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Spiritual Battles

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We have an enemy. He is introduced in Genesis as the serpent that asks Eve what seems like a simple question: “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’” (Gen. 3:1)? And by twisting God’s words, he put into motion a series of events that, we know now, would change the course of humanity. 

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The enemy continues to appear throughout Scripture, most notably when he asks God for permission to test Job’s faith (Job 1:9-11 and 2:4-5) and when Jesus is fasting in the wilderness before beginning His earthly ministry (Matt. 4:1-11). That enemy is called Satan (meaning “adversary”), the devil (meaning “slanderer”) and the tempter. We know that Satan wanders the earth (Job 1:7, 2:2) “looking for someone to devour” (1 Pet. 5:8) by tempting us, and that he has spiritual forces helping him (Eph. 6:12).

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But there is hope! While Satan has certain powers, he is nowhere near as powerful as God, and Christ has already defeated him through His death on the cross (Colossians 2:15). The devil cannot do anything that God does not allow him to do, and in addition, God has given us everything we need to withstand his attacks.

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Ephesians 6:10-18 tells us to put on the Armor of God in order to “stand against the devil’s schemes” (vs. 11). That armor consists of “the belt of truth” and “the breastplate of righteousness” (vs. 14), the shoes of “readiness that comes from the gospel of peace” (vs. 15), “the shield of faith” (vs. 16), “the helmet of salvation,” and “the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (vs. 17). Priscilla Shirer, in her book The Armor of God, reminds us that the passage doesn’t stop there. Verse 18 says we should “pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.” 

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“Prayer,” Priscilla writes, “is the divinely authorized mechanism God has given us to tap into His power. Without prayer, we'll be ineffective in spiritual warfare. But with it, we will be victorious."

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Yes, we are in a spiritual battle. But God has not left us helpless. Remember, Satan is the “father of lies” (John 8:44); his main weapon is deception. But God has given us the Spirit of truth (John 14:16-17), and we have the assurance that “the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world” (1 John 4:1-6). So tap into His power by submitting to God. “Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (Jas. 4:7).

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Do you feel like you are on a battlefield? Are you war-weary? Just Between Us (JBU) has gathered these articles to remind you that God is on your side, and He is greater than any enemy you face. We hope these resources will encourage you to put on the full Armor of God, knowing “the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one” (2 Thess. 3:3).

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