The battles we’re facing right now can make so much feel uncertain. Every day, new headlines and top stories remind us that we’re not in control. We may even start to wonder how we’ll ever make it through, and the “what if’s” seem to mount up higher.
But there’s also an unseen battle we may not be readily aware of. Day in and day out, we face a real enemy. We may not always see it, we might forget he’s there. It’s often easy to lose focus and get distracted with the other struggles in life.
But the truth is this: spiritual forces are still at work.
And just like a hidden virus that spreads among us causing destruction and disease, the enemy works to do the same. Though the days may feel difficult and scary right now, we don’t have to let him win.
In order to stand strong in the battle, every wise soldier knows he must do one thing.
Know who the enemy is.
When we understand how Satan operates, we’ll have the wisdom to move away from his traps. God has much to say about his devious schemes. And though he never tells us to be afraid, he does remind us to be on guard and to live aware.
God has a plan for our lives. The enemy has a plan for us too. We just have to determine which voice we’re going to listen to, and who we will choose to follow.
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7 Ways Satan Is at Work in COVID19 and How He Tries to Bring Defeat:
1. He works to consume us in doubt, fear and worry. He tries to deceive us into thinking we’re all alone.
He is crafty. He is a schemer. He is cunning and evil. He can never be trusted. He is a master manipulator; don’t fall for his schemes.
“Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden?’” (Genesis 3:1)
“Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 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.” (Ephesians 6:11-12)
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2. He tries to steal, kill, and destroy all that we hold dear. He’s the master of destruction.
Satan is a thief. He comes to steal, kill, and destroy. He will try his best to rob us of all joy, peace, security, and purpose. He works hard to destroy our families, lives, and all that we hold dear.
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy, I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” (John 10:10)
3. He tempts us to rely on ourselves and our own strength to get us through. He disguises himself as an angel of light.
Satan will do anything to try to lure us away from truth, away from God. He knows our weaknesses and will try to tempt us in our greatest times of struggle. He wants us to fall for his traps and he’ll take any opportunity to kick us while we’re down. He is deceptively cunning and can make himself appear beautiful and alluring. He attempts to make sin look good and evil enticing.
“The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” (Matthew 4:3-4)
“And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light.” (2 Corinthians 11:14)
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4. He is the author of confusion. He breeds distrust and paranoia.
He is a deceiver. He will seek to bring confusion and lead many astray, he is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. He is a liar and works hard to make us doubt God’s truth. From the beginning of time, he has hissed lies our way, twisting God’s word to bring doubt and disbelief.
“The great dragon was hurled down—that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray.” (Revelation 12:9)
“…for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” (John 8:44)
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5. He tries to lead us into a downward spiral of depression and despair.
He is our adversary. He prowls around like a roaring lion seeking who he can devour. His attacks are ruthless. He searches for the weakest, most vulnerable victims to devour.
“Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.” (1 Peter 5:8)
6. He causes sickness and disease.
He is Beelzebub, otherwise known as the lord of the flies, the prince of demons. Like flies gravitate to decay and death, he lords over what brings death. He is ruthless and evil and is intent on bringing great suffering and destruction.
“But when the Pharisees heard this, they said, “It is only by Beelzebub, the prince of demons, that this fellow drives out demons.” Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand.” (Matthew 12:24-26)
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7. He works hard to bring disunity and strife. He wants nothing more than to break up the body of Christ.
He is one who hinders. He is a stumbling block. He will do anything to try and prevent the name of Jesus Christ from being proclaimed and His truth from being shared. He will try every trick possible to throw roadblocks in our path and to stop us from being fruitful. He loves to stir up trouble and rumors. If he can divide us through disunity, he knows he has already won part of the battle.
“For we wanted to come to you—certainly I, Paul, did, again and again—but Satan stopped us.” (1 Thessalonians 2:18)
“Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me Satan! You are a stumbling block to me, you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men.” (Matthew 16:23)
We have a choice of who we listen to and what we believe. Recognize who is at the root of fear and worry. Push past his lies; step over his traps.
God gives us the power through His Holy Spirit to live free from the entanglement of sin. He gives us the power to live strong. He gives wisdom and discernment to make the right choices. He gives joy deep inside. He offers the assurance, that no matter what we face, He is with us.
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might.” (Ephesians 6:10)
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5 Ways to Protect Yourself from His Schemes:
Be aware. Stay alert. “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” (1 Peter 5:8)
Submit to God’s authority. Be ruthless with sin, which is an open door for the enemy to work. Resist him and he has to flee. “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” (James 4:7)
Know that in Christ, we are forgiven. You are set free. You have His mighty power working within you. You are more than a conqueror through Christ. “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.” (Romans 8:37)
Put on the armor of God every day. Pray. Take up His word, the sword of the Spirit, which is our only offensive weapon. “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.” (Ephesians 6:11)
Know that He is for you. He is with you. And the enemy does not have the final say over your life. God fights for you, even in times you’re unaware. He’s always working on your behalf, often behind the scenes where you cannot see. And the enemy’s plans will be crushed. “The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet.” (Romans 16:20)
Keep living aware. Keep standing strong. You are never alone.
May His grace, peace, and joy cover your day.
He is with you. And He is greater. Always.
“Greater is He who is in you, than he who is in the world.” (1 John 4:4)
Debbie McDaniel is a writer, pastor's wife, mom to three amazing kids (and a lot of pets). Join her each morning on Fresh Day Ahead's Facebook page, for daily encouragement in living strong, free, hope-filled lives. Find her also on Twitter and at her blog www.debbiemcdaniel.com.
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Originally published Monday, 27 April 2020.