It is Time for an Intelligence Briefing - Part 2

SERMON NOTES:

It is time for an intelligence briefing (Part 2)

2Co 10:3  For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh:
2Co 10:4  (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)
2Co 10:5  Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

Eph 6:11  Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
Eph 6:12  For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
Eph 6:13  Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

You sometimes hear people say: “ignorance is bliss.” Well, ignorance is not a good thing when it comes to spiritual matters. Quite the opposite!

Ignorance is defined in the dictionary as: lack of knowledge, lack of understanding, lack of information, lack of education, or lack of awareness.

Ignorance in Scripture is often associated with darkness and deception. That might explain why ignorance is sometimes described as “being in the dark about something.”

We should take notice of the instruction in 2 Peter 3:8: “be not ignorant.”

The Puritan Thomas Watson once said, “ignorance is Satan’s stronghold.”

The reason is bro/sis: enlightenment removes ignorance.

When light shines then men are no longer in ignorant or deceived, but are willfully rebelling against God’s truth.

• An army that is ignorant of its enemy’s ability and strategy is incompetent and unprepared for battle.
• An army that underestimates its enemy is destined for failure.

If you underestimate the enemy, I can assure you, you will get walloped. It is foolish thing to underestimate your foe.

Charles H. Spurgeon: “Foolish persons are easily entrapped.”

A boxer only has to let his paws drop once in a fight and he is out for the count.

The terrorists in Northern Ireland used to boast, we just have to be lucky once, you have to be lucky all the time.

General Patton (the American 2nd WW General) wisely says: “You shouldn’t underestimate an enemy, but it is just as fatal to overestimate him.”

When it comes to spiritual warfare information on the enemy is golden. It allows us to box smart, recognize his schemes and deal with him accordingly.

Be able to identify the whispers of Satan, recognize his lies, notice his obstacles, know his schemes.

Understand how He works through the enemies of God. Study all the wicked characters in the Bible who functioned under the devil’s authority and you get an insight into what you are dealing with.

What I am saying is: it helps to know the Word of God.

The Bible does not tell us to fear the devil, but it does tell of to be cautious and wary. We should definitely not be haphazard in our dealings with him.

Ephesians 4:27 instructs us not to “give place to the devil.”

1 Peter 5:8-9 says, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.”

The Greek word from which we get the phrase “be vigilant” means: to keep awake and be watchful.

Eph 5:15  See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise,

An intelligence briefing is where we share and receive information regarding the character, aims and plans of the enemy.

You need to know: when the enemy attacks the people of God he has got underlying aims, he has a strategy, and he has a plan. His aim is to take you out of the game.

The last time I spoke on the subject as we had a biblical intelligence briefing on the arch-enemy of our souls, I listed a number of aim that the devil has against people of God. I have expanded this list a little bit as I have reflected on this overall subject. By outlining these I hope that we can effectively address how we can counteract the devil. It should make us better informed, more observant and spiritually proactive.

Thankfully, we do not need to speculate about what the devil’s overriding agenda is. God shows us very clearly in the Word of God what he is all about.

• The ultimate aim of the devil is to come in-between you and God. For the unbeliever: it is his aim to stop them truly knowing God. For the believer: it is his aim to stop them having real intimacy with God.
• Satan is keen for you to work independent of God. He wants you to be driven by what you think or feel rather than what God directs. If you are operating independent of the instruction of God’s Word then you are operating independent of God! The evil one wants to isolate the believer so that they are on their own and have nothing for anyone else. He wants to separate them from anyone or anything that is God-ordained. That is why he wants you to neglect close fellowship. He wants to isolate you from your support base.
• The devil works hard to create division among the people of God. Divide and conquer are major tactics of the devil. He knows the power of unity and agreement. That explains why he works so hard for the destruction of marriage, Christian families, godly relationships and solid churches. After all, Jesus said in Mark 3:25: “if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand.” The Bible also says: “mark those who cause division.”
• He earnestly wants to stop the light of God’s Word shining upon you. He knows that is the source of enlightenment, knowledge and truth. This is where we find the grounds for our hope. This is where we get direction for our lives.
• Satan wants you to be self-centered instead of Christ-centered. He wants your welfare, feelings and opinions to be important!
• He wants you to be captivated with the problem instead of the answer.
• He wants you to get enchanted with the things of this world (with the temporal instead of the eternal).
• Because the devil is a deceiver, he wants you to believe the lie about anything. He will convince you that right is wrong and wrong is right, that black is white and white is black and every absolute is gray.
• Because the devil is a tempter, he wants to snare you with whatever sin appeals to your flesh. He has you profiled. He knows your weaknesses. He knows when you are most vulnerable.
• Because the devil is a destroyer, he wants to destroy every holy, godly, wholesome and righteous quality, relationship and gifting you possess.
• Satan wants to bully you. He is an intimidator. Look at the enemies of God in Scripture and they were full of threats. They are still doing it today. They want you to be fearful and anxious.
• He wants to make your life hell on earth.
• He wants you to walk in defeat.
• It is the aim of the devil to get you to live in a condemned state so that you feel unworthy and unqualified to minister. It is impossible for faith to flourish in such a state. You beat yourself up because you never feel worthy or accepted before God. Lucifer basically has you on the ropes.
• The devil wants to wear you down with things. He wants to burn you out with the cares of this life. He wants to overload you so you are impotent.
• He wants you to be in bondage. He wants to hold you down with chains of addiction, guilt, shame, condemnation, etc., etc.. Or, alternatively, he wants to lift you up with the chain of pride.
• He wants you to be a victim rather than a victor. It doesn’t matter whether it is past hurts or past failures, his aim is to make you a loser.
• Satan functions best in secrecy. He loves the dark. He thrives on our ignorance. He wants you to function there. In fact: the word occult actually means to keep secret or to keep hidden. Openness and transparency blows this apart.
• He wants to abort the will of God for your life. He wants to stop you being who God wants you to be and doing what God wants you to do. The evil one targets the call of God upon us, the giftings we possess, the purposes we are here to accomplish and resists the direction we are going.
• He wants to distract you from the Lord and the things of God. He wants to take you off the track God has you on. He is determined to stop you moving forward.

Written by Pastor Paul Malcomson. Preached on 3/12/23 @ Light of the World Gospel Ministries church in Walthill, NE.