Do you know that you have an enemy? It's true. In fact, we all have an enemy - the devil - and it's very important for us to understand who he is, or we will be defeated in life.
I went to church for years and didn't know the devil was real; I thought he was just a cartoon character in a red outfit with a pitchfork. I never heard a message about the devil and how we can have authority over him. I did get a good foundation of what salvation is, and I'm very thankful for that. But I wasn't living a victorious life in Christ because I didn't understand who the enemy is, that he is the author of my problems, and that I need to aggressively resist him.
If you're thinking, "Joyce, I don't want to talk about the devil," I understand. But the devil has strategies and plans to come against you, so the worst thing you can do is ignore him. That's why I want to help you get informed about who he is so you can know how to recognize when he's at work in your life and how to defeat him.
Because the good news is, through Christ, you can be more than a conqueror and overcome the attacks of the enemy (Romans 8:37).
WE'RE IN A SPIRITUAL WAR
In 2 Corinthians 10:4 (AMPC), the Bible says, "For the weapons of our warfare are not physical [weapons of flesh and blood], but they are mighty before God for the overthrow and destruction of strongholds." This verse makes it clear that our battle is not against flesh and blood.
In other words, people are not the source of our problems. People can create problems, but we need to realize that the enemy works through people, and if we just deal with them, we're not getting to the root cause of the issues in our lives.
Now, there are several reasons why we have trouble: We live in a fallen world and experience the effects of sin; we disobey God and make poor choices; and we are directly attacked by the devil. I want to focus on the ways and reasons why the enemy brings trouble into our lives.
IT'S HIS NATURE
The Bible teaches that Satan (another name for the devil), was formerly called Lucifer. He was created by God as an angel with a free will. He was an archangel and had great power and responsibility. Some biblical scholars believe he was the angel in charge of worship.
Ezekiel 28:13-15 says he was covered with precious stones, he was the anointed cherub and he was blameless in his ways from the day he was created until he turned against God (AMPC).
Isaiah 14:12-15 explains that he is fallen from heaven because he said in his heart: "I will ascend to heaven; I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will sit upon the mount of assembly in the uttermost north. I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High" (AMPC). He used his free will to try and be like God, yet he was brought down by Him.
When Satan fell from heaven, he took a third of the angels with him; therefore, the devil and his demonic hosts are alive in the earth today. They are the evil in this world, and we can't be lazy Christians and expect to overcome them.
KEYS TO DEFEATING YOUR ENEMY
The devil has power, but Jesus came to put him in his place and deliver us from the power of the enemy. First John 3:8 (NKJV) says, "... For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil." When we accept Christ as our Saviour and come into a personal relationship with Him, we gain access to the authority and power of God in our lives.
John 10:10 says that the enemy comes to steal, kill and destroy, but Jesus came to give us life - abundant life! And John 8:32 says God's truth sets us free. See, when we know the Word and who we are in Christ, then we can recognize the lies of the enemy and how he is trying to work in our lives. We can stand our ground by faith in God, submit ourselves to Him completely and resist the devil, and the enemy must flee! (See James 4:7; 1 Peter 5:9.)
There are so many scriptures that help us know how to overcome evil in the world and live victoriously over sin and the enemy. For example, Romans 12:21 says we overcome evil with good; 1 John 4:4 reminds us that Christ, who lives in us, is greater than the enemy in the world; and Colossians 1:13-14 (NKJV) says God "has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins."
Here's some more truth for you: God loves you and He has plans for your life that are good... that will prosper you and give you hope. Make a determined decision to aggressively pursue your relationship with God in prayer and through studying His Word. By God's grace, you can defeat the attacks of the enemy and have the victorious, more-than-a-conqueror life Jesus died to give you!