The Tactics of the Enemy: Reflections on Studying the Armor of God with Priscilla Shirer
It has been a little while since I’ve posted on my site or podcast. I was hoping to do this on podcast but I’m not able. So I’m posting as a blog. To my friend Tracy Young in Texas, thank you for messaging me to share along the way. God used you to inspire me to share this…
This past week, a friend and I started leading a Bible study on the Armor of God. We just finished the Elijah study from Priscilla Shirer and wanted to do another one with her. We also knew never has it been a more important time to study God’s armor and in just a few days I understand why God brought us here. I just wanted to share a few thoughts I had for those in our group or those who may do this another time.
(A sidenote for those of you who follow and listen to Tune in with Meredith. Don’t worry, I’m coming back. Just felt the Lord leading me to focus on family for the last few months, and editing this guide I’m publishing for my readers. I’m sure glad I did because a time of stepping back always allows the time for us to listen for the Lord’s leading.)
So, I am ALL about knowing your enemy. You can’t be prepared in battle if you don’t know his tactics. That’s why we have to “Put on the full armor of God so that (we) may be able to take (our) stand against the devil’s schemes.” (Ephesians 6:11) If you don’t know that the devil uses your weaknesses to work his schemes, then you aren’t prepared for battle. If you don’t believe he exists, you are at an even greater disadvantage.
What’s funny is that I’ve been writing a guide book for those of you who struggle with food and weight — for this very reason. I want to help you recognize how much he uses this struggle as a weapon against your intimacy with Jesus. Some of us think that struggling with food or weight is just something we have to fix with our willpower and it’s our problem. It is, there is absolutely some of our responsibility in it to make healthy choices. But there is also quite a bit God can help us with in it. That’s why I’ve been writing quite a bit in this guide about the enemy and how he uses our food and weight struggles to keep us distracted and insecure enough that we never believe the Lord is a part of our mess. In fact, he’ll even try to make us think that the Lord doesn’t like us because of it. It’s actually the opposite, and if you get this guide because you struggle in this area of your life I hope you’ll see just how much Jesus wants to be a part of it.
In 2012, I wrote a book called “Healthy Voice:Life Beyond the Weight” (and no it wasn’t about weight, it was about learning that life isn’t all about weight but finding God in your life). I was a baby Christian, just getting more into the Bible and wanted to put some Scripture into it. While going through one of my last edits, I remember feeling fear and insecurity about sharing these verses because i was afraid of what people would think. Mind you, I grew up in a religion that didn’t really study Scripture. So it was new for me. I remember asking my husband if he thought it was a good idea or not and he gave me a resounding, “Yes!” (apparently multiples times). I now know that was the enemy trying to prevent me from sharing the gospel and He still tries today. But he doesn’t win, because I know today, “For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12) Let me tell you, the time it has taken to write this guide has given me doubt and I just keep going, trusting that God has this for someone or many. He’s not going to stop me.
But he keeps trying! In fact, I’m getting ready to relaunch my podcast in September. In it, I’ll be doing more pointing out the evil in the world and pointing people back to Christ. Do you think he’s working hard? He sure is. I basically took the summer off to be with family. Just had to BE. I’m trying to move my set to a studio room in the basement that is full of stuff I have to move. Of course the enemy is trying to make me doubt myself. He won’t win. What’s my point in all this? Telling you just a few of the ways the enemy has always and continues to try to block me from intimacy with Jesus or sharing about Jesus. As I start to do this study, I’m blown away by the confirmation of how important it is to share MORE about the enemy.
If you are a believer, you know how much the enemy is working in our world today to try to shut you down. As I started to study this, there are a few things just in the first week that particularly struck me. want to share them with you.
- The first century Ephesians were well acquainted with the spiritual realm. They believed evil spirits existed so when Paul wrote this letter to the Ephesians he didn’t have to convince them. That struck me because I feel like in the world today, people are so blinded that they are believing the lies so much it feels like we have to give them a massive explanation and that won’t even do!! We must remember this, “The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.” (2 Corinthians 4:4)
- Priscilla says in Day 2 p.17, “We’ve become a culture relatively unaware of the enemy’s presence, unaware of his conspiracies to destroy our lives, unaware that he’s distracting us from reaching our destinies.” How do we know this? Tell me the things that you crave, the things that distract you from your destiny. For me – it was the food and the diets. The longer I was focused on my will to get these right, the longer I wasn’t focused on God’s help.
- She says on p.18, “His attacks are always wrapped in the packaging of deception, always designed to manipulate the truth about God and you. What he wants is to lead you into sin so that fellowship is broken between you and God – between you and the one who provides your true power and strength.” HELLO! Deception!!! He is a liar and a murderer! “You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” (John 8:44) Look at 2 Corinthians 4:1-2, “Therefore, since through God’s mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart. Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use DECEPTION, nor do we distort the word of God.” Think about who is using deception right now. The mainstream media!! the rest of verse 2, “On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly (like we’re doing right here) we commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God. And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing.” We have to remember these people are BLINDED to the gospel. We can’t EXPECT them to have the mind of Christ. It’s just not going to happen. But we can shine the light of Christ and be aware of where the enemy lies in 1) the world, 2) in our own lives.
- Love this also on p.18, “So don’t believe for one second that the false ideologies of the culture (obsession with appearance, perceptions of with, the redefinition of family [hello Marxism], all of it] have been developed by chance. The evil temptations that appeal to your specific desires are not accidental. The discord and disharmony that threaten your most valuable relationships are not coincidental. The temptations that tug at you during your weakest moments are not uncalculated. None of these are happenstance.” HENCE – food, obsession with weight, anorexia, bulimia, obsession with looks and bodies. All of this stuff is what the enemy uses to keep us distracted.
- Ephesians 2:6, “And God raised us up with christ and SEATED us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus.” She talks about how significant it is that we are SEATED with him in the heavenly realms. She says it’s a proclamation that ultimate victory over the enemy has already been accomplished. YES IT HAS.
- The enemy can’t win and it’s not going to be “everyone else” that’s going to be part of the spiritual army. It’s us. So you have become a believer in Jesus you are as she says, “In a position of victory.” If you have not, it’s your time. It’s no mistake you are reading this so don’t let it go. I believe God wants to give you new life in Christ. If this is you my friend, if you want to be saved then declare with your mouth “Jesus is Lord” and believe in your heart that God raised him form the dead, you will be saved. If this has been you, thank you God. Welcome to the family of God.
- For the rest of you – don’t shrink back. Don’t let people who don’t believe in God bully you. Earlier I read 2 Corinthians 4:1-4 but I want to read 5-6 with you. “For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as servants for Jesus’ sake. For God who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness, made his light shine in OUR hearts to give US light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.” The next verse 7, is where the good stuff happens with the treasure in jars of clay, but I think I might save that for another week.
- In the MEANTIME, I want you to start thinking about those things in your life that the enemy uses to distract you. In what areas are you insecure? What do you go to to numb emotions? Food, alcohol? I believe God wants to purify you of this. I love the New Living Translation of James 4:8, “Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world.” Where is your loyalty. What things of the world do you cherish over Christ?
I will see you next week, either on video or on here written.
Last week, I began this study also. It’s my second go round. I did this study 6 years ago but flew through it. This time I’ve slowed down.
Tonight, I search online for discussions on this study, and found you. 🙂. I think I’ll stay around for awhile and see what you have to say.
Well, thank you! I’m so glad you are going to stuck around!!
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