“Greater is he who is in the world than you.”
– Adam Greenway
How much energy do you spend thinking about the warfare in which we are engaged, Spiritually? Sometimes I see people spend an over abundance of energy on demonology, studying the devil and trying to develop schemes to bind him, defeat him and understand him. They find a demon behind every tree, and if the sound system is not working on a Sunday morning then the devil must be in the wires or amps. Other times I meet people who assume that demons were a thing of the past, there are no spiritual forces with which we must battle and to think otherwise would cause one to be labeled crazy.
I believe Scripture teaches a happy medium. We ought not spend all of our time looking at Satan, as he is a creature and he has been defeated by the work of Jesus on the cross. The war has decisively been won. Satan will spend eternity in the Lake of Fire when Jesus comes to consummate the end of the age. At the same time, he is in the death throes looking to destroy as many as he can on his way out. And thus we ought be aware of his schemes and tactics. No one enters into a battle without studying his enemy. We should learn our sin nature and the ways of the enemy such that we can see both coming from a mile away and take captive our thoughts to fight sin and press on towards holiness.
The Devil functions in a God-given role: the accuser (Rev 12.10). When God calls the Heavenly court into session, Satan attends and his role is the prosecution. He is aware of our sin and he brings it up in the presence of God to induce our condemnation. We see this in Job, when God suggests that Job is blameless, Satan rebuts that his life is too easy and therefore God grants it unto the enemy to test Job (Job 1). We also see this with Peter – before the crucifixion Jesus tells Peter that Satan has asked to sift him like wheat (Luke 22.31).
Satan is the “god of this world” (2 Cor 4.4), “the prince of the power of the air” (Eph 2.2), “ruler of darkness” (Eph 6.12) and “the tempter” (Matt 4.3). He has been around for a long time. He understands human nature and depravity. His demons are skilled at temptation and deception. And we must not underestimate his power.
“One of the great delusions which the evil one has perpetuated upon the Church towards the end of the 20th century in western culture is simply this: That we can beat the world at it’s own game. That we can, taking the same methodology around us, build the Kingdom for Jesus Christ.”
“When the Church, in any generation, lays down the weapons provided by its commander and chief, it must inevitably pick up other weapons for it knows that it must fight; it knows that it is in a battle, it knows that the powers of darkness reign against it.”
– Alistair Begg
We must fight the battle in the methods by which we are taught by Jesus Christ and the Scriptures.
“For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ, and we are ready to punish all disobedience, whenever your obedience is complete.”
– 2 Cor 10.3-6
It starts in our minds. Satan’s greatest tactic is to convince people that their debt of sin has been paid when indeed it has not. False religions are schemes of the enemy – and false Christianity is his greatest ploy. To assure people that they are saved when they truly are not. So we must examine the Scriptures and our hearts and test ourselves to see if we are in the faith (2 Cor 13.5).
Let us remember that greater is he who is in the world than us. But let us never despair because “greater is He who is in us than he who is in the world” (1 John 4.4). Let us fight the battle knowing that the war has already been won. Even if he takes your life, he has no sway over your soul if you belong to Jesus Christ.