A few nights ago, I went to my son’s 8th grade night at the high school he will be attending in the fall. I was not a novice of this night…I knew the boring lecture that would be offered, the clubs that would be promoted, and the skits that would be presented. I had gone through this night with all three of my girls when they were in 8th grade. There were two reasons why I attended this night. One, this would be my last 8th grade night. Two, my 11th grade daughter was performing a routine for the Color Guard.
As I sat there, I knew the skits they would present…every year it was the same. However, little did I know that this year would be different for me. The drama department always put on the same skit as they do every year. A coach would be yelling at the upcoming freshman who played sports. What he was yelling at them would always be the same… “You need to know your enemy!”
Sitting there in the stuffy gym, seeing this skit for the 3rd time…the Lord quickened my heart. He said, “You need to know your enemy.”
So many times, I think we forget that we are in war. This war is not a war of flesh and blood…we don’t fight against people, but we fight against principalities, powers, and rulers of the darkness of this age. (Ephesians 6:12)
Not only do we forget that we are at war, but I think many Christians think that if they focus on their enemy…somehow, someway that gives Satan power. I’m here to tell you…to call on you…to yell at you like that coach in the skit… “You need to know your enemy!”
The Word tells us in 2 Corinthians 2:11
“Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.”
We should not be ignorant of the plans that the enemy uses to try to gain an advantage on us. Just like we don’t want our children unprepared to face what they will in this life…neither does God want us unprepared! God does not want ignorant children!
So, how do we know our enemy? Look at 1 Peter 5:8
“Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”
One…we need to be self-controlled! We don’t need to give in to everything our flesh desires! We need to practice spiritual disciplines consistently…like reading the Word, prayer, meditation, and fasting.
Two…we need to be alert! We need to be watching for ways that the enemy comes in. Be on guard…ALWAYS! If we are being self-controlled and practicing daily discipline…then it will be easier to recognize our enemy. If we know the face and voice of God…we will see and hear the enemy for who he is…A LIAR!
We need to know what kind of devices the enemy uses to defeat us in this battle.
Does he use depression? Anxiety? Sexual Sin? Unforgiveness? Hate? Greed? Lust? Selfishness? Gossip? What are the devices he uses in your life?
When we know the devices or strategies the enemy uses to try to defeat us, then we are better prepared to fight. We can use our armor to stand against the devil in the day of evil.
We can use the:
Belt of Truth: to remind the enemy of our new identity in Christ. We can also remind him of who God is. Last but not least, we can remind him of who he is…a defeated foe!
Breastplate of Righteousness: to remind the enemy of the righteousness that we have in Christ Jesus. It is no longer we who live, but Christ in us! Our righteousness is like filthy rags…but Christ put His righteousness in us!
Shoes of Peace: to remind the enemy of what Christ did on the cross. We can also tell of Christ’s work in us to others! (the enemy hates this!)
Shield of Faith: It is impossible to defeat your enemy without faith…for two reasons: 1) it is impossible to please God without faith. (Hebrews 11:6) 2) Faith allows us the ability to extinguish all the fiery darts of our enemy!
Helmet of Salvation: Our minds are the very battle ground that the enemy fights us. Every action begins with a thought. We don’t become depressed over night…it happens over a period of time, with thoughts upon thoughts. We need to renew our mind daily! (Romans 12:2)
Sword of the Spirit: We need to speak the Word of God over those devices that the enemy uses. If he uses sexual sin as a device, then speak God’s Words of purity over your life. If he uses anxiety…then find scriptures that deal with peace and speak them over you! This Sword is a very powerful weapon! It will cut the enemy down, cut the enemy out, and cut away what it is within us!
I can guarantee you that if you begin to practice daily disciplines of prayer, reading and speaking the Word, fasting, meditating, and knowing the devices the enemy uses…you will begin to see breakthrough in your life!