Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.
Our only real enemy is Satan. He runs a government, an army and millions of deceived citizens. It's a complex hierarchy only God fully comprehends--although Satan's strategies are spotlighted in various parts of the Bible.*
When I became a committed Christian, the truth of who my enemy was and who he was not amazed me. For decades, I battled my husband, myself--and anybody else I believed to be wrong or unfair. I saw myself as a crusader for justice.
But I didn't know real justice, nor the real Judge. Neither had I studied His Writings. Consequently, any victories I thought I won were shallow and short-lived. Therein, step one in knowing our enemy is knowing our Friend, Who is Jesus.
An intimate relationship with Him is an absolute prerequisite to successful spiritual warfare. Because He fights for us and through us. By the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, we become His family, His followers and His army. Apart from Him, we lose. With Him, we win.
'For the Lord your God is the One Who goes with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you' (Deuteronomy 20:4). Because 'Through God we will do valiantly, for It is He Who shall tread down our enemies' (Psalm 108:13). 'If God is for us, who can be against us?' (Romans 8:31).
But what of those who neither know their enemy nor live in God? What of those who love good and hate evil, but live in places of extreme persecution? How can they fight against the wiles of the devil? You can help them. You must help them. It's your duty. So, study your enemy, Satan.
'He is the enemy of God and the adversary of man. He seeks power and recognition for himself, arrogantly resisting and rebelling against God. He is rebellious, evil, cunning, and unteachable. He persists with his devious work. In his ambition and efforts to further his own position, he willingly sacrifices mankind and indeed all creation. He may approach us as an ally, but sooner or later he is unmasked as our adversary, a deadly foe' (Bob Deffinbaugh).*
To Be Continued...
* Strongly Suggested Reading: "Satan's Part in God's Perfect Plan." I believe it is an enlightened, well-organized and well-documented article: https://bible.org/seriespage/satan’s-part-god’s-perfect-plan
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Acting School series.