The material yesterday on Satan and spiritual warfare was so critical that I wanted to record it in written form so that you guys can dig into it deeper and so that those of you who were away can catch up. Life is a pitched battle and we have to know how to fight!
We talked about Satan's identity, his strategy, and how we can resist.
He is an angelic being who used to serve in the presence of God but rebelled against God and was thrown out of His presence. He took other angels with him (called demons today) and today is in active opposition to God, to the church and to individuals. He is the enemy (his name literally means "opposer" or adversary") of everything holy and good and beautiful.
He devours (1 Peter 5:8) - he wants to eat us alive. He wants to devour our bodies,our relationships, our health, our souls.
He accuses (Revelation 12:10 ff) - he accuses us before God and attempts to put thoughts in our head which are self-accusatory and accusatory of others.
He deceives - Jesus calls him the "father of lies". He wants nothing more than for us to miss the truth about God, life, ourselves.
We fall prey to his strategy when we enter into "agreements" with his plan, his accusations, his lies. Often this is an unconscious process, but we subtly buy into his spin and believe things like "No one can ever love me"; "This sin is no big deal"; "I married the wrong person"; "I can stop anytime I want": "God does not really care".
James nails it in 4:7: "Submit yourselves to God; resist the devil and he will flee from you".
1. Submit. Every area of our lives must be examined and given over to God's authority.
2. Resist. Consciously decide not to believe the lies and turn to the truth. Ask God to show you areas of your life where you have made agreements with the enemy and forcibly renounce them.
Satan is a formidable foe but he has been defeated by God through the death and resurrection of Jesus. We share in Jesus' authority and can experience all the fullness of life he wants us to have, not the darkness and deceit of the Evil One.
What's your next step?