Guarding Yourself Against the Enemy (Part 2)
Junior Level

This week, with God’s help and by grace, we are going to continue on our study that began last week in 1 Thessalonians.  We will continue to break down this passage of scripture verse by verse and see the many ways we can guard ourselves against the attacks and enticements of Satan. 

Handout: Guarding Yourself Against the Enemy (Part 2)

Last week we studied four of the keys that we can use to guard ourselves.  I would like to list those now just as a review and then we shall move on to the next ways. 
Keys of Guarding Ourselves against the Enemy

  1. Rejoice Evermore (Being happy in the Lord in all things.)
  2. Pray Without Ceasing.  (Being ever aware of the presence of God always, and in constant communication with the Holy Spirit.)
  3. Be Thankful, Giving Thanks (Living a life of active gratitude)
  4. Quench Not The Spirit!  (Let the passion of the Spirit ever burn in our hearts.)

Let’s continue.  Please open your Bibles if you will with me to 1 Thessalonians 5.
1 Thessalonians 5:16 “Rejoice evermore. 17Pray without ceasing.  18In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. 19Quench not the Spirit. 20Despise not prophesyings. 21Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. 22Abstain from all appearance of evil. 23And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.  24Faithful is He that calleth you, who also will do it.  25Brethren, pray for us.
Last week we covered the text from verse 16 to verse 19.  Let’s begin with verse 20 today.  Which takes us to the next way to guard ourselves against the devil’s enticements.

  1. Despise Not Prophesyings.

I looked up the word used here for Prophesyings.  The Greek word used here is: Propheteia which means, “A discourse emanating from divine inspiration and declaring the purposes of God, whether by reproving and admonishing the wicked, or comforting the afflicted, or revealing things hidden; esp. by foretelling future events.”
What Paul is saying in this writing is for us to not despise or disregard instruction, exhortation, or warning.  We are to be hearers of the word and not only hearers, but doers. 
James 1:22 “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.”
This is why it is so important to know what God’s word says.  I emphasize study of God’s word so much, but Dear one, it is a life source.  Without it we will die Spiritually. 
God calls Preachers and teachers into ministry to serve others and He gives the messages that those who are listening will benefit from in their walks with God.  It is important to listen to God’s word and to obey it.  The Holy Spirit warns us of pending danger in different ways.  It is important to have an open ear to God’s word and to know it ourselves so that we can discern what is truth and what is not.  It is wise to listen to the instruction of the Holy Spirit and it will save us from much destruction and pain. 
Proverbs 1:7 “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.”
Sometimes the Spirit may prophesy to us through someone that we really do not want to hear.  It is so important that we not let personal feelings get in the way of the Spirit working in our lives.  We must not let being “right” guide us.  Sometimes we hear things we particularly don’t want to hear because it goes against our strong emotions about a situation.  We have to learn to listen to Godly, wise advice and do it even when it hurts this flesh or our pride.  Ignoring instruction will leave us wide open to the enemy and lead to our demise, which is his goal. 

  1. Prove All Things, Hold Fast To That Which Is Good.

This is a direct follow up of the last key we studied.  Part of listening, is having discernment.  Sadly, wisdom is not in every one that wants to give advice.  There are those who mean well, but are not led of God.   Satan is tricky and he is a great deceiver.  He also has his advisors out and what they say may sound right or seem ok, but are not!  There are times when we are so ready to move that anything that sounds positive seems like such a great idea and we can get to hasty and move without seeking the Lord.  It is so important to pray for wise discernment from God.  If you are born again, seeking the Lord, if someone advises you, the Holy Spirit will guide you if you seek Him.  Sometimes He will speak to your heart and other times we must go to His word and see what it says.  Godly advice will NEVER go against what the word of God says.  God does not contradict Himself ever!  There are no “special circumstances” in which God will go against what His word says.  There are certainly times when we just know what Gods will is about things because it is written in black and white in His word.  Then there are times in which we are not really sure because it isn’t clear to us yet.  Seeking God and listening to His Spirit with humility and willingness to follow His lead is what we must do.  The Holy Spirit will never lead us wrong. 

  1. Abstain From All Appearance Of Evil.

This key is so important to our joy and happiness in the Lord and in life.  So many times Satan will disguise evil with a very pretty package.  It will be very appealing to all the things we think we want.  This can come in many forms.  Other times we know that something is wrong and that is exactly why it appeals to our fleshly natures. 
Lord help us!  How many times when we were children did we want to touch or play with things we were told not to touch!  We may have had several toys, but that one thing we were told to leave alone, we were drawn to it like a magnet.  Think about Eve in the Garden of Eden. 
The whole Garden of Eden and the fruits thereof were there for her to enjoy.  However, the one tree in the whole garden that God told her and Adam not to eat of, was desirable to her.  It looked good to her.
Genesis 3:6 “And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.”
You can be certain that Satan knows exactly what is appealing to our fleshly natures, and he will be sure to place it in front of us.  It will be pleasant to our emotions or our eyes and if we are not very careful, we will fall.  It’s a snare, behind what seems so desirable is a trap laying in wait to destroy us.  Run from it! 
Psalm 34:14 “Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it.”
So many times, believers have the idea that the Christian life is a life of Don’t do’s.  Yes, there are certainly things that God tells us not to do, but what about the countless things of things that the Holy Spirit empowers us to do!  What about the countless blessings in our lives that we have to enjoy.  We need to see the variety of things God has given to us to enjoy and fill our lives with them.  If we enjoy and set out to experience those good things, we won’t be as apt to seek the things that are wrong that look good.  We need to be looking at all the other beautiful trees in the garden God has provided us with their delicious fruits and if we spend our time experiencing those, there are so many we will not be bored and seeking the ONE that we are not suppose to eat of!  Dear one, living for the Lord is exciting!  The reason so many get bored is because they are not ever growing in the Lord.  It is not God’s fault.  It is so exciting to wake up everyday in anticipation to what God will do today!  Everyday is a new adventure.  We do not have to just merely exist.  Through Christ WE CAN LIVE!  Depart from evil, and be happy.  Praise You LORD!

  1. Let God Sanctify You Wholly

What does wholly mean?  It means totally, through and through.  We must give ourselves totally to God.  Our lives have many “rooms” or compartments.    If we are not careful, we will only allow God to deal with only certain areas and other areas we leave closed off.  This is dangerous because it leaves part of us wide open to the enemy.  Don’t think just because you want those areas to be off limits, that Satan will respect your wishes.  He loves for us to have areas like that because they are exactly what he will use to harm us.  We must let God have full rule and abode in every part of our beings.  God wants to make us pure through and through.  He wants us to let Him touch every part of our lives even the parts that are so painful. 
How can He restore those broken parts if we will not let Him have access?  It’s just like going to the doctor with a tiny cut on your finger and a broken arm, and telling the doctor ok you can help me with the tiny cut it’s not so bad, but don’t examine my arm, it’s to painful.  We need to let God in every “room” even in the attics and basements where all our hidden secrets are.  We need to let Him purify all of us.  When we do that, we give the devil no tools to use against us in those areas.  Don’t make the mistake of saying to yourself, well God knows about it anyway and refuse to go there with Him.  Yes God knows what is in all the “rooms of our house”, but the Holy Spirit, He is a gentleman.  He will not force Himself in any room.  You must invite Him in.  Dear Lord, over take us.  Let Your Spirit flow freely from room to room to room like cleansing waters.  Sanctify us wholly, through and through for Your Glory in the name of Jesus!

  1. Faith in the LORD.

This key will sustain you in the times when you can’t see results.  When the enemy is coming at you from all sides, and it seems as if there is no end in sight, I urge you to stand firm and know that God is your deliverer in all things.  Faithful is He that calls you and He will do it!  We must pray that our faith will grow and then obey the Holy Spirit in taking the steps that will allow it to grow. 

  1. Pray

This is almost self explanatory.  Prayer is talking to God about anything and everything.  Let the Holy Spirit be your best friend.  He wants to.  He wants to be even more than that.  Think of how you would be with a human best friend who is with you.  The Lord isn’t just someone we only think about on Sunday or whenever we go to church, want or need something, or when trouble arises.  He is ever present.  He could have created us to be mindful of Him, He certainly could force us to praise Him and interact with Him, but He gives us a choice and He desires intimate relationship with you and me.  What an honor that is. 
Psalm 8:4 “What is man, that thou art mindful of him? And the son of man, that thou visitest him?
Tears come as I think of the King of Glory being mindful of you and I.  Hopeless beggars we were and God in His immeasurable love and mercy comes down and offers relationship to us.  He offers to be our everything.  Who are we that He would even acknowledge that we exist?  Thank You Lord for prayer.  Thank You Lord for wanting and allowing us to come boldly to the throne of grace.  Thank You for being our Father, for being our God and letting us be your people!  Blessed be the name of the Lord forever!
Pray little children of God.  Pray with all your hearts, pray.  Everyday let us pour our hearts and very souls out to God and see how He works and moves in our lives!  Hallelujah to the Lamb of God!  Oh that we could know the treasure that is the very essence of prayer.  The Kings of this world may never know our names, but we have an Almighty Father who is creator of all who knows us and loves us and we can always talk to Him.  He is indeed our Father.  There is nothing, nothing that can compare to being a little child of The Most High!  Praise You Father!  Go to Him.  Run to Him and let Him pick you up in His loving arms, holding you close while you fellowship.  Yes Dear one, Pray.  It will move God’s heart and cause every devil of hell to tremble!  Call upon God who is able!
Dear Righteous, Heavenly Father,
We come to You today with praise!  Praise of who You are and all You do.  Thank You for creating us and for being mindful of humanity.  Thank You for loving us and for Your mercy and grace.  Father we ask today that You help us to follow Your word and the keys that will guard us against the tactics of Satan.  We know that we are not match for him alone, but we also know that through You we can live in victory and we can live a life that is pleasing to You.  Father we ask that You protect and help us to walk in Your ways.  Thank You for always providing us with the things we need.  Bless those Lord that are in want and help them to turn to You.  Father we ask that You comfort all those in pain, and let them feel Your love so completely.  We love You and will forever Praise You.  In the name of Jesus we pray.  Amen.