Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Know Your Enemy

Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8

When you are in a battle, you have to be aware and know your enemy’s strategy.  You have to pay attention and not lose concentration for one minute.

Satan is the enemy of God, and he actively seeks to oppose God, His purposes, and His people. The enemy has many different names. Devil means “accuser,” because he accuses God’s people day and night before the throne of God (Rev. 12:7–11). Satan means “adversary,” because he is the enemy of God. He is also called the tempter (Matt. 4:3), and the murderer and the liar (John 8:44). He is compared to a lion (1 Peter 5:8), a serpent (Gen. 3:1; Rev. 12:9), and an angel of light (2 Cor. 11:13–15), as well as “the god of this age” (2 Cor. 4:4, NIV).He is crafty and deceptive but unlike God, Satan is not all-knowing, all-powerful, or everywhere-present. Then how does he accomplish so much in so many different parts of the world? The answer is in his organized helpers.

Satan’s helpers - Paul called them “principalities … powers … rulers … spiritual wickedness in high places.” (Eph. 6:12) Charles B. Williams translates it: “For our contest is not with human foes alone, but with the rulers, authorities, and cosmic powers of this dark world; that is, with the spirit forces of evil challenging us in the heavenly contest” (WMS). This suggests a definite army of demonic creatures that assist Satan in his attacks against believers.  Soldiers, there is a spiritual battle going on right now in the earthly realm as well as the heavenly realm.  We are wasting our time fighting people when we ought to be fighting the devil who seeks to control people and make them oppose the work of God.

Satan’s Abilities - Satan is a strong enemy and we need the power of God to be able to stand against him. Never underestimate the power of the devil. He is not compared to a lion and a dragon just for fun! The Book of Job tells what his power can do to a man’s body, home, wealth, and friends. Jesus calls Satan a thief who comes “to steal, and to kill, and to destroy” (John 10:10). Not only is Satan strong, but he is also wise and subtle, and we fight against “the wiles of the devil.” Wiles mean “cunning, crafty arts, stratagems, or schemes.” The Christian cannot afford to be “ignorant of his devices”! (2 Cor. 2:11)  The enemy of our souls will do anything, use any means necessary to lull us to sleep while he removes even the mention of the name of Jesus Christ from public dialogue.  And if he can’t do that he will try to reduce Jesus Christ, Savior, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world, to a prophet, certainly not the “Son of God”.

Satan’s battle strategy is simple. He is out to deceive us, to trick us into buying his lies and temptations. He’s been at his plan for countless years, and he’s good at it.  Sometimes the deceptions of the enemy come clothed in trappings that seem reasonable, even sensible.  If we don’t know what God’s word says, if we’re not in tune with His Spirit, we are vulnerable and ultimately we will fall for the lies.  Be alert and sober of mind!  The enemy is on the prowl and he is ready to devour!  He wants the glory for himself, the glory that belongs to God.  God said “My glory I will not give to another.” (Is. 48:11) The battle is for glory, for the throne of creation. Praise God the outcome has never been in doubt.

Scripture to Claim:
The Lord will rescue me from every evil work and will bring me safely into His heavenly kingdom. To Him be the glory forever and ever! Amen. 2 Timothy 4:18

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