I grew up going to church, but it wasn’t until I was in college that I started understanding who Satan was. I started seeking out answers for my overwhelming negative thoughts and I came across sermons by Joyce Meyer. When she talked about Satan she described him as a very real and very active enemy in our lives. Now this was hard for me to grasp at first. Up until then I believed in his existence, but I thought he had his home in hell and stayed there. Thinking of him as an actual enemy was kinda creepy and a little too extreme for me. But when I started reading the scriptures for myself, they supported her description of him. I found that he is a very real enemy and whether I acknowledge it or not I am in a very real battle.
Most days I wake up and jump right into the day not anticipating I will face opposition. After all my day usually consists of groceries, sippy cups, and reading Brown Bear, Brown Bear. But sooner than later I am left questioning what is going on with me? Why am I having these discouraging thoughts? Why am I wasting my time on things that only leave me empty? I underestimate my enemy or I don’t acknowledge the battle altogether. But I have had enough of it and maybe you have too. I am tired of doubting God’s goodness. Tired of being distracted by all the shiny things in this world. I am tired of doubting my worth and contributing to others doubting their worth as well. I’m lacing up my boots and preparing for battle and I urge you to do the same.
Since we are in a very real battle we need to learn all we can about our opponent. In 1 Peter we are told that the devil prowls around like a roaring lion waiting for someone to devour. My aunt has graciously given us a zoo membership and I have seen the lions separated from them only by a thick piece of special glass. Most of the time the lions are relaxing and basking in the sun, but when one is upset it is a whole different sight. It roars at the crowd, pacing back and forth. Eyes scanning for any weakness in the barrier so that it may escape and possibly attack. The verse shows that the devil is not simply just observing us. He is alert. He is focused. And he is out for the kill. We may not be acknowledging him, but he is fixated on us just waiting for his opportunity to strike.
In John 10:10 Jesus describes the devil as a thief who comes only to steal, kill, and destroy. Satan wants to destroy the very things that Christ died to give you. He wants to steal your joy, your peace, your purpose. He wants to destroy your worth and anything that is capable of bringing God glory, including your marriage. He wants to kill your hope. The hope of your friends. The hope of your children. In another verse Jesus describes him as a liar and even the father of lies. Satan twists and distorts the truth about God to tempt us to doubt God’s goodness. Just as he did to Eve in the garden. He subtly suggests that God does not have our best interest in mind and cannot be trusted.
Now when I read these things I am infuriated that he plans to do this in my life and the lives of people that I love. But my disgust at his plan does not change it. He is going to continue speaking his lies to us every day of our lives. So you and I have to know how to fight him and we can find the answer to this in Ephesians 6:10-18. The first way we battle against him is by remembering who we are fighting against. The verse says that we are not battling flesh and blood. The enemy is not your spouse, your neighbor, or someone that was rude to you on Facebook. When we think that the our “enemy” is another human being we get distracted from the actual enemy. We waste energy and time fighting someone who is not the source of the problem.
Next the verse encourages us to put on the full armor of God. God has given us an armor that will protect us, but we have to intentionally put it on. And we have to do it every day. If you are like me, you have to put it on multiple times a day, because I take it off. We are to put on the belt of truth. In doing this we remember who God is and who we are. The breastplate of righteousness reminds us that our righteousness is only possible because of what Christ did for us. Our feet are to be fitted for readiness from the gospel of peace. My own feet are often fitted with passivity and lethargy and the gospel of peace is replaced by confusion and distraction. We are to take up the shield of faith and put on the helmet of salvation. And we are to pick up our weapon, the sword of the Spirit which is the word of God. Our weapon against the enemy are the very words found in the Bible. So we need to read them, meditate on them, and know them.
We are in a battle and we have a very real enemy, but we have one very important advantage. And that is the victory has all ready been won. The winner has been decided. Jesus has already won the battle. He is victorious and He invites us to be a part of the winning team. As John 10:10 says the devil may come only to steal, kill, and destroy, but Jesus came so we may have life to the full. Now this life changing truth is so easily forgotten by me! But seriously if I remember this, the devil’s schemes mean nothing. This means “You’re not good enough.” has lost. This means “You will never,” has lost. This means “Why would you ever think you could?” has lost. This is the amazing hope we have in Jesus! I was so encouraged recently by Romans 16:20. It says “The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet.” I loved this because it is personal for each of us. God will crush Satan under my feet. Under your feet. We can live every day facing our battles with confidence because we know the outcome.
A Prayer for Battle
Lord, today I know I will face opposition. I know that I have an enemy and he only comes to steal, kill, and destroy. Help me to battle against him by anticipating his attacks so that I don’t get discouraged or confused when they come. I am putting on my armor by remembering who you are and what you have done for me. I claim the promise that you are living in me and you are greater than he who is living in the world (1 John 4:4). Help me to persevere knowing that you have already won.
Does the truth that Satan has already lost encourage you to live differently today? What area of your life do you allow his lies to infiltrate?