Know the Enemy

based on the Love God Greatly Study, The Armor of God / w1d2
Scripture: Ephesians 6:12 / SOAP 6:12

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world rulers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavens.

Ephesians 6:12

Just as it is crucial for us to be prepared for the battles that are lurking around us, it is equally important to know who our enemy is and who he is not. Why? Because if we do not know him we will more easily fall prey to his lies and deceptions when he comes for us. Likewise, if we do not understand who he ‘is not’, ie “flesh and blood,” or as explains, our enemies are “not people or objects. Instead, they are “part of the demonic armies”, or as Paul defines them: “rulers… powers… world rulers of darkness… and spiritual forces of evil.” They are dangerous and can only be overcome when we are standing ready in the strength and the power of our God.

Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8

It isn’t enough to know what God has said, Eve knew what He said and she even repeated it to the serpent [the enemy] but she still succumbed and submitted to the enemy’s lie and to the desire of the flesh and eye that the lie had stirred within her. Make no mistake regardless of the form our enemy takes, his goal is to lead us away from God – which ultimately leads us to sin.

Remember, it is sin to know what you ought to do and then not do it.

James 4:17

Sin, “our true opponent.”1 has a name. Eve knew him as the serpent in Genesis chapter three. Here, in Ephesians chapter six, Paul refers to him as the devil – but he has a host of other names and demons that work to do his bidding. They have one purpose in mind and that is to steal, kill, and destroy all those who faithfully follow after God. Our only hope of survival is standing firm in the strength and power of God and implementing the full resources of His armor. This may, at times, seem impossible but consider the encouragement of Peter, who said, “By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence. And because of his glory and excellence, [God] has given us great and promises. These are the promises that enable you to share his divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires” (2 Peter 1:3-4). Like Adam and Eve, we try to explain away our sin or cast blame onto the ‘enemy’, but the truth is – we, like them, are without excuse for our sinful choices. So, may we heed the wisdom and encouragement of Paul’s words – to prepare ourselves and know our enemy so that we might stand firm and begin to suit up in the weeks ahead as we learn to implement the “full armor of God.”

By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life.

2 Peter 1:3a

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