We have been studying our three worst enemies. Two weeks ago we studied the world. Last week we studied the flesh. This week we are going to study the devil.
The devil is the enemy of God and God’s people – he goes about as a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour [1 Pet 5:8] – if you study the characteristics of lions, you will be much more aware of how the devil can attack you and thus you will be more vigilant to stay out of his line of attack.
The devil is absolutely opposed to the truth of the gospel and the words of God. When a lost person is presented with the gospel, the devil is right there to blind his mind from the light of the glorious gospel of Christ [2 Cor 4:3-4]. If the word gets into the heart of a lost man, the devil is there to steal it before it has a chance to do him any good [Lk 8:12]. And if the fellow actually begins to believe what he is reading or hearing from the word of God, the devil is right there to cause him to doubt what he believes [Gen 3:1].
One of the main tools the devil uses to throw people off is deception. He is the master deceiver [Rev 12:9] who deceives the whole world. He has just about convinced the whole world to believe that good is bad and bad is good, that darkness is light and that light is darkness, and that he is right and that Jesus is wrong. The world has bought the lie [2 Thes 2:10] and is on the brink of total delusion.
Paul was concerned about the devil getting an advantage over the church at Corinth [2 Cor 2:11]. And he told them that he was not ignorant of the devil’s devices. You need to be aware that the devil is potentially a very active force in the life of a Christian. That’s why the Lord has given each of us the whole armor of God [Eph 6:10-18]. The devil can:
· Hinder you 1 Thes 2:18 [he kept Paul from getting to the Thessalonians]
· Fill your heart Acts 5:1-5 [he caused Ananias to lie to God about superficial spirituality]
· Corrupt your mind 2 Cor 11:3 [he can deceive you about the simplicity that is in Christ]
· Take you captive at his will 2 Tim 2:25-26 [he can trap you when you do not acknowledge the truth]
· Tempt you Lk 4:1-8 [at all times and in all ways]
· Speak audibly through you Matt 16:23 [like he did through Peter when he rebuked Jesus for saying that he was going to suffer]
· Condemn you 1 Tim 3:6 [like he does preachers as a result of pride]
· Ensnare you 1 Tim 3:7 [like he does preachers by en evil report]
· Destroy your flesh 1 Cor 5:5 [when you get into sin]
In order to fight against these devices, you need to put on the whole armor of God and you need to follow what the Bible says regarding our spiritual warfare. See the weapons in our Unknown Bible Question Archive under What effect can the devil have on your mind?
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