Tuesday, January 22, 2019

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We call him Evil Bert. He's not a nice guy at all. I was speaking for our Warrior Leadership Summit conference for young Native Americans when Bert made his appearance. Actually, I had asked a friend to make a puppet for me to use. That puppet had a dark mustache, dark eyes, a dark beard, and a wicked expression. I affectionately called him Evil Bert. Evil Bert carried a plastic bat in his hands as he and I walked through the audience. Suddenly, Bert would lash out and hit someone with his plastic bat. People wisely started ducking when he got close. The really smart young people there figured out the dark secret about Evil Bert. It wasn't really Bert that was hitting them. It was the guy who was using him as a puppet. That would be me.

I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Who's Holding the Club That's Hitting You." 

If it weren't for the Bible, we'd never figure out what's really going on with some of the hammering we're facing in our life, and we'd never know how to respond and resist. But we do have the Bible. Like our word for today from the Word of God in Ephesians 6, beginning with verse 11. "Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood (I guess those are the "evil Berts" that seem to be what's hitting us, seem to be the problem.), but it's against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore, put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand."  

The people, the problems, the temptations that are bombarding you are often the puppets being used by your real enemy, Satan himself. Since this passage calls us to stand our ground, it's clear what the devil's attacks are trying to accomplish. He wants to use them to get you to retreat spiritually; to give up ground. He wants to take back ground that Jesus has gained in your life. So he keeps hitting you with whatever will make you discouraged, distracted, defeated enough to go back to the old you.

Satan wants to hit you hard enough that you'll run back to that old habit, that old escape, that wrong relationship, that old attitude. He's trying to drive you onto a spiritual detour like a cattle drover tries to herd his cattle. Once you're on that detour, he knows he can take your farther away from God's plans than you ever dreamed you would go.  

Ultimately, all of the devil's "evil Berts" are for one goal-to get your eyes off Jesus. The devil stands no chance against Jesus, and as long as you're wrapped up in Him, the enemy can't bring you down. But if he can distract you from Jesus, he's got you. That's why you need to know who's really holding the club that's hitting you. So you'll fight him, not humans, not situations. You fight him; fight the real enemy. 

You need to be using the spiritual weapons that the Bible says have "divine power to demolish strongholds" (2 Corinthians 10:4). You fight your enemy with fervent prayer, with the Word of God that defies his lies. Just say them outloud. Say the truth of God outloud. You fight him with the name of Jesus and appealing to the blood of Jesus which signed our enemy's death warrant. Those things stop him like a bullet.

You know who this is. You know what he wants-to make you give up ground that Jesus has taken in your life. You know what to do. Stand your ground!