Every minute of the day, the Christian has three adversaries to deal with:
- Our hearts. Jeremiah 17:9 says “the heart is desperately wicked, who can understand it but God”. Aren’t you shocked sometimes at what your heart thinks? Pretty scary. Much of your heart is Satan’s playground- your imagination and thought life to name two key areas. Only God can change your heart. Remember that!
- The world. James 4:4 says “You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world becomes an enemy toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.” 1 John 2:15-16 says “Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world–the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of the what he has and does–comes not from the Father but from the world.” Are you tempted to go along with the world and not be hated because you are a Christian?
- Satan. That’s who this next couple of blogs are about. Satan is trying to screw your life up, make you sin, weaken your faith, doubt your faith, and love the world’s values. He wants to drag you down to hell with him, trust me.
The Greek word Satan means hater, adversary, and accuser. Sometimes the New Testament employs the words daimon, demon, or diabolos (Greek = “devil,” accuser). Biblically, Satan was known as Lucifer (Isaiah 14:12), the anointed cherub (like a super angel) and was a created being rather than a non-created being like God (Ezekiel 28:14-15). His prideful downfall was because of his desire to be like God, “For you have said in your heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God… I will be like the most High.” Isaiah 14:13-14.
Remember how Satan applied the same insidious thought to Eve in the Garden of Eden, “And you will be like God”- Genesis 3:5. No one knows for sure when Satan was created. 1 John 3:8 Satan was originally a highly exulted angel of the Lord, but became evil when he rebelled, and has been sinning from the beginning. One third of the angels left heaven with Satan, which tells us something of his power. –Revelation 12:4. Paul calls Satan the “god of this age” in 2 Corinthians 4:4.
60% of Americans deny the existence of Satan. (according to a Barna survey). Can you believe this? 45% of born-again believers deny the existence of Satan. Halloween is the #2 holiday in the USA behind Christmas, in terms of spending. 55% of Americans decorate…..witches, ghosts, the dead, blood, etc. Crazy scary.
Don’t take Satan lightly– 2 Peter 2:10-12 Don’t take Satan and his supernatural powers of evil lightly, and don’t become arrogant about how defeated he will be. Although Satan will be destroyed completely in the end, he is at work now trying to render Christians complacent and ineffective. He doesn’t care whether you are poor or rich, healthy or sick–he wants to shake your faith. He can take life. See Job 1:9-12 , ruin health- Job 2:7-8, Luke 13:16, put a “thorn in your flesh,”- 2 Corinthians 12:7-9, torment with demons- Luke 11:18, provoke evil deeds- Luke 22:3, and cause natural disasters- Job 1:19.
The world is under the control of Satan– 1 John 5:18-19 We know that anyone born of God does not continue to sin: the one who was born of God keeps him safe, and the evil one cannot harm him. We know that we are children of God, and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one. Job 1:7 says that Satan roams the earth (and he is looking how he might cause havoc in people’s lives).
Turn to the Jesus, the Father, and the Holy Spirit to fight your adversaries. Your defense is the Truth, Righteousness, the Gospel, Faith, Hope, the Word of God, and Prayer. We must be alert and sober at all times!
Go here to check out “Principles for the Christian Life: Bible Study Edition