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Facing The Enemy

By Elie Nessim, March 28 1999 Printer Friendly Version

Finally my brethren be strong in the LORD and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armour of GOD that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood but against principalities against powers against the rulers of the darkness of this age against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armour of GOD that you may be able to withstand in the evil day and having done all to stand.
Our text from Ephesians chapter 6 verses 10 to 13 reminds us that we are wrestling against principalities. The hallmark of every true Believer is this conflict.  If you are a true Believer, you will know it.  It's false theology to say if you become a Believer in Messiah, you will never know another problem in the world. It's not true.  In fact, it can become worse for a while, because suddenly you are aware of a tug-of-war that wasn't there before as a non-Believer.  The strong-man, armed, keeps his goods in peace.  That's the devil.  But the moment you leave the authority of the devil and the realm, his realm, and you become a follower of the Messiah, he will do all he can to dissuade you; to discourage you, and to threaten.  So it is the hallmark of every true Believer.

In Romans, Chapter 7, you have the picture there.  'The good that I would, I do not; the evil that I would not, that I do.  Oh, wretched man that I am!  Who shall deliver me from the body of this death?' The spirit wars against the flesh, that is the old nature, the flesh wars against the spirit.  There's a war on!  And we're very conscious of this.  Thank GOD, there are some times when we want to do something, and GOD says, 'No way!'  He stops us.  We are baffled.  We, sometimes, feel even resentful, but it's a sure sign GOD's hand is on us.  That's how our children are sometimes.  We say, 'Come with me.'  They wriggle, they try and get away from that detaining hand, but, no, the hand is firmly on their shoulder.  The false Believer, of course, doesn't know anything of this.  'I've never had a problem in my life.'  When they speak like that, it's a danger signal.

So, we can even thank GOD for problems!  Because they show that something wonderful is happening.  As an old Bible teacher said, 'All is peaceful and orderly in one place of men, that is the cemetery!'  We don't want to belong to a spiritual cemetery!  Where there is life; there are problems. We read also here, in verse 12: 'We wrestle.' We do not wrestle against flesh and blood.  We wrestle.  It is, not only individual.  It is collective.  Here's an example.  Let's go back to 2nd Samuel, Chapter 10.  2nd Book of Samuel, Chapter 10.  David had sent his armies to do war, to make war against the Ammonites.  The Ammonites had mortally insulted David.  And as a result, there was a war.  2nd Samuel, Chapter 10, verse 6: 'So when the people of Ammon saw that they had made themselves repulsive to David, the people of Ammon sent and hired the Syrians of Beth Rehob, and the Syrians of Zobah; twenty thousand foot soldiers; and from king Maacah, one thousand men; and from Ish-Tob, twelve thousand men. Now when David heard of it, he sent Joab and all the army of the mighty men.  Then the people of Ammon came out and put themselves in battle array at the entrance of the Gate.  And the Syrians of Zobah, Rehob, Ish-Tob and Maacah were by themselves in the field.  When Joab saw that the battle line was against him before and behind, he chose some of the choice men of Israel and put them in battle array against the Syrians.  And the rest of the people, he put under the command of Abishai, his brother, that he might put them in battle array against the people of Ammon. Then he said, 'If the Syrians are too strong for me, then you shall help me.  But if the people of Ammon are too strong for you, then I will come and help you.  Be of good courage, and let us be strong for our people, and for the cities of our GOD, and may the LORD do what seems good to Him.

There's Joab and his brother, Abishai.  They realize they've got battle on two fronts.  The Ammonites just outside the Gate of their city, their fortress; and then there are the enemy out in the open field.  If they turn their attention to the one, the others will come and hit them from behind and vice versa.  So what does Joab do?  He says, 'Let's face both of them.'  That meant splitting up his army so that they weren't quite sure they had the manpower to deal with either.  But this is what Joab says, in verse 11:'If the Syrians are too strong for me, then you shall help me.  But if the people of Ammon are too strong for you, then I will come and help you.'

And there's a picture of how you and I face our enemies.  Sometimes it is a personal conflict.  But then, there are conflicts that are too strong for us and we have to enlist the help of our brothers and sisters, by their prayers, by their moral support, by their counsel, so that when the battle is too hot for them, we run to their rescue; and then when we're in a predicament and it's too heavy for us, they come to our rescue.  We're helping each other to stand.  We're helping to bear each other's burdens, and so fulfill the Law of Messiah.  That's how it works.

Normally, everyone of us can cope with the particular problems that we have.  Personal problems; circumstantial; but there are some bad times when we are pretty well overwhelmed.  That's when we need the prayers, the tears, the advice, the help of our brothers and sisters.  That picture comes out to us here in 2nd Samuel. And so, in coming back to Ephesians, Chapter 6, verse 13: 'Therefore take up the whole armour of GOD, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day.  And having done all, to stand.'

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