Know Your Enemy

It is officially one of my favorite times of the year. College football season has begun. Saturday’s games will be here soon.  Players are currently preparing for their upcoming games in a couple of different ways.

They will prepare physically by getting out on the field and running drills and practicing plays, and many will get in the weight room to lift weights so that they can be stronger for the next challenge that they face.

One of the ways they will prepare mentally is by watching film. They will watch film of their own game, to see where they might be able to improve.  But they will also watch film of their upcoming opponent to learn how that team plays, what strategies they might use, and what kind of thing they need to be preparing for specifically to face that team.

There is great value on knowing your enemy, and not just on the football field. It is imperative that we in the church do all that we can to prepare for our ongoing fight against our adversary, the devil.  There are several things the Bible teaches us about Satan that we can be prepared to face.

He is a Deceiver.  Revelation 12:9 speaks of “the great dragon…the ancient serpent who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world.” The deceiver of the whole world, the father of lies (John 8:44) has been doing what he does from the beginning.  He has been lying and deceiving humanity into turning away from God and committing sin.

He is a Disguiser.  Paul wrote in 2 Cor. 11:14 that “Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.”  I would expect nothing less from “the deceiver of the whole world.”  But he’s not working alone.  He has many servants in this world and they too are often disguised “as servants of righteousness” (2 Cor. 11:15).  Countless souls are being led away from the truth by these servants of Satan who look like (and make themselves out to be) servants of God.

He is a Devourer.  Many of us probably learned as children that “your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour” (1 Pet. 5:8).  My cat is certainly not a lion, but she maintains some of those same basic instincts that her much larger cousins possess.  Every now and then she decides to “kill” one of her toys by lowering herself into a pounce position, waiting for the perfect moment, and then, in a flash, pouncing on the unsuspecting “prey” and delivering the “killing” blow.  In many ways, it’s not that different than how a lion hunts on the African plains. And it’s not that different from how Satan hunts, watching us and waiting until that precise moment when the time is right to strike.  And he hunts to kill.

So be on your guard brethren.  Prepare yourself for battle (Eph. 6:10-18) and know your enemy.

Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.  (Eph. 6:11)

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