Battling Against the Enemy

Two of my closest friends played a trick on me one time. They called me when I was in South Dakota and said they had very bad news, but they couldn’t tell me until I came back to Georgia, two weeks later. For the following two weeks leading into August, I prayed persistently for them, whatever it might be. Their relationship, their health, their decisions, anything.

The two weeks came and we found ourselves in my room on the bed. “So there was a party,” my friend said. He and his girlfriend looked nervous. “We drank too much, things got out of our control, and now she’s pregnant.”

That was a big ball to drop. My friend looked nervous and on the edge of tears. I offered words of strength and encouragement until she could hold it in no longer and she said, “I’m so sorry. It’s a joke.”

I about lost my mind. I demanded that they leave and when they didn’t I stormed out of my house. They followed me down the street and we performed a classic movie scene: night has fallen, people running down the street before whirling to face each other and screaming into the night, tears splashing into the earth, neighbors peeping out the windows, wondering if they should call the police.  

But do I fight the lies of the devil like that? Do I scream like I did that August night and say no, you don’t have a hold on me! In speaking of the devil John 8:44 says, “When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”

Truth is our greatest defense against deception.

Do you ever find yourself quoting Psalm 139:14, “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” Or do you say, “I am not good, and I am not good enough. I have failed too many times to create something beautiful.” Which do you say to yourself, which do you believe? You were made in the image and love of a beautiful Creator. Jesus says, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full,” (John 10:10).

Christ is truth. In Christ there is life.

The enemy has one motivation- to do what the enemy wants. He doesn’t have any interest in the well-being of our eternity.

Early in Jesus’ ministry he was in the wilderness for 40 days and tempted by Satan. At one point Satan even quotes scripture, saying, “On their hands they will bear You up, so that you will not strike Your foot against a stone.” He wants Jesus to throw himself from a cliff to be caught by angels. He doesn’t quote the rest of the scripture where it says the serpent will be trampled. The devil can even use scripture to confuse us. Yet when we know our place in the Lord and trust in him we can respond how Jesus does, with confidence in the Word.

My family loves to play games. We are also pretty competitive. Once we were on a soccer field kicking a ball in the air. The rule was that it could bounce once, and we could hit it with any part of our body except our hands. We played for twenty minutes, unable to get past twelve hits, with an average of five. It was fun but hard, consisting of lots of running around and goofy saves. At one point my brother halted the game and shouted, “Stop! We are not this bad.” We turned to him. “You are all athletic people. It’s not hard to keep a ball in the air. We should be getting 50 hits no problem.” His burst of enthusiasm and putting the game into perspective was honest and motivating. The next go around we got 20 hits, and the round after that 70.

I feel like I do that with the devil sometimes. I turn branches on the window to ten men breaking into my house. I fear healthy conversations are lost friendships. While job searching I looked for cozy allies to live in just in case. Well maybe not the last one, but I say how will I ever pay off loans or find a job or make any money at all. Those fears aren’t worth anything in comparison to the glory of God. If He cares for the flowers and squirrel and takes time for clouds and sunsets, how much more so does He care for me. For you.

Satan is only as big as our mind lets him be.

Yes Satan does have influence, is and creates evil, but greater than death itself is the power of God the Father.

2 Kings 6 shares a story of a king fearful of the Syrians attack. He cries out, “What shall we do?” (15). Elisha knows that God is more powerful than the Syrians ever will be. He calls for the king’s eyes to be truly opened, and the king sees a mountain full of horses and chariots of fire.

Where in your life do you only see the battle in front of you? Where do you need to look up and see the chariots of fire ready to fight for you? We are victors. We team with the God of angel armies.

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