People are never your enemy. Your real enemy is Satan (the devil) who is always evil; a liar, deceiver, accuser, false prophet and more. His one strategy is to “kill and steal and destroy.” He’s the master of deception. He tried to deceive Jesus. And he’ll try to deceive you. But you’ve already read about his tactics. Today you can learn how to defeat him every time!

We humans tend to complicate what God declares as simple and straightforward. We tend to dilute God’s word to fit what we think we see and by our feeble imaginations. I’ve been a child of God for 70 years and have observed this taught in churches. We need to repent of our unbelief, accept what God is telling us, and apply it to our lives.

Satan exists and is active on Planet Earth. “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” (1 Peter 5:8) Let’s not be ignorant of his presence and his intent.

Let’s not be slack in our pursuit of God’s ways as recorded in his living word, nor slack in our daily application of his commands in our lives. Then God will activate his power in us and empower us against our enemy. “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” (James 4:7)

Our trust in Christ must not be a fleeting thing but a day by day state of victory over the devil. “…God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” (2 Timothy 1:7) “Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God, … everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world (Satan’s dominion). And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?” (1 John 5:1-5)

God’s word supplies everything you need to defend yourself against your enemy. Stand your ground. Don’t be timid. “Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.

"Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.” (Ephesians 6:10-18 The Living Translation)

Jerome Huebner is a retired longtime Bible teacher and leader in Rochester, now living in Cannon Falls.

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