For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.
...The devil, the commander of the powers in the unseen world. He is the spirit at work in the hearts of those who refuse to obey God.
As any seasoned soldier would affirm, you must know a villain to defeat him. Because if you don't recognize his ways (a.k.a. the enemy's devices), he'll keep hitting you with surprise attacks. Defending yourself is unsuccessful, assisting others is ineffective, and defeating him seems impossible.
But this bad guy dresses up quite nicely. He's not just infiltrated our culture, he's pinned it through a media chokehold. He's 'The prince of the power of the air' (Ephesians 2:2), and he has many battle strategies. For now, consider two of his zappers:
1) To win unsuspecting prey to his side with a stream of entertaining exploits: to dazzle, frazzle and dumb people down until they follow his cons as groupies. He chains them with varying addictions--many of which seem common and harmless, but over time... they can become fatal.
2) To permeate the church with worldliness, because baby faith doesn't know enough, and pretend faith is all about winning: not the crown to be laid at the King's Feet, but prizes, possessions and positions--like earth's other crown princes like to wear. Many churches have crumbled from their weight.
Actors, models and talent for Christ: When Peter spoke of worldly concerns (concerns that appeared reasonable), Jesus made sure we knew their true source: Satan, the King Con of worldliness. Therefore, if you get irritated or angry with another person who is speaking wrong or evil thoughts, remember who the enemy is.
Learn to wage spiritual warfare.* Although Jesus won the victory, personal battles must still be fought until He returns to earth as King.
To Be Continued...
* After God, my favorite Christian author on Spiritual Warfare, Derek Prince: http://www.derekprince.org
* Previous AMTC Devotion series, Soldier's Orders: http://amtcdevotions.org/soldiers-orders-part-1-the-baby-brigade
* Previous AMTC Devotion series, The Armor Of God: http://amtcdevotions.org/the-armor-of-god-dont-leave-home-without-it
* Previous AMTC Devotion series, The Enemy's Game: http://amtcdevotions.org/the-enemys-game-part-1-when-we-left
* Previous AMTC Devotion series, Deliverance: http://amtcdevotions.org/deliverance-part-1-what-about-it
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Matthew 16 series.