Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour (I Peter 5:8 NIV).
So, the devil likes to eat Christians. Why is that? Is it because they taste like chicken? No, it is because they taste good to him and it is nutritious for his growth. He is not interested in the weak and sickly Christians, in part because they are no threat to him or his kind.
The stronger and healthier the Christian the more that Christian will be attacked by the “dark forces” of Ephesians 6:12.
The armor of God alone will not give you success in this battle. Do you really believe and accept the Bible? Then look closely. After Paul says that we need to put on the full armor of God including the belt of truth (v14), the breastplate of righteousness (v14), feet fitted with the gospel of peace (v15), the shield of faith (v16), the helmet of salvation (v17), and the sword of the Spirit (v17), he says BE AERT! (v18).
Ephesians 6:18 and I Peter 5:8 are not the only passages in the New Testament that admonishes Christians to BE AERT!
Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong (1 Corinthians 16:13 NIV).
My pastor has preached, “Christianity is like playing water polo in the deep end of the pool without any timeouts.” Putting on the protective armor of Ephesians 6 is essential but does not eliminate the need to do battle. The Christian in the real world is always in the deep end of the pool.
Being alert is critical for victorious Christian living. But when we are confronted by a spiritual challenge the question becomes, “Now What?” Christian’s must be prepared for this question by having a plan to deal with the challenge before the confrontation. Beth Moore in her study of Daniel states that to deal with “self exaltation” the Christian must have a predetermined plan of action.
A “predetermined plan of action” is a way of life for the U.S. Army Ranger in a hostile jungle. When danger areas are encountered, Rangers have a predetermined plan to deal with them that they have rehearsed over and over. Using this Ranger training as a metaphor, The Spiritual Ambush presents actions a Christian may use when confronted by spiritual challenges in the workplace. Interviews with Christians identified eight spiritual danger areas that were observed in their workplace. One danger area with alert triggers and actions is given as an example identified by those interviewed. That danger area is “inappropriate sexual behavior”, labeled “Something More.” Pastor James Garlow stated: “Sex is God’s idea, and second to salvation; it’s the best idea He ever had.” It is a powerful force in every person’s life and therefore the Christian needs to be prepared for “Something More.”
Danger areas: flirting, a person of the opposite sex, business trips, a place or location
Alert Trigger: You feel the chemistry, a person “turns you on”, you feel a need to hide a relationship, or men and women on a business trip together.
Protocol for Victorious Action: divert the discussion away from the personal to business, have pictures and other family memorabilia in your office that shout I am not available for “something more”, and/or avoid that specific person to whom you are attracted. When all else fails, run. That is what Joseph did when confronted by Potiphar’s wife
In summary: being successful in these encounters with the dark forces Ephesians 6 requires a plan before the encounter. Then overcoming the challenge is not dependent on inspiration. It is dependent on discipline.
This blog is from The Spiritual Ambush , published in 2016. It also discusses Spiritual Warfare (Chp. 1), What is a Spiritual Warrior (Chp. 2), What is the Spiritual Warrior’s Global Positioning System (a history of the Bible) (Chp. 3), What is the Spiritual Warrior’s Jungle (Chp.4), How can the Spiritual Warrior Counter the Spiritual Ambush (Chp 5), and What Can the Church do to Help the Spiritual Warrior (Chp.6).