In my last post I talked about the enemy’s domain. This time, we’re going to look at a short list of what he does in that domain. Again, I’m simply going to lay out scriptures, giving a few thoughts along the way, but my hope is that you will read the scriptures and ask God for His thoughts.
1 Chronicles 21:1 – “And Satan stood up against Israel, and provoked David to number Israel.”
This was a census of David’s military. The thinking at this time was that a man could only count what belonged to him. But Israel belonged to God, so this census was very foolish, and God brought punishment for it to David. The enemy was coming against all of Israel, by inciting their leader to sin. So, bear with me for a moment, as I follow this trail.
How do you come against a nation? You go after it’s leader.
How do you come against a church? You go after the leadership.
How do you come against a family? You go after the parents. Why do we think the divorce rate is so high?
Anyone else see a pattern? Anyone else see a reason to pray for anyone in your life who is in a leadership position?
Zechariah 3:1 – “Then he showed me the high priest Joshua standing before the angel of the Lord, with Satan standing at his right side to resist him.”
Part of the meaning of the word resist, is to “accuse”. It also means to oppose, to be an adversary. Bottom line for me? My enemy never takes a day off. He is my adversary at all times, opposing me, accusing me, resisting me. Let me ask you a question:
Have you ever come into church on a Sunday morning and as you try to enter into worship, you begin to think about everything you did wrong that week? Has a sense of shame accompanied you into church? Or, are you suddenly reminded of the last fight you had with your spouse (maybe that morning!), and you can’t get it out of your head? That is your adversary at work. Accusing. Opposing. Resisting.
Or how about when you determine to spend time in prayer. Ever find your thoughts wandering into territories that are absolutely not conducive to fervent, effectual prayer? Your adversary is at work.
Matthew 13:19: “When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is what was sown along the path.
Mark 1:13 – “He was in the wilderness forty days, being tempted by Satan.”
Acts 5:3: “But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back for yourself part of the proceeds of the land?”
What do you think he actually used to fill their hearts? Perhaps it was fear of having nothing for themselves. Or maybe it was the need to control, to ensure they would have enough provision. Maybe it was just outright greed. We don’t know, but experience tells us that when our hearts begin to fill up with thoughts of “what about me?”, sin is not far from us.
2 Corinthians 2:11 – “so that we may not be taken advantage of by Satan. For we are not ignorant of his schemes.”
Oh, but I think many times we are very ignorant of his schemes. Did you even know that he schemes against you? Looks for ways and opportunities to hinder you, make you stumble, make you doubt, make you stop. It reminds me of fur trappers. They don’t just stand around with their fingers crossed, hoping a rabbit hops by. They set snares in areas where they know rabbits would be found. They scheme up ways to make their traps more efficient and more effective.
Our adversary is not passive, but I’m afraid that all too often, we are.
2 Corinthians 4:4 – “In their case, the god of this age has blinded the minds of the unbelievers to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.”
2 Corinthians 11:14 – “And no wonder! For Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.”
1 Thessalonians 2:18 – “So we wanted to come to you—even I, Paul, time and again—but Satan hindered us.”
1 Peter 5:8 – ““Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”
Revelation 12:9 – “So the great dragon was thrown out—the ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, the one who deceives the whole world.”
Ok, let’s summarize.
Provokes us · Accuses us · Tempts us · Can fill our hearts to sin · Blinds the minds of unbelievers · Snatches seed that is sown · Hinders us · Schemes against us · Disguises himself · Deceives the whole world
Again, this is just a sampling. We know that practically, his activities play out in many different ways and take many different shapes in our lives, in our homes, our churches, our communities, and in the world.
But we can take heart!
In the next post we will begin to talk about the weapons of our warfare. All that we have been given to walk in victory, take back ground, advance the Kingdom of God. Watch for it!