Step Five – Know the Enemy

The devil is the master of manipulation and he has used his influence to create a world that idolizes power, money and fame.  Don’t be fooled.  The devil is out to destroy you. He’s using money, power, and fame to obscure your view of God.  The devil is your enemy – you need to know the enemy if you want to survive.

What Would You Do Different?

We’ve all made mistakes in our life that we regret.  Sometimes these mistakes are beyond our control and other times we are the direct cause of the ensuing negative consequences.  Frequently we can look back and see exactly what went wrong.  Something clouded our clear thinking and pushed us in the wrong direction.  Make no mistake about it, more often than not, that something is the devil.  Looking back at your mistakes you may see your selfish side trying to take control, or your greedy inclinations nudging you forward.  These negative traits are not from God.  When you know the enemy, it’s clear who’s urging you off in the wrong direction.

1 Peter 5:8 (NASB)

“Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.”

If You Know the Enemy You Have Power

In His parable of tares among wheat, Jesus, describes a story of a man who plants wheat seeds in a field and then while the man is sleeping, his enemy comes and plants weeds (tares) among the wheat (Matthew 13:24-30).  Later, when asked, Jesus explains that His parable is describing our world in which His followers have been infiltrated by evil ones distributed by our enemy the devil (Matthew 13:36-43).  The solution to the problem is to wait until the end times when Jesus will separate the good from the bad.  But for now, we must live with this evil in our midst.  The implication here is that we must live alongside individuals who are tools of the devil.  These individuals are not our enemies; it is the devil that is controlling them that is our enemy.

We can know the enemy by his consistent method of operation.  When we encounter deception, we are in the presence of the enemy.  When forces are attempting to divide us into disagreeing factions, we are being manipulated by the enemy.  When our desire for success and prosperity overtakes our desire to help others and serve God, the enemy is at work.  A constant clamoring of negativity keeping us from moving forward for fear of failure is most certainly a product of the enemy.  You can know the enemy by identifying these patterns of deception.  If you can spot the enemy at work, you have the power to overcome him by leaning on the Holy Spirit and seeking the power of God to point you in the right direction.

Ephesians 6:11-12 (NASB)

“Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.  For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.”

 

For a deeper study read: Satan and his Kingdom: What the Bible Says and How it Matters to You

 

More Steps

 

All scripture references are linked to Bible Gateway so that you can read each verse in context.  Bible Gateway allows you to change the verse to your favorite translation and compare it side-by-side with multiple translations.  In addition, you can select to hear an audio version of any verse by clicking on the speaker icon.  Keep the Bible Gateway App on your phone so that you can visit the Word of God at any time during your day.

 

 

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