Well at last! I’m finally getting around to a subject that has been a real sticking point with many of our brothers and sisters since a certain wily serpent conversed with Eve in the Garden of Eden. Many of these early topics from Wednesday night will be new to many of you, but a few of you have been in our Wednesday group for a couple of years now may find these familiar.
My prayer is that you will be well fed by what the Holy Spirit reveals to you and that you will share with as many of your friends and loved ones as you find receptive.
God Bless You All Mightily!
Let’s start by recognizing the traits and purpose of our enemy, the devil. We also call him Satan. A brilliant theologian and great man of God named Warren Wiersbe wrote a book that is legendary in its clarity and scriptural soundness and he defined these best in his book The Strategies of Satan.
- Wiersbe said Satan had four main functions on earth and these are supported by Scripture:Satan the Deceiver (Genesis 3)-after God created man and woman and enjoyed communion with them in the Garden of Eden, along came Satan to throw confusion, independence and deception into His perfect creation. The devil, as we know, is the father of lies and this was his first weapon against mankind. What he did was really simple and he does the same thing today: First, he questions God’s instructions-“did God say?”; second, he tells Eve a lie-“God did not say!” and then the final step is his substitution of another lie of his own-“for God knows that when you eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, you will be just like God!” Satan has been doing this to mankind ever since and he is good at it!
- Satan the Destroyer (The Book of Job)-God created man in His image, perfect, complete and designed to walk in close communion with Him. He made our bodies to be Temples of the Holy Spirit and this is a prime target of our enemy. Think of all the ways we make ourselves independent of God’s purpose and plan for our lives. Job was righteous in God’s eyes but the devil sought permission to attack his body, but not kill him. The attacks got so bad that Job’s own wife told him, “Curse God and Die!” No one’s loved ones want to see someone they care for suffer but here is the lesson for us: Be patient for God’s will, His purpose and plan to be worked out in us before we just give up. Satan loves it when we give up on God and become impatient and independent.
- Satan the Ruler of this World (1 & 2 Samuel; 1 Kings)-This tale of two kings is the story about what happens when God anoints rulers over His people and then those kings become rebellious and separate themselves from God Himself, Who gave them their position and authority. Just as all authority in heaven and on earth was given to Jesus by our Father, David and Saul were given authority and power on earth. SO HAVE WE!! We can be independent of anyone and anything on earth but never independent of God. Anointings from God can be gained and lost, as these two kings learned, but we must always remain close to Him in Jesus’ Name!
- Satan as the Accuser of the Brethren (Zechariah 3)-picture yourself in heaven before the Throne of Grace. There is a man named Joshua and he is the High Priest in the Temple in Jerusalem. He is dressed in his priestly clothes, but they are filthy and not presentable to our Father. This is a real picture of warfare. Satan has accused him of unworthiness and uncleanness but God doesn’t acknowledge it. Instead, he rebukes the accuser from His righteous throne and Satan remains SILENT for the remainder of the trial. Our Father orders His angel to re-clothe Joshua in clean garments and a new turban to be placed on his head. END OF TRIAL! Here’s the best part: We have a higher place in God’s kingdom than the devil and we may BOLDLY go before the Throne of Grace in faith, knowing that the enemy is defeated. Never forget that! After the trial, God has made a promise to Joshua and this promise is for all of us-Walk in His ways, perform His service and we will govern in His house with free access among those who dwell in heaven.
These are foundational truths in recognizing the tricks and character of our archenemy, Satan. When people are troubling to you, pray for them and remember what we learned in Ephesians 6:12-“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of darkness in this world, and against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.