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November 08, 2016

A Very Real Opponent

“…in order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes.” 

— 2 Corinthians 2:11 

“Life is a hard fight, a struggle, a wrestling with the principle of evil, hand to hand, foot to foot. Every inch of the way is disputed.” 
— Florence Nightingale 

Jesus was God in the flesh and He talked a lot about Satan. He referred to Satan twenty-five times during His time on earth. He also dealt with demons on a regular basis. When tempted in the desert for forty days, Jesus didn’t engage a mind over matter or positive thinking approach in order to resist the temptation. He instead recognized the source of His temptation. “Then Jesus said to him, ‘Away with you, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the LORD your God, and Him only you shall serve’” (Matthew 4:10 NKJ).

The apostle Paul warned us to stay alert “in order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes” (2 Corinthians 2:11). Did you get that? The evil one has schemes and is trying to outwit us. We must never forget that there is an actual enemy with a legion of demonic troops that controls this world and who is working behind the scenes to defeat us. It’s real. There are unseen battles continually taking place all around us.

Ephesians 6:12 makes it clear that the war is real and certainly relevant. “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”( NKJ)

Those who win this fight against the enemy and experience victory must diligently protect themselves by putting on the full armor of God. “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes” (Ephesians 6:10-11 NIV).

God’s armor is the helmet of salvation to protect your mind by taking captive every thought to the obedience of Christ. It is also comprised of the breastplate of righteousness to keep your heart safe and pure by reading the Word of God and allowing the Holy Spirit to breathe life and meaning into His words. Having your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace is necessary to stand firm in your beliefs and to always be prepared to share the gospel. You must wear the belt of truth in order to walk with integrity and speak the truth in love. Take upon yourself the shield of faith to extinguish the attacks of the enemy. You should also employ the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.

This fight we are in is very real and we have a full arsenal of armor to equip us. Through the power of God’s Word, by wearing His armor, and by persevering in prayer, we can stand firm and trust God to see us through.

This devotional is an excerpt from Ignite Your Faith by Dr. Tim Clinton & Max Davis.

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