The Importance of Staying Alert
I posted a few days back on 2 Corinthians 2:11: “So that no advantage be taken of us by satan, for we are not ignorant of his schemes.”
As a quick review, the word “ignorant” is from the Greek word agnoeo, which means to be “without knowledge or understanding of.” Our English word “agnostic” is derived from it. Technically, an agnostic is not a person who is unsure if he or she believes in God, although we now use the word in this way. However, an agnostic is a person who does not know or understand, regardless of the subject. We also get the word “ignore” from the same root. In this verse, we are urged not to “ignore” or be an “agnostic” - without understanding - where the devil is concerned.
“Schemes” is from the word noema, which literally means “thought.” The verse essentially says, “Don’t be without understanding of the way satan thinks.” Noema came to also mean “plans, schemes, plots, devices” because these things are products of our thoughts. For greater insight, let’s insert these definitions into the verse: “Don’t be without understanding of the way your enemy thinks and operates - of his plans, plots, schemes, and devices.”
What happens if we ARE unaware of satan’s schemes? The verse says he will take advantage of us. The word “advantage” is derived from pleonekteo, which is a compound word meaning “to have or hold the greater portion” (pleon - “the greater part;” echo - “to have or hold”). It is easy to see why this is a word for “covet.” It also means “overreach.”
In boxing, the person with the longer reach has the advantage and usually gets in more blows. The word pleonekteo is also translated as “make a gain;” satan makes a lot of gains on those who are unaware of his ways. The Greek scholar, Bullinger, says pleonekteo means “to make a prey of, to defraud.” Let’s put all 3 of these definitions together: “To the degree we are ignorant of the way our adversary thinks and operates - of his plans, plots, schemes, and devices - to that degree he will gain on us, prey on us, defraud us of what is ours and have or hold the greater portion.”
Satan wants the greatest portion of our jobs, marriages, families, health, communities, money, government, nation, and more. In the 1960s and 1970s, the Church in America was without an understanding of what satan was planning, and he got the greater portion of our schools, government, media, and more.
As we learn of and pray in accordance with the watchman concept of prayer, two other New Testament verses are meaningful. The first is Ephesians 6:18: “With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints” (emphasis added). The King James Version uses the word “watching” for the phrase “be on the alert.”
The second verse is 1 Peter 5:8: “Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour” (emphasis added). Again, other translations use the word “watchful.” Significantly, the context of both verses is spiritual warfare. Each mentions our adversary and challenges us to alertness or watchfulness, both for ourselves and our brothers and sisters in Christ. I want to draw four very important conclusions from these two verses.
Protection from the attacks of our enemy is not automatic, including for believers. There is a part we play in protecting what has been assigned to us. Though God is sovereign, this does not mean He is controlling everything that happens on earth. He has left many decisions to us. If God were going to protect or safeguard believers from satan’s attacks, regardless of what we did or didn’t do, these verses would be totally irrelevant. In our theology, we must factor in human responsibility. Our decisions and actions have consequences, both for ourselves and for others.
God’s plan IS to warn or alert us to satan’s tactics. This is a simple deduction. If God says, “be on the alert” for satan’s attacks, He is obviously willing to make us aware of them. God would not ask of us something He was not enabling us to accomplish.
We must be alert - remain watchful - or we will not be aware of God’s warnings and alerts. If these attacks were always going to be obvious, alertness would not be necessary. Isaiah 56:10 speaks of “blind watchmen.” What an amazing oxymoron! I am afraid it has been a fairly good description of many of us in our watching roles. We are too often like Christ’s disciples of old, whom He said had eyes but at times couldn’t see (see Mark 8:18). We must do more than casually glance; we must alertly watch!
If we are not alert and watchful, if we are ignorant of satan’s attacks, he will devour and take advantage of us. Sadly, many are destroyed due to ignorance or a lack of knowledge (see Hosea 4:6).
Satan and demons are real. They seek to oppress, deceive, steal, kill and destroy. We must not deny the reality of or ignore spiritual conflict. Obviously, we are not to be preoccupied with satan; but neither are we to live in denial. The results of both can be disastrous.
The story is told of a desert nomad who awakened hungrily one night and decided he’d have a midnight snack. Lighting a candle, he grabbed a date and took a bite. Holding the date to the candle, he saw a worm, whereupon he threw the date out of the tent. Biting into the second date, he found another worm and threw it away, also. Deciding he might not get anything to eat if this continued, he blew out the candle and ate the dates.
Sometimes we, too, choose the darkness of denial to the light of truth. Though the truth may not always be what we want to hear, denial does not change it. Satan is real, is aggressively warring against us, and has made great gains in America. But God has raised up a company of watchmen who have turned the light back on! They know their authority, are alert and informed, and are determined to take back this nation for Christ. And we will!
“Remember to stay alert and hold firmly to all that you believe. Be mighty and full of courage” (1 Corinthians 16:13 TPT).
As we pray today, let’s use a portion of the Flashpoint decree.
Pray and decree with me:
we, the Church, are God’s governing Body on the earth
we have been given legal power and authority from heaven
we are God’s ambassadors and spokespeople over the earth
through the power of God, we are His world influencers
because of our covenant with God, we are equipped and delegated by Him to destroy every attempted advance of the enemy
WE MAKE OUR DECLARATIONS:
We decree that America’s executive branch of government will honor God and defend the Constitution.
We decree that our legislative branch (Congress) will write only laws that are righteous and constitutional.
We decree that our judicial system will issue rulings that are biblical and constitutional.
We declare that we stand against wokeness, the occult, and every evil attempt against our nation.
We declare that we now take back our God-given freedoms, according to our Constitution.
We declare that we take back influence at the local level in our communities.
We decree that we take back and permanently control positions of influence and leadership in each of the **Seven Mountains.
We decree that the blood of Jesus covers and protects our nation. It protects and separates us for God.
We declare that our nation is energy independent.
10. We declare that America is strong spiritually, financially, militarily and
11. We decree that evil carries no power, authority or rights in our land nor over
12. We decree that we will operate in unity, going beyond denominational lines
in order to accomplish the purposes of God for our nation.
13. And we decree that AMERICA SHALL BE SAVED!
Click on the link below to watch the full video.
Portions of today’s post were taken from my book Watchman Prayer. Today’s prayer and decree are taken from The Watchman Decree authored by Gene and Teri Bailey, used at Flashpoint Live, July 1, 2022.
[Dutch Sheets, Watchman Prayer (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Publishing Group, 2008), pp 11-25.]