Suppose in real life that the enemy, let us consider ISIS in this case, continues their human savagery, instilling fear through their striking commitment to murder, torture, rape any who stand in their way toward global domination. Just think if it is left unchecked what that would mean? It would lead to genocide of historical proportions and to date not since the Holocaust has the world seen a combined undertaking to annihilate a people as we see today in Muslim led lands. The anti-Christian abuse is unimaginable and only a fierce resolve from our leaders and troops can prevent them from establishing terror-run-states to wage greater jihad to reach their objective. Staunch and unyielding opposition is called for, not appeasement. But this is not the worst of it, there is an even more horrific enemy and he is in our homes.
The Bible describes him as the deceiver of the whole world “the accuser” (Revelation 12:9–10), “the ruler of this world” (John 12:31), and “the god of this age” (2 Corinthians 4:4). Satan is no mere figment of our imagination, a creature with a pitchfork standing idly by waiting for his next victim. He is hard at work whose goal is well documented “The god of this age has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ” (2 Corinthians 4:4). He is ruthless and clever and stops at nothing to bind men’s souls from believing the gospel. Not even Church going folk are off limits for him. Acts 20:30 teaches that they will not spare the flock, but will draw people away to destruction. His commitment to turn people from the truth is seen in Jesus parable of the four types of gospel reception in Mark 4:1-9. In it, the seed of the Word of God is sown, and some falls on the path and birds quickly take it away. Jesus explains in verse 15, “Satan immediately comes and takes away the Word which was sown in them.” Satan is busy! He is our “adversary [who] prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8). At his most successful, his subjects march obliviously to destruction, and take as many with them as they can. He is a bloodthirsty enemy of the gospel and for many he seeks to make eternal life miserable and has done exactly that.
Satan’s strategies are many and all aimed at trying to kill, steal, and destroy us. Satan hates us. He hates God. His hatred is manifested through his schemes to hold captive men’s souls and silence God’s people. Satan will use every tactic possible to get our focus off of the Lord and onto ourselves. One of Satan’s greatest tools is deception. When we least expect it, we can be lulled into a trap set by him. We must become more aware of Satan’s schemes and take necessary steps to fight back. Ignorance of the enemy’s methods is not recommended. We must know his tactics and strategies if we wish to be successful with our own plan of attack.
Satan aims to entice our flesh. Our flesh loves pleasure and Satan knows it. He seduces us through desires for fleshly pleasures and creature comforts. We become complacent and indifferent toward the things of God. We tolerate things that prior convictions would never have permitted. Because our flesh loves pleasure, Satan lures us into thinking that some things that are “good to look at” are the best thing for us. The same thing Lot did when he saw that the land of Sodom and Gomorrah had agricultural promise to raise his livestock, but failed to consult God about his choice, and later it almost ruined him. Satan is good at what he does, always searching for your “Achilles heel” to tempt and bring about your downfall. He makes sin look attractive, profitable, and even harmless.
In 2 Co. 2:11, gross immorality was found in the church and was finally dealt with when the sinner repented. The congregation was to take him back not in a harsh repulsive manner which had they done would have contributed to an already difficult situation. Far too common in churches exist unforgiving censorous attitudes where true forgiveness is withheld which only furthers the Devil’s work, and gives him an advantage. Where there is true repentance, forgiveness is granted, and the sinner received into the church. The Church is not to exact greater church discipline then what is necessary especially not be overly severe which may leave the sinner in greater despair where he may be drawn into a denial of the faith. This is one instance of many that speaks of Satan’s design to “outwit us” and cause someone to stumble and undermine Kingdom Work. There are many more strategies that he uses and remember that he is not under any ethical review committee that can review his dirty work and hold him accountable. The rule of thumb for Satan is that if it works he will do anything to succeed. Paul points to the devil’s schemes in Ephesians 6:11 and commands us not only to stand against them but how we are to do combat against him.
While the response to battle Satan is comprehensive and played out for us by Paul (10-18), let me say that part of that weaponry is prayer. Our prayers are to be Holy Spirit assisted joined by an attitude of dependence on God. We do this daily along with set times of prayer where the focal point is concentrated on the spiritual. Jesus fought against the devil on our behalf with the weapon of prayer. He said to Peter in Luke 22:31–32, “Satan has asked to have you that he might sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail.” Jesus illustrates for us the opposition of a specific satanic threat with prayer. “Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil” (Matthew 6:13). That is, deliver us from any success Satan may have in his attempts to cause us to do evil. The question is: are you really aware of the greater enemy that we must confront today, or have you capitulated already to his many devices? If so, return to God and pray that He forgive you and help you in your spiritual battle. If you are somewhat unaware of Satan’s existence or simply have not thought much about it, consider this world and the catastrophic evil found in it and who is behind it. Go to Christ and find your salvation in Him. Through the blood of the cross, He has reconciled all things to Himself and has made peace. One day, Satan and his cohorts will be cast into hell fire, and Believers will enjoy eternity in a heaven where sin will be no more. Sound too good to be true? Read the Scriptures and learn for yourself the grand scheme of God’s redemptive plan.
May God lead you to believe His Word, and trust in His Son Jesus Christ to save you.