Pogo, the cartoon character, once said: “We have met the enemy and he is us.”
Do you suppose that’s true? I believe it’s more of a half-truth. We are our own worst enemy. But we have a protagonist, who pushes our buttons. His name is Lucifer, Satan, the devil.
The government is not our enemy, although some in the government might be under his control. Al Qaeda is not the enemy, although it looks as though they are under his control. Ahmadinejad is not our enemy, although I’m sure he is under his control. In Ephesians chapter 6 and verse 12, it says this: “12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”
According to Acts 13:10f, those I mentioned above are children of the devil. They pervert the right ways of the Lord. They are unbelievers and 2 Corinthians 4:4 says “The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers.” The devil is the god of this age. He is the arch enemy of God and all of God’s children and those who follow him have made him their god. Jesus calls him the “prince of this world” (Jn. 12:31) and Peter says in 1 Peter 5:8… “Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” And then he admonishes us to “resist him”.
Someone once said that “evil exists only where there is no God”. And if you’ve noticed our government is desperately attempting to take God out of everything we hold dear. Christianity is at war with the enemy and he is throwing all he can at us. Peter says we must resist him. James says the same thing in James 4:7. He says… “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you.”
Now, I want you to look carefully at that verse. Submit to God; draw near to God; resist the devil.
How do we submit to God? How do we draw near to God? It’s as clear as the nose on your face. You go to God in prayer. Practically every day, on my drive to work, I pray… “Lord God, I submit myself to you this day. Allow me to feel your presence; draw near to me and draw me nearer to You.”
What you’re doing with this prayer is putting on your armor as it states in Ephesians 6. God will draw nearer and fill you with his Spirit and it is he, the Holy Spirit, who will comfort you and remind you of all that you have learned, so you can fight the fight.
You’re probably asking the same question I did some time ago when I was under some fierce temptations and read James 4:7. I asked… “How, Lord? I‘m just a man. How do I fight the devil? How do I resist him? And the answer came almost immediately. There was some jewelry going around a while back (maybe it still is) that was inscribed with the letters WWJD. I’m sure you’ve seen it. And that was the question that came to my mind when I asked God how to resist the devil. What Would Jesus do? And when I asked that question, that answer also came immediately. What did Jesus do when he was being tempted by Satan?
Matthew and Luke tell us the whole story.
Mt. 4:1-11 and Luke 4:1-13 describe in detail. Luke tells a little more than Matthew, so let’s look at Luke. In verse 3, the devil tempts Jesus because he knows that Jesus is hungry. He’s good at that. He knows our weaknesses, and he will use them against us. Verse 2 tells us that Jesus was hungry so the first thing the devil does is tempt him with a piece of bread. And what does Jesus do?
Remember in Ephesians chapter 6, verse 17. It says “…the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God…” Our weapon is a sword, the word of God. The devil knows the word of God better than you or I and he cannot stand to hear it. So what does Jesus do?
He jabs him with the sword. Look at verse 4 in Luke 4. “Jesus answered, “it is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone.”
He does it again in verse 8 and verse 12. “It is written: “Worship the Lord your God and serve Him only.” And again “It says: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.”
He keeps jabbing him with the sword. And what does the devil do? Verse 13… he left him. He could not stand up to the word of God; the sword of the Spirit. Now keep in mind, the devil doesn’t stay away; he will return. See the last part of verse 13. “He left until an opportune time.”
That opportune time for us is when we are away from God. And away from our sword, the word of God. Stay alert, stay in the word, and pray; “always keep on praying” (Eph. 6:18)
1 Thessalonians 5:6 says… So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be awake and sober.” Or alert as some other versions say. And back to 1 Peter 5:8… it says right off to be “self-controlled and alert.”
So, in conclusion, I would say this. The enemy is all around us; tempting us and trying to discourage us. Be alert to all his ways. He’ll even try to start a fight between you and your spouse. If you’re browsing the internet and suddenly a pornographic picture pops up; be alert, it’s the devil. Hit him with a scripture. I like to use Ephesians 5:3… “But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality.”
Remember, if you read my testimony, you know that I was under a strong addiction to porn and that verse has been extremely useful to me. Jab him with your sword. And remember, Jesus had to jab him 3 times so don’t be surprised if it takes you a few more.
Always remember, you have the Spirit of God within you. You are a temple of the Holy Spirit. Listen to Him. He will comfort and guide you in all things.