Sermon:  Reconnaissance on the Enemy

Summary:  This text characterizes our Christian life in terms of a battle against an 
unseen enemy who is strong yet subtle, often working under the surface in crafty 
and scheming ways.  We need to recognize that we are indeed in a battle for our 
minds and hearts and those around us who are lost every day.

Know:  We need to recognize that there is a devious enemy that is content to let us 
go to church and be comfortable, so long as we don't have an effect on the world 
around us.

Feel:  Dissatisfaction with Sunday religion

Do:  Reflect on ways you might have misunderstood or fallen short of the battle.  
Evaluate your attitude toward the enemy.  Identify ways the enemy shows up in 
your life and how the enemy deceives. 

Text:  Eph 6:10-12

Scripture Reading:  1 Pet 5:8-10

1.  Lot of militant songs in the song book
	a.  Soldiers of Christ, Battle Belongs to the Lord, There's a Royal Banner
	b.  Reveals the reality that we are in a battle
2.  This morning's text is all about battle
	a.  Comes at the conclusion of the letter about the church
	b.  Recharacterizes everything that came before
	c.  Preserve unity, mission, ministry, mission, holiness, transformation
	d.  All of this is in the context of a battle
3.  What Paul is trying to accomplish
	a.  Motivate the readers for Battle - Analogy from War Scroll at Qumran
General is motivating troops for war between the Songs of Light and the Sons of 
Darkness:  "Be strong and valiant; be warriors! … Be brave and strong for the battle 
of God!  For this day is the time of the battle of God … The God of Israel lifts his 
hand in his marvelous might against all the spirits of wickedness … For the God 
of Israel has called out the sword against all that nation, and he will do mighty 
deeds by the saints of His people (1QM 15.6-16)."
	b.  Identify the Nature of the Enemy and the Battle
	c.  Show how to prepare for the Battle
	d.  Show how to fight for the Battle
4.  This morning we will deal with the nature of the enemy
	a.  In order to fight the battle, we need to know the nature of the enemy
	b.  What is Satan like?

I.  Satan is Strong
	A.  We usually don't think of Satan that way
		1.  Kids songs make fun of Satan
			a.  If I had a little red box
			b.  Devil doesn't like it he can sit on a tack
			c.  Devil is little red guy in underwear throws tantrums & 
			     waits for people to bend over so he can stick them with 
			     his pitchfork
		2.  Some of us chuckle, and Satan does too
			a.  Satan wants you to think of him in that way
			b.  If you think he has
		3.  I don't think the martyrs chuckled when persecuted
			a.  I don't think Jesus chuckled when he entered Judas
			b.  I don't think Peter chuckled when he learned that Satan 
			     asked to be able to sift him like wheat
	B.  Paul has some descriptive terms for the enemy here
		1.  First, he calls him the "Devil"
			a.  The word means slanderer or accuser
			b.  Similar to the Hebrew word, "satan," which is adversary
		2.  Also refers to rulers, powers, world forces of this darkness
		3.  Examples of the power of Satan 
			a.  The Temptations of Christ - Jesus not dispute ability of 
			     Satan to hand over kingdoms of the world, Matthew 4:8
			b.  Paul called the devil the “god of this world” 2 Cor. 4:4
			c.  Whole world lies in the power of the evil one I John 5:19
			d.  A Roaring Lion, seeking someone to devour I Peter 5:8
	C.  ILL:  Remember being at the zoo and hearing the Lion roar
		1.  Nothing is quite like it
		2.  Even though we knew he was in captivity, still made you stop
		3.  Imagine the roar of a lion that is not in captivity
	D.  However, we do not need to be afraid
		1.  If strong in Lord and put on the Armor of God, we can stand firm
		2.  Also read I John 5:18 
		3.  Are you born of God?

II.  Satan is Subtle
	A.  Our struggle is not against flesh and blood
		1.  It is against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenlies
		2.  Paul's prayer in 1:18 is that eyes of our heart be enlightened
		3.  He wants us to know that there is stuff behind the scenes
	B.  Key word here is struggle
		1.  Only time this word used in New Testament, means "wrestle."
		2.  When think of warfare, this doesn't always come to mind
			a.  Think of swords, spears and such
			b.  Today, you think of rifles, missiles, takes, planes
			c.  But usually don't think of the word "wrestle"
		3.  Paul is using very specific imagery here
			a.  This is hand to hand combat
			b.  This is something right in your back yard!
			c.  Yet it is also subtle
		4.  Can win spiritual wrestling match unless we recognize it exists
			a.  Can't wrestle what you don't believe is there
			b.  We tend to dismiss spiritual things
			c.  (2 Kng 6:12-17) - There is a war behind the scenes
	C.  There is a renewed interest in spiritual things these days
		1.  Spiritism, wicca, New Age, Eastern Religions, even in Hollywood
			-  Guy on T.V. talk about getting in touch with Spirit within
		2.  But not everything that is spiritual is good, often leads away from 
		3.  (I John 4:1)  “Brethren do not believe every spirit, but test the 
		      spirits to see whether they are from God
			a.  This is not just about preachers
			b.  This is about school teachers, professors
			c.  About movies, literature, message from your friends 
		4.  The only way to test them is by what the Bible says
	D.  Satan is at work through much more than just unsound preachers
		1.  This is wrestling - Battlefield is not limited to church buildings
		2.  It is all around you every single day
		3.  We need to learn to see the world through God's eyes 

III.  Satan is a schemer
	A.  We need to stand firm against his "schemes"
	B.  He doesn't just use brute force, that is too obvious
		1.  In Genesis, he was more crafty than anyone else
			a.  He didn't "force" Eve to eat the fruit
			b.  All he did was call into question God's instructions
			c.  Then he got Eve to see that it was JUST fruit
				- You won't die, besides, it is good
				- It will make you wise
			d.  We are still suffering from her decision today
		2.  John 8:44 - Satan is a liar and the father of all lies
		3.  Satan has many different schemes
			a.  All you have to do is be good
				- Truth: You have to be faithful and obedient
				- All are lost without Christ
			b.  God wants me to be comfortable in life
				- Truth: God wants me to serve him whatever it takes
			c.  It is good to fit in and never stand out
				- Truth:  We are the light of the world
			d.  I deserve to find happiness in finding a spouse
				- Truth: We can only find true meaning in God
				- This will help to avoid marriages that draw you away 
				   from God
		4.  Satan doesn't mind you coming to church
			a.  Come here, punch the clock and leave.  That's okay
			b.  Live life, fit in, be a good person, work hard at job.
			c.  Participate in your activities in school
			d.  Just don't be a religious nut and take it out of church
				- It is a Sunday thing, and is private
				- God forbid, don't ever teach anyone
				- If they want it, they can go to church too.
	C.  We need to do battle against Satan right?
		1.  A group of Teens in Searcy rid the town of pornography
		2.  A group went down and picketed the local abortion clinic
		3.  There was a group that spoke out very strongly and loudly 
		     against filthy homo’s
		4.  If we rid town of porn, homosexuals, and abortion we have won! 
	D.  This is wrong, this is what Satan wants you to think
		1.  I believe he is content if this is all you do
			a.  I'm sure he loves all the Fred Phelps of the world
			b.  But this is not the real battle
		2.  Jesus did not say, God into all the world and be activists
			a.  Not saying that activism is a bad thing
			b.  But don't think that winning in activism is winning the 
			c.  If win as an activist, people still lost
		3.  What did Jesus say?
			a.  Go into all the world and preach the Gospel
			b.  First century Christians had a profound effect on the 
			     culture of following generations
				- Wasn't through Holy War
				- Wasn't through activism
				- It was through the transforming power of the Gospel
		4.  Objective is for people to come to Christ

1.  This is a spiritual war we are fighting (Invitation)
2.  God hasn't destroyed Satan, he still prowls about like a roaring lion
	a.  God hasn't given him free reign
	b.  Important thing is to stay out of his grasp
	c.  This is "wrestling" -- close to home
3.  Examine what is close to home.  Where do you find Satan?
	a.  Look at your charge account bills
	b.  Look at your CD or Video collection
	c.  Look at the friends you keep
	d.  Look at the history files on your computer
	e.  Look at your leisure activities

Small Group Notes:  Reconnaissance on the Enemy

Summary:  This text characterizes our Christian life in terms of a battle against an unseen 
enemy who is strong yet subtle, often working under the surface in crafty and scheming ways.  
We need to recognize that we are indeed in a battle for our minds and hearts and those around 
us who are lost every day.

- What are some ways you use to try to keep from being taken by a dishonest salesman?

Explore:  Eph 6:10-12; 

1.  What is dangerous about the enemy?  In what ways does he operate?

2.  The word "struggle" means something like "wrestle."  What does that communicate to you about 
the nature of the battle with the great enemy, Satan?

3.  There seems to be a lot of emphasis on the spiritual nature of this battle.  Why is this important?

4.  How does Paul attitude concerning Satan compare to the prevailing attitude toward Satan today?  

5.  1 Pet 5:8-10.  What additional message concerning the enemy do these verses offer you?


6.  What typically has been your attitude concerning Satan or his influence

7.  What are some ways the enemy shows up in your life and tries to deceive or tempt you?

8.  How does knowing there is a spiritual battle waging behind the scenes benefit you in your personal 

9.  What are some ways you can "be strong" and "stand firm" against the schemes of the Devil?

1 Pet 5:8-10