Termites are an insidious enemy that compromises wood buildings. They slowly corrupt and destroy the structural integrity that enables them to remain standing. On the outside everything looks great, but under the vernier and paneling is a potential catastrophe. If this enemy is not detected and corrected, the building will fail.
There is another enemy that affects us. He is as insidious to the human soul as carpenter ants are to houses. He cannot be seen and can be hard to detect. You can go about your life and on the outside everything looks great, when in reality you are heading for a catastrophe.
Jesus put it this way;
Matthew 23:27-28; Woe to you, teachers of the law [bible] and Pharisees [religious leaders], you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean. In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.
This enemy is subtle and slowly robs you of life. He is deadlier than a cancer than a cancer because a cancer can only kill the body, he can cause death to your soul.
Matthew 10:28; Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell. [Jesus]
According to a 2016 Gallup Poll, 27% of you don’t believe he exists, while 10% are unsure. 61% believe he does but most don’t take him for the threat that he is.
His name is Satan, the Devil, and many other names. One problem is that people’s opinion of Satan are subjective, based on what they feel fits their ideology. If you are one of the 61% of those who believe he exists and can influence human beings, or your not sure, or you think he is just a symbol, you will want to read the rest of this post. You may also like to read my other post at the link below.
Lets clear some myths up right away. Satan could care less about crosses, garlic or any other physical substance. He is not impressed with humans and he is far more powerful than humanity. He is the ruler of a kingdom with a vast army at his disposal. The devil is at war with humanity and the only authority he respects and is subject to is God’s.
Ephesians 6:11-12; Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.
The bible says these invisible powers and principalities influence humanity and I believe they are at the root of reincarnation. They are how people can think they have memories of past lives and people because these unseen beings have knowledge of back to the beginning. This may sound strange to you, but almost 85% of you believe in or unsure of unseen beings like angels. I believed in reincarnation before I met the Lord, afterwords many things began to make more sense.
Rules, Authority on Earth
2 Corinthians 4:4; The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
Luke 4:5-7; The devil led him up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. And he said to him, “I will give you all their authority and splendor; it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. If you worship me, it will all be yours.
Ephesians 3:1-2; As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient.
Satan was at one time an Arch-Angel who became seduced by his own importance and the glory given him by God. He turned against the Father proclaiming he would become like God himself.
Isaiah 14:13-14; For you said to yourself, ‘I will ascend to heaven and set my throne above God’s stars… I will climb to the highest heavens and be like the Most High.
If that sounds familiar, it is. Satan has been exploiting the pride of people since the beginning. First, he introduced doubt about what God actually said, then appealed to Eve’s human desires. He told Eve she would be like a god herself if she did what he told her.
Genesis 3:4-6; Surely you will not die, for God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will open and you will be like divine beings who know good and evil… The woman was convinced. She saw that the tree was beautiful and its fruit looked delicious, and she wanted the wisdom it would give her.
Satan routinely appeals to our desires by fostering doubt about what God has said. By doing so, we then compromise and justify our actions because it “feels right”. If the devil can get your operating in the realm of “feelings” and not the truth in the word of God, he has you.
Remember he tried the same ploy to trap Jesus, but Jesus replied with the correct context silencing the devil. First, he appealed to Jesus’ pride by questioning who he was and telling him to prove it. Then he used scripture itself, misapplied, to help Jesus justify what the devil wanted him to do.
Matthew 4; If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become bread.” But he [Jesus] answered, “It is written, ‘Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God
If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down. For it is written, ‘He will command his angels concerning you’ and ‘with their hands they will lift you up, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’” Jesus said to him, “Once again it is written: ‘You are not to put the Lord your God to the test.
Comfortable in Church
The devil could be sitting next to you in church. Satan goes in and out of God’s presence continually accusing believers so don’t think objects of any sort will help you keep clear of him.
Job 1:6-7; Now the day came when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord – and Satan also arrived among them. The Lord said to Satan, “Where have you come from?” And Satan answered the Lord, “From roving about on the earth, and from walking back and forth across it.
Revelation 12:10; The salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the ruling authority of his Christ, have now come, because the accuser of our brothers and sisters, the one who accuses them day and night before our God, has been thrown down.
Only the authority of God controls the devil and his army. If God is at the center of your life, and you are submitted to his will with his Spirit living in you, you have nothing to worry about. But, if God is just an addon to your life, of use only for emergencies, you are playing a dangerous game with his grace.
Matthew 7:21-23; Not everyone who calls out to me, ‘Lord! Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter. On judgment day many will say to me, ‘Lord! Lord! We prophesied in your name and cast out demons… But I will reply, ‘I never knew you. Get away from me, you who break God’s laws. [Jesus]
Not to Be Toyed With
But some itinerant Jewish exorcists tried to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus over those who were possessed by evil spirits, saying, “I sternly warn you by Jesus whom Paul preaches.”… But the evil spirit replied to them, “I know about Jesus and I am acquainted with Paul, but who are you?” Then the man who was possessed by the evil spirit jumped on them and beat them all into submission. He prevailed against them so that they fled from that house naked and wounded. This became known to all who lived in Ephesus, both Jews and Greeks; fear came over them all
Born-again believers in Jesus Christ have the Holy Spirit living inside them. Although believers can be influenced by other spirits, God will not allow them to be possessed by any spirit but his own. The believers body is literally the residence of God’s Holy Spirit. Being “Born Again” is simply the term given to those who have received the Holy Spirit.
1 Corinthians 3:16-17; Don’t you realize that all of you together are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God lives in you? …. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple.
John 3:5-7; Jesus replied, “I assure you, no one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit. Humans can reproduce only human life, but the Holy Spirit gives birth to spiritual life. So don’t be surprised when I say, ‘You must be born again.
The devil may not be able to posses the believer, but doesn’t stop him from trying to destroy their testimony, steal their faith and bury them under the weight of condemnation. He cannot steal your salvation, but he can make you worthless to God’s kingdom if you neglect the truth, follow your own way and believe what he says. You have to walk away from God because he will never walk away from you.
How can the devil do this? Think of the evangelist who allowed lust to overtake him there by destroying his testimony. Or a Christian leader caught up in greed, amassing millions of dollars through corruption to the detriment of God’s name.
Not Your Thoughts
Satan has many strategies that are designed to incapacitate the believers ability to be useful to God. He does this by manipulating circumstances, using other people and by assaulting our minds. These are referred to in the bible as “fiery arrows”. In the Greek, the term fiery arrows gives a sense of being in a battle and these arrows are shot over the wall of a fortress, in hopes something on the protected side will catch fire and spread. This is why it is dangerous to contemplate on things we know or think are wrong. Don’t play with sin, because when the fire [or idea] begins to spread we can rarely put it out.
Martin Luther once said, “You cannot keep birds from flying over your head
but you can keep them from building a nest in your hair”
Ephesians 6:13-17; Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
Acts 5:3-5; Then Peter said, “Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit… When Ananias heard this, he fell down and died. And great fear seized all who heard what had happened.
Even the apostle Peter was not immune to Satan’s influence. In his mind Jesus was doing the wrong thing. Peter was not thinking of God’s plan but was acting on his own wisdom.
Matthew 16:22-23; So Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him: “God forbid, Lord! This must not happen to you!”But he turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me, because you are not setting your mind on God’s interests, but on man’s.”
You see the enemy is a great deceiver, making us think his thoughts our ours. He tells us to follow our hearts, our “feelings”, when the only truth comes from the word of God. Our feelings are much too easily manipulated by our thoughts and the enemy knows this, he just doesn’t want you to know too.
Lust, Greed, Power
Most if not all of his strategies appeal to human emotions and self importance like lust, greed, pride and our own arrogance or wisdom. The devil tried to corrupt Jesus by offering him all this world had to offer, wealth, power, position and importance.
Matthew 4:8-9; Next the devil took him [Jesus] to the peak of a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. “I will give it all to you,” he said, “if you will kneel down and worship me.
1 John 2:16; For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world.
The devil is still actively trying to nullify the believers influence in this world. A main strategy is divide and conquer. If he can put distance between the believer and God, he will conquer not only their ability to fight, but also compromise their ability to discern what is right and what is wrong.
1 Peter 5:8; Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.
John 10:10; [Jesus] The thief’s [devil] purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.
Genesis 4:7; you will be accepted if you do what is right. But if you refuse to do what is right, then watch out! Sin is crouching at the door, eager to control you.
John 8:44; [Jesus] there is no truth in him. When he [Satan] lies, it is consistent with his character; for he is a liar and the father of lies.
Satan’s strategies are insidious in the way he patiently commingles lies with truth. They sound good to our human nature and usually appeal to our natural desires. From there it is a matter of a slow step by step process away from our safe harbor until we don’t know how we got so far out to sea.
Hebrews 2:1; So we must listen very carefully to the truth we have heard, or we may drift away from it.
Proverbs 14:12; There is a path before each person that seems right, but it ends in death.
The road for the person who is not routinely allowing their spirit to be directed by God’s living word leads to catastrophe. These people are like the proverbial frog in the slow boiling pot.
Many Roads to God
Another strategy is to steer you away from Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of God. You can be as religious as you want in regard to other things he doesn’t care. What he does not want is you to know is the true savior of the world.
This is why there are so many sects of Christianity who now deny the deity of Jesus Christ, his resurrection and the need to be “born again”. If you believe everything else about Christianity but these truths, you are believing another testimony, another gospel, another Jesus who cannot save you.
Galatians 3:1-4; Oh, foolish Galatians! Who has cast an evil spell on you? For the meaning of Jesus Christ’s death was made as clear to you as if you had seen a picture of his death on the cross. Let me ask you this one question: Did you receive the Holy Spirit by obeying the law of Moses? Of course not! You received the Spirit because you believed the message you heard about Christ. How foolish can you be? After starting your Christian lives in the Spirit, why are you now trying to become perfect by your own human effort? Have you experienced so much for nothing? Surely it was not in vain, was it?
Galatians 1:6-8; I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel—which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God’s curse!
The remedy that can take root in our lives is a continual washing of God’s word over our lives. The word of God is living and breathing, active in our lives to bring correction and encouragement. We are no match for the devil, he has been around much longer than us, he is much smarter than us and a lot stronger than us.
The Word of God
One of the devils most effective strategies is to convince the believer that fully devoting themselves to God is either not required, or not really what he said. Remember he told Eve she would not die because God didn’t really say that, even though God said she would?
Maybe you are convinced that full dedication is for fanatics, or that Sunday is enough to keep us in God’s good books.
Luke 10:27-28; You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind.’ And, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” “Right!” Jesus told him. “Do this and you will live!”
We need God’s word regularly in our lives. Not as a religious act, but because we desperately need God’s input, encouragement and correction. Give us today our daily bread is not just about physical food, it refers to spiritual bread as well. The believer is acknowledging dependence on God, and asking for revelation and understanding of his will in our lives.
John 6:35; Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.
John 6:51; I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever.
John 1:1, 14; In the beginning was the word, the word was with God, and the word was God. The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us
We must feed on Jesus the word of God, or we will become emaciated, weak and starved, ready to eat what ever food comes our way that satisfies. Jesus is the word [bible]. If we reject the word, we are essentially rejecting Jesus himself.
The holy bible speaks to our lives right where we are. It is said there there is nothing new under the sun and people are are no different. The sins and struggles people had to deal with yesterday are the same today, pride, envy, lust, greed and arrogance. Only the word of God can speak to our behaviors in relation to our motivations.
Hebrews 4:12-13; For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.
All of Satan’s strategies have the things in common. A good indicator you are in the midst of Satan’s devices is that you are focused on yourself. Is what you are doing bringing glory to God, or you? Sometimes it isn’t easy to spot, sometimes we cannot see that what we are doing for others is really feeding our own pride.
People default to self every time. We need the Holy Spirit to enlighten us by the word of God so we can see the truth of our actions. As we read, the Spirit will bring conviction and correction. We can then choose to accept and apply it or not.
I Trust My Judgment
After what you just read above, do you believe you are more than capable of deciding right from wrong for yourself? Do you have a good moral compass, a trustworthy heart and just need to follow it and you will be alright?
Jeremiah 17:5; This is what the Lord says:
“Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who draws strength from mere flesh and whose heart turns away from the Lord… The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it? “I the Lord search the heart and examine the mind, …
Romans 3:11-12; No one is righteous—not even one. No one is truly wise; no one is seeking God. All have turned away; all have become useless. No one does good, not a single one
This is our condition outside of God. Our hearts are untrustworthy, our motives are suspect and we have no wisdom of our own.
One Christian faith stands apart from every other religion, even sects that call themselves Christians.
There is only one “Gospel” [good news] that saves. That gospel is that God came to earth as a man in the form of Jesus of Nazareth, that he died and his body was resurrected to life three days later. Because of this, “there is no other name under heaven by which we must be saved”, and that salvation is a free gift by the grace of God. No one can work their way into God’s graces as recorded in the holy bible.
Ephesians 2:8-9; God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.
The God of heaven has faithfully preserved his message of salvation for all to find eternal life who is searching for it.
1 Peter 1:24-25; All people are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of the Lord endures forever.” And this is the word that was preached to you.
If your god is not big enough to have maintained the integrity of his salvation message over the centuries, he is not big enough to stake your eternal life on.
Increase Your Faith
Romans 10:17; Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.
Victory is Yours
Revelation 12:10-11; For the accuser of our brothers and sisters, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down. They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony…
John 16:33 [Jesus] I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.
1 John 3:8-9; …the Son of God came to destroy the works of the devil. Those who have been born into God’s family do not make a practice of sinning, because God’s life is in them.
Colossians 1:13; For he has rescued us from the kingdom of darkness and transferred us into the Kingdom of his dear Son
Romans 16:20; The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you.
There are many, many more scriptures of encouragement and how the believer has overcome the world, death and the grave. Reading them daily renews our strength and faith when the enemy floats his lies by our minds. Don’t be fooled, feed your stomach and feed your spirit.
Remember this; God chose you from before you were born. He also provided your justification through the death and resurrection of his Son. He then provides your sanctification, in other words, changing you to be more like Jesus.
God is the Judge, Jury and Defense Attorney. He has provided it all so the only way to fail is to reject the One True God.
The scripture below sums up our victory and the love that God has for his children. Those who trust in God are safe, because he keeps them safe by his strength not theirs. The All Powerful creator of the universe [including the enemy], is on their side.
Romans 8:31-39; If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? …
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
God has placed a desire for him in your heart. That is why you are thinking about giving your life to him, or gave your life to him already. He has chosen you. He sent his Son to die for you.
Ezekiel 36:25-27; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.
John 10:27-29; My sheep listen to my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish; no one will snatch them from my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one can snatch them from my Father’s hand.
The devil cannot do anything beyond what the Lord allows him to do. He is not autonomous. He is subject to God as everything else in creation.
Job 1:12; All right, you may test him,” the LORD said to Satan. “Do whatever you want with everything he possesses, but don’t harm him physically.
Luke 22:31-32; Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift each of you like wheat. But I have pleaded in prayer for you, Simon, that your faith should not fail. So when you have repented and turned to me again, strengthen your brothers. [Jesus]
The apostle Peter [Simon] did fail. He denied knowing Jesus three times but Jesus knew he would. Still he encouraged him to keep having faith. God is not holding a hammer waiting for us to misstep. He loves us and understands our frailty. His grace abounds for those who love him.
All of Heaven is Defending You
All of heaven is working on behalf of the children of God to succeed and God has guaranteed their success because it is his power not their’s that sustains them.
Romans 8:28; And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose
Romans 8:34; Who then will condemn us? No one—for Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, and he is sitting in the place of honor at God’s right hand, pleading for us.
The Holy Spirit
Romans 8:26-27; And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will.
Romans 8:11; And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you.
Hebrews 1:14; Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?
2 Timothy 4:18
The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and will bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom. To him be glory for ever and ever. Amen.