Masters Plan

Go Therefore and Make Disciples

THE ENEMY

Life In This World

THE ENEMY

Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. James 4:7

The Screwtape Letters, by C.S. Lewis, is a fictional account of conversations from a senior demon named Screwtape to a young apprentice named Wormwood. It is Wormwood’s job to cause his human project to fall away from Christ and secure his place in hell. It is an allegorical picture of the battle that is taking place over your life. Here is a small sample of the conversations that take place:

"Do what you will, there is going to be some benevolence, as well as some malice, in your patient's soul. The great thing is to direct the malice to his immediate neighbors whom he meets every day and to thrust his benevolence out to the remote circumference, to people he does not know. The malice thus become wholly real and the benevolence largely imaginary."

"Talk to him about 'moderation in all things.' If you can once get him to the point of thinking that 'religion is all very well up to a point,' you can feel quite happy about his soul."

“The safest path to hell is the gradual one.”

Spiritual warfare exists in the unseen, supernatural dimension, where God is all-powerful and Satan is in revolt. As any Christian soon discovers, although spiritual warfare is unseen, it’s absolutely real. The Bible speaks of spiritual warfare in many places, but most directly in Ephesians 6:12, where Paul speaks of putting on the full armor of God: “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.”

Spiritual Warfare: How do we go into battle as Christians? Spiritual warfare is an image that many of us would rather reject. However, since the Bible uses terms of warfare, it’s best that we accept God’s imagery, so that we’re properly prepared for real battle. As Christians, we’re going through more than a mere “struggle” on earth— and its seems that war imagery captures this reality better than anything else. Since it’s warfare, God instructs Christians in Ephesians 6:14-18 to use a very specific set of armor and weapons.

The names of the enemy: The accuser, slanderer, tempter, liar, adversary.

What to do:

Recognize, Repent and Replace.
Be self-controlled and alert.
Glance at Satan but Gaze at Christ.

 

The enemy is very subtle. He is the master of creating environments that cause us to question our core beliefs. We have to look no further than the garden when Satan created an environment with Eve and asked her the question, "Did he really say not to eat from the tree?" Sally Lloyd-Jones describes this scene in the Storybook Bible: "Does God really love you? If he does, why won't he let you eat the nice, juicy, delicious fruit? Poor you, perhaps God doesn't want you to be happy....Just trust me," the serpent whispered. "You don't need God. One small taste, that's all, and you'll be happier than you could ever dream." Eve picked up the fruit and ate some. And Adam ate some, too. And a terrible lie came into the world. It would never leave. It would live on in every human heart, whispering to every one of God's children: "God doesn't love me."

HMMM {QUESTIONS}

  • How is the enemy doing battle against you currently?
  • What piece of armor from Ephesians 6 do you most need in your life right now?
  • How will you apply the truths in this topic to your life this week? Be specific.

More Video Illustrations

Temptation
The enemy preys on our weaknesses and ensnares us in our sin. This short clip is a sober reminder.
Compromise
Some tactics of the enemy are more subtle than others, as this short clip shows.
The Enemy
Radio personality Paul Harvey's commentary 'If I were the Devil.'

verses related to this topic

  • Isaiah 14:12-14

    Isaiah 14:12-14

    "How you have fallen from heaven, O star of the morning, son of the dawn! You have been cut down to the earth, you who have weakened the nations! But you said in your heart, 'I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God, and I will sit on the mount of assembly in the recesses of the north. I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.'"

  • Matthew 4:1

    Matthew 4:1

    Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. (Jesus battled the enemy.)

  • Matthew 6:13

    Matthew 6:13

    “‘And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil.’”

  • Matthew 13:37-39

    Matthew 13:37-39

    And He said, "The one who sows the good seed is the Son of Man, and the field is the world; and as for the good seed, these are the sons of the kingdom; and the tares are the sons of the evil one; and the enemy who sowed them is the devil, and the harvest is the end of the age; and the reapers are angels."

  • Matthew 16:18

    Matthew 16:18

    "I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it."

  • John 10:10

    John 10:10

    “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.”

  • Acts 5:3

    Acts 5:3

    But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back some of the price of the land?” (Peter understood the enemy’s work.)

  • Romans 8:37-39

    Romans 8:37-39

    But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

  • Romans 12:21

    Romans 12:21

    Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

  • Romans 13:11-14

    Romans 13:11-14

    Do this, knowing the time, that it is already the hour for you to awaken from sleep; for now salvation is nearer to us than when we believed. The night is almost gone, and the day is near. Therefore let us lay aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. 13Let us (T)behave properly as in the day, (U)not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual promiscuity and sensuality, not in strife and jealousy. 14But (V)put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh (W)in regard to its lusts.

  • 2 Corinthians 10:3-5

    2 Corinthians 10:3-5

    For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ,

  • Ephesians 6:10-18

    Ephesians 6:10-18

    Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. 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. Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints,

  • Colossians 1:13-14

    Colossians 1:13-14

    For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

  • 1 Timothy 4:1

    1 Timothy 4:1

    But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons,

  • James 4:7

    James 4:7

    Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. (James understood the work of the enemy.)

  • 1 Peter 5:8-9

    1 Peter 5:8-9

    Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.

  • 1 John 3:8-9

    1 John 3:8-9

    the one who practices sin is of the devil; for the devil has sinned from the beginning. The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil. No one who is born of God practices sin, because His seed abides in him; and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.

  • Revelation 13:7

    Revelation 13:7

    It was also given to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them, and authority over every tribe and people and tongue and nation was given to him. (John understood the work of the enemy.)

books related to this topic

  • The Screwtape Letters

    The Screwtape Letters

    C.S. Lewis gives us the correspondence of the worldly-wise old devil to his nephew Wormwood, a novice demon in charge of securing the damnation of an ordinary young man. The Screwtape Letters is the most engaging account of temptation—and triumph over it—ever written.

  • The Great Divorce

    The Great Divorce

    In The Great Divorce the narrator takes a bus trip to Heaven. He travels with people with a variety of beliefs. When he arrives he realizes he is insubstantial; he, like the other passengers, is a Ghost. They are met by inhabitants of Heaven - Spirits, or Solids - who come to this pickup point to guide them in the new land. The passengers have the opportunity to go back, or to become more substantial here, if they make the rest of the difficult journey. The passengers confront those matters that have gotten in their way to God.

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