Sometimes we just need a face to punch. We like our battles to be physical so we want to take it out on the things we see. No I am not a violent person but we like our battles to be physical. The unfortunate thing we learned last week is that our enemy is not flesh and blood but is the devil who leads a spiritual attack. We also learned that we need to be ready for war because the devil does not relent on us and then we can fight from a position of strength, knowing the victory has been won in Christ Jesus. This battle is fought with the only offensive weapon we have; the Word of God. We asked last week: When doing battle on a spiritual level what are the verse or verses that you constantly go to for strength? There was a large response to that call, which shows me that people understand the battle is very real.

The devil has been defeated and the war is over, but the battles continue until Jesus comes back again. Until then we must learn to fight the battles against our enemy the devil. Let’s get to know our enemy a little bit more and the tools that he uses to attack.

It would be so much easier if the devil came to us the way that we see him in our minds. I asked a group of kids last week in our children’s service to describe what the devil looks like. They came up with the stereotypical picture of the devil. He looked kind of like the picture below; red suit, horns, pitchfork, pointy red tail, etc.

The devil loves it when we have these images of him because then he can work in the background and get away with what he is here to do. Satan will continue in his rebellion against God until the very end. He continues because he hates God and all His plans and He wants people to worship him and follow his evil ways. He opposes Jesus Christ who in his very nature is God in the flesh here to redeem humanity from their sin,and restore their relationship with Him.

So if he doesn’t come to us in the form of a man with a face we could punch, how does he come? Paul writes to the church in Corinth and gives us a good idea.

“For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, masquerading as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light.” 2 Corinthians 11:13-14

So the devil doesn’t come as he is but instead disguises himself as something good. Who can argue with something good?

Let me give you an example of something good that the devil has used…This weekend is Labor Day weekend. A weekend to celebrate something good and God-given; the ability to work. Labor day arose out of a need to have a day of rest. Laborers were working from sun up to sun down and often with no complete day of rest. Labor day was intended to be a rest from the labors of work. Even as we recognize today that we need a rest from something good that God gave us, it is being used for evil in our country, and around the world, today. Work has gone from something that should be good to a tool the devil has used in us to ignore our families, ignore the poor and downcast, fostering greed and the need for power, and lures us into a false sense of security.

The tools the devil uses are often things that start out as good and healthy but can easily turn into our source of salvation, as we take our eyes off of God the only real source of salvation. The devil is tricky and is called the father of lies for a very good reason. He gets us to believe that we are doing what is right and good and when it gets out of hand we simply justify our actions by pointing out the good intentions.

Thanks be to God that we have the forgiveness of sins through Jesus Christ. Because I know of the good things that God has provided me with that have been used for evil. I am thankful for the Spirit of truth that leads me daily out the pitfalls of the devil. I am thankful and reminded daily of the war that has been won and the victory that Christ secured has been given to me and to all who place their trust in him.

So, I don’t need a face to punch because Jesus has already fought that war and won it.

When has the enemy used something good and God-given in you and turned it into something evil? How long did it take you to realize the evil that had occurred? What have you done to protect yourself from the same attacks?

Thanks everyone who commented last week. Have a great day!