Your 3 Enemies as a Christian
In Washington state, a 62-year-old woman was charged with stealing more than $73,000 from her church. She was caught in her sin and when the police interrogator asked why she did it, she did a little blame-shifting. “Satan had a big part in the theft.”
YES, the devil tempts believers, but he NEVER can MAKE us sin. We have the Holy Spirit in us and we can choose to listen to Him or choose to listen to our enemies instead. And it’s often a lot easier to listen to our enemies.
But…who are our enemies?
Who is to blame when we sin?
James tells us that God isn’t at fault either: “Let no one say when he is tempted, ‘I am tempted by God’; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone” (James 1:13).
God never makes you sin.
The opposite is actually true. He always provides a way out from your sin. 1 Corinthians 10:13 says “The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, He will show you a way out so that you can endure.”
Some Christians want to blame the devil or his demons for everything that goes wrong in their lives. And the devil definitely has a plan for your life – doubt. He wants you to doubt the things that God has said. One of the first recorded things that Satan said was “Did God really say?” (Genesis 3:1)
He encourages rebellion from the Father- just like he rebelled.
As a Christian, once you’ve been saved, you are always saved. “ I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand.” John 10:28-29
Still, we as Christians are DEFINITELY engaged in spiritual warfare.
There are three enemies that you should be aware of as a Christian.
1. The Devil
His name literally means “slanderer” or “accuser”. Satan hates things that are holy; tricks humans into following him with false promises, and hates God’s plan to redeem us through the grace of Jesus.
- hates things that are holy
- tricks humans into following him with false promises
- hates God’s plan to redeem us through the grace of Jesus.
Because of this hatred, Satan is seeking to oppose God’s plan to redeem humankind by promoting evil in every way possible.
For the unsaved
Satan wants to keep people from accepting the Gospel by filling their heads with doubt. He works through many voices to speak doubt and death into people’s minds. (2 Cor 4:4)
For the saved
Good news: Satan or his demons can’t possess a Christian
Bad news: The devil has no respect for Christians and wants to discourage us and make us ineffective. He does this by keeping us apart from one another, keeping us from going to church, and making us believe that our sin is unfixable. He loves both starting and promoting false teachings and cults within the church that divide us and keep us away from Christ.
1 Peter 5:8 says: “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.”
Just like in a herd of wild animals, the babies, the injured, and the old are the most targetted by the lions. The wise herds are extra-protective of these members. We as Christians should surround our weaker church members too. Not just the physically young but also the spiritually young.
What you can do to combat your enemy- the Devil
The one thing to remember about the Devil is that he can only be one place at one time. He isn’t omnipresent- only God is everywhere.
And His demons? About a third of the original angels decided to follow Satan and are now doing his work. There are definitely people who are demon possessed and oppressed but if you have The Holy Spirit living inside of you, they can never invade your body.
The Devil runs the show but we underestimate our other two enemies. Let’s stop that with a little deeper look into what the Bible says about temptation and spiritual warfare.
2. The World
Yes! The world is actually your enemy. As in they are combative towards Christians regularly. The Bible says that Christians are aliens and foreigners to the world.
1 Peter 2:11 says “Dear friends, I warn you as temporary residents and foreigners to keep away from worldly desires that wage war against your very souls.” (New Living Translation)
Jesus even told us this would happen. “If the world hates you, understand that it hated Me first. If you were of the world, it would love you as its own. Instead, the world hates you, because you are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world.” John 15:19
What you can do to combat your enemy- the world
What should we do to be in the world but not of the world?
This is a delicate line to walk because we want to have genuine friendships with those who aren’t Christians- just like Jesus did.
When you are too friendly with the world; when you start to look like the world and act like the world, God calls it adultery. “You adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore, whoever chooses to be a friend of the world renders himself an enemy of God.” James 4:4
Remain IN the WORLD but not OF the world. You probably know where the line is, and if you don’t- ask God! He would love to show you.
3. Your Own Flesh
You feel it, the tugging within yourself. You know the right thing to do but sometimes choose the wrong thing anyway. This is because you listen to the Holy Spirit, but your flesh is still alive and you still want to disobey.
You can listen to the flesh or you can listen to the Holy Spirit.
Practice makes perfect.
The more you practice listening to the Holy Spirit, the easier it gets!
Romans 13:13-14 says: “Because we belong to the day, we must live decent lives for all to see. Don’t participate in the darkness of wild parties and drunkenness, or in sexual promiscuity and immoral living, or in quarreling and jealousy. Instead, clothe yourself with the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ. And don’t let yourself think about ways to indulge your evil desires.” (NLT)
Give your body up as a sacrifice
One more VERY important scripture. Your body is a gift from God… and offering it to Him is the highest, most precious gift you can give!
Romans 12:1 says: “Therefore I urge you, brothers, on account of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.”
What you can do to combat your enemy- the flesh
Keep offering yourself as a living sacrifice to God- even if you find yourself crawling off the altar… get right with God and keep trying.
That’s the deal with living sacrifices, they are there voluntarily! You aren’t dead… God doesn’t want robot Christians, but authentic followers who seek to do the hard thing and keep worshipping God by giving up their own preferences in His name. You’ll never be perfect- Jesus was the only perfect person and He chose us!
That’s God’s grace. For more on God’s grace and how to be saved- check out this link.
Was the woman in Washington State who embezzled from her church saved? I’m not sure and that’s a matter between her and God. If she is saved, God has forgiven her and wants her to listen to the Holy Spirit as it prods her and makes her more into the image of Jesus.
That’s what the Father wants- that we would love Jesus enough to want to become like Him- because we all know that we become what we worship.
What about you?
Did you consider your own flesh to be an enemy? What about the world? Are there any tips you have to help combat these enemies?