Know Your Enemy

Satan was created by God and has been around since the beginning of creation. He and his demon followers have had an enormous negative impact on mankind and have been at war with God and His children ever since his fall.

Satan once was an angel in heaven that had much responsibility and power. The Bible says, “You were the model of perfection, full of wisdom and exquisite in beauty…Your clothing was adorned with every precious stone…They were given to you on the day you were created. I ordained and anointed you as the mighty angelic guardian. You had access to the holy mountain of God and walked among the stones of fire. You were blameless in all you did from the day you were created until the day evil was found in you” (Ezekiel 28:12-15).

According to many Bible scholars and theologians, Isaiah refers to Satan as Lucifer prior to his fall from Heaven. “How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, you who weakened the nations! For you have said in your heart: ‘I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation on the farthest sides of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High'” (Isaiah 14:12-14 NKJV). Lucifer was not satisfied with submitting to God and worshipping Him. Instead, he wanted to be like the Most High! Lucifer, in his own pride and craving for power, sinned and rebelled against God and took many angels with him. The Book of Revelation tells us that Lucifer, or Satan, influenced a third of the angels to side with him. “His tail swept away one-third of the stars in the sky, and he threw them to the earth…” (Revelation 12:4). Leslie Miller, who wrote the book All About Angels, points out that, “angels are sometimes referenced in the Bible as stars.” The passage in Revelation continues: “Then there was war in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon and his angels. And the dragon lost the battle, and he and his angels were forced out of heaven. This great dragon–the ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, the one deceiving the whole world–was thrown down to the earth with all his angels” (Revelation 12:7-9). Some theologians believe this war already took place, while others think it is a war still to come in the future. Nonetheless, Satan and his angelic followers are in opposition to God and will ultimately lose!

The Bible teaches us that Satan’s days are numbered and at the appointed time, God will throw Satan into the lake of fire for ever and ever (Revelation 20:10). Satan knows that he has a short amount of time left, but his goal is to seek, kill and destroy mankind – robbing humans from experiencing the life God intended to give them, especially God’s people. The Bible says, “Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the Devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8). Satan or the Devil is an enemy of God and His people and wants nothing more than to thwart God’s plan and purpose on earth.

From the very beginning of the human race, Satan tempted Eve in the Garden of Eden by asking questions that raised doubts in her mind about God and His Word. “The serpent was the shrewdest of all the wild animals the Lord God had made. One day he asked the woman, ‘Did God really say you must not eat the fruit from any of the trees in the garden?’ ‘Of course we may eat fruit from the trees in the garden,'” the woman replied. ‘It’s only the fruit from the tree in the middle of the garden that we are not allowed to eat.’ God said, ‘You must not eat it or even touch it; if you do, you will die.'” “You won’t die!” the serpent replied to the woman. “God knows that your eyes will be opened as soon as you eat it, and you will be like God, knowing both good and evil.” The woman was convinced. She saw that the tree was beautiful and its fruit looked delicious, and she wanted the wisdom it would give her. So she took some of the fruit and ate it. Then she gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it, too” (Genesis 3:1-6). Satan injected suspicions inside the heart of Eve regarding God and His commandments and she desired the wisdom of God that Satan cunningly offered her. She took the bait and ate! Unfortunately, Satan never keeps up his end of the bargain. He is the father of lies and tells half truths at best masquerading as an angel of light, but in reality, he is full of darkness and deceit! The Bible says of the Devil, “For you are the children of your father the devil, and you love to do the evil things he does. He was a murderer from the beginning. He has always hated the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, it is consistent with his character; for he is a liar and the father of lies,” (John 8:44). Satan has great power and has led millions and millions of people down the path of destruction including entire nations, families and individuals. He is the master mind behind destructive wars, abuse, hatred, slavery, murder and every kind of unimaginable sinful act. He knows the Word of God and loves to twist it for evil gain. “Then the Devil took Him (Jesus) to the holy city, Jerusalem, to the highest point of the Temple, and said, “If You are the Son of God, jump off! For the Scriptures say, ‘He will order His angels to protect You. And they will hold You up with their hands so You won’t even hurt Your foot on a stone.'” Jesus responded, “The Scriptures also say, ‘You must not test the Lord your God'” (Mathew 4:5-7). This passage reveals to us that the Devil quoted scripture to Jesus, but took it out of context. In other words, he used it incorrectly. This is exactly how Satan works. He changes truth just enough to lead people astray.

It is very important to realize we are no match for Satan and his demon companions in our own strength. He has been around since the beginning and has studied human nature and knows our weaknesses. We need God’s power working in our lives to combat the plan and schemes of the enemy so that we can accomplish the good things God has for us. The Bible says, “He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth…” (John 14:17). God has given us His Holy Spirit to guide us down a path that is right for us and help us discern truth from lies. In order to experience His leading, we must learn to submit to Him and His Word and resist the onset of various temptations that the enemy lays before us (James 4:7).

A key component in being led by God is to know Him in His Word. We as believers need to spend time reading the Bible so that we can know when the Devil is lying to us or whether God is directing our steps. If we as Christians do not spend time reading God’s Word, we will be led astray easily. When the Devil quoted scripture to Jesus in the wilderness, Jesus quoted scripture right back at him to combat his lies. We should learn to do the same thing. As soon as we sense temptation coming our way, we should quote a scripture that deals directly with the lie that the enemy is tempting us with. The Bible explains in Ephesians 6 that we are to be strong in the Lord’s might and power so that we can stand against the Devil’s schemes. This passage continues to teach us to put on the full armor of God and use the sword of the Spirit (the Word of God) to fight back against the evil forces of darkness and wickedness in heavenly places just as Jesus did against the Devil in the wilderness!

Joyce Meyer wrote in Battle Field of The Mind, “Through careful strategy and cunning deceit, Satan attempts to set up “strongholds” in our mind. A stronghold is an area in which we are held in bondage (in prison) due to a certain way of thinking.” The Bible says, “For the weapons of our warfare are not physical (weapons of flesh and blood), but they are mighty before God for the overthrow and destruction of strongholds, (Inasmuch as we) refute arguments and theories and reasonings and every proud and lofty thing that sets itself up against the (true) knowledge of God; and we lead every thought and purpose away captive into the obedience of Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One)” (2 Corinthians 10:4-5 AMP). The enemy has access to our minds and can place wrong thoughts in them to tempt us to sin against God. However, as Christians, we can overcome the schemes of the enemy and live victorious lives as we learn to take every thought captive.

No matter where you are at in the fight, you can learn to resist the enemy’s onset. Even if you have failed multiple times, just admit your mistakes and ask God to help you overcome. His mercies are new every morning for those who place their hope and trust in Jesus Christ. You can do it!

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