“Our Father in heaven, may Your name be kept holy. May Your Kingdom come soon. May Your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. Give us today the food we need, and forgive us our sins, as we have forgiven those who sin against us. And don’t let us yield to temptation, but rescue us from the evil one.” (Matthew 6:9-13 NLT)
In yesterday’s post we looked at the role of demons – who they are and what their purpose is. Today, I want us to look at our God given strategy for defense against the forces of evil.
It would be Satan’s plan for us to cower in fear at the thought of him or his evil companions. We’re tempted to allow fear to cause us to see a demon behind every act of evil and waiting behind every tree to jump out and attack us. God’s perfect love casts out fear. Does that mean we should never be afraid?
There are times fear is a normal and acceptable response. If you see a tornado coming, fear should cause you to seek shelter. If you’re walking in the forest and come upon a poisonous snake or grizzly bear, keep your wits, but fear is an expected response.
However, we need not fear Satan or his demons if we’re cleansed by the precious blood of our Savior and filled with His Holy Spirit. To walk with Jesus is to walk in full confidence that He is ALWAYS with us; therefore, we have no need to fear evil. Does that mean we’ll never face circumstances that Satan has engineered?
What about the people who are worshipping when a gunman opens fire? Is God not with them? Of course, He is, but who do you think is Satan’s primary target? Certainly, he wants to deceive everyone he can who is not a believer, but he’s also focused on oppressing or hindering any child of God he can.
That’s why Jesus taught us to pray: “And don’t let us yield to temptation, but rescue us from the evil one.” Who do you think is doing the tempting? God will test us to build our faith, but He will never tempt us to do evil. Only Satan and his demons tempt us to do things that are contrary to God’s will.
Paul told us in Ephesians 6:11: “Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil.” He outlines what that armor is in later verses but listen to what he writes about our enemy: “For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.”
A couple quick takeaways. First, under most circumstances your spouse is not your enemy. Your child is not the enemy. Your boss/coworker/employee(s) is not your enemy. That crazy reckless driver is not your enemy.
Second, your real enemy is “unseen, evil, authoritative, powerful,” in short, you can’t stand up to them alone! You are no match for Satan or his emissaries. He will defeat you every time. However, we have an “Advocate!” One who pleads our case with the Father. One who will take our side and stand strong in our defense. He is the Holy Spirit who, like the other members of the triune Godhead, has NEVER lost a battle. He is our Overcomer!
You need not fear in any situation as long as you’re trusting God to rescue you from the evil one. The minute you get cocky, believing you can handle Satan on your own, get ready to be defeated. Our only hope is Jesus. But HE IS A SURE HOPE! TRUST HIM!
Blessings, Ed 😊