Inside: Is Satan a defeated foe? If so, why am I still struggling?
And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. John 8:32 (NKJV)
There are just certain things that are fundamental to understanding life as we know it. And I think this is one of them.
Why are we constantly fighting this enemy? And why is it that it often seems he’s winning even though he’s supposedly defeated?
Over on the YouTube channel, I uploaded this video: (but for a more in-depth look, READ ON!)
Why We Need to Understand our Enemy
In the Word, we’re told to think on the good, but that doesn’t mean we should walk through life with our hands over our eyes and ears. We still live in this world where satan is the prince. Meaning, we live in a space where we can be tempted and tried.
In any other arena, we know it’s smart to know our opponent in and out. We need to understand their strengths, weaknesses, and tactics they may try to employ to overtake us.
Why then, should it be any different in the spiritual? If it’s important to know our adversary in friendly competition, HOW MUCH MORE important is it when there are life and death consequences?
[click_to_tweet tweet=”Going through this life without understanding the schemes of the enemy means that we’re left blind-sided and confused when he comes to attack. https://plantingvineyards.com/know-your-enemy/” quote=”Going through this life without understanding the schemes of the enemy means that we’re left blind-sided and confused when he comes to attack.”]
God Himself has given us insight into the origin of our adversary and the way he operates. There is NOTHING too dangerous for eyes in His Word. Should we turn to worldly sources to learn about the devil? Definitely not. But we can always turn to God who freely gives all wisdom (James 1:5, John 14:26).
What we know about our adversary…
1. Original Sin
Like I talked about in the video, we often think of original sin as the original sin of man. But before the fall of Adam and Eve, there was a fall from heaven. Pride rose up in one of God’s angels, and he began to exalt himself above his Creator. Sin may have entered humanity through the sin of Adam, but evil was born through the pride of satan.
2. Master of Persuasion
In John 8:44, Jesus refers to the devil as the father of lies. The originator. And before he lied to Eve, he first lied to other angels in heaven.
When he was cast down, a third of all of heaven’s angels were cast down with him. A third. That’s how convincing he can be.
In children’s church, it often seemed that the devil was obvious in his schemes. That they would be easy to detect. But here’s what the word says:
And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. 2 Corinthians 11:14 (NKJV)
He knows how to make lies sound like reality. Especially since we’re living on his playing field.
In this world, the Truth is often buried. But once we know the character of God while also seeing how the enemy operates, we won’t be so easily led astray. Here’s what Jesus, our Good Shepherd, says about a shepherd and his sheep:
And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. Yet they will by no means follow a stranger, but will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers. John 10:4-5 (NKJV)
3. Hates God and is Jealous of Man
Satan’s hatred toward God fuels all he does. Entering the serpent to deceive humanity was just a way to get back at God. To take away the creation He loved. To get Him where it hurts. The lies that satan tells us come for the same reason. It’s less about us and more about his hatred for God. Satan wants us, as the children of God, to still feel separate from Him. To live without the intimate relationship with God that was restored through Jesus.
He doesn’t want us to know who we are and Whose we are.
And since he’s bound for Hell after the final judgment, he wants to take as many people with him as he possibly can.
4. Hates the Family Unit and Attacks it Vigorously
We don’t have to look far in the world today to see that the enemy loves to target the family. Again, the family unit is something that’s precious to God. It’s one that He designed. He lovingly calls all of us His children. So naturally, satan hates the family and all it stands for.
5. Uses Tactics that Appeal to Our Flesh
As we know, our flesh is weak. It’s our greatest downfall. So that’s where satan tries to hit us.
We naturally are built with a longing that points us to God. We desire the things He provides. The marrow of who we are calls out for the One who created us.
But satan tries to get us sidetracked, persuading us that other things can fill our God-sized hole. And that’s where addiction comes from.
Even success and achievement.
You name it, and our flesh can turn it into an addiction.
But we can see these schemes for what they are by using spiritual eyes, aka: relying on the Holy Spirit for insight in all things. AND avoid them by staying filled with God. Pray that He leaves no room for any other thing to take precedence in your life. He’s faithful, and will fulfill you in ways you can’t imagine.
6. Lacks Vision and Foresight, but Has a Plan
Unlike God, satan can’t see what’s to come. If he could, he would have fought the cross kicking and screaming instead of entering Judas and setting it in motion.
He makes plans to attack God’s people, and yet, his plans are always turned to good.
“No weapon formed against you shall prosper,
And every tongue which rises against you in judgment
You shall condemn.
This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord,
And their righteousness is from Me,”
Says the Lord.
Isaiah 54:17 (NKJV)
But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good… Genesis 50:20 (NKJV)
In the verse from Genesis, Joseph is speaking to his brothers who had thrown him into a pit and sold him into bondage. It’s a theme we see repeated throughout scripture. Those things that were meant to harm the children of God end up fitting seamlessly into God’s perfect plan. He’s the one with the foresight. He knows everything the enemy will hurl at you.
And ya know what? He’s going to use it ALL for good!
7. Can’t Create; Can Only Corrupt
Sometimes I think we forget that he’s completely unable to create. He can only pervert what’s already been created. So be on the lookout for counterfeits.
When I was a bank teller, counterfeit money was something we had to watch for. The #1 way to do that? We needed to know the real deal. How it felt, its special marks, and all the little details that a counterfeit might not have.
It’s the same with the truth versus lies of the enemy. We need to know God and His voice. We need to understand what He sounds like and what His ways look like. Then we’ll be a lot less likely to fall for whatever the enemy tries to peddle.
8. The Accuser
Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, “Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down. 11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death. 12 Therefore rejoice, O heavens, and you who dwell in them! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time.” Revelation 12:10-12 (NKJV, emphasis mine)
WOW! I want to do a post on that little clump of verses alone! But for this section of this post, I wanted you to see him being referred to as the accuser.
We see it in action most predominantly in Job. Satan sneers at God and accuses Job of being faithless.
Jesus is now our advocate at the right hand of the Father, interceding for us always. But that doesn’t stop the enemy from sending his fallen angels directly to us. They whisper in our ears to try to ensnare our hearts in shame. If you feel shame, know that’s not God. He convicts us of sin, but doesn’t condemn those who are in Christ. He’s a loving Father who wants to correct us and lead us into what’s best for us.
Satan, on the other hand, wants us trapped in feelings of hopelessness and self-hatred.
9. A Defeated Foe
If you get nothing else from this post, get this. Plant it deep down in your heart and never forget it. SATAN IS DEFEATED! It’s not something we have to do. God did it. That’s the gospel.
We aren’t bound by sin anymore. We’re not chained to a fallen design. We aren’t slaves to our flesh. Instead we’re new creations with the favor to live in a way that pleases God while the enemy is a lion-imitator.
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. 1 Peter 5:8 (NKJV, emphasis mine)
Since he has ZERO power over the children of God, he uses his gift of persuasion to convince us that he has us where he wants us. But he’s not above the Lord.
[click_to_tweet tweet=”Satan may be the prince of this world, but princes still must bow to the King! https://plantingvineyards.com/know-your-enemy/” quote=”Satan may be the prince of this world, but princes still must bow to the King!”]
And since we are sons and daughters of God, infused with His Spirit and walking in the name of Jesus Christ, we never have to bow to the enemy and what he says over our lives. Instead, we run the race set before us by our King.
If all that’s true, why am I struggling?
Satan’s power lies in his persuasion. In his ability to con us into giving him authority. Too often we lay down, when we need to stand firm.
Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. James 4:7 (NKJV)
It can be tough, and it takes knowing who we are and refusing to waver from it. But the Holy Spirit will strengthen our resolve when we ask Him.
Can we still face hardship in this world? Yepp. But when we submit ALL things to God, the tough times won’t break us! They’ll build us.
God, thank you so much for each and every single one of these readers. I pray that the words typed above be infused with Your power so that they won’t fall flat before your people. God breathe into them. Illuminate the parts that each person needs to see. Help them overcome any mental hurdles holding them back from being who You call them to be. I speak the name of Jesus over any mental stronghold, over any exalted lie. Jesus’ name is higher! Jesus’ name is stronger! Lord, I pray a mental shift over your people so that they can walk in the freedom and newness of life that You paid for. Give us boldness, God, to not shrink in fear to the taunts and attacks of the enemy. But instead to have the confidence personified in the life of Jesus Christ. Teach us to walk as your bond-servants and children, never bowing to the lies and weapons of the enemy. To never allow what he and his fallen angels say to be accepted over truth. In Jesus’ name, AMEN ♥
Until next time,
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