Keep a cool head. Stay alert. The Devil is poised to pounce, and would like nothing better than to catch you napping. Keep your guard up. You’re not the only ones plunged into these hard times. It’s the same with Christians all over the world. So keep a firm grip on the faith. [1 Peter 5:8-9a (MSG)]

evilIf asked who your enemies are, what would you answer? Terrorist groups, North Korea, China or every Arab nation? As for personal enemies, unless you are embattled in a lawsuit, you’d probably say you have none. Would you think of mentioning Satan? Probably not, yet Satan is far more dangerous than any terrorist network. Unfortunately, this enemy, whose purpose is to steal, kill, and destroy rarely gets the recognition he deserves. He doesn’t seem real when we think of him as a guy with horns, in red tights and carrying a pitchfork, or as a lizard-like creature with fangs and a forked tongue, or even like the handsome Lucifer now depicted on television.

The word Satan comes from the Hebrew word for adversary. Satan fell from grace when he opposed God and, as God’s adversary, he’ll do anything possible to thwart God’s purpose and destroy all that God loves. This enemy will do all he can to capture our souls. Satan is the great deceiver and deception is never what it seems. Knowing he’d never capture us if we recognized him as the repugnant fiend he is, he’s thrilled when we picture him as a cartoon character, reptile, or attractive man. Satan and his demons, however, are spirits, not beings, and have no physical likeness. If we saw them for what they truly are, we’d be terrified and immediately flee.

Let’s never forget that Satan is not, never was, and never can be God’s equal. He’s more like a promising executive who grew proud, discontented and jealous of his boss, the founder and owner of Heaven, Inc. When Satan attempted a hostile takeover, the management easily defeated him. He left with about a third of the original employees and opened Evil, Inc. in direct competition. In an effort to destroy God’s people, Satan’s business lies, cheats, and steals. It offers an inferior product that appears to be cheaper but costs far more in the long run. Unfortunately, we seem more wary of the false advertising we see every day in the media than we are of Satan’s false promises. We can spot a deal that seems too good to be true in the newspaper but are often oblivious to Satan’s subtle schemes. That Satan is fighting a losing battle against God doesn’t keep him from his malicious activities. A cunning enemy, Satan wants our souls far more than the most persistent telemarketer wants our money. He knows how much God loves each and every one of us and how much it hurts Him to lose any one of his children. Let’s not play into Satan’s hands by failing to take our enemy seriously. It’s a matter of life and death!

One of Satan’s most deceptive and powerful ways of defeating us is to get us to believe a lie. And the biggest lie is that there are no consequences to our own doing. Satan will give you whatever you ask for if it will lead you where he ultimately wants you. [Charles Stanley]

Don’t be gullible in regard to smooth-talking evil. Stay alert like this, and before you know it the God of peace will come down on Satan with both feet, stomping him into the dirt. Enjoy the best of Jesus! [Romans 16:20 (MSG)]

After all, we don’t want to unwittingly give Satan an opening for yet more mischief—we’re not oblivious to his sly ways! [2 Corinthians 2:11 (MSG)]

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