But that leaves a lot of details out, and if you seriously study the Bible, the timeline of events just doesn't jive with that explanation. And how are we to reconcile the Scripture that says "our adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour"? Furthermore, how do you explain away the fact that so many Christians are struggling with sin and demonic attacks? And whether the Church wants to admit it or not, the attacks are real and they are demonic.
As hard as it is to contemplate, it all adds up to deception because Christians are confused and ignorant of the ways in which Satan works in the world and in the lives of Believers. I can't tell you how many wonderfully saved Believers we have seen in our ministry who had no idea that Satan was behind all the sorrow and struggles in their lives. They were more likely to believe that God "allowed" their struggles. That is a lie from the pit of hell, and it is shameful that our seminaries have failed to correct that misconception. Instead of teaching church leaders how to Biblically "resist" our Enemy, they usually preach the message to try and "ignore" the devil and "hope" he will flee.
In addition to the denial of the truth that resisting the devil is anchored in spiritual warfare [another subject matter that has been neglected in the curriculum in our seminaries], we find that the understanding of the power of the Holy Spirit in us has also been undervalued. Believers must come to realize that just because you have been Saved, it does not mean that the devil will quit trying to stalk you. Salvation does not guarantee a devil-free life. You are not transported into the magic Kingdom of God, where the devil has no access.
On the contrary, you are now behind enemy lines, because "the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one" (1 John 5:19). In fact, you can expect that you have become an even bigger target for him, and he will use all the tricks and schemes that worked before you accepted Christ to cause a crack in that new foundation. What's more he will lie to you and tell you that you are still that sinful, evil person. And because you haven't been equipped to recognize the power of the Spirit or that the weapons of spiritual warfare can defeat the devil, you will struggle to remember and declare that you are a NEW creation!
Do you know that resisting the devil means "to stand firmly against"; to "withstand"; to "oppose, battle against; fend off, and stand up to"? The Western religious system has done a wonderful job in understanding the fundamentals of how to preach Salvation. But it does not do well when it comes to protecting the flocks from the schemes and deceptions of the devil. How many times, growing up in the Church, did you hear sermons on the strategies of Satan in the world, or how to defeat the demonic strongholds in your life?
It's sad to say this, but the Western Church has largely ignored the very real presence of Satan and his tactics in our culture and in our nation. And we are even unawares that the ancient deceptive gods of Egypt and Babylon have been resurrected and are flourishing on their altars across our land. By now I'm sure you have heard about the Navy Reserve Officer, Michael Cassidy who decapitated the statue of Satan erected by The Satanic Temple in the Iowa State Capitol building. Citing "righteous indignation" and "Christian civil disobedience", he stated he was offended that this blasphemy was allowed to be displayed. And I found it interesting that his lawyer stated the primary reason our laws don't stop this kind of irreverence against the Lord, is because "they fear taking a stand against Evil".
So, as we have seen time and time again, our government has NOT resisted the devil and his efforts to corrupt not only our nation, but our faith. It makes me sad to say this, but the Church has not done much better in taking a stand against Evil. In fact, it has compromised with it, instead of resisting it. Can we say that the Church has taken a definitive stand against adultery, fornication, sodomy, idolatry, murder -- because taking a stand is what "resisting the devil" would mean? Or have we trivialized our sins by resorting to deceptive lies and softened the significance of these sins by calling them "an affair"; "safe sex"; "gay love"; "veneration"; and "pro-choice"? Sounds like the Church also has a healthy fear of taking a stand against Evil.
But it's far beyond the time to recognize that we can no longer play it safe in this war we are in between Good and Evil! And yes, we are in a war for our nation and our faith! We are in a spiritual war, fighting with God's angelic army against the angelic forces of Satan in the spiritual realms. We are in an informational war with the media sources and financial backers of the godless world elite. And we are in a very real earthly military war between the world's super powers. The question is, who are you listening to and following? Do you recognize that Satan and his demons are not myths? Do you understand the truth of the Bible that depicts a battle between God and Satan -- between Good and Evil -- from the serpent in the Garden in Genesis, all the way through the Bible to Revelation, when Jesus throws His Enemy in the Lake of Fire? That's the tension that runs throughout the entire Word of God, and it's the same tension that is at war this very day!
It's time that we see that Jesus is not only the Lord and power behind our Salvation experience, but He is also the Lord over our nation, our culture, our faith, our families and everything in our lives. He is the Lord over the spiritual battles -- and the war of words/information -- and the military conflicts that are threatening to topple this world. But we also need to see that Satan is active in all these realms, too. And we need to grasp the truth that it is our responsibility and duty, as obedient followers of Christ, to resist our Enemy's advances. And having no fear, we are to go forth in defense of God's Truth, His Goodness, and His Sovereignty! Amen!
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2 Corinthians 11:3 But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ.