One of the Christian’s significant mistakes is to overlook the powerful work of The Adversary. Maybe we are lulled into some kind of complacency because we do not always see Satan’s work directly. I wonder why we ease into thinking that the Devil is not interested in us … surely he is too busy influencing serial killers and cruel dictators.
Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. ~Ephesians 4:11
I wish it were all so obvious. I mean Linda Blair rotated her head all the way around and spewed out green bile while levitating … I think even the dimmest bulb would think that Satan might be at work here. That’s not the way it always happens, though.
In fact, we should be preparing today for the coming attack.
Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. ~Ephesians 4:13
When we see the kind of equipment we need in order to engage in spiritual battle we can understand that this is going to hit us where it hurts. Under attack is our understanding of what is true, doubts about our acceptance by God, reluctance to carry the gospel to bring peace to others, trust that God is present and acting in our behalf when we are suffering, and the jewel that Satan would like to steal most of all, the security of our salvation. At risk as well is our love for the Word of God that reminds us of all of these things. I think it might be easier to deal with a levitating croaking vomit queen.
How do we know when the adversary is at work?
When we see anger spew up between brothers and sisters, you can bet he is near. When we begin to doubt God’s ability to save a sinner such as me, he is whispering to our hearts. When we give in to laziness and apathy, Satan is grinning. Certainly when people walk away from the church and from God, he started leading them down that road a long time ago.
In spite of those who want to claim to ‘bind the devil’ with their own faith and words, I do not think that is our approach. Instead we turn to the Victor who has already won the battle.
And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. ~Ephesians 4:18
Engaging in daily prayer with awareness of the work of an enemy against you is a powerful weapon. It is powerful because the battle belongs to the Lord, not you. In fact, in our weakness God can grow strong as we give him more and more space in our hearts.
The devil is not an unbeatable enemy. Don’t be afraid that he cannot be defeated.
Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. ~James 4:7
When you start to see your relationships unraveling, your faith flailing, and your security diminishing, wake up! The enemy is doing his work. Resist him.
Thanks for reading,