We do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Ephesians 6:12
Today’s wars are not like your grandfather’s and certainly not like wars in centuries past. How do we identify the enemy and understand his strategy against us?
We’re in a spiritual war. Our enemy isn’t in uniform, and he doesn’t meet us on an identifiable battlefield. He uses ruthless tactics such as deceit, deflection and disguise. And a large number of pastors downplay spiritual warfare to the point that many professing Christians don’t even know they’re in a war. This puts us in serious danger and we need to learn how to gain victory over this enemy.
If the idea of knowing your enemy makes military sense and common sense, it makes even more spiritual sense because the enemy is stronger and the stakes are higher. Our task then is to embrace what the Bible tells us and be prepared to do battle.
Let’s look at three things the Bible tells us about Satan:
Revelations refers to Satan as the one who deceives the whole world, which he does by imitating the work of God. His greatest deception will be to bring the Antichrist in the form of a peacemaker with persuasive speeches and deeds in order to win favor to lead people away from God. Deception may be Satan’s most insidious weapon against us.
Satan has also always been a divider. When he was cast out of heaven he divided the angels, taking a third into rebellion with him. He divided Adam and Eve, bringing sin and disharmony to Eden. He divided the first family, pitting brother against brother. Satan continues his strategy of division in our culture today using suspicion, intolerance, hatred, jealousy and criticism. These poisons find a place in our media and on our tongues. Poison words spoken divide husbands from wives, brother from brother, friends from friends, church from church and even nation from nation. Only our dependence on unifying can prevent this from happening.
Finally, Satan is consumed by his obsession to destroy the work of God in the universe. He will delay, demolish or dismantle any part of creation he can. Destroy. Wreck. Ruin. Kill. And then confuse the victim enough that he’ll blame it all on God. The sad thing is that it works so often. But it’s NOT God’s doing. We open the door to him ourselves by our indifference to his strategies.
We must stop looking at life only as religion or science as the culture conditions us to do and begin looking at it through Scripture, through which we will see the realm in which spiritual warfare is fought. If you belong to Jesus, you are living and breathing in a spiritual reality where you are subject to attack. The only way to protect ourselves from Satan’s infiltration is to not give him the tiniest toehold in our lives. Don’t open the door to your heart even a crack! It is written, “because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.”
Satan may try to clutter our lives with a frenzy of programs, activities, and useless Internet trivia, but Satan is on a leash. He has no rights. We don’t have to live in fear of the devil. We need enter only the spiritual battle that we’ve been called to, fully aware of its reality and armed with the truth that the victory has already been won. We are more than conquerors through Him who loved us! Thanks be to God.