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-- © GodSpeak International 2002 --
-- Do not republish without written permission from <copyright@godspeak.org> --

Author: Rodney Hogue <rodhogue@aol.com> http://www.restorationdepot.org
Editors: Donna King, Harriette Osborn, Petru Prinsloo, DeAnna Torres, Teresa Seputis & Leona Ward Transcribers: Roberta Capps, Virginia Norris, Linda Selby

Prayer-School Course #21

A Beginner's Guide to Spiritual Warfare

Lesson 4

How To Protect Yourself

By Rodney Hogue

We are so thankful that when Jesus died on the cross, almost 2000 years ago. He broke the power of the kingdom of darkness and Satan and his legion of demons. They had usurped authority from God and from man in the fall, but Jesus took it back on the cross. Full victory is His. But the full victory has not been fully manifested on this earth. We know it will be, because we read the back of the book. We know what is going to happen because the end is recorded there.

We have the role of policemen between now and that time when Jesus comes again with the full manifestation of His Kingdom is on this earth. Our role is to mop it up, get things in order, to enforce the law. We are to enforce what has been taking place, and enforce what was laid down by Christ on the cross. We are in His army enforcing these things. We need to realize that, as the people of God, when we gave our hearts to Jesus, we enlisted in the army of God. And, as participants in the army of God, we need to know how to fight.

A very important part of learning how to fight, or how to engage in warfare, is learning how to protect yourself. You do not fight very long if you don't know how to protect yourself. A soldier does not just run out and say, "Shoot me! Shoot me!" The soldier needs some protection.

So we are going to look at Eph 6:10 to study how to protect ourselves. It says, "Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might."

One of the resources that I use in studying the armor of God is a series of booklets, written by William Gernel. You may have never heard of him. He wrote his books on the armor of God in the 1600's. Many people have used them. I thought, "If a lot of people have, I will too." So I would like to share a couple of quotes from him. He said, "The outcome of the battle rests on God's performance, not on your skill." In other words, it is all up to God. That is really what Eph 6:10 says. It is up to God; it is not up to you! This is not to say that you should not sharpen your sword. I am not suggesting that you should not be ready, or that you should not do what you need to do to prepare yourself for the battle. But the bottom line is that it really is all up to God. It is His strength, it is His power and His might that enable us to engage in war and win.

This knowledge needs to move from our head to our heart. It needs to be a part of us. I pray that as we go through this series it will become a part of you. Zechariah 4:6 says, "'Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,' says the Lord of hosts." "You will not succeed by your own strength or power but by My Spirit," says the Lord all-powerful. Not by might, it is God. Not by strength, not by power, but only by the Spirit of God does it come.

We are going to look at the little technical things in this verse. Normally in a lesson, I just give you the meal. I do not take you into the kitchen and show you the pots and pans. However, I am going to show you the pots and pans simply because I really want you to understand a lot about this verse and grasp some of the things that I have been able to grasp. There is so much in this verse. We can read it and slide right through it, but there are a lot of deep things in this verse that we need to grasp.

"Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might." The word "finally" there means, "Now for the rest I have to tell you." In secular literature it says, "I have saved the best for last. Now I have come to the most important thing so far -- finally to the most important matter at hand." That is what this word is saying. Keep in mind that he preceded this portion with five-and-a-half chapters. We did not go through them and study those chapters intensely, but I recommend that you spend some time reading the first five-and-a-half chapters of Ephesians because they really do lay a foundation.

"Be Strong..."

We are going right to Ephesians 6 to talk about protecting ourselves and engaging in this spiritual war. This is very important. "Finally, be strong"; the Greek word for "be strong" is 'endunamoo.' It means, "to empower, to enable, to increase in strength or to be (made) strong."

"Finally, be strong"--you be strong, you be empowered, you be enabled, you be increased in this strength. A soldier in that day would have to be a very, very strong person. He could not be a weakling and be in the army. Depending on the soldier's size, some of his armor could weigh up to 200 pounds. It was not flimsy stuff; it was not aluminum siding. They did not have any way they could condense it to lighten it. It was heavy stuff.

"...In The Lord..."

"Finally, be strong in the Lord" -- your empowering is in Him, not in anything else. It can only be found in Him. It cannot come from you. It cannot come from the flesh. It cannot come from any other source but Him. You can go to church; you can read your Bible, and you can go to Bible study. Those things may help you, but it has to come from the Lord. That is where our strength comes from. In the natural, a general's strength will come from the troops and from the equipment. However, in the army of God, it does not happen that way. Our strength comes from the Lord of Hosts. He supplies the strength that we need. This means a few of us can take a lot. If one of us can send a thousand to flight, two of us can send the legions running and fleeing. That is all it takes. The combination of God and us -- that is all we need. If God is not in that equation, we do not have anything. It only comes from Him.

Psalm 144:1 says, "Bless the Lord Who is my rock, He gives me strength for war and skill for battle." God gives me the strength to fight, He gives me the skill to fight, and He gives me the power to do so. II Cor 3:5-6 says, "It is not that we think we can do anything of lasting value by ourselves. Our only power and success come from God. He is the one Who has enabled us to represent His new covenant." We are not saying we can do this work ourselves. God makes us able to do all that we do. I can because He is. He is in me. When God is in the equation, you can!

When God is in the equation, we do not need to be afraid. The uncertainty has been removed. We don't have to wonder whether or not we will win -- we know we win because God is in the picture. All of the power of all of the forces of Hell put together are no match for God's power. Everything the enemy has all put into one giant thrust is not even one tenth of God's power. There is no comparison here, we are talking different orders of magnitude. God is never afraid of what the enemy might throw at Him, because He has so much more power and authority than the enemy does. God never feels threatened -- because He knows that He has the ability to do whatever He chooses to do. Therefore, when God is in the equation, we don't have to be afraid, we are on the winning side.

We will look at this more in our next lesson. We will study what Paul meant when He said "... and in the strength of His might."

-- © GodSpeak International 2002 --
-- Do not republish without written permission from copyright@godspeak.org --

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