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Meet Your Enemy

It is commonplace in our day to doubt the existence of the devil. Many who believe in God do not believe in the devil at all. When people say, “The devil made me do it,” they mean it jokingly. When someone says, “Oh, you devil,” it’s meant as a kind of compliment. And if someone means to seriously bring the devil into a polite discussion, the response is likely to be, “You’re not serious, are you?” 

Satan’s greatest triumph may be in causing people not to take him seriously. If people don’t believe you exist, they won’t try to stop you. We rarely hear Satan talked about or preached about. And as a result, we are ignorant of his strategy, his power, his vast army, and his infernal plans. 

It is amazing how much the Bible says about the devil. He appears the first time in Genesis 3 and the last time in Revelation 20. Among his many titles, he is called Satan, the devil, the serpent, the deceiver, the evil one, and the accuser of the brethren. Every New Testament writer mentions him. Jesus encountered him at the beginning and end of His ministry and spoke often of him. 

There is much we do not know but this much is certain. The devil is a real being. In the beginning he was an angel of God. Lifted up with pride, he attempted to overthrow the Lord himself. Being cast out of Heaven, one-third of the angels followed him. Those fallen angels we call demons. 

Satan Doesn’t Fight Fair

He uses anything and everything that he can to bring us down. This is part of what Paul meant when he spoke about “the schemes of the devil” in Ephesians 6:11. The word “schemes” might also be translated as “traps” or “tricks” or “tactics.” 

He is a liar, a deceiver, a diabolical “angel of light” who comes to you in a thousand guises, tempting you to disobey the Lord. And he’s a lot smarter than you are. He knows your weak points better than you do. And he can attack you any time of the day or night. 

When we face temptations, we may be sure that the evil one has us in his cross-hairs. That’s exactly the moment when we need the message of Ephesians 6:14–18. This text tells us how we should fight back against the devil. No believer is safe who faces Satan in his own strength. No believer is more secure than he who goes into battle wearing the whole armor of God. 

My final word to you is this. Paul tells us to put on the whole armor of God. He does not say, “Put on your own armor” because that’s a good way to get clobbered in the head. It is God’s armor, not ours. Everything Christians need we already have in Jesus Christ. 

He fights with us and through us and for us so that we are not left alone on the battlefield. We must still go into battle, but God provides the armor. He gives us whatever we need, whenever we need it, so that no believer ever need be defeated by the devil. 

Stand and fight, child of God. The Lord is on your side. 

—Ray Pritchard, condensed