1 Peter 5:8 “Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.”
There are moments in life when the Lord gives insight into a spiritual reality that hadn’t been observed before, I had one of those recently. It’s hard to describe how I came to this knowledge, but when it occurs it’s like the Lord pulls the veil back for an instant and shows what is really happening.
The mockery of the enemy toward God’s people is the reality that God showed me.
Have you ever seen a legitimate fool in the fullness of his escapade. The laughing, cackling mockery of others as if he holds some insightful position over others and relishes in his ability to witness chaos in someone’s life or at times create it.
I’ve witnessed the sinister hatred of the enemy, particularly toward God’s people but also towards anyone the Lord deems as valuable, namely everyone. There are attempts at causing disruption, throwing curveballs when a fastball is expected and catching you by surprise, it’s very easy to think we have our defenses up only to be attacked from a different angle. Becoming wise to the enemies tactics is one thing but knowing what’s going on in the other camp and gaining insight into their agenda helps galvanize God’s warriors in the face of a war that seems to linger on far too long.
Job 1:7 “Where have you come from?” said the LORD to Satan. “From roaming through the earth,” he replied, “and walking back and forth in it.”
Satan seems to be like a war general who tries to determine where he wants to attack and then sends his forces into that region for another offensive. The world is likened to the farmers and countrymen who live outside the fortified gates, they are easily overran and pillaged with very little resistance.
Where does Satan attack?
Like any war monger, they look for the areas of greatest weakness and then exploit it. For God’s people, the attacks come in the form of deception, the enemy presents a false image, what may look good or innocent from the outset, has a devious purpose behind it.
2 Timothy 3:12-15 “Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.”
Pawns of Evil
Not only does the enemy attack directly but indirectly through those manipulated by his schemes. The deception of the enemy easily overruns a world that denies his existence. The prospect of a sinister enemy is often relegated to a Hollywood depiction. Consequently, the means by which the world thinks they fight against the enemy is likewise twisted and misapplied.
Holding up a crucifix, sprinkling “holy water”, holding a bible, crossing your chest and kissing beads….these are all useless objects that carry zero influence over the enemy. Objects do not have power, they carry no spiritual weight when it comes to spiritual warfare and you might as well be firing silver bullets or hang garlic, the impact will not help you.
2 Corinthians 10:3-6 “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled.”
Do you see the realm of where spiritual warfare is waged?
- Not carnal (physical) but spiritual
- Purposeful against strongholds
- Against false arguments
- Against fleshly lusts
- Correction in righteousness
When evil shows itself for what it is, most people recoil in fear and trepidation. The more people understand the threat, the more people seek out the solution. It can be very difficult for evil to hide in certain situations. Ask anyone that has spent any time on the streets if they’ve seen evil and regardless of their level of faith, you’ll hear a resounding affirmation. Evil spirits find their habitation among those who embrace hopeless endeavors such as witchcraft, idolatry, drug cultures, sexual promiscuity, and any form of spiritism that is not of God.
I once knew a man who had a heritage within the native american population. he told me of an experience he once had in a longhouse that was clearly demonic. The tribal elders were practicing a form of ritual that resembled many witchcraft techniques of old. Animal blood and parts that were used in the ceremony were ritual artifacts meant to conjure up spirits that they believed were ancestors, but from a christian’s understanding was clearly demonic in origin. The experience scared him so much that he fled for his life and although they pursued him, he escaped with what he deemed a threat to his life.
Proverbs 14:1 “The wise woman builds her house,
But the foolish pulls it down with her hands.”
Strongholds can involve any form of control that is exerted upon an individual. The strength of the deception lies in the foundation of the lie. If the lie is complex enough and believable, people will follow for lack of direction. Spirit channelers dominate many cultures and prey upon people who seek a connection to a world they do not know or understand. The attempts at becoming more spiritually discerned apart from Christ leads many into the practice of the occult, and this road leads directly to Hell. Breaking from such a community can be very difficult and the consequences can take years to recover from. The mental twisting that occurs when someone gives themselves over to demonic influence warps their reality to the point where everything is interpreted through that false reality. The entrapment that ensues is a cluster of misinformation and conspiracies that dominate how these people view normal circumstances, everything they experience is embedded in their ability to understand why things happen the way they do.
Proverbs 14:5 “A faithful witness does not lie,
But a false witness will utter lies.”
Have you ever argued with a fool who is caught up in his folly? The process of reasoning is shallow at best, the “feelings” the fool basis his arguments on are typically conjecture and bad reasoning. I once walked up to an older gentleman at an arts festival in my hometown and tried sharing the gospel with him. Just one of the many faces in the crowd, he gave me enough pause to allow me to share but for a moment, then he interrupted my process of evangelism by quoting a few of the false gods of Hinduism, as if the names had some sway over me. After naming the Vishnu’s and Brahama’s, he just walked away as if he concluded some deep theological argument.
This is the way of the world, they argue but typically the arguments are attempts at confusing the situation or leaving doubt with what you presented. They often hope for more answers in the future, as if science and reasoning will win out over faith in Christ.
Proverbs 14:12 “There is a way that seems right to a man,
But its end is the way of death.”
The worship of anything contrary to the one true God is a worship of an idolatrous entity that is an enemy of your soul. Bow down before anything or anyone in history other than Jesus and you position yourself as an enemy of God. There is no saint or person in history deserving of honor, an honor that is reserved for the Son of God.
Jesus was perfect in every way, no one could ever make that claim.
Proverbs 14:14 “The backslider in heart will be filled with his own ways,
But a good man will be satisfied from above.”
What is it the flesh longs for? The senses are the doorway to the cravings of the flesh. Whatever brings about that dopamine response, the flesh yearns for more. It feels good so the thought is that it must be good. Unfortunately, most do not understand the concept of spiritual corruption, particularly in regards to the flesh. Our flesh became corrupt with the fall of Adam. The lineage of a corrupt nature has perpetuated a long history of self indulgence, self adulation, and self fulfillment, usually to the detriment of others.
The methods of personal fulfillment may be disguised in cleverly wrapped packages of altruism or the appearance of mercy, but the heart of mankind is evil and no action apart from Christ will ever be rewarded.
Correction in Righteousness
Proverbs 14:15-16 “The simple believes every word,
But the prudent considers well his steps.
A wise man fears and departs from evil,
But a fool rages and is self-confident.”
Righteousness is God centered, not man centered. If any action is intended to please oneself apart from Christ, the action is usually a demonstration in unrighteousness. I’m not talking about enjoying a walk or eating an ice-cream cone, I’m talking about action that builds me up in others eyes that I might be glorified in some measure.
The glory of God is reflected in the standard of Holy Perfection. When we walk according to God’s nature (moral law), we exalt Him in all we do and this is credited toward us as righteous. The world does not know this nor can it, it has no affiliation with the things of God thus it could never walk in honor before Him. For those who associate with the household of faith, a correction in righteousness is in order when a brother or sister errs in their ways. The correction is an act of love and is associated directly with the Word of God. Love is the foundational purpose for correcting another. The enemy blatantly disregards God’s laws and often mimics them with a twisted version of it’s own. Knowledge of God’s Holiness allows God’s people to be wise to a twisted world that dishonors others by their own rebellious spirit.
Ephesians 6:10-11 “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.”
Knowing how to prepare is half the battle. Knowing how to defend or go on the offensive is the other.
The enemy seeks your destruction, if you only take a passive position of non-resistance, you will find yourself surrounded on every side. God’s people are not overcome by evil…..they do the overcoming!
Matthew 16:18 “And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.”
The same faith in Christ that Peter exhibited is the same faith God’s people exhibit today. We have the authority of the King of kings, He says simply resist the Devil and he will flee from you, and I believe it.
Fear not in this world of darkness….the light has already come and has won the battle.
We live in this camp.