top of page
Living Life Gracefully Title.JPG

May 7, 2024

SEEING YOURSELF AS GOD SEES YOU - PART 8

 

Well - here we are again - and we are in Part 8, in this series of Seeing Yourself as God Sees You.  We’ve been going through the book of Ephesians, because this book gives us such a broad picture - and down to the nitty gritty - of the way God sees us and what He wants us to see, walk in, act, talk, and everything else in our lives.  I’ve said this before but I’m saying it again.  If we can’t see ourselves as God sees us, we won’t be living our lives the way He desires for us to - we won’t be accessing what He has already put into our born again spirits - and we will have struggles and frustrations that He never wants us to go through.  THAT’S THE REASON WE HAVE TO GET AHOLD OF THIS TRUTH.

 

So - we’re starting in Ephesians 6:10.  This is an extraordinary and very important portion of Scripture.  Lots of Christians just pass over it quickly - but I’m telling you, brothers and sisters, when my eyes were opened to the powerful truth in this portion of Scripture, it opened up a whole new world of victory and freedom.

 

So - I’m going to go verse by verse through this today and, I know that some already know all this.  However, I have also learned in my life that the more I hear the TRUTH preached, taught, explained, and practiced, the more it brings knowledge and power into my life.

 

So - here goes!!!

 

Ephesians 6: 10 - “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.”  I kinda’ feel like Brother Paul is saying here - “Now finally, brothers and sisters, I’ve been giving you all this information that the Lord has shown me about how to live this Christian life - and now I going to end this letter by sharing one of the most important things for you to get ahold of to make it all possible.  If you don’t get ahold of this truth - you’ll struggle - and I don’t want you to struggle!  So listen closely to what I’m going to say.  I WANT YOU TO BE STRONG IN THE LORD AND THIS IS THE WAY TO WALK IN HIS POWER AND MIGHT!!!”

 

Ephesians 6:11 - “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.”  Now this is just not taken seriously by a huge percentage of Christianity.  Did you notice that he said to put on the WHOLE ARMOR OF GOD.  Most Christians have put on the ‘Helmet of Salvation’ - they know that when they accepted Christ, they were saved - but they have not studied this portion of Scripture and they have not been taught that there is more than just the helmet.  When, and if, they read this, they just pass by it and figure, “Well, I know I’m saved, so this other stuff must come along with the helmet.”

 

This whole area of ‘having authority over the devil’ is something that a lot of Christians don’t want to have anything to do with.  It’s scary to some;  it’s a fairy tale to others; and then, there are some who just figure that those first Christians, 2,000 years ago, had stuff to deal with that we don’t - and they just don’t want to even think about it.

 

I remember, growing up in the Baptist church, we did get taught a lot of stuff from the Word.  However, we never got taught anything about authority over the devil, and we were never taught anything about the baptism of the Holy Spirit.  I know that many denominations are like that.  Now - we heard A LOT about getting saved - and I am truly grateful for that.  When I was 13 years old, I went forward with some others, and my Sunday School Teacher, to the front, to accept Jesus as my Savior.  I was such an introvert, with my crossed eye that it was very scary for me to have all those people looking at me.  But I remember - thinking on the inside - “I’ve got to do this.  Jesus is knocking on the door of my heart and I have to let Him in.”  (There was a huge picture on the wall, where I sat in my Sunday School class every Sunday morning,  of Jesus knocking on a door - and that’s what had really had an effect on me.)  So I did!!  I opened the door to Him!!!  I got saved!  

 

Then I knew that I had to get baptized and I was MORE TERRIFIED.  That was going to be the next Sunday.  I was very afraid of having my head put under the water.  The next Sunday, I was there at the church, and we had baptismal gowns that we put on and I was standing in the line with other people.  My knees were shaking so bad that the people around me could hear them - I was so embarrassed but I couldn’t make them stop.  Then, it was my time - and, as I walked down the steps, Dr. Ross Edwards, my pastor, took ahold of my hand - AND ALL THE SHAKING STOPPED!!!  It was  a miracle (in the Baptist church)!!!  He put me down in the water and brought me back up again - AND I WAS STILL ALIVE!!!

 

By the way, Dr. Ross Edwards was the same person who married my husband and me 12 years later.

 

My reason for mentioning that is that I am very grateful for that Baptist church I was raised in - but I never heard anything about authority over the evil one or the Baptism in the Holy Spirit.  There’s a huge amount of Christians - who really are born again - but have not been taught about the armor of God.  Brothers and sisters, the Lord desires to use you and me to help many of them get ahold of these truths.  BUT WE HAVE TO GET AHOLD OF IT FIRST!!!

 

Now - let me say here in the middle of all this about the armor of God - the Lord wants us to get ahold of these truths, because, when we do, we begin to see ourselves the way God wants us to see ourselves.  He wants us to see that we have authority over the enemy, Satan, and all his demons.  HE HAS GIVEN IT TO US HERE ON THIS EARTH.

 

Ephesians 6:12 - “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.”  Now - the first thing I want us to see here is that the warfare is NOT WITH PEOPLE - IT IS WITH THE SPIRITUAL POWERS WHO WORK BEHIND THE SCENES - MANY TIMES THROUGH PEOPLE.  Now - get this - our battle of words to and about people is not the battle that the Lord wants.  We must realize who the real enemy is.  His name is Satan - and he has many demons who carry out his attacks in all kinds of ways.

 

We make a huge mistake when we make the fight against people.  Now listen to this - when we make the fight against people, the devil has a party - it makes us play right into his hands.  Did you get it back in that verse - we’re not wrestling against flesh and blood!  

 

One of the largest hindrances in Christian’s lives is their lack of knowledge about this truth - and, therefore, their battles are all with flesh and blood, instead of taking and using the authority that the Lord has given us over the devil.

 

Satan’s hierarchy has four ranks - principalities, powers, rulers of the darkness of this age, and spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.  I am not going to try to explain the details of this hierarchy - it would take hours to try to go into all that.  So let’s just see it this way.  Satan works in the spiritual world to try to overcome GOD.  He hates God and all the followers of God.  He uses all kinds of ways to distract, to deceive, to hurt, to scheme, to steal, kill, and destroy, to keep people from the truth AND HE IS TERRIFIED OF THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST WHEN FAITH IS EXERCISED WITH THAT NAME!

 

Now we all need to get ahold of this truth.  There is no demonic power, including the devil, himself, who will not flee at the name of Jesus, when it is used in true FAITH!

 

Ephesians 6:13 - “Therefore, take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day and having done all, to stand.”  Now the first thing I want to point out to you is - THERE ISN’T ANY ARMOR FOR OUR BACKS!  WE HAVE TO STAND AND FACE THE DEVIL FOR THIS ARMOR TO WORK!  When we turn and run away from the devil (and the problem), it makes us vulnerable to his attacks.  We have to face the enemy and use the power the Lord has given us - speaking with authority in the name of Jesus.

 

By the way, did you notice that it tells us to TAKE UP THE WHOLE ARMOR OF GOD?  That means, like I’ve said before many times, we have to co-operate with God.  He will not just whoosh down and overcome our free will and make everything perfect.  He gave mankind free will on this earth.  

 

I believe that when Paul said, “TO STAND,” he was meaning, “STAND UP AGAINST THE ENEMY - DON’T TURN AND RUN - REALIZE THE AUTHORITY YOU HAVE AND USE IT - USE YOUR FAITH - IN OTHER WORDS, ‘REALLY BELIEVE IT WHEN YOU SAY IT!”  In fact, he starts the next sentence with the word, “Stand,” again.

 

Ephesians 6:14 - “Stand, therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness.”  This is saying that the belt (which is the truth) is around your waist and it is attached to the breastplate.  The breastplate is your awareness of who you are in Christ - washed clean of sin by the blood of Jesus Christ - a child of the King of the Universe.  So here’s two things of the armor of God - (1) the complete truth about Jesus Christ - who He is and what He did - by dying on the cross and paying for our sins - (2) the total awareness and BELIEF that it was for you and you have accepted it, received it, and you belong to GOD ALMIGHTY- AND HAVE BEEN GIVEN RIGHTEOUSNESS.

 

Ephesians 6:15 - “and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace;”  Now this sounds a little confusing, but as I have studied about it, this is essentially what it is talking about.  In that day, Roman soldiers wore shoes which were fixed on the bottom similar to football cleats.  They help people run.  It is referring to this piece of the armor being our ability to be ready to be used by God at any moment - because we are ready to bring the Gospel of Peace to anyone at any time.    It’s not referring to peace between men - but peace between God and man.  In other words, brothers and sisters, we should be ready to lead any person to PEACE WITH GOD any time, anywhere, to any person.  That’s part of the armor that we should be clothed in.

 

Ephesians 6:16 - “above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.”  When it says, “Above all,” it means overall and in front of all.  Brothers and sisters, I have learned in my life that FAITH in the promises of the Word of God have to be real and alive to me, through spending time in the Word.  Your faith grows and grows and grows through your life.  God has answered so many prayers and done so many miraculous things for me - but they wouldn’t have occurred if I hadn’t just started spending lots and lots of time reading the Bible.  That’s the way you find out what God’s really like and how He sees you.  THEN - that’s also the way you begin to see yourself the way He sees you.  IT IS ALSO EXTREMELY IMPORTANT TO HAVING A ‘SHIELD OF FAITH’ IN YOUR DAY TO DAY LIFE - TO QUENCH ALL THE FIERY DARTS OF THE WICKED ONE.

 

Hebrews 12:2 tells us, “Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him, endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”  Brothers and sisters, we have to have such a close and personal relationship with the Lord that we are daily “LOOKING UNTO JESUS, THE AUTHOR AND FINISHER OF OUR FAITH.”  We have to see ourselves as His precious child.  

 

Now, I’ve told you about my childhood and my wonderful parents.  I am so grateful that they were MY PARENTS.  I knew that I knew that I knew that Mommy and Daddy loved me and would do anything for me, help me, provide for me, protect me, always be there for me - no matter what!  That is a picture of the way our relationship with the Lord should be.  I will never forget this situation, when I was 11 years old.  There was an evening gathering going on at my school and all the parents were invited.  My parents couldn’t come because my mother was pregnant with my brother and was about ready to deliver.  So - it was arranged for me to go with the neighbors who lived across the street from us.  Their son was younger than I was.  So - we went.  While we were there, a girlfriend of mine, whose mother was helping with the gathering, suggested that I ride home with them, because her mom had to help clear things up.  They would bring me home on their way home.  I said, “Yes”.  So - I did.  Therefore, the people across the street were home about an hour before I was.

 

When they dropped me off, as I went up the steps to my house, I was thinking, “Oh my - I’m probably going to get in trouble for changing the plan.  I’m just going right in and head for the bathroom to wash my face and hands.”  As I got to the front door, my Daddy was there waiting for me.  I went in the door and said, “Hi,” and then headed for the bathroom.  My Daddy followed me, so I didn’t get to close the door.  I went right to the sink - and he put the lid down on the toilet and sat down, watching me.  I was a nervous wreck.  Then I heard my Daddy’s voice, saying, “Honey, don’t you know that Daddy loves you?”  I said, “Yes,” and then he said, “Then why would you change our plan?  Don’t you know that, if Daddy doesn’t know where you are, that I can’t come to help you if you need help.”  By this time, I was crying, and I threw my arms around his neck and said, “I’m so sorry, Daddy - I didn’t think about that.”  It was definitely a ‘DADDY - DAUGHTER MOMENT’.  I will never forget it.  Of  course, that was in the time when we didn’t have cell phones.  

 

Now - I am sharing that with you because it is a human picture of the kind of relationship that our HEAVENLY FATHER wants to have with us, individually.  When we have that kind of communication with Him, He will guide us in all kinds of ways and it will have a definite impact on OUR FAITH.

 

Ephesians 6:17 - “And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:”  Now, the helmet of salvation is referring to the fact that YOU ARE BORN AGAIN - THEREFORE, REFERRING TO THE FACT THAT YOU MUST BE A BORN AGAIN CHILD OF GOD IN ORDER TO HAVE ANY AUTHORITY OVER THE DEVIL.  Now - think about this - your brain is in your head - therefore, your mind, will, and emotions (from your soul) operate through your brain.  Therefore, your mind must be protected and influenced by the WORD OF GOD.  We must be careful to protect our minds from wrong thinking.  

 

THEN - the Sword of the Spirit is the Word of God.  Now - get ahold of this - it’s the only offensive weapon that we have!!!  THE WORD OF GOD!!!!!!  Now listen to this - the Greek word used here for “the word of God” is RHEMA AND THAT MEANS, “THE SPOKEN WORD OF GOD”.  In other words, The word of God must become so much a part of our lives that we can speak it out of our mouths against our enemy (Satan) and he will flee!!!!!!  BUT REMEMBER - YOU MUST SPEAK IT IN FAITH!!

 

Ephesians 6:18 - “praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints”---  Now - isn’t this just amazing that PRAYING IN THE SPIRIT GOES ALONG WITH THE ARMOR OF GOD!!!  Brothers and sisters - I have found in my life that praying in the spirit is one of the most wonderful gifts that the Lord has given to us.  I’ve told you my story of how I fought against receiving the baptism of the Holy Spirit - so I’m not going through that whole story again - but I have definitely found that the ability to pray in the spirit is so very, very important to victory in the Christian life - and, here it is, right here in the Word of God, going along with the ARMOR!!!

 

Prayer is more than just asking.  There are prayers of praise, intercession, thanksgiving, agreement, and dedication.  I believe that our brother, Paul, was saying in this verse - “Pray in  all ways - all kinds of prayer - and supplication in the spirit.”  In other words, there are all kinds of ways to pray - so pray in all those ways - and spend lots of time praying in the spirit - because you don’t always know how to pray for many, many situations and people.

 

Now - we’re talking about the ARMOR OF GOD - and this last part of the ARMOR is the Sword of the Spirit, which is the only offensive part of the ARMOR.  So - to get really down to the nitty gritty - the Word of God spoken (not just read but SPOKEN) SPOKEN OUT OF OUR MOUTHS IS POWERFUL OFFENSE AGAINST GOD’S ENEMY AND OUR ENEMY - SATAN - AND ALL HIS DEMONS.  Our enemy trembles and wants to run away from the WORD OF GOD SPOKEN IN FAITH!

 

GOD HAS GIVEN US, HIS BORN AGAIN CHILDREN, THE AUTHORITY ON THIS EARTH TO TAKE AUTHORITY OVER THE ENEMY!  THAT’S THE WAY HE SEES US - THE ONES ON THE EARTH WITH AUTHORITY OVER THE DEVIL.  BUT MOST CHRISTIANS AREN’T USING IT.  

 

Ephesians 6:19-24 -

19 - “and (pray) for me that utterance may be given to me that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel,”

 

20 - “for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.”

 

21 - “But that you also may know my affairs and how I am doing, Tychicus, a beloved brother and faithful minister in the Lord, will make all things known to you;”

 

22 - “whom I have sent to you for this very purpose, that you may know our affairs and that he may comfort your hearts.”

 

23 - “Peace to the brethren, and love with faith from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.”

 

24 - “Grace be with all those who love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity.  Amen.”

 

Paul ended his letter to the Ephesians with these last words about himself and them.  Paul loved these people whom he had gotten to know so well.  He knew that they loved him also.    Did you notice that there in verse 23, Paul wanted his brethren there in Ephesus to live in peace and love - WITH FAITH!  I believe that - that was the way Paul was living - in prison.  That’s the way we all should be living.  I have discovered, in my life, that when I am  walking through my  day to day life in peace and love WITH FAITH, whatever comes up, it cannot overpower peace and love.  I must walk in AGAPE LOVE (THE GOD KIND OF LOVE) TOWARD EVERYBODY ELSE (no matter what) AND THE PEACE THAT PASSES UNDERSTANDING WILL FILL MY HEART.  It is truly peace that passes understanding.  In other words, I can’t explain it.  It’s a ‘heavenly’ peace.

 

This is a truth that many, many born again Christians just don’t get ahold of.  They go through life letting everything that comes at them, every problem, every harsh and hurtful word, every evil deed, and every difficult person, crush them to the core.  They haven’t been arrested and put in a prison for telling people about Jesus, like brother Paul had.  But they go through their lives never really experiencing THE PEACE THAT PASSES UNDERSTANDING.  But, in this portion of Scripture, Paul asked them to pray for him that he would continue to be bold in telling people about Jesus.  Most Christians of today would be saying, with tears, “Pray for me - this is awful - look what a mess I’m in - help me, help me, help me!”

 

Oh - brothers and sisters - that we all would be so in tune with the Lord that we can walk in PEACE no matter what is going on!!!!!!!!

 

That is the way God wants for us to walk.  He sees us as HIS CHILDREN WHO HAVE BEEN GIVEN ALL THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT WHEN THEY WERE BORN AGAIN.  HE HAS PLACED IN US THE ABILITLY TO WALK THROUGH THIS LIFE HERE ON EARTH IN THE POWER THAT HE HAS PLACED INSIDE US.

 

THAT’S THE WAY HE PLANNED FOR US - BEFORE WE WERE EVER BORN - AND THEN BORN AGAIN!

 

He wants us to see ourselves the way He sees us.  However, if we haven’t been taught this truth, we won’t even have a clue about this.

 

THAT’S THE REASON THAT WE HAVE BEEN TALKING FOR THESE LAST FEW WEEKS ABOUT “SEEING OURSELVES THE WAY GOD SEES US”!

 

Brothers and sisters - God sees us as His precious children - His heirs - and the ones that He is trusting to show the people of the world what it looks like to have a relationship with the Creator of the Universe.  He has done so much for us and knew us before we ever knew about Him.  It’s His desire that every single one of us really, really, really SEE OURSELVES AS HE SEES US!!!!!!!!!!!

     

Scriptures for this lesson

Ephesians 6:10-15

Ephesians 6:16

Hebrews 12:2

Ephesians 6:17

Ephesians 6:18

Ephesians 6:19-24

Email Gloria

email-icon-pink-19.jpg

Gloria's Facebook

facebook icon.jpg
bottom of page