I met the enemy
Call me simple, call me backwards, or even crazy but I do believe in the evil entity called the devil. He is not your friend. His stated purpose is to destroy you and never let you taste or touch the saving grace of Jesus Christ. He is so ferocious in his hatred toward you that God has limited his power against you. It’s no wonder Jesus teaches his disciples to pray like this; “and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” (Matthew 6:13)
In an interesting moment of insight Jesus says to Simon Peter (Luke 22:31), “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift each of you like wheat.” The devil was asking for a personal shot at Peter. The devil is looking for a personal shot against you too.
If I were the devil I would wait until your weakest day and I would come after you. It’s not just you that I’m after, I want your faith, I want your future and I want your family. I would come with temptation like he did with David and Bathsheba; I want you to see it, I want you to desire it, I want you to take it and I want you to hide the results. I would convince you that what is going to hurt you is actually going to help you. I would trap you in your sin. I would never tell you that sin costs more than you want to pay, it keeps you longer than you want to stay and it takes you further than you want to go.
If I were the devil I would try to disqualify you. I would bring up your sin and failure over and over again. I would devalue God, I would keep you from the Bible, I would keep you from church, I would deceive you with lies and I would distract you. I would convince you to pay a high price for cheap amusements and to put a low price on the eternal and I would not let up. No wonder we need to pray for deliverance from evil.
Jesus resisted temptation by being captured by the written word of God. When Satan offered his goods Jesus countered with “it is written.” The soul of Jesus was captured by something bigger than the lure of temporary fulfillment. Your hope to win your face off with the devil is by knowing what is written and being captured by those promises and by standing on those promises. But how can you say “it is written” if you don’t know what is written?
I remember going through some troubling times as a pastor. The devil made his presence known. I was in a weak moment, the church was tottering and along he came barking at me; “this isn’t going anywhere, this will never change, you need to pull the plug on this and watch out for your family. Give up!” His voice got louder and louder until the day that Jesus silenced it and delivered our church. Why didn’t I leave? Why didn’t I give up? One reason that I know; because I had heard the voice of God tell me to stay and it was more powerful in me than that other voice telling me to leave. I could come back against the devil and say, white Jesus, “it is written…”
I’m still standing today with Jesus because he has taught me to resist the devil and has rescued me from his power.