We are all saddened when we hear of terrorists who murder public officials or military personnel, such as in the Chattanooga, Tennessee, area. The FBI and other government agencies are working day and night to identify individuals who have might have been converted by ISIS to become jihadists for their cause. ISIS has skillfully learned how to use Twitter and Facebook to influence others to their thinking.
Do you realize we have an enemy who is also out to kill us? Do you know who he is, what his weak points are and his strong points? This enemy is Satan the Devil! He uses every means at his disposal to influence mankind to his way and to his philosophy. Just as any general tries to learn the weaknesses and strengths of his enemies, he has a certain way of operating. Are you able to spot Satan working against you, your family or society? He is using the cultural tools of the modern era to influence society to his way of life and thinking.
In Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians, we read that God has basically called the weak of the world (1 Corinthians 1:26-28 1 Corinthians 1:26-28 26 For you see your calling, brothers, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called:
27 But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God has chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;
28 And base things of the world, and things which are despised, has God chosen, yes, and things which are not, to bring to nothing things that are:
American King James Version×). Our enemy, the Devil, will attack us where we are the weakest. We all have weaknesses that we strive to overcome. Be aware that this is one of the major areas that our enemy will endeavor to exploit. The devil is compared to a devouring lion in 1 Peter 5:8 1 Peter 5:8Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walks about, seeking whom he may devour:
American King James Version×. Notice what the God’s Word Translation states: “Keep your mind clear, and be alert. Your opponent the devil is prowling around like a roaring lion as he looks for someone to devour.” A lion will generally go after the weak, the crippled, or the loners. A president who mingles in a large crowd and gets away from the secret service becomes an easier target. If we get away from God, and neglect prayer and Bible study, we make ourselves an easy target. Our strength comes from the power of God and our reliance on Him to lead and guide us.
There are two warnings to a Christian on how to avoid being devoured by our enemy, the devil.
1. First, we are told to be sober and to have self-control.
What chance would a drunk person have against a lion? God gives us a sound mind and self-control.
2. Second, we are also admonished to be vigilant—to be awake and watchful.
We need to know when the enemy is around. Just as the FBI and other agencies are striving to stay aware of how ISIS is influencing people to their philosophy, so must we be aware of Satan’s approach.
Peter admonishes us to resist our enemy (1 Peter 5:9 1 Peter 5:9Whom resist steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brothers that are in the world.
American King James Version×). Resist means to withstand or to be firm against. We need to oppose and stand against Satan’s way of life. His way appeals to the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life. We resist by being steadfast (strong and immovable) in the faith. We need to saturate our minds with God’s words of life. As Christ stated, “The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life” (John 6:63 John 6:63It is the spirit that vivifies; the flesh profits nothing: the words that I speak to you, they are spirit, and they are life.
American King James Version×). The more our thoughts are flooded with God’s mind, the more we will be able to resist and overcome.
We are warned by the apostle Paul not to let Satan take advantage of us (2 Corinthians 2:11 2 Corinthians 2:11Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.
American King James Version×). We are not ignorant of his devices. You don’t give your enemy the advantage. A boxer would never get into the ring with his opponent with one hand tied behind his back. Satan has the advantage when we are not close to God. Our advantage comes from drawing near to God as James 4:8 James 4:8Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double minded.
American King James Version×states: “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” If you are going to be in a spiritual fight, you want the greatest power in the universe on your side, close to you.
We are not ignorant of his thoughts or reasoning against us. We are not ignorant of how he works: He wants to destroy us individually and ultimately society as a whole. Stay close to Almighty God and He will stay close to you. Remember, the power is on our side.