Monday, November 2, 2009

Know Your Enemy!

I don’t believe in giving a lot of unwarranted attention to Satan or the devil, but lately, I’ve noticed he’s been particularly busy. I know no better way to combat Satan’s attacks except by exposing them and using the Word of God, prayer to the Lord, and faith in God. I’ve been attempting this devotion for quite some time and numerous distractions have come to try to prevent me from sharing this with you. So, I pray that through this press to complete this that someone will be encouraged to identify Satan’s tactics and resist his attack.

First, Satan is not a myth; he is real. He was an angel of God that was cast out of heaven for being corrupt and prideful. He is God’s enemy and he is looking for people to attack to strengthen his army for the final conflict. It’s so important for us to know he’s real and to recognize his tactics so that we know how to equip ourselves and how to respond during an attack.

Satan’s tactics can be deceitful and cunning, and he appears relentless in his attacks. In fact, in Job 2:2, Satan tells the Lord that he has been “going to and fro in the earth . . . walking up and down in it.” Of course, after this, the Lord tells Satan of Job’s unwavering character and faith in the midst of his attacks. The Lord also tells Satan that he is attempting to destroy Job without a cause. Job holds fast to his faith in the face of suffering the loss of his family and property.

However, Satan, as my pastor reminded us, is an accuser of the brethren (See Rev. 12:10). Satan tells the Lord that Job is only faithful because his own body was safe. Then, the Lord allows Satan to attack Job’s physical body. Satan came before God to accuse Job, but it’s so important to remember that Satan can only do what God permits.

Satan, whose name means “Accuser” or “Adversary,” strives to destroy our faith in God. Most of us know and accept this, but whether it’s the small things that nag at us or the sickness that seems to linger, suffering can chip away at our faith if we let Satan get a foothold. Anything that shifts your focus away from your faith in God and His Word can be a real enemy, an attack that Satan launches to destroy your faith.

Job suffered losses through the death of loved ones, and he lost everything. He went from being very wealthy to having nothing but his health. Then, after the onslaught of Satan’s attacks, he even lost his health. Maybe Satan’s has launched an attack against you. Maybe the situation you’re in isn’t a consequence of sin and you don’t know what to do. Be prayerful, hold fast to your faith. Satan thought that Job would only be faithful while the Lord prospered him and didn’t think he would hold fast to his faith while suffering. Remember, in the end, Job was blessed with “twice as much as he had before” (Job 42:10). Be prayerful, and don’t let your faith go. Know that you will be rewarded, and you will be victorious in the end.

Maybe you’ve sinned, and the situation you find yourself in is a direct consequence of the sin. Satan wants you to wallow in the mistake and think it’s too big for God to forgive you. He wants us to feel condemned and unworthy, but the Bible says that our righteousness is as filthy rags before him (Isaiah 64:6). Every one of us has sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). It’s only through Christ’s death and resurrection that we can be saved. The victory came when he bore the weight of all of our sins on the cross. By shedding His blood, He paid the penalty for our sin.

We don’t have to beat ourselves up with our past mistakes. Even as some of us have to live with the consequences of our sin on earth, we cannot allow Satan to tempt us to believe that God does not forgive us. There is no condemnation in Christ (Romans 8:1).

The Word instructs us to “[b]e sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour” (I Peter 5:6). One commentary explains that lions attack those that are sick, young, or straggling behind. In other words, they look for victims who are unwell, alone, or not alert. When we are in the midst of a trial, we must be watchful of Satan. When we are suffering or alone, we can’t allow ourselves to be cut off from other believers, God’s Word, or prayer.

Finally, we must resist Satan at all costs. James 4:7 says, “Submit yourselves to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you.” With the power of the Holy Ghost, we can resist Satan and cling to God. God has already defeated Satan, which means that we have already won the victory!

Praying With You,
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