December 25 - LD 52, Day 2: The Prayer for Deliverance from a Threefold Enemy
by Rev. Arie den Hartog
Read: Ephesians 6:10-18
The sixth petition reminds us that we are engaged in a spiritual warfare with a threefold enemy. These three enemies are working together for our spiritual ruin and destruction. To understand the urgency for praying this petition every day, we need to know this threefold enemy.
It is easy to imagine that our greatest enemy is a physical enemy. We might imagine our greatest enemy to be some human person that hates us and wants to destroy us physically. We might imagine him or her to be a fellow student at school who is trying to make greater educational and career achievements. We might imagine our enemy to be a person in society trying to ruin our reputation and turn attention to himself. We might imagine our enemy to be a fellow worker in our occupation trying to get an advantage over us, a higher salary, or a promotion in the company. We might imagine our greatest enemy to be any person who competes with us for riches, glory, and honour in the world. We might imagine that our enemy is some fearful, even unknown, criminal.
The Word of God tells us we have a far greater enemy. We are engaged with this enemy in a spiritual warfare for our eternal soul. Peter tells us in I Peter 5 that the devil is real and has great power. He goes about like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour. He is the great deceiver who tempts us to sin against God and His commandments. He wants us to leave the Christian religion altogether, to rebel against God, and to join the world in its enmity against God. He may come to us in sheep’s clothing, but in fact inwardly he is a ravening wolf seeking to tear us apart and devour us (Matt 7:15). In the sixth petition we pray for spiritual knowledge and discernment, so that we can recognize the works of the devil and his temptations. We pray for spiritual strength to fight against the devil and his whole dominion of demons and evil devices. The devil is very powerful. He cannot be resisted nor overcome by human or earthly might, but only by spiritual strength and power. We need to receive this spiritual strength from God the Father, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is given to us and works in us to overcome our sin, resist the devil and to triumph over him.
The devil uses the world to tempt us and entice us to sin. The devil tempted Jesus with the deceitful words, that if only Jesus would bow down to him, the whole world would belong to Jesus and be His inheritance. The devil has many devices in this world to tempt us. This is all the more true in our time. He can use the modern day media of the movie theater, the computer, and the worldwide internet. By these means the devil places in our minds and hearts the desires and thinking of the world’s philosophy. The devil may seek to attract us to a life of immorality with the promise of its sinful pleasure and the satisfaction of the lusts of our sinful nature. The temptations of the devil are very powerful. We need to realize this. We can only resist and overcome the devil by the power of God.
Our third enemy is our own sinful nature. We have this sinful nature even as Christians. Deeply residing in this nature are all kinds of inclinations, desires, and lusts for sin. The devil, by using the wicked world, can appeal to that sinful nature, lead us into sin and away from God, and to our own personal spiritual ruin. How needful is the prayer of the sixth petition for every Christian!
- Date: December 25
Rev. Arie denHartog (Wife: Sherry)
Ordained: October 1974
Pastorates: Wyckoff, NJ - 1974; Foreign Missionary, Singapore - 1979; Randolph, WI - 1987; Redlands, CA - 1990; Minister-on-Loan, Singapore - 2001; Southwest, Grandville, MI - 2005; emeritus, Dec.31, 2016Website: www.southwestprc.org/
Address4895 Ivanrest Ave. SW
State or ProvinceMichigan
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