Our Enemy is Real

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Think back to the last time you encountered an enemy. This might mean a sibling, or maybe a bully at school. If you are working, then perhaps you are thinking of a coworker, or those pesky traffic lights that like to make you late. However, what about a spiritual enemy? Do you believe Satan is real? How does that change the way you live the daily?

Let’s look at the first time an antagonist to God is seen in the Bible.

Antagonist: one who actively opposes or is hostile to someone/something.

Genesis 3:1-7

Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made.

He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’” But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths.

OK. You have probably heard this story before. The Fall, right? When mankind gave in and gave up their place in paradise for a piece of fruit? It seems like a little thing to lose something so huge over. But that is exactly the point. 

  • What does the serpent question?
  • How does the serpent oppose God in these verses?

Let’s look at another word: crafty. Crafty is a descriptive word that indicates one who is clever at achieving one’s aims by indirect or deceitful methods. Who does this describe in the passage above?

Does it scare you that our enemy, who is bent on destroying us eternally, is both powerful and skillful? How should we respond to this news?

One of the cruel and brutish rulers of Rome was Nero. For those of you who haven’t studied this topic in history, Nero was an Emperor who put many, many Christians to death. He blamed national disasters on them. He hated them.

Peter, one of Jesus’ original disciples, was put to death during Nero’s reign. In his first letter to believers during incredibly difficult circumstances, Peter encourages and instructs the church. Near the very end of the letter, Peter gives a list of reminders. Among these, he says in verse 8:

Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. 10 And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. 11 To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen.

  • What are the instructions?
  • How does Peter describe the devil?
  • What is the devil’s occupation (how he spends his time)?
  • How long will this last?
  • What is the ultimate destiny of those in Christ?
  • Who has called you to this?
  • Whose dominion is forever? Our enemy’s or someone else’s?

Take some time to think and pray about these truths. Ask the Spirit to show you how to walk today – not in fear, but with power, love and a sound mind.  

Joy

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