A Briefing on the Adversary
In the history of mankind, the enemy wasted no time. His seduction began all the way back in the Garden of Eden and unfortunately he is alive and well today. His goal is two-fold; attempt to diminish God’s glory unto himself and to separate mankind from God’s eternal purpose. We somehow get the visual of the devil being this hideous creature with red eyes and a pointed tail but in reality God created him as the most beautiful of angels. The scriptures tell us that he was “full of wisdom and perfect in beauty” Ezekiel 28:12-19. He is referenced here as lucifer or shining one (aka) Satan. God adorned him with precious stones, timbrels and pipes were prepared for him and he covered the glory of God’s throne with worship until iniquity was found within him.
Satan’s downfall was his desire to be “like the Most High” Isaiah 14:13-15. He wanted more than the position of the highest cherubim and the closest to God’s throne. Pride filled his heart, which caused him a desire to be “exalted on a throne above the stars of God”. For this reason, he was banished from heaven along with one-third of the angels who chose to rebel. In Luke 10:18 Jesus tells us, “I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven”. For the time being, Satan is the god of this world who along with his angels actively seek to destroy God’s plan for not only this world but all mankind.
The Adversary’s Camouflage
How well are you able to spot the enemy? Camouflage is used as a means to hide or deceive the eyes from seeing the opposing army. Satan uses spiritual camouflage to deceive believers for he masquerades as an angel of light. (2 Corinthians 11:14) He appears good… pleasant to your eyes, not dark and evil as you would expect him to be. He hides behind your every temptation and desire which is not of God. He is the subtle and cunning whisperer, many times delivering half-truths to a non-discerning world. He is the enemy of all of mankind, not just believers, whether an individual realizes it or not. Satan is the master counterfeiter, attempting to mimic the very things of God; just as he did through the Pharaoh’s sorcerers by turning their rods to serpents as God had done through Moses and Aaron. In the end, we see God had the victory as Aaron’s snake ate all the others. (Exodus 7:8-13)
The Adversary’s Army
Satan is known as “the prince of this world” John 12:31 and has dominion over his own kingdom comprised of a hierarchy of principalities, powers, angels and demons. These are the true opposition on the battlefield. “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual host of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12). Satan’s army is an organized unit with orders of rank and you are one of its many targets. You see, you still have the one thing that Satan and the fallen angels don’t… eternal life and a relationship with God. While we cannot underestimate the power of the enemy, we as Christians have the reassurance of 1 John 4:4, “He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world”. God is the only one who is all-powerful and all-knowing while Satan is on a leash, so to speak and can only go as far as God allows him. (Job 1:2)
The Adversary’s Ammo
Military leaders carefully study not only the characteristics, strengths and weaknesses of their opponents but also the schemes they use in battle so they can be prepared against the attack. Christians also should take heart the words shared by the Apostle Paul, “least Satan should take advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices”. We need to have some understanding of what “devices” Satan uses in order to be on guard and resist his advances.
Deception – one of the most used devices of the enemy. He used deception in the Garden of Eden to tempt Eve into believing that she could be “like God” if she ate of the fruit. Sound familiar? The enemy uses the same weakness in himself (his own desire to be like the Most High) to attack mankind. He is depicted in Revelation 12:9 as “the one who deceives the whole world”. In fact, most times all he needs to do is whisper a few words into your ear or plant a thought into your mind to activate a domino effect of our flesh falling into his bidding.
Counterfeit – mimics the things of God to lead people astray, including false signs and wonders.This can be through occult practices in which people are led to worship foreign gods but it can also be the result of twisted scripture or taking the Word out of context which leads to a false gospel.
Ignorance – the devil isn’t real. Many have fallen into this tactic and clever it is. After all, if you don’t believe Satan exist you become an easy target to any of his devices and he’s knocked you down before you even knew to stand against him.
Division – keeps Believers in opposition with one another. The enemy knows scripture well enough to know that God is in the midst where two or three are gathered in His name (Matthew 18:20) Keeping Christians at odds with one another keeps them from being about God’s business and distracted from the work he (Satan) is underhandedly doing.
Discouragement – obstacles in the way of pursuing God’s purpose. The enemy uses circumstances and even people to bring discouragement and cause you to give up on your eternal destiny and purpose on earth.
Seduction of the Flesh
The enemy uses the same ammo on us as he used on Jesus at the Mount of Temptation. In Matthew 4 he first tempts Jesus with the lust of the flesh, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.” When Jesus responded with the Word, Satan changed his tactic to the pride of life “Then the devil took Him up into the holy city, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down. For it is written: ‘He shall give His angels charge over you.” Jesus again came back with the Word of God and once again Satan changed his maneuver and made one final attempt through the lust of the eyes, “The devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to Him, “All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me.” At this Jesus rebuked him and the devil left.
Ultimately Satan will meet his defeat in an everlasting fire prepared for him and his angels but until that time, the Bible warns us “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.” But how do we as Christians resist the devil? In Part II of Spiritual Warfare we’ll discuss your weapons of warfare and how to withstand the wiles of the enemy.
© By S.A. Tower, 2015