I don’t know if the lost woman in my apartment was mentally unstable, possessed, or just lost. What I do know is that she wasn’t the enemy. It was the lies and the voice that spoke them that was the enemy. The enemy was–and is–Satan.
Scripture tells us that our enemy roams the earth looking for someone (weak) to devour. Therefore, we must resist him by being vigilant, watchful, alert to what’s going on in the spiritual realm and keeping a clear head about it.
Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings. –1 Peter 5:8-9, NIV
When the lost woman started to listen to the voice of the enemy, she had a choice. She knew God. She had heard his voice, his gentle correction that she was wrong, but what the enemy was saying to her sounded better. The enemy tempted her to follow a different path by speaking to her needs and wants in a way that pleased her. He offered her a way to have power and prestige and romance by stealing it.
One of the give-aways of the Devil is that he is focused on the present. In his voice comes the urgency to please yourself now with no care for the consequences of that “pleasure” to your future. Satan entices you to sin and become a slave to that sin. He knows the consequences of sin are death–spiritually and, in some cases, physically.
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. –Romans 6:23, NIV
Satan’s choices are strategic. He leads us on a path of death and destruction for a reason; he wants to win the war he started with God.
According to Isaiah 14:12-15 and Ezekiel 28:12-19, Satan was an angel of high importance in Heaven long before the creation of the world. He grew envious of God and wanted to be him. He attempted to overthrow God, but he was shot down. It must have been a violent and significant beat-down because Christ himself said he saw him fall “like lightning from Heaven” (Luke 10:18). He was cast to Earth where he pesters mankind in order to steal, kill, and destroy their purpose in the Earth.
And I will put enmity (open hostility) between you and the woman,
And between your seed (offspring) and her Seed;
He shall [fatally] bruise your head,
And you shall [only] bruise His heel.”–Genesis 3:15, AMP
The thief’s (Satan’s) purpose is to steal, kill and destroy. My purpose is to give life in all its fullness. –John 10:10, TLB
God created us to have fellowship with Him, but Satan wanted to break that bond and keep us from the closeness we were meant to have. Why? Because he didn’t get what he wanted when he tried to overthrow Heaven, and he can’t win his way back into God’s good graces to go back there even if he was humble enough to beg for it. Revelations 20 tells us that Satan, Lucifer, is destined for fire and he will take as many with him who are willing to go along with his lies.
We, humans, are not just helpless pawns in this spiritual struggle, we are the prize that both sides are fighting for.
For we are His workmanship [His own masterwork, a work of art], created in Christ Jesus [reborn from above—spiritually transformed, renewed, ready to be used] for good works, which God prepared [for us] beforehand [taking paths which He set], so that we would walk in them [living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us].–Ephesians 2:10, AMP
We are the prime achievement of all God’s creative endeavors. The Grand Canyon, the magnificent Appalachian mountains, the stars and the planets, everything beautiful that God created pales in comparison to the greatness that lives in each of us. I love the way the Message Bible puts it: “He creates each of us by Christ Jesus to join him in the work he does, the good work he has gotten ready for us to do, work we had better be doing (Ephesians 2:10, MSG).”
Satan may try to get in the way of our purpose here on Earth, but he has no power to stop us. Christ overcame the Devil and any power he had when he became a human, took on our brokenness, and became our bridge to God.
Because God’s children are human beings—made of flesh and blood—the Son also became flesh and blood. For only as a human being could he die, and only by dying could he break the power of the devil, who had the power of death. Only in this way could he set free all who have lived their lives as slaves to the fear of dying. We also know that the Son did not come to help angels; he came to help the descendants of Abraham. Therefore, it was necessary for him to be made in every respect like us, his brothers and sisters, so that he could be our merciful and faithful High Priest before God. Then he could offer a sacrifice that would take away the sins of the people. Since he himself has gone through suffering and testing, he is able to help us when we are being tested.–Hebrew 2:14-18, NLT
We are called to live our lives in freedom and dignity. Our freedom comes from accepting this message, that Christ died for us, and accepting Him as our personal Savior. Then, we change how we live. We pursue God through his Word because we honestly want to know Him more. We turn away from sin as he reveals our sinful behaviors through His Word, the Bible. Our freedom comes from living through the Spirit and denying our sinful, fleshly desires. We have to stay alert about the war we are in. Galatians describes what this war looks like in our everyday lives.
It is obvious what kind of life develops out of trying to get your own way all the time: repetitive, loveless, cheap sex; a stinking accumulation of mental and emotional garbage; frenzied and joyless grabs for happiness; trinket gods; magic-show religion; paranoid loneliness; cutthroat competition; all-consuming-yet-never-satisfied wants; a brutal temper; an impotence to love or be loved; divided homes and divided lives; small-minded and lopsided pursuits; the vicious habit of depersonalizing everyone into a rival; uncontrolled and uncontrollable addictions; ugly parodies of community. I could go on. This isn’t the first time I have warned you, you know. If you use your freedom this way, you will not inherit God’s kingdom.
But what happens when we live God’s way? He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard—things like affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity. We develop a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people. We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force our way in life, able to marshal and direct our energies wisely.–Galatians 5:19-23, MSG
It is a war of the flesh led by the Devil vs. the spirit led by God working in and through us. When we begin to understand this, the enemy is no longer your boss, your husband, your co-worker, or the lost woman in your apartment. No, the enemy is Satan. Instead of yelling at that lost person, yell at the Devil. Take authority over the situation by putting on the whole armor of God.
We will finish this discussion by looking at the full armor of God in Ephesians in my next post. Until then, think about these questions.
How has your attitude been lately? Are you mad at the world or are you loving the world?
How do you see yourself? Are you a priceless treasure or are you a mistake?