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We are going to be talking about unmasking the schemes of darkness. Let me tell you why we will be discussing this topic. Simply because we want to increase within us the presence of the Lord.
We are to be carriers of His presence. Not in the sense that we are saved and carry the Holy Spirit with us. Whenever you get next to God, you begin to take His presence with you. In the presence of God is something very, very noticeable.
In order to increase His presence with you, you have to be willing to engage yourself in spiritual warfare as God uncovers the kingdom of darkness to address and get rid of it. This is what we will be focusing on in the next three lessons.
It is now a season in which the light is shining on the darkness, and the darkness is getting exposed. This is happening throughout the Body of Christ. We need to participate in God's agenda now.
I want you to understand that there is a strategic plan for our destruction by the kingdom of darkness. The satanic realm has a strategy in order to take you out. The scripture describes this in Corinthians 2:11. It says, "in order that no advantage be taken us by Satan for we are not ignorant of his schemes."
There are schemes against you. The Bible says we are not to be ignorant of his schemes. A lot of time Christians are. They are totally oblivious that the enemy has a strategy or plan to take them out. We are not to be ignorant of his schemes.
We find this theme over and over again. You need to read the New Testament. For example, in 2 Timothy 2:26, Paul is talking to Timothy encouraging him to correct those in opposition in hope that they will come to the knowledge of the truth. It says, "that they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will."
The devil wants to ensnare people so that they will do the will of the kingdom of darkness. Paul is giving a warning to church leaders here in 2 Timothy. So, in other words, even those in church leadership can fall. We need to realize that there are some well conceived traps set up. I do not care who you are, how long you have been a Christian, or how strong you think you are. There is not anyone who escapes the schemes of darkness.
We are in a spiritual war whether you like it or not. God wants to show you how you can be victorious in this war. God wants you to know that the enemy's strategies against you doe not have to succeed.
1 Peter 5:8 says, "Be of sober spirit." In other words, have your senses ready. "Be alert. Be watchful and keep your eyes open. Do not let your defenses down. Keep your eyes looking around. The reason is that your adversary, the devil, prowls about like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. He is looking for someone who is not watching so that he can entrap and take them out."
The good news is that God unmasks the darkness so that we can unmask the schemes. The Lord can bring revelation of those things.
One of my favorite stories that can declare this truth is in 2 Kings 6:8. This is the story about Elijah. It says, "Now the king of Aram was at war with Israel. After conferring with his officers, he said, 'I will set up my camp in such and such a place.' The man of God (Elijah) sent word to the king of Israel: 'Beware of passing that place, because the Arameans are going down there.' So the king of Israel checked on the placed indicated by the man of God. Time and again Elijah warned the king, so that he was on his guard in such places."
"This enraged the king of Aram. He summoned his officers and demanded of them, 'Will you not tell me which of us in on the side of the king of Israel?' 'None of us, my lord the king.' said one of his officers, 'but Elisha, the prophet who is in Israel, tells the king of Israel the very words you speak in your bedroom.'"
Every time this king made a plan, what happened? God would tell Elijah the plan. Elijah would tell the king of Israel the plan and they would prepare for it. So the king of Aram thinks they are going to have this surprise attack against Israel, but when they get there, the king of Israel is ready for them.
You see the kingdom of darkness has plans and strategies against your life, but God knows them all. God wants to tell you about them so that you can prepare for them; so that you can counter-attack against them; so that you can fight. You can be an informed fighter. You can be an informed intercessors. God wants to reveal to you all the schemes of the power of darkness, so that you can fight the real battle.
I went to a dinner with some people from another church. It was a "thank you" dinner. I was talking to Ed Silvoso from Argentina.. We were discussing the differences between the United States and Argentina. As he began to note this differences, Ed said Argentina has been in revival for over 17 years now. It has been a constant, fluid revival. Also, in Argentina, all of our focus is on the lost and in getting outside of the church.
They have the normal things that happen in church, like getting together on Sundays. However, most of the activities are outside of the church. The other thing we do is when someone first comes to know the Lord, we teach these people how to engage in spiritual warfare.
But that is not how we do it in the United States. First of all, we have not had a major move of God in a long time. None of us have ever seen a consistent move of God. We have seen a little bit of it, but nothing that has grasped the nation for the kingdom. Secondly, the focus of the activity of the church is what can one do within the four walls. So everything happens with the four walls of the church. We go out just a little bit, but then we go back within the four walls.
The third thing is when it comes to spiritual warfare. We always wait until people reach a level of maturity that we think that they can handle it, and then we talk to them about ministering to the demonized and such.
Ed said that in Argentina they tell new believers immediately about the strategies of the enemy. For example, the enemy may have a plan to come against someone's business. We teach them how to come against that, pray about that and cast it down. Ed says that if someone has a good business deal working and it is going to be good for the kingdom of God, but something is coming against it - don't stop. It may be there is demonic opposition coming against it. You just press against it until you knock it down.
The family situation is the same thing. There are demonic strategies in the house to destroy the relationships between husbands & wives, parents and children, and you and your in-laws. What we do is fight each other rather than fight the real enemy. The truth is we are not warring against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers. We are warring against the unseen things. We need to fight our battles against what is effective. It is not flesh and blood, but the kingdom of darkness. That is where we need to focus our energies.
We should address what is in our own lives. Ask yourself, "What are the struggles and bondages that I am facing? How as the enemy set me up, and how have I been sucked into that?" Ed Silvoso said that is what they teach. It is the very first thing.