Waging War Against Satan—Not Our Brothers & Sisters in Christ
You are a part of an invisible war. Your soul and your relationships lie at the heart of a cosmic conflict—and your enemy does not fight fair.If you have chosen to buy into the culturally tolerable view of Satan—that he is nothing but a metaphor or symbol—then I must warn you: You are violating both the spirit and the letter of God's Word. The Bible clearly portrays Satan as a real and literal spiritual adversary and destroyer (see Job 1; Luke 4). He wages an invisible war with great cunning, attempting to thwart the will of God by keeping Christians living in mediocrity and sin rather than glory and righteousness.
Our enemy is not so stealthy and powerful that we are in constant danger of being overrun.
Tragically, when it comes to this invisible war, many Christians are asleep while the battle rages around them. But since spiritual warfare is our reality until Christ returns, we cannot afford to be ignorant of our enemy's tactics. Now is the time to wake up and be aware of his schemes, "in order that Satan might not outwit us" (2 Corinthians 2:11).One of the most important things to know about your enemy is that he wants to sow division, bitterness, and conflict within your family and your Christian community. He is the accuser of our brothers and sisters in Christ, and this is one of his favorite ways to steal, kill, and destroy. He knows that the most effective strategy to stifle the spread of the Gospel is to turn Christ-loving believers against one another. Therefore, he wants us to stop fighting as soldiers of the cross and begin fighting each other as soldiers of our own opinions. For then we begin to destroy one another instead of fighting our real enemy.
Many of us fail to identify Satan as the real enemy in our personal conflicts. Consequently, the enemy uses us—born-again, Spirit-filled believers—as his emissaries to destroy the church and render us ineffective for Christ. He does this by leading us to gossip, put others down, or have a critical spirit. His is a subtle assault, for he knows that if he came in his true colors, discerning believers would get together on their knees and start praying.
Without the Lord's help, our fight against our enemy would be useless. But "he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world" (1 John 4:4, ESV). God has given us all that we need for life and godliness—including everything we need to go to battle against Satan. He has given us His Word, prayer, the discernment of the Holy Spirit, and love for the saints. Therefore, let us "put on the full armor of God" (Ephesians 6:11).
Since we are no longer ignorant of his schemes, today we can forget our disagreements with our pastors, seek to serve our spouses rather than be served, and befriend those people in the church who constantly get on our nerves. In short, we can love others deeply, remembering that "love covers over a multitude of sins" (1 Peter 4:8). Then, we can focus our energy on being the unified army of Christ.
Our enemy is not so stealthy and powerful that we are in constant danger of being overrun. No matter how many times Satan may disturb your peace, attack your faithfulness, or undermine Biblical authority in your life, he cannot snatch you out of Christ's hands (see John 10:28-29). The outcome of this war has already been decided on the cross just as Christ Himself declared, "It is finished" (John 19:30). And when Christ returns, Satan will be utterly vanquished.The setbacks of our warfare may be painful and costly, but they do not determine the final outcome. We are guaranteed success before we even begin. Therefore, let us take up our weapons and fight back against Satan in the battle for the church and for the hearts and souls of the lost. As you do, keep your eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith (see Hebrews 12:2). For the closer you are to Him, the more natural it will be for you to reject the devil's lies and live by the Spirit.