I must confess to you there are occasions when I wonder why I’m teaching what I’m teaching when I first start. . .reading, studying, praying and writing.
Tonight we’re going to expose the seven favorite weapons of the enemy.
But as I got deeper into this teaching. . .I marveled at the things God revealed to me to share.
I know this teaching will help heal and comfort many who’ve been under a major assault from the enemy.
Here are the seven favorite weapons of the enemy.
Who deceives you?
Genesis 3:13 says:
“Then the LORD God said to the woman, "What is this you have done?" The woman said, "The serpent deceived me, and I ate."
2 Corinthians 4:4 in the Amplified Bible says:
“For the god of this world has blinded the unbelievers' minds [that they should not discern the truth], preventing them from seeing the illuminating light of the Gospel of the glory of Christ (the Messiah), Who is the Image and Likeness of God.”
The real tragedy is that most folks who are being deceived don’t realize they’re being deceived.
Jeremiah 9:6 in the New International Version says:
“You live in the midst of deception; in their deceit they refuse to acknowledge me," declares the LORD.”
One way to discern deception is to realize deception puts you in bad company.
1 Corinthians 6:9 in Amplified Bible says:
“Do you not know that the unrighteous and the wrongdoers will not inherit or have any share in the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived (misled): neither the impure and immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor those who participate in homosexuality.”
There is however, one fact for sure. . .deception always betrays those who live in it.
James 1:22 in the Amplified Bible says:
“But be doers of the Word [obey the message], and not merely listeners to it, betraying yourselves [into deception by reasoning contrary to the Truth].”
Now there is a law of sowing and reaping. . .whatever you sow you reap. This even applies to the enemy.
Those the enemy deceived who fell into sin or lived there. . .will suffer an eternity in hell.
But so will the devil.
Revelation 20:10 says:
“Then the devil who had led them astray [deceiving and seducing them] was hurled into the fiery lake of burning brimstone, where the beast and false prophet were; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever (through the ages of the ages).”
The best way to avoid deception is to stay in the Word although that alone is not enough. I know some mighty men and women of God filled with the Holy Ghost and fire who have fallen into sin through deception of the enemy.
Stress on the job. . .overwork. . .family struggles (with spouse or children). . .financial problems. . are open doors for a sneaky deceptive attack by the enemy.
Be wise to his cunning wiles.
Mark 4:19 in the Amplified Bible says:
“Then the cares and anxieties of the world and distractions of the age, and the pleasure and delight and false glamour and deceitfulness of riches, and the craving and passionate desire for other things creep in and choke and suffocate the Word, and it becomes fruitless.”
What becomes fruitless?
God’s Word working within us.
What is a distraction of this age?
It’s really anything that separates us from what should be our first love, the Word of God and our relationship with our Heavenly Father.
Let’s go a little deeper into this thought. Mark 4:19 also warns us about “…the pleasure and delight and false glamour… the craving and passionate desire for other things…”
“False glamour” to be an interesting phrase.
Most advertisers use attractive people in their television commercials because they’re selling an illusion of what you think your life would be like if you buy their product.
The advertiser’s desire is to paint a pleasing picture in your mind. . . beyond the reality that you’re currently experiencing. . .and they know that ugly won’t do it.
They want you to believe that somehow this makeup or that hair color or that sleek-looking car or whatever brand of alcohol will somehow magically draw in the right spouse or best job or most satisfying lifestyle.
What is the consequence of yielding to the allure of the advertisers?
The last few words of Mark 4:19 gives us a real warning when it says: “. . . the craving and passionate desire for other things creep in and choke and suffocate the Word, and it becomes fruitless.”
There are distractions all around that will attempt to choke and suffocate the Word within us so we become “fruitless” to the Kingdom of God.
The lost people of this world are searching for what is missing in their lives . . . a light in the darkness that only Jesus can provide! They look to the world because they are not yet aware of the real answer. But as Christians we not only have the answer to real life, it is our duty to share it with others and rescue them from this demonic deception … and not fall into deception ourselves.
God has made amazing promises to us in His Word . . . but if we let fleshly desires distract us, we are no better off than those who have no God.
The Message Bible translation of Mark 4:18-19 sums it up pretty good when it says:
“The seed cast in the weeds represents the ones who hear the kingdom news but are overwhelmed with worries about all the things they have to do and all the things they want to get. The stress strangles what they heard, and nothing comes of it.”
Being consumed by the glamour of this world instead of God . . . means we’re committing mental suicide by choking the very life out of the full benefits God wants for us.
It doesn’t matter how often we go to church or hear a sermon if we are not applying God’s wisdom to our lives. God opens our eyes to doors the world misses, but unless we walk through them, we will miss the fulness He is offering.
As the scripture says in Hebrews 6:12, it’s through faith and patience we receive the promises. The enemy likes nothing less than to circumvent God’s plan by drawing us off course.
As the verse says: “The stress strangles what they heard, and nothing comes of it.”
Then when we realize we missed God’s best because we got distracted and off course, the enemy wants to make us think all is lost. But Praise God, He is longsuffering with us. He is a God of mercy.
Daniel 10:12 in the Amplified Bible says:
“Then he said to me, Fear not, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your mind and heart to understand and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come as a consequence of [and in response to] your words.”
First, fear not.
In the King James Version of the Bible we’re told nine times that we should be “born again.” Would it surprise you to know that in the King James Version of the Bible were told SIXTY-THREE times to “fear not?”
Obviously, God knew we would need to be told more than once to “fear not.”
Second, from the first day.
Our society has come to expect everything be done at warp speed. However, we need to remember that even though we cannot see everything God is doing, it doesn’t mean He hasn’t been working on it from the very first day we put it in His hands.
Third, purpose in your mind.
The word purpose is defined in part as:
“to set as an aim, intention, or goal for oneself.”
When you set your mind. . .you have the advantage of making decisions with the wisdom of the universe because 1 Corinthians 2:16 in the Amplified Bible says:
“For who has known or understood the mind (the counsels and purposes) of the Lord so as to guide and instruct Him and give Him knowledge? But we have the mind of Christ (the Messiah) and do hold the thoughts (feelings and purposes) of His heart.”
Fourth, purposed in your heart.
Proverbs 4:23 in the New International Version says:
“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”
When, what begins in our minds becomes lodged in our hearts, it will affect every decision we make. That is why the Lord warns us about guarding our hearts.
Fifth, humble yourself.
James 4:6 in the New International Bible says:
It doesn’t take long to realize there are a few million ways things can go wrong. If we think we can control all the factors in our universe, we are very deceived indeed.
We are saved by grace, not works. Proverbs 10:22 tells us the blessing of the Lord is what really makes one rich … and He adds no sorrow to it.
There are lots and lots of people who are rich in material goods but very miserable in spite of it.
Sixth, your words are heard.
When you open your mouth to speak or pray. . .your words are heard beyond your natural surroundings. Your words penetrated the heavenlies.
Psalm 145:19 says:
“He will fulfil the desire of them that fear him: he also will hear their cry, and will save them.”
The words you speak to Him are not only heard but acted on.
Psalm 86:5-7 says:
“In the day of my trouble I will call upon thee: for thou wilt answer me.”
Seventh, I have come as a consequence.
The last part of Daniel 10:12 in the Amplified Bible says:
“. . . I have come as a consequence of [and in response to] your words.”
Your words have consequences . . . you decide what they are.
Proverbs 18:20 in the Good News Translation says:
“You will have to live with the consequences of everything you say.”
Have you ever done something significant for someone who failed to acknowledge what you’d done or even show their appreciation?
It happens to everyone. We can read about it in the Bible as well.
Genesis 40:14 says:
“But think on me when it shall be well with thee, and shew kindness, I pray thee, unto me, and make mention of me unto Pharaoh, and bring me out of this house.”
Genesis 40:23 goes on to say:
“But [even after all that] the chief butler gave no thought to Joseph, but forgot [all about] him.”
Joseph’s interpretation of the dreams of the butler blessed him and restored him to Pharaoh, however, the butler totally forgot Joseph’s request to help him out.
No doubt, Joseph was counting on a return for his kindness to the butler though in the scripture, we never see Joseph give up on God and we shouldn’t either.
Obviously, the enemy was hoping for a far different reaction to Joseph’s disappointment.
At the appointed time, the butler remembered Joseph. We need to remember that God’s timing is perfect timing and remain faithful … and patient even when we don’t feel like it.
Here are some promises God has made us for dealing with disappointment:
Psalm 34:18 in the Easy-To-Read Version says:
“The Lord is close to those who have suffered disappointment. He saves those who are discouraged.”
Psalm 119:116 in God’s WORD Translation says:
“Help me God, as you promised, so that I may live. Do not turn my hope into disappointment.”
Discouragement shows up when somebody is not doing what they promised you they would do…or things are not going the way we thought they would or ought to go.
Even though it is often “temporary” if discouragement continues it can lead to depression.
Sometimes, the enemy will try to make you think discouragement is a sin. . .it’s not. But it is something we need to deal with right away.
Here are several ways to deal:
Get your attitude right.
Philippians 2:5 in the New Living Translation says:
“You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.”
Ephesians 4:23 in the Amplified Bible says:
“And be constantly renewed in the spirit of your mind [having a fresh mental and spiritual attitude].”
Get your pride out of the way.
Proverbs 16:18 says:
“Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.”
Thinking happy thoughts is a choice. Proverbs 23:7 says:
“For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he. . .”
Philippians 4:8 in The Living Bible says:
“And now, brothers, as I close this letter, let me say this one more thing: Fix your thoughts on what is true and good and right. Think about things that are pure and lovely, and dwell on the fine, good things in others. Think about all you can praise God for and be glad about.”
Remember, rehearsing hurts only makes the stronghold greater. It’s easier to pull out an acorn now than an oak tree that’s gotten rooted.
Consider the words of Ephesians 4:26 which says:
“Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:”
Proverbs 13:20 in the New Living Translation says:
“Walk with the wise and become wise; associate with fools and get in trouble.”
Remember Jeremiah 32:17 in the Amplified Bible says:
“Alas, Lord God! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and by Your outstretched arm! There is nothing too hard or too wonderful for You”
This too shall pass.
One of the enemy’s favorite tactics is to use depression against believers who love God with all their hearts. My perspective on this point. . .is not an in-depth approach on depression but to share how I think you can overcome this weapon.
If you find you just can’t get above the issue yourself, seek spiritual counseling with someone you trust.
Sometimes, depression stems from a chemical imbalance or a physical attack, then meet with a medical professional.
Regardless, here are some scriptural remedies… the best way to beat the enemy:
Psalm 56:8 in the New Living Translation says:
“You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.”
Psalm 103:13 in the Amplified Bible says:
“As a father loves and pities his children, so the Lord loves and pities those who fear Him [with reverence, worship, and awe].”
1 Corinthians 1:3-4 in the Amplified Bible says:
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of sympathy (pity and mercy) and the God [Who is the Source] of every comfort (consolation and encouragement),
“4 Who comforts (consoles and encourages) us in every trouble (calamity and affliction), so that we may also be able to comfort (console and encourage) those who are in any kind of trouble or distress, with the comfort (consolation and encouragement) with which we ourselves are comforted (consoled and encouraged) by God.”
Psalm 55:22 in the Amplified Bible says:
“Cast your burden on the Lord [releasing the weight of it] and He will sustain you; He will never allow the [consistently] righteous to be moved (made to slip, fall, or fail).”
The more we seek the Lord, the quicker we realize that any of the Ds listed above are attacks against who we are in Christ Jesus.
Mark 9:23 is a great scripture to attack the enemy:
“And Jesus said, [You say to Me], If You can do anything? [Why,] all things can be (are possible) to him who believes!”
Psalm 97:10 says:
“Ye that love the LORD, hate evil: he preserveth the souls of his saints; he delivereth them out of the hand of the wicked.”
I vividly remember reading Psalm 97:10 one morning several years ago when the Lord gave me a very clear word.
DEBT IS EVIL
I was directed to study the word evil.
Consider the definition of the word evil as found in Strong’s Concordance (H7451). It means ““bad, unpleasant, evil (giving pain, unhappiness, misery).”
Debt is bad.
Debt is unpleasant.
Debt definitely gives pain.
Debt positively brings unhappiness.
Misery is debt’s closest friend.
Who is responsible for all the bad, unpleasant, painful, unhappy things and misery in the earth?
The enemy. . .and he wants to use all of it against you.
Now as I close this teaching. . .I want you to focus on the last part of Psalm 97:10 which says:
“. . .he delivereth them out of the hand of the wicked.”
Make no mistake your Heavenly Father wants to protect you from these seven weapons of the enemy: deception, distractions, delays, disappointment, discouragement, depression and debt.
And He will if we just trust and be patient enough to let Him.
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