Just how powerful is the Enemy? How do believers fight the works of Satan?
The most important thing that the Bible tells us about Satan is that He is defeated.
Jesus, after sending the seventy out to do the work of the kingdom, says “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.” (Luke 10:18)
The decisive battle of history was the first coming. The life, ministry, death and resurrection of Christ is what defeated the Enemy.
Many times we focus on the second coming, but it is the first coming that the Bible points towards as the single most important event in all of history.
John 10:10 tells us “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” This is what the Enemy does today on Earth, but it is from the position of being defeated. The battle is over, but as Satan walks off the battlefield on his way to the lake of fire (Rev. 20:10) that awaits him, he brings difficulty on believers.
In Ephesians, Paul writes a letter to a young church at Ephesus. This city was the center of demonic activity and cultic worship in the first century. These young Christians were trying to figure out how to survive in the midst of this evil city.
Paul begins his letter by spending the first three chapters on their identity in Christ. He builds their foundation about God’s Character and what their salvation accomplished. If he can solidify their foundation, they can resist the lies of the enemy with the truth.
Then, at the end of the letter to the Ephesians, Paul talks about the armor of God in chapter 6. Every piece of the armor is something that they were given as a gift of God. The belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, feet ready to spread the gospel, shield of faith, Sword of the Spirit which is the Word, and the helmet of salvation.They are told to stand in that which Jesus accomplished.
The armor is really a summary of what God has done for the Ephesians, and ultimately us as well.
We do need to pray and “Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”(James 4:7). We can do this because he defeated the Enemy at the cross and our salvation has given us everything we need to stand against his schemes (Eph 6:11)
I know the Enemy is real. I see things happening in Africa that I cannot explain. But Paul’s point, as well as my own, is instead of looking for a demon around every corner, lets look to our identity in Christ.
- Not only should we remind the devil about what God says about us (our identity), we need to remind ourselves to build our foundations stronger. Read Ephesians 1 and list all the things that it say we have “in Christ”.
- Putting on the armor is an exercise in worship. Go through each piece and thank God for the gifts He has given to us to stand against the enemy.
How much of our time should focus on the Enemy as compared to the amount of time we focus on our identity in Christ? Thoughts?
This post is one in a series of devotionals which were published in La Biblia Del Discipulo (The Discipleship Bible), which is a Spanish language Bible. For more information on the Bible, please visit : http://www.bibliadeldiscipulo.com.
The E-Version is also available for IPads or mobile devices. Copyright 2011.