AN ENEMY IN OUR MIDST
Tuesday, October 17, 2017
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“Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” Ephesians 6:12

Most of us will agree that evil exists in the world, but far less agreed upon is the existence of Satan. Is he real or is he not real? Scripture is unambiguous about the fact that Satan is a literal being. He is mentioned in 26 books of the Bible, and Jesus referred to him on 15 occasions. He is spoken of as one who acts, thinks and makes decisions. He possesses a mind, emotion, a will and purpose.

Still, there remains a philosophical haze surrounding the existence of Satan. Why would a good God create an evil devil? The answer is God did not create an evil devil, but the most beautiful angel, adorned with precious stones and jewels. He was named “Morning Star”, which in Hebrew means “Lucifer”. Ezekiel 28:15 says of him, "You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created till wickedness was found in you." And verse 17, "Your heart became proud on account of your beauty, and you corrupted your wisdom because of your splendor."

God did not create robotic angels any more than He created robotic people. He gave us a free will to choose and Lucifer chose to declare war upon God. In response, God hurled him down to earth, lower than the angels, and along with him, a league of angels who joined in his rebellion.

We need to believe in the existence of an invisible realm as much as the existence of the world we live in. There is a domain of fallen angels under Satan's control and direction, whose primary purpose is to drive the will of mankind to live at enmity with God. These are formidable foes for significant reason. They are not physical or visible, but are spiritual forces, consisting of authorities and powers we know little about. They operate in the heavenly realms where this sphere of battle originates and is unleashed on earth.

The night of Jesus’ arrest, He prayed for His disciples, saying, "My prayer is not that you take them out of this world but that you protect them from the evil one" (John 17:15). Scripture warns us we are in a battlefield with an enemy in our midst. If we think that in and of ourselves we are equipped to withstand satanic attack, we are hugely underestimating the cunning of Satan. To refute or second-guess his existence not only leaves us extremely vulnerable to attack, but we will not even see his coming. But to believe in the existence of Satan, his purpose on earth, and aware of his cunning, prepares us in advance to stand in the power of Christ against him.

PRAYER: Dear Lord, help me to recognize the lures of Satan and be my strength in times of temptation. Protect me from anything that attempts to lure me away from You. Thank You, Lord.


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