March 18, 2020: 4th Wednesday in Lent


TEXT:  Ephesians 6: 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.”

Dearly Beloved By Christ:

          When you Google something, that search engine only searches 4% of everything out there in cyberspace.  The “deep web” has the other 96%, which is hidden from most people.  That 96% is comprised of technical, military stuff, and secret, hidden communications.

          The scary part is that there is another hidden part of the deep web.  It’s called the dark web.  There you find stolen credit card numbers for sale, mail order drugs, killers for hire, sex trafficking, illegal betting and much more.  Aargh!

          When God tells us there is darkness in this world, He includes an enemy who is dark, devious and evil.  We are in a struggle against this darkness.  We need to know who we are facing off against. Tonight is a RECONNAISSANCE REPORT: KNOW YOUR ENEMY


          If a thug breaks into your home, you know your enemy.  You know who to defend against.  They are flesh-and-blood.  But Paul catalogues an invisible  enemy here, a  sinister and invisible one: “Our struggle is not against flesh and blood…but against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”

          We’re not talking about ghosts.  We’re talking about Satan and his fellow demons.  They are real. They are fallen evil angels.  They are 100% on the dark side.  And all of them are trying to destroy you and me—to destroy our faith, our life, our hope and our soul.  There is nothing funny about the devil, in fact, his very name means “enemy.”

          When St. Paul refers to: rulers, authorities and powers, it indicates that evil angels are organized in military fashion with ranks of which Satan is the general.  Don’t confuse them with the hosts of Godly angels surrounding us, either.  The goal of such evil minions is to remove faith from this earth.  To prevent unbelievers from hearing about Christ, to thwart the Spirit’s saving power, and to get Christians to fall. Yes we are in an active warzone.  He wants your soul dead so that you’ll end up eternally dead.

          God’s reconnaissance report goes on to compare your enemy to a starving, wild beast.  Peter says it this way: “Be alert and of sober mind.  Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”  The world is not static.  It changes, it moves, light and non-light seesaw around us.  Lions don’t remain static.  They move around—especially in the dark.  You might have family or friends who are being stalked right now.  We need to pray for them, pray for ourselves and never forget that: We are caught in this battle with a liar…..


          Sometime someone lied to you.  Hopefully, you learned from that and you’re more careful now.  And that’s sad because it spawned not believing in them in our hearts.  Jesus, in John 8 told the Jewish people plotting to kill Him that they were listening to a liar.  “You belong to your father, the devil, and 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.”

          If you have a native language, other than English, and you’re under great stress, sometimes you will revert to that native language.  Satan’s native language is:  lying.  He uses it all the time.  He wants to hurt, damage and destroy..  The name: devil, means: “slanderer, one who brings charges with hostile intent.”  He’s angry and jealous of God and what God has given us in Jesus Christ.  He works triple time to get us to doubt or question God’s Word—especially grace, or God’s undeserved love and forgiveness. He tries to get us to never read God’s Word or study it.  (We have Bible studies here to keep him off balance.)

          His favorite and most effective lies are: 1. To tell you you’re a good person and you don’t need God to keep you from hell, and 2. That you’re so bad God won’t have anything to do with you!  He wants us to believe that God is not just and fair.  That God doesn’t care about us.  He tries to drive us in darkness and despair—to believe that God has abandoned us.  And that is why the Son of God went off to war against the forces of evil!  It’s not hopeless.  So, here’s the bottom line to Paul’s report: He has put a light in the darkness!


          Every time we worship, especially at night, we turn the lights on.  Light always defeats darkness.  Even a small candle  will reveal what’s in a big cave.  Here tonight is another light, with billions of candlepower lumens.  And that Light pushes Satan right out of our hearts.  Likewise, it is a Light that will never fade or go out.  “In Him was life, and that life was the light of men.  The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”

          Note the battle verse: “darkness has not overcome it.”  Our Hero, Jesus, fought Satan on numerous occasions.  He always used words from Scripture to defeat him.  Sometimes He used miracles to undo Satan’s damaging attacks.  He doesn’t use a light saber to defeat this “Darth Vader”, but it shares a similar shape.  Christ used the cross.  And the eternal truth of the cross: forgiveness for all your sins because Christ paid for them on the cross—that light saber protects and defends all His children:  “In him was life, and that life was the light of humankind.”  And don’t forget: Jesus’ cross doesn’t run on batteries or flash on and off—the nuclear reactor in  heaven keeps it constant and burning brightly. 

          Every blood-bought soul is important to Christ.  Likewise, He cares about our mental, physical, emotional and spiritual well-being.  So don’t look  at non-believers with disgust or anger, but with sadness and a desire to help them see the Light and then work at getting them into the Light.  That’s an important avenue towards glorifying God.  Or, as the Bible says: “Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven!”


Pastor Thomas H. Fox    March 18, 2020

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