RECOGNIZING THE ENEMY’S TACTICS
The devil influences our mind through the prevalent mindsets and attitudes around us. When the attitude around us is that something will fail, we accept it. When the mindset is that something will not work out well, or that we will not prosper because there is an economic slowdown, or that a particular disease can never be cured, we accept these thoughts. The devil brands such failure in our minds. As a result, we end up saying that we are unworthy. Hence, Paul tells Timothy to be like Jesus. When Jesus stood before Pilate, He declared that He was a king. He had a spiritual kingdom. Pilate threatened him saying that he had the power to kill or release Jesus. Jesus answered Pilate that he had no authority or power over Him. So Paul tells Timothy to “follow the example of Jesus” when problems come. Jesus didn’t forget who He was, or where He came from. He didn’t give in to the situation by saying negative words of doubt. Last week, we saw how Jesus didn’t even give Pilate an inch. We must never forget and never stop confessing who we are. Timothy wasn’t facing life threatening problems. But Paul told him that he would definitely face other overwhelming problems in life. At that time, Timothy was encouraged to look at the problem and tell it, ‘You have no authority over me because Jesus Christ is my Lord’.
GOOD CONFESSION DESTROYS STRONGHOLDS
Some say that their colleague or boss or relative or neighbor is troubling them. The other person is not the problem. The problem is with us when we don’t believe who we are and what we have.
Satan orchestrates bitterness and anger in us. He causes us to believe failure. Even if everyone around us opposes us, we must believe that we will succeed in Jesus’ name. Nobody can stop God’s purpose from being accomplished. God will bring about His will only if we stand our ground and cooperate.
Some people say that they have always been poor. But we must believe that we have the blessing of Abraham. Jesus became poor so that we could become rich. We need to reorient our thinking so that the devil’s rule over us ends.
11 Put on the whole armor of God that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil14 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace;16 above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God;
Ephesians 6:11, 14-17
An evil day is when everything goes wrong in our lives and there are insurmountable problems. But we can prepare ourselves to face the wiles of the devil on the evil day. We can be encouraged that a new dawn will come in our lives and that we don’t have to give up.
The first weapon that this passage talks about is truth. If truth is our weapon for fighting, then it implies that we are fighting lies. Failure, defeat and fears are all lies. We must destroy the lies of the devil. No matter how powerful our strongholds are, we can bring them down with weapons that are mighty and not carnal. The other weapons include righteousness, peace, faith, salvation and the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. The Holy Spirit enables us to wield the Word. We must put it in our mouth, speak it and bring down every wrong thought and imagination that is holding us down. When we confess the Word of God, what God has done for us through His redemptive work on the Cross and what the Word is doing in and through our lives, it becomes a mighty weapon. It will destroy every stronghold and bring us victory.