There’s a lion at the door! Bolt it and pull the sofa in front of it. That vicious animal must not get inside.

If only it were that easy to keep the lion away.

Peter wrote, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist stedfast in the faith… (1 Peter 5:8-9a).

I knew the Christian life involved spiritual warfare, but I wasn’t prepared for the intensity of the fight.

I knew the Christian life involved spiritual warfare, but I wasn't prepared for the intensity of the fight. Click To Tweet

Never have I doubted the reality of the Devil. I’ve believed since childhood when I pictured him with horns and long tail and pitchfork in hand.

Although my concept has changed, I believe he’s real and powerful and active in this world. I’ve never seen a visible manifestation of him. This is what makes the battle unusual—we fight an unseen Enemy.

Paul warned, “We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” (Ephesians 6:12).

Although I knew the general nature of the Devil’s work as prince of evil, I was surprised to learn the specific nature of his work, operating in our lives on a personal basis.

The Old Testament book of Job certainly illustrates this fact.

Jesus himself encountered the Devil and resisted his three brazen temptations (Matthew 4:1-11).

Peter also had first-hand experience. The Lord cautioned, “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat” (Luke 22:31). No wonder he urged us to be sober and vigilant and resist the devil steadfast in faith.

Paul wrestled a “thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure” (2 Corinthians 12:7). He wrote with passion: “be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil” (Ephesians 6:10-11).

He emphasized the importance of forgiveness, “lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices” (2 Corinthians 2:11). He also warned about “the snare of the devil” (1 Timothy 3:7, 2 Timothy 2:26) and the danger of giving “place to the devil,” meaning room, foothold, or opportunity (Ephesians 4:27 The Amplified Bible).

Spiritual warfare is serious stuff, and knowing how the Devil operates is crucial. He’s called a deceiver, murderer, liar, accuser, and tempter. He’s evil and cunning; he sifts, buffets, and ensnares.

Spiritual warfare is serious stuff, and knowing how the Devil operates is crucial. He's called a deceiver, murderer, liar, accuser, and tempter. He's evil and cunning; he sifts, buffets, and ensnares. Click To Tweet

Confusion bears his fingerprint. Remember, “God is not the author of confusion, but of peace” (1 Corinthians 14:33). And bizarre is his signature.

The Devil never runs out of tricks and he never gives up. Messing around in his playground is dangerous. So is an attitude of indifference.

The lion relentlessly scratches at the door. He can make a lot of noise and kick up a lot of dust, but he cannot touch us unless God allows it.

Don’t go to battle without your armor. Daily put it on through prayer: loins girt about with truth, breastplate of righteousness, feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace, shield of faith to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked, helmet of salvation, sword of the Spirit (word of God), constant prayer (Ephesians 6:14-18).

Suit up. This is war!

Have you been caught up in a spiritual battle? Tell me how God brought you through it and the lessons you learned. Please share this with your friends!

(Adapted from Cabbages and Kings—Reflections on Living Abundantly in Christ)

© Dianne Barker 2019

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