He’s as wily as they come.
He knows all the tricks-of-the-trade and is quite the seducer when it comes to tantalizing enticements. But, once crossed, he is hell-bent on destroying anyone who dares to defy him.
What’s the name of this, the “World’s Greatest Terrorist?”
Is he a member of Al-Qaeda? Hamas? Hezbollah? Or, some other subversive, underground terrorist organization?
No, none of the above.
He’s known as “satan, the devil, the adversary, prince of the power of the air, god of this world, accuser of the brethren, a liar and the father of lies, Beelzebub, the wicked one, etc.” (I Chronicle 21:1; I Peter 5:8; Ephesians 2:2; II Corinthians 4:4; Revelation 12:9-10; John 8:44; Matthew 12:24; 13:19, 38).
And, again, he knows how to lure others over to his “dark side” — for, by nature we’re prone to follow him. But, once we’ve been awakened to the Truth, realize who he is and what he’s about, he becomes one of our fiercest foes, “going about as a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour” (I Peter 5:8).
Now, he’s a brilliant strategist when it comes to spiritual warfare. He knows our three “Achilles’ Tendons” (I John 2:16) and our tendency to be “drawn away by our own lusts” (James 1:14-15). So, he uses the world’s fads and fashions, views and value to tempt us, trying to convince us (as he did Adam and Eve) that God doesn’t mean what He says when it comes to right-and-wrong. Then, once he has “blinded the minds of them who don’t believe lest the light of the glorious Gospel of Christ should shine unto them” (II Cor. 4:4), he “takes them captive at his will” (II Timothy 2:26), essentially making them his spiritual puppets.
That’s why a drunk finds it virtually impossible to quit drinking because he’s a captive to the bottle. That’s why a druggie struggles with being free of his addiction (satan’s stronghold). That’s why one bound by pornography or some other sexual immorality keeps committing the same sins (or worse) over and over.
The only One Who can free them is Jesus, the “Liberator of the soul” (Isaiah 61:1-3; Jn. 8:36; 10:10). And, that will only happen when one cries out to Him when he finds himself at “his wit’s end” (Psalm 107:26-27).
Thankfully, He moves quickly and decisively when He hears the cry of the “contrite, broken heart” (Psalm 51:17). He specializes in “New Beginnings” and “Wrecks Rebuilt” (II Cor. 5:17; Ezekiel 37:1-14). And, by taking up residence in the heart of those who believe, He enables the former slave to satan to become “more than a conqueror through Him—for greater is He (Jesus) Who’s within us than he (the devil) who is in the world” (I Jn. 4:4). Hallelujah!!
The key to this victory is Faith (simple trust) and surrender (I Jn. 5:4; Jeremiah 18:1-6; Romans 12:1-2; Galatians 2:20). By daily “denying ourselves, dying to ourselves and dedicating ourselves to walk in Jesus’ footsteps” (Luke 9:23), we unleash Jesus’ Resurrection Power to operate in our lives.
This will not happen without a battle — for the devil hates it when the Savior plucks anyone from his fiendish grasp. He knows he cannot “kill or destroy us” for an eternity in hell (Jn. 10:10a), but he’ll do everything he can to disable, discourage, disillusion, depress, etc., those who’ve become Christ’s followers.
Therefore, we must be “as wise as a serpent and as gentle as a dove” (Mt. 10:16), which means we must know how a snake acts, but not act like him. Instead, we must don “the full Christian armor” (Eph. 6:10-18) and “fight the good fight, finish our course and keep the Faith as good soldiers of the Cross who don’t entangle themselves in the affairs of this life” (II Timothy 2:3-4; 4:7).
Here’s hoping you’re “fighting that good fight,” dear Reader; if not, there’s no better time than right now to begin doing so. Cry out to Jesus and know He’ll hear and answer you (Ps. 107:28-30; Romans 10:9-10, 13). Then, get in the Battle and wage war against satan’s forces of darkness — rescuing as many as you can before it’s eternally too late (II Tim. 2:25-26). God bless you.
To contact Bro. Tom or receive his daily e-mail devotional, entitled “Morning Manna,” write him at P.O. Box 10614, Fort Smith, AR 72917 or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.