As we learn the ways of God, we find ourselves being stirred up to fight. We are admonished to fight the things that hold us back, fight those things that keep us from doing what’s right, fight the powers of darkness. This would be Satan in particular. We have a duty to fight. We are even instructed how to do battle. Jesus himself showed us, not only how to make war, but who to fight. Still, we often find ourselves losing battle after battle. Why is this?
We Are In a War
“And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,” – Revelation 12:7
Just so there is no misunderstanding, we ARE in a war. But this war is not ours. Ever since Satan first thought to rebel against the authority and hierarchy of God, war existed. We were brought into the conflict in the Garden. Humanity chose to believe Satan contrary to God’s Word and thus, we took sides with Satan through sin. Just as Satan rebelled against God and His authority, mankind’s rebellion mimics Satan’s. That’s why he is called the “god of this world” (2 Corinthians 4:4). Since Satan is the progenitor of war, what are his weapons in this conflict?
“Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.” – 2 Corinthians 2:11
In order to be successful against any opponent, we need knowledge of their weapons and tactics. Even armed with this knowledge, our enemy can defeat us if we do not have a strong defense. So what weapons does Satan use against us? His most formidable and only real weapon is deception! And deception draws all of its power from lies. Satan deceived Eve with a simple lie, “You will not really die!”
“Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.” – John 8:44
A Deceiver from the Beginning
“He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.” – 1 John 3:8
As we can see, from the very beginning, Satan’s was a deceiver. Why? Because that was the only way he could get what he wanted. He wanted to be worshiped the way God is worshiped. And why not? He was created perfect in beauty and full of wisdom. He knew he could not be God. That is the prevailing thought. That too is a deception. Satan simply wants what many give him without them realizing it. You would be surprised how easy it is to slip into giving Satan worship. When we idolize men above God, by proxy, Satan receives the worship. When we deem ourselves more important than God, Satan receives worship. Even when we accuse Satan of things he doesn’t do, we are giving him praise he did not warrant. Remember phrases like “The devil made me do it!” or “The Devil stole my stuff!”? Neither is true. Neither can be found in scripture in any form. And if he wanted steal our material possessions and/or money, he wouldn’t be too inclined to give it back under any circumstance. Satan does not need to make us do anything. We sin when we are tempted and yield. According to Jesus, what Satan will steal from us is the Word and eternal life, again through lies and deception. See how powerful his weapon is?
A Deceiver in the End
Revelation 20:7-8 is the end game of Satan. If he was so powerful beyond the ability to deceive, why is this the first and only thing he does here? Because even though sinful man knows what happened a thousand years prior when the Lord returned, it still works! He is still able to deceive the world after their resurrection! He lies to all and causes them to believe they can overrun the New Jerusalem, defeat the Children of God inside and take possession of it. He makes them think he is the one they should follow and worship instead of God. He did the same with one-third of the angels! How could a mere mortal resist? Some people never learn…
A Common Deception
“Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.” – James 2:19
How many times have you heard someone say Satan is afraid of us? Please look at James’ words carefully. Do you see anything stating Satan or demons being afraid of us? The only one they fear is God! We were made a little lower than the angels (Hebrews 2:7). Why should they fear us? Even when the Apostles were casting out devils, the devils knew it was the power of the Holy Spirit working in them. They also knew the lives of the Apostles were free of sin. So they feared the greater He in them! Remember the sons of Sceva in Acts 19? They tried to take on demons and failed. Sin was the reason. Don’t be deceived! Satan is not afraid of us! If all hell breaks loose in our lives, as some say, maybe we need to check ourselves. There are only two reasons for it. Either we are being attacked because of the gospel (as it happened to Jesus and the Early Church) or there is sin in our lives that allowed the powers of darkness access to us. The other alternative is we think everything is going great! Yet we know there is sin in our lives. In that case, Satan’s warfare is accomplished as far as we are concerned. He has us right where he wants us. Satisfied with our present condition, we continue in a state of self-righteousness, sleepy complacency and deception until it is too late.
“And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.” Romans 13:11
The Armor of God
“Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God:” – Ephesians 6:13-17
Read Ephesians 6:10-12 as well to get the entire context. Satan does not fight using earthly weapons. Neither can we! We need God’s armor. And it is as easy as living a righteous life. All we need is truth, righteousness, a desire to share the good news of Christ’s redemptive work, faith, salvation, and God’s Word. Sounds like nothing more than a true Christian lifestyle to me! There is something else to note though. All of the armor is defensive. A breastplate guards the core organs, especially the heart. We walk in the will of God, which is to spread the gospel to all the world. Faith protects us from temptation and deception! Salvation keeps us ready for Christ’s return and prepares us for the change from mortal to immortal, corruptible to incorruptible. The Word of God is an offensive as well as a defensive weapon. And Jesus showed us how to use it.
The Sword of the Spirit
Take a look at Jesus’ temptation in the wilderness. He demonstrated the Sword of the Spirit against Satan. He used the Word to resist Satan’s attempts to tempt him. He tried to get Jesus to:
- Sin by yielding to his flesh. He was to use his power as God to turn a stone to bread and break his fast by eating it.
- Sin against the Godhead and derail his purpose by attempting to commit suicide.
- Sin by giving Satan what he always wanted, even from God… worship!
But Jesus did none of those things. And there is one more thing he did not do. He never once accused Satan of anything. He did not yell at him, make demands or any of the other things we often hear we should do to the devil. Jesus did one thing. He used the Word against him and by the Word, he resisted the devil! Nothing more. As an offensive weapon, we war against the flesh. Our own flesh, bringing and keeping it under subjection to the Spirit of God. And if we are in sin, we cannot fight in that condition. A piece of our armor is missing! Repair the breach through repentance and returning to righteousness. Then we can resist the devil successfully.
Be Wise in Warfare
Satan can only tempt a Child of God to sin. Nothing else! Once you yield to sin, that opens the door to give Satan authority in your life. At other times, bad things happen because of the mistakes we make and blame Satan for them. That is the same as bearing false witness, which is a breaking of God’s commandment. Remember, our enemy is full of wisdom. He has thousands of years and billions of experiments performed on humanity. He knows what works and how to get us to sin, often without us realizing it! By knowing the truth and trusting God’s Word, we can fight the good fight. We can avoid the tricks and snares of our enemy. We can be successful in our warfare and come out victorious every time! I hope this post was helpful. Thank you for visiting!