Many Christians are defeated and discouraged today because they have no idea what their purpose is in this world, and they fail to see who their real enemies are.
We must understand that there are two spiritual kingdoms in this world.
Isaiah 14:12-17 How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the Most High.
These verses show the beginning of sin in the heart of Satan, and his desire to replace God on the throne. God cast him out of heaven, along with a large number of angels who followed his rebellion.
Satan opposed God’s authority and established his own kingdom in opposition to God’s kingdom. He thought that God should not have the right to tell him what he should do. Today Satan continues to propagate that lie in this world.
We each one must ask ourselves this question. Does God have the right to rule or does Satan have the right to rule?
Genesis 1:28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the face of the earth.
In this verse, we see that God gave man the right to rule over the earth, but Satan deceived Eve and Adam sinned and lost the right to rule.
Consequently, Satan became a rebel holder of authority. He is called the “God of this world” in II Corinthians 4:4 and the “prince and power of the air” in Ephesians 2:2.
But Praise the Lord, the Word of God became flesh and came to dwell among us. Jesus’ death, resurrection, and ascension secured a final authority.
Matthew 28:18-20 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
We must know our enemies. Around 400 B.C. there was a brilliant Chinese war strategist Sun Tzu who wrote, “Know your enemy and know yourself in your battles. When you are ignorant of the enemy but know yourself, your chances of winning or losing are equal. If you are ignorant of both your enemy and yourself, you are certain to be in great peril.”
Our first enemy is the “world”. The “world” is spoken of in two ways. “World” is spoken of as merely the physical creation. The other term for “world” is the realm of Satan’s control. This “world”, ruled by Satan, is a primary rival for affections and attention.
Romans 12:2 And be not conformed to this world; but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
1 John 2:15-17 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.
The lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life are idols in the Christian’s life. We can become so absorbed with worldly pleasures, prestige, and possessions that we do not have time for the Lord. Every sin that a Christian commits falls into one of these three categories.
Our second enemy is the flesh. Spiritually speaking the “flesh” refers to our rebellious human nature. It is the impulses and willfulness that are in direct opposition to God.
Romans 7:15,18 For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I. Verse 18–For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.
The flesh is that part of us that mimics and opposes the Holy Spirit within us. That is why it is important for us to know our enemies outside and inside. The primary enemy of our flesh is temptation. It attacks through our senses, our desires, and our selfish ego. God’s Word challenges us to put off the flesh.
Colossians 3:1-10 If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory. Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: For which things’ sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience: In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them. But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:
Our third enemy is Satan and his demons. Satan wants us to doubt God’s power.
1 Chronicles 21:1 And Satan stood up against Israel, and provoked David to number Israel.
Satan incited David to take a census, because Satan wanted David to think that there was more power in numbers and than power in God.
Things we must remember about Satan:
He is a deceiver. (1Timothy 4:1-3, Colossians 2:8)
He distorts Scripture for his own purposes. (Matthew 4:1-11)
He is a liar and murderer. (John 8:44)
He promotes false religions. (2 Corinthians 11:1-15)
He hinders believers. (1 Thessalonians 2:18)
He tempts believers to sin. (Genesis 3)
He encourages envy and selfish ambition. (James 3:14)
I recently spoke with a missionary who related this experience that she encountered with Satan’s demonic forces. She said, “As my husband lie dying—in unconsciousness and excruciating pain—a heathen chant began outside the building. When this chant began, my husband began to thrash about like I had never witnessed. I can’t explain it. I quietly began to pray. ‘Lord, give me wisdom. I do not know how to deal with this impossible situation.’ Then all of sudden, God spoke to me in almost an audible way, ‘Begin reading My Word.’ As soon as I began reading God’s Word, demonic forces subsided, and my husband’s body began to relax.”
How many times have we forgotten that God’s power is available to us through His Word? Many times we feel hopeless and powerless as we go through trials and difficulties, and we search for some experience to give us power during those times. …But all the time, His power was available to us, yet we had forgotten it.
1 John 4:4 Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.
Because of our position “In Christ”, His power is available to us now in this world.
Ephesians 1:17-21 That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come.
Ephesians 2:6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:
We have power through Christ to:
Be salt and light to those around me (Matt. 5:13-14)
Be part of the true vine, bear His fruit, and be His friend (John 15:1,5,16)
Be righteous (Rom. 6:18)
Be a son (daughter) of God; God is spiritually my Father (Rom. 8:14,15; Gal. 3:26; 4:6)
Be a new creation (II Cor. 5:17)
Be reconciled to God and be a minister of reconciliation (II Cor. 5:18,19)
Be an heir of God because I am a son (daughter) of God (Gal. 4:6,7)
Be God’s workmanship to do His work (Eph. 2:10)
Be righteous, holy, and an overcomer (Eph. 4:24; I John 5:4)
Be victorious over the devil (I John 5:18)
Oh Father, help me not to be weary in well doing this day. Empower me with Your strength. Show me my real enemies. Protect me from all the fiery darts that the wicked one might hurl at me today. Give me spiritual eyes to see all his evil strategies and attacks against Your children. Thank You, Lord, that You are greater than he that is in the world.