“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” Ephesians 6:10-12
Who is This Present Darkness that was described here by the apostle Paul — 2,000 years ago? The darkness is anyone who chooses to disregard God and follow the false teachings of men and the world. And we know that many of these will be Christians and those professing to be Christians.
And the scheming devil and his followers are most deceptive. Truth is redefined and lies are presented as truth, and evil actions substituted for good – over and over and over again. And YES – we can know this is demonic: “This wisdom (of the world) does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic.” And even those truly attempting to do good may be deceived, and mixed in with deliberate deceivers.
So how can anyone know the difference between the lies of the spiritual forces of evil and darkness; and the truth of God? We must become an overcomer. And that is only possible for true disciples of the only one who has overcome the world. And Jesus said; “I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
“ Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.” Romans 8:37
Now Jesus has given His followers the truth and the Holy Spirit to help us understand and discern the truth – from the lies. So why do many good intentioned people fall for the schemes of the devil? And how can anyone really know the truth and our enemies in these confusing times?
First we must truly believe in and know Jesus. And we must pray for His protection and guidance daily. And also we must know that “this present darkness” is not necessarily the devil or his demons; but rather it comes through people like you and I who are deceived by those he controls. But although we are in the world, we’re “not of the world” And “do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.” James 4:4
So what are we to do? “Who among you is wise and understanding? Let him show by his good behavior his deeds in the gentleness of wisdom. But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your heart, do not be arrogant and so lie against the truth.” James 3:13-14
“Selfish ambition” is the red flag, and God’s gentle wisdom leads us to Christ-centeredness and the love of Christ. “For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died; and He died for all, so that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf.” 2 Corinthians 5:14-15
And we can know God’s absolute eternal Truth. The lies of the world are easily exposed. And this can include science which some have made their god. The truth becomes evident. “But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.” James 3:17-18
And for you thick-headed ones. — Yes YOU leaders, pastors, Sunday school teachers, parents and others (including myself) who might think this message is “not for me” — rest assured that God is speaking directly to you in more ways than one. “Or do you think that the Scripture says in vain, “The Spirit who dwells in us yearns jealously”? But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble. Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” James 3:5-7
“Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. — Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.” James 4:8,10
Grace and Peace to you my friends,
Bob West – Geezerdust2020©