“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. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.” (Ephesians 6:10-13)
These are days of amazing scientific advancements. Technology has changed our lives considerably, especially in the area of communication. Events both public and private can be immediately witnessed from almost anywhere in the world. As prophesied in the book of Daniel, many are going to and fro and knowledge has increased in these latter days. (Daniel 12:4)
Things that were once attributed to unseen spiritual forces are now commonly explained by the laws of physics. Even every aspect of human behavior is interpreted as simple reactions of chemistry and electrons. Not all of us are willing to look at life in terms of such cold, mathematical calculations, but we are more inclined to think of life in material, rather than spiritual terms these days.
Modern Christians, especially in the West are much less concerned about the devil than the Christians of the First Century. The concept of an evil being who works behind the scenes to trip us up seems to belong more in the area of horror and fantasy stories than the real world of our daily lives.
While a significant number attribute almost any problem in life to the devil, more are reluctant to discuss the subject altogether. But how are true Bible-believing Christians to deal with the subject? Are we to relegate the Scriptures concerning him to a more superstitious time in the life of the Church? Or are we to take a more sober, clear-minded look at the Scriptures and real life, and realize that we too need to be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might!
An honest look at our lives and the lives of those around us should confirm that we do have an adversary, the devil, who really does roam about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour! (1 Peter 5:8) Consider the power of the human instinct for survival. People will struggle against impossible odds to live, with seemingly superhuman efforts, and yet some unseen force can draw others to suicidal habits and actions. Even some Christians who know the love of God have become so blinded by his lies as to enslave themselves to things that destroy their health, their families and their peace of mind.
The Christian has no cause to fear this adversary. The apostle John clearly announced that “greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world!” (1 John 4:4). Satan is absolutely no match for God, Who lives within us! But wait, does that mean that we on our own can deal with him? We can do all things through Christ Who strengthens us! (Philippians 4:13). That is why Paul urged believers to be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might! Only by actively engaging His armor can we stand against Satan’s powerful deceptions.
Some would tend to overexaggerate the powers of this adversary. But it is a great mistake in any war to underestimate one’s enemy. The New Testament gives us the reality of the situation.
In Christ we are more than conquerors in every situation. (Romans 8:37).
Yet we are called stand against the devils schemes. (Ephesians 6:11).
We are to submit ourselves to God, to resist the devil and he will flee from us. (James 4:7).
And to be sober, vigilant, watching as if for a dangerous animal, resisting him in steadfast faith and humility, knowing how our Lord truly cares for us. (1 Peter 5:6-9)
A new convert must guard against pride, or he will fall into the condemnation of the devil. (1 Timothy 3:6).
An elder might even fall into the devils trap. (1 Timothy 3:7).
A humble, wise and patient servant of the Lord can be used by Him to advise those who are already slaves to the devil, so they too can escape his control. (2 Timothy 2:26).
Satan can trouble marriages. (1 Corinthians 7:5).
He can take advantage of unforgiving believers. (2 Corinthians 2:10-11).
He can transform himself into an angel of light. (2 Corinthians 11:14).
He even physically buffeted and hindered the apostle Paul. (2 Corinthians 12:7, 1 Thessalonians 2:18).
And cast other saints into prison. (Revelation 2:10).
But they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death. (Revelation 12:11).
The focus of our warfare is in our thought life.
“For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.” (2 Corinthians 10:3-6)
The greatest weapon we have is our relationship with Christ. We obey Him because we love Him. We are powerful because we put Him above the desires of our flesh. Our delight is His delight! We love every Word that He speaks to us through the Written Word. That knowledge if Him makes us stronger every day, and even enables us to defeat the enemy’s power in the lives others!
Christ’s victory is our victory! Praise His wonderful Name!