Do you feel like you have an enemy? Who do you think it is? Is it a family member? Neighbor? A (former) friend? One of the most important principles in a war is “know your enemy”. How do we win a war when the enemy is unknown and unlocated? Whether we know, like, believe it or not, you and I are thrust in a war that we didn’t enlist for. God is an all-seeing Arbiter who through His Word not only tells us who the enemy is and how the enemy works, God also gives us the victory against the enemy through Jesus Christ.
Eph 6:12 NLT For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.
This teaches us about the ongoing spiritual warfare between the forces of darkness against God. Though it seems very much like our enemies are persons, the verse clearly says that we are not fighting against flesh and blood enemies.
You and I are just pawns in this ongoing warfare. While God wants to give us life for we are His, Satan wants to destroy us precisely because we are God’s. Satan wants us to fall away and lures us to doubt God’s character and His Word, deny Him, and disobey Him (still the same pattern Satan used in the Garden of Eden when he cunningly deceived Eve (in Genesis 3).
We are consumable pawns but if we stay on God’s side, when the war is over, we have victory in eternal life. If we allow ourselves to be deceived to be captive to do Satan’s will, when the war is over, we will remain as defeated ash. All the things we painstakingly try to gain in a manner against God’s will go down with us as ash.
In a hundred years, will these now-attractive goals be worth losing our souls for? These I-must-have-this-whatever-it-takes goals that we invest health, wealth, stealth on; we try to hold on to them with vice grip because a no-god god captivated us with fancy and convincing deceptions.
Us as ash. Us as ash. When we are too busy away from the heart of God, the world can be so appetizing, it is our blind corner, making us sometimes forget that it is not our destination. Death is certain. The judgment after death is certain. God gives us the inside information to win the war.
I would like to invite you to watch this message by Pastor David Jeremiah on Spiritual Warfare:
If you are short of time, I have transcribed excerpts below for your convenience. These are the words of Pastor David Jeremiah from the above sermon:
Start of Transcription:
ENEMIES NOT PEOPLE
John Phillips: “Our enemies are not people. We must see beyond people. Satan may use people to persecute us, lie to us, cheat us, hurt us, or even kill us. But our real enemy lurks in the shadows of the unseen world, moving people as pawns on the chessboard of time. As long as we see people as enemies and wrestle against them, we will spend our strength in vain.”
WE CAN’T BE BLIND
Dr. David Jeremiah: “Today in our communities, we get focused on the people and we lose sight of where the battle is really being fought. And if we continue to do that, we will continue to lose.”
ACTIONS OF SATAN
Dr. Jeremiah searched the bible pages for every verb used to describe what Satan does:
Satan beguiles, seduces, opposes, resists, deceives, sows terror, hinders tempts, buffets persecutes , blasphemes, and a whole lot more. Every activity is deceitful, divisive, and destructive aimed at diminishing and defacing the glory of God and the effectiveness of His people. He is the great deceiver.
A. SATAN THE GREAT DECEIVER
According to John 8:44, Satan’s natural language is lies. Rev 12:9 refers to him as the one who deceives the whole world which he does by counterfeiting and camouflaging. He tries to imitate the work of God… He is also the great divider.
B. SATAN THE GREAT DIVIDER
His purpose is to divide and conquer. Wherever you see Satan at work, there’s always division. He loves to divide the people of God. Satan is at work… If we could only understand that, we would step back from our petty differences and realize that we are just playing into the hand of our enemy whose purpose is to divide. And when Satan injects the poison of suspicion, intolerance, hatred, jealousy, and criticism, that poison is in the system and it has to get out and guess how it gets out? James 3:6-8: the tongue. Satan gets a hold of the tongues of God’s people and uses their tongues to poison the atmosphere of the church. And he does that in families and in workplaces and communities. He does not know the meaning of unity. His whole strategy is the strategy of division.
C. SATAN THE GREAT DESTROYER
In his attempt to destroy the work of God in the universe, Satan will do anything to destroy God’s work: delay, demolish, dismantle…Satan has one plan for your life and mine. He wants to destroy us. He wants to destroy our influence for God. Why do you think Satan takes two men and women in spiritual leadership and gets them caught up in immorality because when that happens, their influence is destroyed. People can live their whole life and honor the Lord and if Satan can get advantage of them for a moment and in their weakness of the flesh, do something that dishonours God and their influence for God is ruined, Satan is the victor.
We ought to pray against him everyday.
1. Indifference – Make us think that he doesn’t exist, or is a figment of the imagination or a cartoon character with a …role as a mischief maker… anything but reality. Never forget that the whole world is under sway of the wicked one (1John 5:19)
2. Ignorance- Ignorant of how he works
3. Infiltration – Infiltrate our lives by allowing things in our lives that should not be allowed in the front door.
Don’t give place to the devil.
Proverbs 6:27 says Can a man take fire in his bosom And his clothes not be burned?
Christians today build a fire in their lap with their thought life, lifestyle choices, harboring of sin, dabbling in dark practices like astrology and fortune telling then they wonder why they get burned, why Satan gets into their life.
Do not leave the smallest toehold in your life.
Do not leave the door to your heart cracked open to the slightest degree.
Do not rationalize or excuse any failure to obey the true Lord of your life. And when failure or misstep occurs, as they will, confess them immediately and cleanse your own heart from all sin by going to the Lord Jesus Christ. Remember, the One who is in you is more powerful than the one who is in the world (from 1John 4:4).
4. Intervention – Satan likes to interfere in the lives of Christians so he can cause them to do his will instead of the will of God. He wants to keep God’s people so busy with the things of this world that they have no time to devote to their spiritual lives.
Satan is NOT the opposite of God. Satan’s opposite is Michael the Archangel. Satan is a creature, not in the same place as the Creator. Satan can not defeat us if we walk in the Spirit. You need to respect him but you don’t need to fear him. God gives you everything you need to be victorious against everything he brings to the table.
End of Transcription
By Your Holy Spirit, please open my eyes to Your truth. I need Jesus as my personal Savior who by His death paid for the wages of all my sins. Thank you that when I confess my sins, You are faithful and just to forgive and cleanse me of unrighteousness so that no sin in my heart will serve as the open door and right of way for Satan. Please enable me to completely understand that my enemy is not the person that I think is my enemy but our common enemy is Satan who is out to destroy all of us, who wants to own all of us by way of the powerful fleshly desires and through deception among his other tactics, by blinding us to the fact that we are on earth temporarily and that our choices are crucial. Thank You for Your Word that equips us for this inevitable war. Thank You that You are equipping Your children, who receive and believe in Jesus Christ, for victory. Please deliver us from evil. Protect us from evil. Cover us and our family members and loved ones by the power of the blood of Jesus Christ and His name from attacks, and schemes of the evil one. Please protect our family members and households, our properties, businesses, health. Thank You for Your reminder that You who are in us are greater than the enemy who is in the world. In Jesus, we are more than conquerors. In Him, we are overcomers. In Him, we are rescued from the dominion of darkness and brought into the kingdom of Your Son. We thank You for the victory which You have in store for us when we abide in You in Jesus’s name amen.
If anyone who is reading this prayer realizes that s(he) is deceiving, dividing, destroying what is God’s and realizes that the enemy has deceived her/him, may You allow this person to experience Your true love, grace, and redemption dear Lord. May You provide for this person mentors and carers who will pray with her/him and walk alongside her/him away from bondage and servitude to the enemy but into Your kingdom of light where there is eternal life in Jesus’s name amen