Posted by: zephaniah317 | March 10, 2007

enemy

battle_aragorn_3_crop.jpg

I found a couple of interesting things the other day while trying to put my thoughts about Satan into words.  This verse, for instance:

Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.  – 1 Peter 5:8 (NASB)

I normally use The Message for quotes from the Bible, but somehow “The Devil is poised to pounce, and would like nothing better than to catch you napping” just doesn’t sum up at all what I’m picturing in my mind.  So I looked up the Greek word for “devour”:  it’s katapino (kat-ap-ee’-no), which means “to drink down, i.e., gulp entire”.  OK, that’s not exactly the picture I have in my mind, either.  Let’s try John 10:10:

I am the Gate.  Anyone who goes through me will be cared for – will freely go in and out, and find pasture.  A thief is only there to steal and kill and destroy. (The Message)

The Greek word for destroy here is apollumi (ap-ol’-loo-mee), and it means “loss of well-being”.  OK, now I’m more than a little surprised.  Is THIS all he can do to me, this “prince of the air”? Sounds a little…well, I don’t know the word.  Definitely less than I’ve given him credit for in my life.  It seems to me that he wants me dead more than anything, but he can’t kill me, spiritually or physically.  Especially since I’ve been claimed by my Lord and Savior Jesus and accepted His reign in my life.

My point is, do I, as a Christian, live each day of my life as if someone (because he is a person) hates me simply because of who I am in much the same way that our Heavenly Father loves me simply because of who I am?  And, since he (Satan) can’t kill us spiritually, i.e., I’m gonna live forever, it’s just a matter of where – do I stay conscious of the fact that his sole purpose in life is to make my life miserable?  And, do I see that he does this through my flesh, and the world, and bombarding me with thoughts and feelings that are contradictory to everything that God teaches me about myself – scratch that – everything that God is screaming at me sometimes to put away, to not believe anymore, that much of what I’ve received from people in my life has been a lie by the enemy?  I think one of the most important facts I’ve ever learned is this:  Satan uses others to do to us what he is trying to do to us.  At what point do I realize that people aren’t the enemy?  Yes, sometimes, they’re so deceived and hurt that they can’t be reasoned with and have to be dealt with accordingly, with love, or justice, or whatever.  But, they’re not the enemy.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I shouldn’t live in a constant state of “warfare”.  The eyes of my heart should constantly be on Jesus and what He’s doing and how do I get involved, not on what Satan’s doing.  But, doesn’t it help things make more sense in my life when I know that I’m opposed?  That people aren’t the enemy?  That, as Eldredge says so many times in his books, I’m at war?

I actually used to be afraid of this concept (and subsequently, the enemy).  I mean, really, I used to walk around with the attitude of “God, please make them stop shooting at me!”  Then, especially through my marriage, divorce and some other circumstances over the last few years, I’ve come to realize this:  he’s not going to stop shooting at me.  It’s who he is.  It’s what he does.  Sorry, I don’t make the rules.  But, I can fight back…we can fight back…we can overcome – strike that, we have overcome through Him who dwells within us and died for me and everyone else here on Earth.

The story of my life, everyone’s life is this:  the story of a never ending assault on my heart.  (thanks again, Mr. Eldredge) If the enemy gains ground through sin or wrong belief in my life (“you’re not good enough”), gains a foothold, then life is not the life abundant that Jesus promised anymore.  But I have to unlock that door and give Satan that ground.  he can’t take it, he has to deceive me into giving it to him.  God isn’t holding out on me.  It’s just life.  And when I’m able to keep this perspective, it’s not nearly as dreary as the alternative.

sauron_chasm_small.jpg

Advertisements

Responses

  1. You’re making a God out of the devil. He is NOT equal to God. He has no power over us unless we give it to him. He’s can’t do anything in the world without God’s permission.

    Satan, Devil, and Lucifer are mentioned in a little over 100 verses in the Bible and many of the reference are repeated in the 4 different gospels. To get this in perspective, note that Psalms 119 has 176 verses.

    Let me ask you a question… How many people does the Bible say that Satan killed?

    The answer is 10 (Job’s kids) AND he did that with God’s permission.

    Aren’t we speaking about a simple created being, a fallen angel? He’s not omnipresent. He’s not omniscient.

  2. I’m a little confused by your comment. I agree with everything you said, and I think I actually said some of the things you said in my post. I said that “…I have to unlock that door and give Satan that ground. he can’t take it, he has to deceive me into giving it to him.” I hope you didn’t take my post the wrong way. I’m just stating some ways I’ve been believing wrong things about the enemy. I’m DEFINITELY not making a god out of him, but I don’t think we realize how much he can influence us sometimes. I know I keep quoting John Eldredge, but Satan’s first tactic is to convince us that he’s not here. Like I said in my post, we shouldn’t live in a state of warfare, but it helps to have the perspective that we’re opposed.

  3. hey, z — i heard you very clearly say the opposite of what your first commenter heard. i’m thinking he might not have read carefully. : )

    i appreciate that you are willing to process what you are learning with us in your blog community. keep it up, friend!

  4. I very much agree with what you said. What I’ve been reading and studying in the Word confirms it!

    In Psalm 18 where I’ve been spending a lot more time…vs. 17 “my powerful enemy” a synonym for the original word for powerful is greedy. vs. 18 “They confronted me in the day of my disaster,” the deeper, original meaning of confront there is to meet…to anticipate. It makes me think of the outlaws who would wait ahead of the stage coach…to meet, to trap and destroy.

    You are so right, our enemy has a plan. He is not omnipresent or omniscient but he is not ignorant. He wants for us to, as you were saying, see our enemy as each other. Anything that takes our focus off of Christ and gets us forgetting that our enemy really is him, furthers his cause.

    And just last night I was reading Brennan Manning’s The Importance of Being Foolish…
    First he was reminding the reader that Satan is the father of all lies – John 8:44. “He [the devil] prompts us to give importance to what has no importance; he clothes with a false glitter what is least substantial and turns us away from what is surpassingly real. He causes us to live in a world of delusion, unreality and shadows.”

    Shoo! I better quit…sorry…brevity is not my strong-suit.

    Thanks for the post!

  5. Thanks for the encouragement, LP and IL.

  6. About 3 years ago I dropped into a black hole – four months of absolute terror. I wanted to end my life, but somehow [Holy Spirit], I reached out to a friend who took me to hospital. I had three visits [hospital] in four months – I actually thought I was in hell. I imagine I was going through some sort of metamorphosis [mental, physical & spiritual]. I had been seeing a therapist [1994] on a regular basis, up until this point in time. I actually thought I would be locked away – but the hospital staff was very supportive [I had no control over my process]. I was released from hospital 16th September 1994, but my fear, pain & shame had only subsided a little. I remember this particular morning waking up [home] & my process would start up again [fear, pain, & shame]. No one could help me, not even my therapist [I was terrified]. I asked Jesus Christ to have mercy on me & forgive me my sins. Slowly, all my fear has dissipated & I believe Jesus delivered me from my “psychological prison.” I am a practicing Catholic & the Holy Spirit is my friend & strength; every day since then has been a joy & blessing. I deserve to go to hell for the life I have led, but Jesus through His sacrifice on the cross, delivered me from my inequities. John 3: 8, John 15: 26, are verses I can relate to, organically. He’s a real person who is with me all the time. I have so much joy & peace in my life, today, after a childhood spent in orphanages [England & Australia]. God LOVES me so much. Fear, pain, & shame, are no longer my constant companions. I just wanted to share my experience with you [Luke 8: 16 – 17].

  7. Thanks, Micky. God bless you, and keep up the good fight.

  8. […] But, I’m not going to grow if I just sit around and wait to grow.  Gotta get in the game.  Every day.  Without hesitation.  I need community.  I need to help people in whatever capacity God sees fit to use me.  We’re at war, remember? […]

  9. […] on fake disguises and try to unceasingly impress others with something we are not?  Because the enemy has done his job very well.  We do not believe that we are good enough for anyone to love us, be […]


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Categories

%d bloggers like this: