Unfortunately, especially in this country, our Christianity has become so comfortable that I’m afraid that many of us have either failed to recognize that we’re in a war, or we’ve long forgotten. Somehow, when we get in our air-conditioned cars to drive to an air-conditioned place of worship, where we enter into fellowship and sing joyful songs of praise, listen to a 20 - 30 minute sermon, sing a few more songs, throw a few dollars in the offering plate to pay others to do ministry on our behalf, and then get together to eat, that just doesn’t feel like being at war. However, it doesn't change the reality.
Beloved, Satan is committed to your destruction. Satan is committed to your destruction. When we come to Christ, He literally rips us from out of the kingdom of darkness and the clutches of the enemy. From that moment, Satan brings to bear upon us all the forces of hell as if to undo everything Christ has done. You have become the enemy of Satan, and indeed, an enemy you are, and you are an enemy to his cause, since you have come to Christ, having the true knowledge of God, he is an enemy to you. A loss he doesn't take lightly.
To make matters worse, the unregenerate people dominate the world. As we saw in Ephesians 2, they are under the power and control of the prince of the air. Satan and his army, which are operating against the people of God through a sinful system that we call the world.
Understand the enemy, so
that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our
struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against
the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the
spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
In order to be successful in this spiritual battle, it is essential that one has an accurate understanding of the enemy. If we hope to be successful, it is critical that we have a proper understanding of our enemy. Even though the enemy is not made up of flesh and blood, he is very real.In The Garden, Adam and Eve found out just how real he is. And I'm quite certain that Job certainly would testify to the reality of Satan. Jesus certainly believed that he was real when He met him face to face in the wilderness. And Paul makes it clear in this passage that our enemy, even though we cannot see him, is very real.
I’m convinced that the biggest difficulty we face in the spiritual battle we’re in is that so many Christians, don’t even realize that we’re in a battle. And even among those who do realize that there is a battle taking place, they relegate it to some mystical battle between the concepts of good and evil, rather than a real battle against a real enemy.The apostle Peter warns us in I Peter 5:8, "Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour."
The devil’s main weapon is deceit, and while it is dangerous to underestimate his power, we can however, also be guilty of overestimating his power and therefore responding inappropriately as well. The Bible is clear that Satan, and his demons, clearly have limits to their power. Satan is, unlike many believe, is not the opposite of God. He is not the Creator, but the creation. Unlike God, they are not omnipresent, they can only be in one place at one time. They are not omniscient, like humans they can only know what God has revealed to them. And unlike God, they are not omnipotent, they only have the power to do what God allows them to do in the life of a believer. That is quite evident in the book of Job.
And so, Satan and his army of demons must to resort to deceit. Notice that Paul writes in verse 11 "Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.
The Greek word, "methodeias," conveys the idea of cleverness, crafty methods, cunning, and deception. That is exactly the same tactic that Satan used in the Garden of Eden with Adam and Eve and it is still the tactic he employs today. And though Satan’s deceitful schemes today are not quite as personal or as easily discerned as direct assault on Adam and Eve, he uses the world system to carry out is schemes.
In verse 12, Paul tells us that "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places."
Paul’s reference to “rulers”, “authorities”, “powers of this dark world” and “spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” may very well describe a hierarchical structure of Satan’s demons, Paul also seems to be writing about how Satan uses the structures of this world system to exert evil influence against the followers of Jesus. We can easily observe this in our culture today where the media, those in places of prominence and even our government promote that which is in opposition to the standards that God has established in His Word.
I know there are many Christians, who believe that people are not really our enemy. I know sometimes we think that immoral people and people who advocate immoral things are our enemy, but they are just pawns. Satan is the real enemy and he is far more powerful than those he uses who belong to his kingdom of darkness. And, as a footnote, some of them are high ranking. Spiritual wickedness in very high places, even among governments and nations.
the Lord make His face shine upon you,
And be gracious to you;
The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace.
Now and forever, in Jesus' name