Understanding the Enemy
Posted by May 8, 2018on
The Bible says the Christian’s struggle isn’t against flesh and blood. So just what exactly are we to be fighting against? Who is our real enemy?
Pop quiz! You have five minutes to take out a blank sheet of paper and pen and jot down the names of all your enemies. Are you ready? Go!
Not many people come to mind, right? That’s okay. It’s a good thing that you aren’t penning down names lickety-split. But there is one name that should be on your list—in fact, he should be on all of our lists.
He is “your adversary the devil.” He’s the deceiver, the accuser, the tempter, the god of this world. He’s the one who “walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour,” and there’s nothing he’d like more than to spiritually destroy you (1 Peter 5:8).
To Peter, Christ said, “Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat” (Luke 22:31).
Satan has asked for you. Other translations say he “demanded,” “desired” or “requested” Peter. And it wasn’t just Peter he was after. He wants to sift all of us. He wants to shake our faith until we have none left. He punches us with adversity, hoping we won’t stand our ground. He wants us to give up.
He’s our enemy, and we’re his.
Satan’s main objective
But we’re not his only enemy. He sees God as an enemy too. From the beginning of man’s history, Satan has been trying to thwart God’s plan. It started with Adam, Eve and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. He has most of the world deceived (Revelation 12:9). Now his main attack is against those who aren’t deceived.
You and me—God’s people.
God wants you to be a part of His family, ruling the earth alongside Jesus Christ. But Satan doesn’t want to see you make it into God’s family. That’s why he’s going after you. He’s trying to make following God’s commandments as hard as possible.
Satan is very active behind the scenes, and he doesn’t rest when it comes to trying to tear us down.
An unusual trial
Imagine you’re in a courtroom. You’re not just watching the trial, though. You’re on trial. You’re the one being tried. Your defense attorney is Jesus Christ. You sit restlessly with your hands folded on the desk, waiting for the opening statements.
Your eyes scan the room. There, on the other side, you see the prosecutor—Satan. Standing up from his seat, he points a stern finger at you, and with menacing eyes and a raised voice, he proceeds to accuse you. He charges you with disloyalty. He says that your allegiance is fake.
Does this really happen somewhere in the third heaven? Well, not in these exact terms, but Revelation 12:10 tells us that Satan accuses us day and night.
Behind the scenes
On a day when the angels gathered together before God to give a report, Satan came in among them. God, noticing him, asked, “Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil?” (Job 1:8).
Notice Satan’s response:
“Does Job fear God for nothing? Have You not made a hedge around him, around his household, and around all that he has on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. But now, stretch out Your hand and touch all that he has, and he will surely curse You to Your face!” (Job 1:9-11).
There it is. In only four sentences we can see why Satan is called our accuser. He challenges our motives. He tries to sow seeds of doubt. He tells God that we only obey for His blessings. In essence, he says, we’re only in this race for ourselves.
We aren’t alone
No matter how hard it gets to withstand Satan’s temptations, remember these words by Jesus Christ: “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you might have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).
Jesus Christ, our perfect example, is on our side. He’s the One who intercedes on our behalf. He’s our advocate. He vouches for us. When we sin and fall short and ask for God’s forgiveness, He is there to help—not accuse.
To study more about God as our advocate, study our list of “23 Encouraging Bible Verses About Help.”