Spiritual warfare and the Christian life

Satan, the deceiver

Genesis 3:1­7 (NIV) 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'?" 2 The woman said to the serpent, "We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, 3 but God did say, 'You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.'" 4 "You will not surely die," the serpent said to the woman. 5 "For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil." 6 When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. 7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.

(John 8:44 NIV) You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father's desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, 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.

(Mark 13:22-23 NIV) For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform signs and miracles to deceive the elect--if that were possible. {23} So be on your guard; I have told you everything ahead of time.

Rev 12:9 So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.

2 Corinthians 4:4 (NIV) The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.

In the last days, Satan will be successful in deceiving people, many of whom are Christians.

Knowing that Satan is the deceiver, what should we do about it?

We have to be careful to ask God to protect us from Satan's lies.

Another way to guide ourselves against Satan's lies is to know the Bible very well.

Never take anything without studying for ourselves if what is being taught to us is Biblical.

(Acts 17:11 NIV) Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.

Satan, the accuser

(Revelation 12:10 NIV) Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: "Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Christ. For the accuser of our brothers, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down.

Satan is described here as the constant accuser of Christians. In other words, Satan

Satan, the destroyer

(1 Peter 5:8 NIV) Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.

(Luke 22:31 NIV) "Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat.

Another example of this is in the story of Job when we see that Satan destroys almost everything that Job has - his children, his possessions and his health.

Satan wants to destroy us so that we will lose heart and desert God. By destroying the lives of Christians, Satan is also demonstrating to the world that there is no advantage of being a Christian and that non-Christians will prosper more than Christians.

Satan is always constantly looking for ways to destroy us. He does so because once we are destroyed, our effectiveness to serve God is much reduced.

Knowing that Satan wants to destroy us, what should we do about it?

The way to overcome this attack is to constantly pray for a hedge of protection over ourselves and our loved ones. This is exactly what Jesus did in the case of Simon Peter.

(Luke 22:31-32 KJV) And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: {32} But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.

Satan, the tempter.

(Luke 4:1-2 NIV) Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the desert, {2} where for forty days he was tempted by the devil.

(John 13:2 NIV) The evening meal was being served, and the devil had already prompted Judas Iscariot, son of Simon, to betray Jesus.

The temptation of the devil is so strong that many prominent Christian leaders are also falling into sin.

Knowing that Satan wants to tempt us into sin, what should we do?

How do we ward off temptation?