teeth.” That might get a big “amen,” but it’s not true, for that preacher was totally devoured. If the devil has a chance, he will devour you. He will devour your marriage, your witness (disqualify you), your children (drugs, alcohol, sex, rebellion), your finances (debt, can’t give, argue about money), your health (disease, pain), your relationship with God. He blinds your mind, he steals God’s word, he traps you, he stops you, and he will destroy you if possible.

How do we battle against those things?

Ephesians 6:13-18  Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the BELT OF TRUTH buckled around your waist, with the BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from theGOSPEL OF PEACE. In addition to all this, take up the SHIELD OF FAITH, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the HELMET OF SALVATION and the SWORD OF THE SPIRIT, which is the word of God. And PRAY IN THE SPIRIT on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.

Paul explains how to “not be” defeated by using the euphemism of a Roman soldier’s armor. From head to toe, you need salvation through Jesus, which will cover and protect your mind and thoughts. You need the breastplate of righteousness to guard your heart. You need to be belted with truth, not religious doctrine. You need to walk in peace. You must be able to expertly use the word of God as a soldier uses a sword to both defend and attack. We must PRAY IN THE SPIRIT. I am not going to say a lot about this here, but many of you need to learn to pray in the Spirit, which is different from praying in your understanding. That’s why Paul says pray with ALL KINDS OF PRAYERS, but pray always IN THE SPIRIT. These are your weapons. Without them, you have no defense against the devil’s schemes and you will constantly experience defeat after defeat. With them, you will experience victory after victory.

There is an interesting story in 2 Kings 6. This was the time of Elisha. Israel was at war with the king of Aram.

2 Kings 6:15-16  When the servant of the man of God got up and went out early the next morning, an army with horses and chariots had surrounded the city. “Oh, my lord, what shall we do?” the servant asked. “Don’t be afraid,” the prophet answered. “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.”

How many have felt like the servant – O, my lord, what shall we do? It appeared they were greatly outnumbered and alone. However, the people of God should know those who are with us are more than those who are with them.

2 Kings 6:17  And Elisha prayed, “O LORD, OPEN HIS EYES SO HE MAY SEE.” Then the LORD opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.

God’s angels and warriors are all around. There is a SUPERNATURAL world we do not see with our natural eyes. I want to help open our eyes about that SUPERNATURAL world over the next weeks as we talk about the Holy Spirit, Satan and demonic forces, and angels.

You are in a war no matter if you want to be or not. It’s a war between the kingdom of darkness and the kingdom of light. Your primary enemies are your THOUGHTS. Satan has BIG HEAVENLY PLANS for your destruction. He has many SCHEMES. He will BLIND YOUR MIND. He will STEAL GOD’S WORD. He will SET TRAPS. He will STOP YOU. He has plans to DESTROY YOU. However, you have weapons to win – the armor of God. You are in a war! Some of you are in a battle this moment. I want to pray for you. Let’s pray.

Other Related Sermons:

Your Will – sermon video audio notes

One Thing – sermon video audio notes

Mammon or God – sermon video audio notes

Also see:

Sermons Change The World

Life Gate Church sermons by Delbert Young