MOMENTS WITH THE MINISTER: Know Your Enemy
In John 10:10 a clear distinction was made between the devil's job description: kill, steal, and destroy; and Christ's purpose for his people: abundant life.
Satan, whose name literally means 'accuser', is the father of lies. He was a high-ranking angel who was cast down after he rebelled against God. Since then, he has been attempting to get revenge by drawing away God's greatest creation, which is us.
The devil would, if he could, take advantage of our weaknesses: the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life- the same sort of temptations he presented to Jesus as He was about to begin his ministry. In our own strength we are no match for the devil. But, Jesus showed us how to have the victory.
Although Jesus had lived sinlessly, He submitted to John's baptism of repentance. How much more should we who were born with Adam's sin nature in our DNA repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus?
We may not hear a voice thundering from Heaven; but John 1 tells us that if we receive Christ as Savior and Lord, He gives us power to become children of God. Knowing the truth of whose we are helps to arm us against the lies of the Accuser.
Spending distraction-free time in prayer and meditation empowers us against temptation.
Satan may use people close to you, or plant a demonic thought in your mind, to tempt you to question your identity as a child of God. The Bible is like the plumbline of Amos 7. Studying and meditating on it enables us to know our standing with the Lord. Since the authors of the Bible wrote as they were led by the Holy Spirit, the Bible can only be spiritually understood. It is therefore vital that we allow the Lord to lead us in Bible study.
The devil tempted Jesus at the end of his fast to turn stones into bread. Being perfectly in tune with his heavenly Father, He was able to answer the devil that "Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God."
The devil misquoted Psalm 91, saying that if Jesus is the Son of God, He could throw himself down from the roof of a tall building, and the angels would keep him from getting hurt. Jesus answered, "On the other hand, it is written, 'You shall not put the Lord your God to the test."'
Finally, Satan offered Jesus the whole world if He would bow to him. Jesus said He had come to serve his Father, answering the third time in a row from Deuteronomy.
Jesus won the war against the devil. Now, we are under orders to occupy until He returns. [Luke 19:13] Following the Civil War, Federal troops occupied the Southern states. After troops were withdrawn prematurely, Jim Crow laws were enacted, rebel flags were flown, and rebel leaders were glorified. Nazism is part of Germany's history. During occupation after World War 2 by the Allies, swastikas disappeared, portraits of Hitler, et al were relegated to museums, and statues of Nazi leaders are hard to find.
Occupying until Jesus returns includes resisting the devil. But, James says we must first submit to God. Christ is our example and our strength against the evil one. Recognizing this occupation is spiritual, we put on the whole armor of God to stand against evil, which requires that we put on the Lord Jesus Christ [Romans 13:12-14] to overcome evil with good...
Homer McQueen serves as assistant pastor of Mt. Carmel Church of God in Christ, secretary at In His Shadow Outreach Ministries, chaplain for the Sherman District Parole Office, ministry volunteer for the Texas Youth Commission and Texas Department of Criminal Justice, a part-time pharmacist, and a full-time husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather. The views and opinions expressed here are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect those of the Herald Democrat.