Christian, Know Your Enemy
I Peter 5:8, “be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.”
The Child of God must come to terms with a truth that is of paramount importance. The Christian life is not a playground, it’s a battleground. The Christian is a very definite target in the center of the battlefield, and yet most aren’t even aware that there’s a spiritual war going on. We have an enemy to face every day that we live.
Our greatest adversary, Satan, is on a mission to destroy God’s people and discredit the Cause of Christ. He is as a roaring lion and not as some playful pet. He wants to devour you, so you must be aware and alert at all times.
Paul, in writing to the Church at Ephesus warned: “See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise,” (Ephesian 5:15). But who is this enemy hat has waged war on the Believer?
Three Facts About Your Enemy
First, Ezekiel 28 makes it clear that Lucifer was a Created being, an angel, given the assignment of guarding the mountain of God, and had somewhat to do with music. He is created, and thus is limited. He is not like God. He is not all knowing, all powerful, and cannot be every at the same, as can God.
Second, Satan is not only a Created being, but he became a Corrupted being. Ezekiel 28:15, “Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee.” Ezekiel 28:17 “Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness… “ He is a fallen powerful angel who led a rebellion of a third of the angels of Heaven and now seeks to destroy all that is good and God ordained.
Finally, Satan is also a Condemned being. Ezekiel 28:16, “I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God…” Isaiah 14:15: “Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.”
As a believer, you have a choice to make. You may choose to live a life of victory, or you may choose to live your life in defeat. Satan’s goal is to have the Christian live a life of continual defeat.
WHAT IS A DEFEATED LIFE?
- It is a life without fruit. We are commanded by the Lord to bear fruit. Jesus said, “Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples” (John 15:8).
- It is a life without power. If the power were present, the life would not be defeated. Jesus said, “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me. . .” (Acts 1:8).
- It is a life dominated by the flesh. The Corinthians were defeated Christians. Paul called them “babes in Christ.” They were carnal, not spiritual.
- It is a life directed at times, by Satan. Are you saying that a Christian’s life is never directed by the evil one? If so, you are speaking against the Word of God. Simon Peter said to Christians, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world. “—I Peter 5:8,9.”
The defeated life is dominated by the world, the flesh and the Devil. These are the three enemies that work for the constant defeat of a Christian. The devil will continue to put pressure on in different forms. He does this in three ways.
Christians Must Understand How Satan Uses Two Main Tactics to Defeat Them
Our EXTERNAL enemy is the World, society apart from God. Our world is in no way friendly to the cause of Christ. Rather, Christians are viewed by the world as the problem, not the solution. The world caters to the lust of our flesh, our eyes, and pride. Media caters to these three, as does entertainment, and certainly advertisers.
One fast-food chain in America desires to appeal to what they call, “Thee Young Hungry Guy (YHG). Their target in advertising are the men ages 18-40. Therefore, in their attempt to draw them into their restaurants, they often use semi-nude women in their commercials, who at times moving around with sexual gyrations to capture the interest of this ‘YHG’. This is what our External enemy does.
Our INTERNAL enemy is our Flesh, the old sin nature. Once we got saved, the Spirit of God came to live within us (Romans 8:9), and now there’s a war going on inside us! The battle is over control of the new Believer. Our text states that each Christians faces the world, the flesh, and the devil. Let me describe our enemies in the following manner:
The lust of the flesh is an overwhelming desire to do something. The devil preys on the Christian’s mind here. Paul said, what I want to do I don’t do, and what I don’t want to do I find myself doing! The pride of life is an overwhelming desire to be someone or something. The devil preys on the Christian’s emotions here. The lust of the eyes is an overwhelming desire to have something.
The Devil preys on the Christian’s will here. So Satan focus on the Christian’s mind, will, and emotions in order to defeat him. Satan knows that he cannot take away a Christian’s salvation, for this is an Eternal transaction (Romans 6:23; Matthew 19:16; John 3:15-16; John 10:28; Titus 1:2). Therefore, he goes after the next best thing, the Christian’s testimony. This is what Paul seemed to fear in I Corinthians 9:27 when he penned these words, “But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.”
Our INFERNAL enemy is the Devil. He’s real, he’s on the earth, and he has quite a following, both demonic and human, (I Peter 5:8).
Avoiding Two Common Mistakes as You Deal with the Devil
First, do not maximize his influence. Don’t pin everything on him. Satan can tempt, but he cannot FORCE you to do anything against your will. Philippians 4:8: “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”
Second, do not make the mistake of minimizing his influence. Many Christians become easy prey because of ignorance of the devil’s devices. He does not possess the same powers as God. He is powerful, but he is limited.
The first time Jesus came to earth, there was a flurry of demonic activity everywhere. And Jesus is coming again, and Satan knows his days are numbered, and his time is short. No wonder the Bible predicts another big surge of demonic activity, increasing up to the end! His eventual fate is sealed. Revelation 20:10 makes it very clear where the Devil will spend his eternity, “And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.”