The True Enemy
“For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 6:12)
Satan, demons, the evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, the evil spirits: these are our real enemies. They crave for us to obey our sinful nature and to reject the Holy Spirit, God, and Jesus. Every time you are obedient to God you are fighting against this enemy. Movies, television, and numerous books on the subject have certainly added their own opinions and perception on the topic, but let’s get back to the basics of what the Bible says regarding our enemy.
First: God has authority so we don’t need to fear.
“But Jesus reprimanded him. ‘Be quiet! Come out of the man,’ he ordered. At that, the demon threw the man to the floor as the crowd watched; then it came out of him without hurting him further. Amazed, the people exclaimed, ‘What authority and power this man’s words possess! Even evil spirits obey him, and they flee at his command!’” (Luke 4:35-36)
“You say you have faith, for you believe that there is one God. Good for you! Even the demons believe this, and they tremble in terror.” (James 2:19)
“Dear friends, do not believe everyone who claims to speak by the Spirit. You must test them to see if the spirit they have comes from God. For there are many false prophets in the world. But you belong to God, my dear children. You have already won a victory over those people, because the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world.” (1 John 4:1, 4)
Second: God has given authority and power to us.
“Look, I have given you authority over all the power of the enemy, and you can walk among snakes and scorpions and crush them. Nothing will injure you.” (Luke 10:19)
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)
“The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you.” (Romans 8:11)
“I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:13)
Third: God tells us the action we can take.
“So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”(James 4:7)
You want to make the devil run? Resist him. When you feel the pull to temptation, resist. It is the act of resisting the devil that causes him to run away from us.
“But I am not surprised! Even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no wonder that his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. In the end they will get the punishment their wicked deeds deserve.” (2 Corinthians 11:14-15)
“Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 6:11-12)
“Afterward, when Jesus was alone in the house with his disciples, they asked him, ‘Why couldn’t we cast out that evil spirit?’ Jesus replied, ‘This kind can be cast out only by prayer.’” (Mark 9:28-29)
“Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.” (James 5:16)
We’ve talked a lot about confession and its importance in our lives, and here we have an application of this importance. We cannot grow in righteousness while living with unconfessed sin, and each Christian should be pursuing righteousness (1 Timothy 6:11, 2 Timothy 2:22.) When we grow in righteousness we see there is great power in the earnest prayer of the righteous person, and according to Jesus, some evil spirits can only be cast out by prayer. Conduct your life in such a way that your prayers have power; confess your sins and pursue righteousness.
“Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.” (Ephesians 6:14-18)
Satan loses, as do all who follow him. God has authority over demons and God has given us the Holy Spirit and, through him, power. We can resist Satan by living obedient lives, pursuing righteousness, praying, and growing the Holy Spirit within us so we can put on the full armor of God. We have everything we need in God, His Word, the Holy Spirit, and our faith to stand firm in this fight against the real enemy. Plant your feet firmly, not on Hollywood myths and man-made writings, but on the eternal, powerful, Truthful Word of God.
May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.