11 – Our enemy

..........

When you make a radical commitment to God’s revolutionary kingdom, you take God’s mission as your own. You receive God’s power. You also become a target of the one who has declared war on God.

God’s enemy is the fallen angel Lucifer, instigator of rebellion in heaven. He is called the “satan,” a word that means “adversary” or “accuser.” He is the master of all who rebel against God.

Satan seeks to destroy all who stand with God. Seldom, however, does he attack directly. His ways are subtle. He works through values and ideas. He uses thoughts and desires. He influences circumstances and events. He values the compromised Christian more highly than any prize.

You should know four things about the Enemy.

He is a spiritual opponent. The physical world presses in on us. We are distracted by pain and pleasure. But there is more to the world than what your five senses reveal. Do not be deceived by appearances or distracted by circumstances. Look for the spiritual dynamics at work. Discern the values at stake.

He is an attractive being. If you came face to face with Satan, he would not terrify you. You would not want to oppose him. His fearsome might is masked by his seductive beauty. His most effective tactic is not terror, but temptation. The natural man cannot resist him because he does not want to.

He is a powerful enemy. Satan commands the spiritual forces of darkness. He manipulates the power of all those whose lives are not committed to God. He is able to harm you and those you love. But Satan’s power is limited. He is able to do only what God permits and what you do not resist. And the power that is in you as a child of God and a disciple of Jesus is infinitely greater than his.

He is a defeated foe. This is the most important truth of all. Satan continues to wage war against God’s people, but God defeated him at the cross. Jesus’ resurrection proved beyond doubt God’s power over sin and death. While the battles you must fight are very real, the war has been won. God is the victor.

Do not be naive about the Enemy’s intentions and power, but be wise in the ways of the Kingdom. Do not live in fear of Satan, but walk confidently in the power of God. And do not be deceived by the Tempter’s subtle schemes, but set your heart on expanding God’s kingdom.

Read it for yourself!
Job 1.6-12; John 12.31-32; Romans 6.16; Romans 7.21-25; Galatians 5.16-17; Ephesians 6.10-12; Hebrews 2.14-18; James 4.7; 1 Peter 5.8-10; 1 John 4.1-4

Think about it!
What values and ideas do you see Satan using to keep Christians from understanding and doing God’s will?

What thoughts and desires does he use to keep Christians from being useful to God?

How has he used circumstances and events to distract you from God’s mission?

Next installment
12 – Our battlefields

—–
Copyright © 2007, Kainos Press. All rights reserved.

Advertisements