My husband is a football player, once a player always a player. Until we married I didn’t understand nor really care about the details of football. But after almost 27 years of marriage, I now understand the importance of defense in the game of football. As he puts it, “Defense wins ball games!” Funny, he was a quarterback, but well understands and emphasizes how much defense played a part when they won football games.
Defense is extremely important in our walk with Christ. Just as football teams study film to understand their opposition and how to defend against their opponent’s well-planned out plays and schemes, we need to understand the tactics of our enemy Satan. If I had the chance to talk to Dabo Swinney or Steve Spurrier, I can only imagine what they would say about the importance of studying and knowing your opponent. I was too long in my faith before I learned about the tactics of our adversary, Satan, and how to defend myself. I want you to know that we have an opponent, a real threat in our lives, an enemy. He has a name; some call him Satan. Some call him the devil; he is a master deceiver….He is a liar and his goal is our misery and our defeat.
He is our number one personal enemy. 1 Peter 5:8, “Be sober, be vigilant because your adversary, the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” I want to encourage you to be vigilant. If we have a better understanding of who the enemy is and his tactics, then we will have a better understanding of the importance of “standing guard!” WE always want to gaze at God and glance at satan. Gazing at God is like playing “offense”. Offense in life is extremely important as it is in football. But too often we focus only on offense and don’t study or pay attention to how to play defense, meaning we don’t pay attention to the skills of the enemy.
I understand our time is best spent understanding God and His principles for our life. But in order to fight and defeat the enemy, I believe you better know about him and his tactics. First, Satan is real. He exists and the power he has is ONLY the power we give him when we believe his lies and choose not to believe God’s Word. The Bible tells us the outcome. Jesus wins. But it also tells us we are to withstand the enemy.
Learning to fight the enemy and knowing his schemes and tactics has brought much victory in my life and real peace. Let’s just look at a few scriptures that describe the tactics of the enemy:
John 10:10, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy….”
Revelation 12:9, “The great dragon was hurled down—that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray.” Deceiver….misleading
Luke 4:13, “When the devil had finished all this tempting, he left him until an opportune time”………Satan tempts and HE looks for the best time to tempt!!!
Ephesians 6:12, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” Satan has demons that have power and he has authority over them.
Satan has demons who disguise themselves as angels of light or sheep…..2 Corinthians 11:12-15
2 Timothy 2:25-26 Satan is able to ensnare and hold people captive to do his will.
Luke 22:31-33 Satan can sift people like sifting wheat.
Matthew 7:15 warns us that false prophets come to us in sheep’s clothing but inwardly they are ferocious wolves…..(false prophets are pawns of the enemy)
These are just a few of the scriptures that describe our enemy and his tactics……just reading these scriptures makes me very aware of the opposition we face every day of our lives. In fact, scripture even says in John 16:33, “I have told you these things, so that IN ME you have peace, in the world you will have trouble, But take heart I HAVE OVERCOME THE WORLD.”
The KEY to defeating the enemy is found in this scripture. IN ME is the key phrase. We have to remain in Christ. WE have to read His Word and know scripture. He clearly gives the x’s and o’s of DEFEATING THE ENEMY. Let me just list a few other scriptures that demonstrate living a SIGNIFICANT LIFE THAT BRINGS NOT ONLY PEACE BUT VICTORY:
Ephesians 4:26 “In your anger do not sin. Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.” It is very clear. When we go to bed angry, we open the door for Satan to gain ground.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” Wow! My parents always told me no matter what, I need to be thankful……from reading and studying scripture, I get it. Satan hates God and his Word, so if I rejoice, pray and give thanks in all things…..it ushers in God and defeats Satan.
Put on the armor of God. Ephesians 6:10-18, “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”
I don’t intend to rewrite the entire Bible here, but my intent is for you, the reader, to understand one thing. Defense in the Christian walk is important. God even labels it armor! Football players wear protective gear. God has clearly provided the “protective gear” we need to live a victorious life. Too many times we choose to not put it on. Or, we simply ignore or don’t acknowledge that we have an enemy who wants to plan our destruction.
READ GOD’s WORD….. and Do what it says…..the FABULOUS NEWS IS THAT OUR COACH IS ALL-KNOWING, ALL-POWERFUL AND OUTWEIGHS OUR ENEMY……ALL WE HAVE TO DO IS READ, LISTEN AND APPLY TO OUR LIVES HIS GAME PLAN!