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“Eternal vigilance is the price of freedom” — a familiar saying in our country. We remember from Pearl Harbor what it’s like to get caught off guard. The enemy can be so deceptive: Japan’s peace envoys were seated at the negotiating table at the very moment the attack was launched. Our country depends on a strong defense — on being watchful so we are not surprised by a sneak attack and on being powerful so that we are prepared to fight when we have to. The same holds true in the spiritual realm:


I. Be On the Alert — Be Careful — Military Alert

He has just told them to be care-free; now he says be careful;

not “let go and let God”; not passive in this spiritual warfare, but active;

A. Disciplined self-control; clear thinking; good decisions

B. Wide-awake watchfulness

20 times in the NT, believers are reminded to be on the alert, to Watch.

Most of the time it is Jesus who commands it.

If we are not careful, Satan can quickly gain an advantage:

1) Eph. 4:26-27 keep short accounts regarding sin; be quick to repent

2) 2 Cor. 2:10-11 a resentful or unforgiving spirit

3) Jude 9 tread with caution; don’t have a flippant attitude that the devil can’t touch me

II. Know the Enemy and Sense the Danger — Military Intellegence

A. His Makeup — Character — Identity

1. “your adversary” if you are proud, God opposes you; if you are humble and submit to the mighty hand of God, Satan is your adversary = much to be preferred; we get to pick our adversary

2. “the devil”

but he is able to masquerade as an angel of light

B. His Mission and Methods — “prowls about like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour”

Lion: great strength; crafty and deceptive — can sneak up on you

some of Satan’s favorite traps: moral temptation; get believers fighting one another; apathy; accusing our consciences

1. He likes to focus our attention on God’s limitations

Submit ourselves under the mighty hand of God — He is not limited

2. He likes to tempt us to doubt the goodness of God

Cast all of our cares on Him because in His goodness it matters to Him concerning us

3. He likes to present to us an attractive counterfeit for God’s will and for true worship — suffering is not that attractive — that is why Satan tries to use persecutions

Peter says: Be prepared to suffer intensely while staying committed to the will of God

4. He focuses our attention on the present instead of on eternity’s values – Live for Eternity

III. Defend Yourself — “Resist him, firm in your faith” — Military Resistance

Note that this follows “Submitting to God” = putting ourselves under God’s control and His umbrella of protection — only then are we ready to face and resist Satan; Here we see the power of humility once again: it is the humble man (not the self-confident and arrogant) who can overcome Satan’s attacks

(James 4:7) if we fail to see the devil fleeing when we try to resist, the first thing to troubleshoot is our submission to God

Rev. 12:10-11 3 Invincible Weapons

A. “the blood of the lamb” — The Weapon of Calvary — the Victory of Christ

it was on the cross that Satan bruised Christ on the heel while Christ was utterly crushing Satan’s head — breaking the power of sin and of Satan for all time

Heb. 2:14-15 “Since then the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that, the devel”

E.M. Bounds: “Satan cannot stand an exposition of the blood of Christ. He turns pale at every view of Calvary. The flowing wounds are the signal of his retreat. A heart besprinkled with the blood is the holy ground, on which he not only dares not tread, but He dreads and trembles and cowers in the presence of the blood-besprinkled warrior. A clear-ringing word of testimony to the power of that blood he fears more than the attack of a legion of archangels. It is like the charge of an irresistible phalanx which bears everything down before it.

It is the blood applied, and testimony to its application, the martyr witness in life and by tongue of the power of that blood is more a barrier to Satan than a wall of fire.”

we are united with Christ in the victory of His death and resurrection — assured of victory and vindication;

we must regard Satan as defeated and live in union with Christ

Illustr: Satan was attacking Martin Luther with list after list of all of his sins; Luther quietly admitted that it was true: all of those sins had been committed by him; but then Luther turned to his accuser and said: “Now write across them all, ‘the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin'” — that is the perfect and sufficient answer to our accuser

Satan’s goal is to have us take our eyes off Christ; to divert our attention from the cross — we need to be looking unto Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith who for the joy set before Him endured the cross

B. “the word of our testimony” — The Weapon of Testimony

these are not abstract theological or philosophical concepts–

we give testimony to the reality of the risen, victorious Christ thru our changed lives — as we become more and more like Christ ourselves

Satan’s goal is to silence our testimony; to discourage us, to introduce doubts, to divert us into philosophy and psychology so that the power of the Word of God in our own experience will be snuffed out

C. “they loved not their lives even unto death” — The Weapon of Commitment

Sanders: “This third weapon is not to be directed at the enemy as are the first two. It is a sword which we take with both hands and plunge into our breast. The weapon of testimony of one who has the martyr spirit is mightily effective. To him, life is of secondary importance when compared with the outcome of the battle and the victory of his Lord. His supreme concern is to see Satan defeated and Christ victorious, even if his life is sacrificed in the process. He regards himself as expendable.”

1 Pet. 4 — arm yourselves with this same willingness to suffer even unto death; be committed to the will of God at all costs

  • take up your cross daily and follow the Saviour

  • present your bodies as living sacrifices

IV. Draw Support From Christian Solidarity — Military Support

1 Cor. 10:13 no temptation has overtaken you, but such as is common to man; and God is faithful who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also that ye may be able to bear it

if you seem to be tempted to an incredible extreme — take comfort —

God’s message is He could lay such suffering on you because you are able

V. Draw Support From “the God of all grace”


We have all of the resources we need, so let’s be on the alert; let’s know the enemy and his tactics; let’s exercise our faith in resisting all attacks, and let’s draw support from the Christian community and the God of all grace