by Richard Mansel, managing editor
In the first chapter of Job, Satan fights for the soul of God’s disciple. He hunts all of us and employs every lie at his disposal. He is a pathological liar who possesses no redeeming qualities (John 8:44).
“God is light and in Him is no darkness at all.” (1 John 1:5, NKJV). Jesus is light and perfectly good (John 8:12; Rev. 21:22-24).
“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12).
If we will successfully take the battlefield for God, we must know the enemy. It is not people, although they do wear his uniform, but the power of Satan that leads them.
“Our enemies are not people. We must see beyond people. Satan may use people to persecute us, lie to us, cheat on us, hurt us, or even kill us. But our real enemy lurks in the shadows of the unseen world, moving people as pawns on the chessboard of time. As long as we see people as enemies and wrestle against them, we will spend our strength in vain.”/1
People in sin are victims of Satan’s deceptions. They are doing his bidding under false pretenses. Yet, they labor for him, nonetheless. They are responsible for their own actions, but we need to pray for them and reach out to their souls and try to bring them to Christ.
Satan uses them in nefarious ways that utilizes whatever is necessary to pull us from God. He studies us, is skilled at finding our vulnerable spots, and pierces us through with his tricks (Ephesians 6:11).
“Mention of the ‘schemes’ of the devil reminds us of the trickery and subterfuge by which evil and temptation present themselves in our lives. Evil rarely looks evil until it accomplishes its goal; it gains entrance by appearing attractive, desirable, and perfectly legitimate. It is a baited and camouflaged trap.”/2
Satan will fade into the background so he will not be responsible for anything. No one will find his fingerprints at the scene of the crime. Darkness obscures his moverments.
In fact, “few of Satan’s tactics are openly Satanic.”/3
That makes him especially dangerous because he finds a way to make everything that he wants appear as our own decision. He speaks in our voice and convinces us we are independent and making our own way. Yet, we cannot hear his macabre laughter as he watches us walk away from God.
Ephesians tells us that we are not fighting against flesh and blood, but the power of the Devil. His tentacles are in everything.
“Satan keeps people in a state of darkness, and he has a legion of evil spirits whose supreme task is to fasten false ideologies like iron shackles on the souls of men.”/4
However, “God does not throw us unprotected into the battle against Satan’s empire.”/5 His grace and mercy clothe us in goodness, which is antithetical to the filthy robes of the evil one.
1/ John Philips, Exploring Ephesians and Philippians (Grand Rapids: Kregel Publications, 1993), 187.
2/ Peter T. O’Brien, The Letter To the Ephesians in the Pillar New Testament Commentary series edited by D.A. Carson (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1999), 464.
3/ Kenneth L. Boles, Galatians and Ephesians in the College Press NIV Commentary series edited by Jack Cottrell (Joplin: College Press, 1983), 334.
4/ Phillips, 190.
5/ Phillips, 185.