10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.
Any preacher will tell you that a good sermon needs a good introduction to grab the congregation’s attention and pull them into the message, and as I prepared the sermon I realized that I have been introducing this sermon since the beginning of the month.
On the first four Sundays of the month we talked about the six pieces of the full armor of God.
The first Sunday we talked about.
The belt of truth.
The truth sets us free.
The truth sets others free.
And the truth frustrates the devil because we are free.
The breastplate of righteousness.
Righteousness fixes us.
Righteousness fortifies us.
And righteousness fine tunes us.
The second Sunday we discussed the gospel of peace.
Peace focuses us.
Peace fulfills us.
And faith fascinates us and others.
On the third Sunday we discussed the shield of faith and how faith protects, faith provides, and faith produces.
On the forth Sunday we discussed the helmet of salvation, and how salvation gives us proper placement, purpose, and a practice.
And the sword of the spirit which is the word of God, our only offensive weapon. The word proves, the word is proactive, and the word prevails. And the reason the word can do all this is because the word is God. Now we spent the four Sundays getting armed. Now it’s time to get dangerous, but just before we get dangerous there is another piece of equipment that you need. And it is a very important piece.
Finally, Paul adds the Power of Prayer to the Full Armor of God: “And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.” (Ephesians 6:18, NIV) According to Zavada, Every smart soldier knows they must keep the line of communication open to their Commander. God has orders for us, through his Word and the promptings of the Holy Spirit. Satan hates it when we pray. He knows prayer strengthens us and keeps us alert to his deception. Paul cautions us to pray for others as well. With the Full Armor of God and gift of Prayer, we can be ready for whatever the enemy throws at us. And many of us seem to believe that prayer has to be sophisticated and proper. But you just need to have to have a little talk with Jesus and tell him all about our troubles… Just talk to your God and keep it real. But it is extremely important that you stay in constant communication with the God of your salvation in order to keep your relationship strong and your armor fully operational. So this is how we should pray.
Pray deliberately. You have to pray deliberately, meaning you have to pray on purpose. Deliberate means purposeful; willful, intentional, premeditated, voluntary, referring to something NOT happening by chance. Deliberate is applied to what is done not hastily but with full realization of what one is doing: for example, a deliberate attempt to score a touchdown. This is how we should pray, deliberately.
With a premeditated assurance that God will answer our prayers.
Intentionally with the full intent of God being true to his word.
Willful, having a willing spirit to talk to God about any and everything.
Voluntarily, prayer is something we should choose to do, it should not be forced, unless it’s a force of habit. We must pray deliberately! But not only do we pray deliberately.
We Pray directly. I am so glad that I can go to my father and talk to him myself. I don’t have to go to a priest and confess my sin and have him or her pray for me.
I don’t have to have my mother pray for me.
I don’t have to have my father pray for me.
I don’t have to have my grandmother pray for me.
I don’t have to have my grandfather pray for me.
I don’t have to have my friends pray for me.
I don’t have to have the pastor pray for me.
I don’t have to call in or pay for some tv evangelist to pray for me. It is so nice that I can ask others to pray with and for me, but I don’t have to.
I can go directly to my God and pray for myself. I can go directly to the source. Which leads me to my last point about prayer.
Because I pray to him deliberately, and I pray to him directly I can pray to him dependently. Knowing without a shadow of a doubt that God will never let me down. He will never fail. He will meet me at my point of need. I can pray dependently because I am praying to a dependable God. Is there anybody in the room that is excited about the fact that you can pray to a dependable God.
A God that won’t let you down.
A God that will never leave you or forsake you.
A God that told us to seek and we shall find.
A God that told us to knock and the door shall be open.
A God that told us to ask and it shall be given to us.
A God that told us not to worry.
A God that clothes the birds of the air and the grass of the field.
How much more will take care of his children according to his riches in glory?
A God who owns the cattle on a thousand hills, and if we are his children I do believe that we can dependently pray to our dependable God.
A God as I mentioned in my e-blast this week is the same yesterday, today, and forever. We can pray to our dependable God.
I saw this on FB one day and it seemed perfect for today. Remember this when in spiritual warfare with the devil. The eagle does not fight the snake on the ground. It picks it up into the sky and changes the battleground, and then it releases the snake into the sky. The snake has no stamina, no power, and no balance in the air. It is useless, weak, and vulnerable. Unlike on the ground where it is powerful, wise, and deadly. Take your fight into the spiritual realm by praying. When you enter the spiritual realm God takes over your battles. Don’t fight the enemy in his comfort zone. Change the battle ground like the eagle. And let God take charge through your earnest prayer. You’ll be assured of a clean victory. Pray without ceasing.
So now that you are armed, are you ready to become dangerous? Or are you like the Jews who went about trying to cast out demons in Acts 19:13-16. They would say in the name of Jesus whom Paul preaches come out! One day the evil spirit answered and said, “Jesus I know, and I know about Paul, but who are you?” and then the demon possessed man overpowered them all and gave them such a beating that they ran out of the house naked and bleeding. In other words you have to know the Lord and the word for yourself. Now we have talked about the full armor of God, the necessary tools to fend off the attacks of the enemy. Because of God’s sacrifice we have the necessary ammunition to defeat the devil. But we do not have to sit back and wait for the enemy to attack. Every now and then we have to go into the enemy’s camp and take back all that he has stolen from us. We have to take it back.
You want your joy.
You want your children.
You want your husband.
You want your wife.
You want your sanity.
You want your health.
You want your life.
You want your sobriety.
You want your place in the kingdom.
But the only way that you can take is back is if you are armed and dangerous.
You cannot stand on your mom’s relationship with God.
Or your father’s belief in God you have to know him for yourself.
We all have known an older saint that loved the Lord, but we can not get by on their love for God.
We must know him for ourselves.
That was the problem the Jews had in Acts. They did not know the Lord for themselves and they thought they were dangerous, but they were not. There is nothing worse than seeing a person that thinks they are tough until they run into someone that is really tough. As children of the most high God, we cannot afford to be caught off guard.
That is why you have to keep your armor updated.
You have to keep your armor clean.
You have to take care of your armor by staying in constant communication with God through his word and through prayer.
But now that you are armed you must also be dangerous. You have to get ready to go into battle. And remember you are not fighting against flesh and blood. You are fighting against the authorities, rulers and powers of the dark world. So you have to be armed and dangerous. Okay Pastor Brian I see where you are going with this. I have my armor, but how can I be dangerous? I am so glad that you asked.
In order to be dangerous you must know the word of God. We spent some time with this last Sunday when we discussed the sword of the spirit. You cannot fight the enemy if you do not know the word of God. There is an acronym for bible that goes like this, basic instructions before leaving earth. The word of God has everything that you need. Any situation and every circumstance is addressed in the Bible. But you cannot get by repeating a few common verses that you’ve heard over the years. You have to open the book and study it for yourself. You have to make a daily habit of opening the Bible and reading it everyday. We talked about the sword of the spirit last Sunday, but a weapon will do you no good if you don’t know how to use it, or if you’re afraid to use it. It does not matter if it is:
A stun gun
A can of mace
A pair of nunchucks
If you don’t know how to use it, what good is it?
So the only way that you will know how to use the word of God, is if you open it and read it for yourself.
In his word you will find the following three things.
God’s wisdom. James says, “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you” (James 1:5). Why do you think Solomon asked for wisdom? He had God’s attention. God told him to ask for anything that he wanted. He could have asked for gold, silver, diamonds, cattle, sheep, donkeys, camels, or women. He could have asked for whatever his heart desired, and he asked for wisdom. I believe that Solomon knew that there was no way that he could rule the people of God without wisdom. So how much more could we use wisdom in our everyday lives. I don’t know about you but I need God’s wisdom in my life. Life is tough and I can’t do it on my own. I need God’s wisdom, and God’s wisdom can be found in his word. But not only is wisdom found in his word, you find God’s will in his word.
God’s will. You see here is where sin is conquered in our lives. We seem to believe they sin is lying, cheating, stealing, fornicating, committing adultery, jealousy, and lust. But those are just results of sin or acts of sin. Those are symptoms of sin. Sin is choosing your will over God’s will. That is what happened to Adam and Eve in the garden He told them that they could eat of any tree in the garden except the tree of knowledge of good and evil. But they allowed Satan to trick them and chose their own will over the will of God. Sin is choosing to do what you want to do instead of what God desires us to do. You see God doesn’t force us to follow his will. He gives us free will to choose his will and it is Gods hope that we choose wisely. That is why we need to know his word so that we will have his wisdom to know his will so that we can do things God’s way!
God’s way, is the last thing that God’s word shows us. How many of you have tried things your way and messed everything up? Things never seem to work out the way we plan when we do them our way. For some reason our way ends up in disaster. Every time you try to fix it you make the situation worse.
You tried to fix the marriage or the spouse.
You tried to fix the drama on the job.
You tried to fix the friendship or the friend .
You tried to fix the ministry.
You tried to fix your kid.
You tried to fix the situation or the circumstances and it didn’t work out because you tried to do it your way instead of God’s way. Do you know why God’s way always works and your way doesn’t? Because God’s way is always about love, your way more times than not is about you. That’s why we call it your way. Your is the possessive form of you. Meaning that everything that comes after your belongs to you! So stop trying to do it your way and do it God’s way. And you only know God’s way by getting in his word, gaining his wisdom, and submitting to his will!
But not only do you need to know the word of God you also have to be willing to do the work of God. That is why in Matthew 9:37 Jesus said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. You have to get off the bench and get into the game. You cannot go through life being an innocent bystander. Eventually you have to get some dirt on your hands. Some grit and grime underneath your nails. Some mud on your clothes. You say you believe. You say you have faith, but faith without works is dead. If you are going to be armed and dangerous you have to be willing to do the work of God. There are three things you need to do the work of God.
You need your wallet. Bring the tithe into the store house. We have to be willing to support the work of God with our financial resources.
The lights don’t stay on by themselves.
The gas doesn’t stay on by itself.
Ministry does not take place without cash!
In order to do the work of God you will need to use your wallet. And if you don’t love your money more than God this should not be a problem! That’s why Jesus told his disciples in Matthew 6:21, For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
In other words, if you treasure money that’s what you will work for.
If you treasure the hottest new fashions that’s what you will work for.
If you treasure the latest new gadget that’s what you will work for.
If your treasure is popularity that’s what you will work for.
If your treasure is your latest sexual conquest that’s what you will work for.
But your treasure should be the things of God, and then that’s what you will work for. You do the work of God by using your wallet. But not only do you need your wallet to do the work of GOD.
You need to know your worth to do the work of God. And your worth is not based on your wallet. How much you can or cannot give? Your worth is based on the simple fact that God loves you and God chose you to do his work! Do you know how incredible that is? God chose you. I remember playing pick up basketball at the park and being the last one picked, or not being picked at all and having to call next. I remember not being picked to play kickball, dodgeball, or baseball. I remember not being picked to hang with the cool kids. I remember how bad I used to feel when I didn’t get picked. But I also remember how well if felt to be picked after I raised my game. This is what’s so great about God we have done nothing or can ever do anything to warrant God choosing us, but in spite of ourselves he chose us and would choose us every single time. You have to know your worth. God loves you so much that he sent his son to die for you! And by knowing this, you will know your worth and when you know your worth then you can do the work of God.
Last but not least you do the work of God with Your witness. Your witness is you telling your story. Your testimony of the goodness of the Lord and all that he has done for you.
But your witness is more than you sharing or telling your story.
It’s how you live your life.
It’s how you treat people.
It’s the way you carry yourself at work.
It’s how you handle yourself when the going gets tough and the tough gets going.
It’s about what comes out of you when the pressure rises and life squeezes you because it is not what goes in you that defiles you but what comes out the defiles you. So your witness should always be an example of the God of your salvation leading and directing your life. You do the work of God with your witness! You must do the work of God to be dangerous!
In order to be dangerous you must know the word of God, you must be willing to do the work of God, and last but not least you must be willing to worship God. Now I know that we often use the words praise and worship interchangeably, but they are not the same thing. That is why we call it praise and worship. If they were the same thing we would just call it praise and praise, or worship and worship. You see praise is a way to give thanks to God, and I know that we can all agree today that God deserves every ounce of our praise. But here is the difference between praise and worship. Anyone can praise God.
A sinner can praise God.
A backslider can praise God.
A prostitute can praise God.
A crack head can praise God.
A whoremonger can praise God.
Anyone can praise God, but only Christians can worship GOD.
Only those in the fraternity of the twice born can worship God.
Only those of us that are born again can truly worship God.
That is why in John 4: 23 and 24 Jesus says, Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.” That is why you have to be a Christian a true believer, born again to worship God. Because once you give your heart to the Lord his spirit enters your body and resides in your heart and gives you the ability to worship him in spirit and in truth. So we worship God in three ways.
Worship God willingly, just like we pray willing we worship God willingly. Worship cannot be forced or it will be fake. That is why a worship leader should not have to beg the church to worship with them. All they have to do is begin to worship God and the true believer will just join in the worship or will already be worshiping because as children of God we are willing to worship Him because we understand that he desires us to do so. That is why he created us in the first place.
Worship God without wanting anything in return. This is really not a true give and take relationship besides the fact that God is always giving to us and we are always taking from him. But worship gives us an opportunity to give a little bit back to the God of our salvation without expecting anything in return.
We don’t worship God so he will bless us he’s already done that.
We don’t worship God to heal us.
We don’t worship God to fix our marriage.
We don’t worship God to save our children.
We don’t worship God to get the promotion.
We don’t worship God to get the job.
We don’t worship God to get the desires of our heart.
We worship God because we love him.
We worship God for who he is. Because of who you are…
We worship God willingly, we worship God without expecting anything in return, and we worship God with all of your heart, soul, and strength.
In other words you worship God with every ounce of your being. You don’t want no part time lover and neither does God. In the words of that great theologian John Legend all of me wants all of you! God wants all of you.
He wants your mind, body, and soul.
He wants your head, shoulders, knees, and toes
He is not satisfied with your left overs or your sloppy seconds. God wants the first fruits of your labor. That is why he was pleased with Able’s sacrifice and not with Cane’s because Able came with the right attitude. Able understood that his sacrifice was an extension or sign or an example of his love for God. So all of his heart and soul and strength went into his sacrifice to make it acceptable to God. So what kind of worship are you giving to God today. Is it forced? Is it fake? Are you just going through the motions? Are you just doing what you see others doing? Or are you making yourself dangerous by truly worshipping God?
Because once you fall before the Lord in worship there is nothing and I mean nothing that the enemy can do to you that you won’t be able to handle, that you won’t be able to overcome, because now you are dangerous, and when you are dangerous you can rebuke the enemy and he will flee. So worship the God of your salvation. I once heard that true worship is to kiss the face of God. God desires for us to worship him. Does anyone want to kiss the face of God today? That’s why we sing we worship you in the spirit. We worship you in the truth. We worship you in the spirit we worship you in the truth. We don’t worship God for what he has already done, we don’t worship God for what he is doing right now, and we don’t worship God for what he has yet to do! We worship God for who he is! So when you are armed and dangerous there is nothing that can stand between you and your God.
So worship the King of kings!
The Lord of lords!
The bright and morning star!
The lily of the valley!
The balm of Gilead!
The rose of Sharon!
The great I am!
The God of your Salvation!
The prince of peace!
The high and lofty one!
The friend that sticks closer than a brother!
The way maker!
The mind regulator!
The one and only true God!
The living God!
The will in the middle of the wheel!
The alpha and the omega!
The beginning and the end!
The author and finisher of your faith!
And as we worship him lets get ready for battle. Put on the full
armor of God because the enemy is on the prowl. The enemy is
about to attack. The enemy is coming at you with everything that
he’s got, but you can say to the devil, hit me with your best shot I am armed and dangerous.
Drag my name through the mud.
Talk about me if you want to.
Play with my emotions.
Try to mess my family.
Quit messing my finances.
I don’t care what the doctor says.
Like timex I’ll take a licking and keep on ticking.
Who cares what they say about me.
Try to tempt me.
Try to get under my skin.
Try to take me out.
Question my faith.
Bring up my past.
Try to tell me that I’m not good enough.
And sometimes it seems like the devil has thrown everything at you but the kitchen sink, and I’m crazy enough to tell the devil to throw the sink as well because then he’ll have nothing left to throw.
And I am armed and I am dangerous anyway so it really doesn’t matter what the enemy does.
Put on the full armor of God so that you can stand against the devils schemes. And once you have your armor you have to become a dangerous threat to the enemy’s camp. You become dangerous by knowing the word of God, doing the work of God, and worshipping the God of your salvation. Are you armed and dangerous? Good day SCC I hope the Lord blesses you real good.
But mostly I hoped that you put on the full armor of God and become extremely dangerous!
Grab your belt of truth.
Grab your breastplate of righteousness.
Grab your gospel of peace.
Grab your shield of faith.
Grab your helmet of salvation.
Grab your sword of the spirit.
It is time for battle.
It is time to fight.
It is time for war.
It is time to get armed.
It is time to be dangerous.
So let me hear your war cry.
Shout unto the Lord with a voice of triumph.
You are armed and dangerous!