This simple blog is devoted to the greatest privilege that man has ever been given; PRAYER.
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces ofthis darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.
Dutch evangelist Corrie ten Boom said, “It’s a poor soldier indeed who does not recognize the enemy.” The key to victory in both natural and spiritual warfare is to clearly identify the enemy, and to understand his character and methods.
Identity the Real Enemy
So who is the Christian’s enemy? The answer is Satan and his host of fallen angels. Our opposition and struggle is against these unseen spiritual forces. (See Isa. 14:12-14; Eph. 6:12; 2 Pet. 2:4; Jude 6.)
Webster’s Dictionary defines an enemy as a hostile force or power that has destructive effects. Several Hebrew words are translated “enemy” in the Old Testament They can mean “enemy or foe; one who is awake; adversary or distresser; one standing against; one hating; observer or one who is critically watching.”1 The name Satan literally means “an adversary” or “one who accuses.”2
According to author C. S. Lewis, “Satan’s cleverest trick is to convince the world that he does not exist.”3 Few people, either Christian or non-Christian, have a clear concept of who Satan is and his place in the world. We succumb to our human reasoning in believing some person is our enemy— and act accordingly. Meanwhile, the real enemy, Satan, wreaks havoc in our marriages, families, churches, communities and nations.
Puritan pastor William Gurnall. in his book The Christian in Complete Armour (Volume 1), illustrates my point:
Spend your wrath on Satan, who is your chief enemy. Men are only his puppets. They may be won to Christ’s side and so become your friends at last. Anselm explains it in the following manner: “When the enemy comes riding up in battle, the valiant soldier is not angry with the horse, but with the horseman. He works to kill the rider so that he may possess the horse for his own use. Thus must we do with the wicked. We are not to bend our wrath against them, but against Satan who rides them and spurs them on. Let us pray fervently, as Christ did on the cross, that the devil will be dismounted and these miserable souls delivered from him.”4
Satan was a perfect creature until he tried to exalt himself above God. His beauty filled him with pride—causing him to no longer be holy—and he wanted to receive worship that belonged only to God. Because Satan did not recognize the authority of God who made him, he was cast out of heaven, as recorded in the following passages:
How you have fallen from heaven, O star of the morning, son of the dawn! You have been cut down to the earth, You who have weakened the nations! But you said in your heart, “I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God, and I will sit on the mount of assembly in the recesses of the north. I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High” (Isa. 14:12-14).
You were the anointed cherub who covers, and I placed you there. You were on the holy mountain of God; you walked in the midst of the stones of fire. You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created, until unrighteousness was found in you. By the abundance of your trade you were internally filled with violence, and you sinned; therefore, I have cast you as profane from the mountain of God. And I have destroyed you, 0 covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire (Ezek. 28:14-16).
After losing his residence in heaven, Satan was next seen in the Garden of Eden, where he deceived humanity (see Gen. 3:1-13), causing humans to rebel against their Creator and drawing the line of battle between the two
kingdoms: the kingdom of Light and the kingdom of darkness.
As one Bible scholar states: “Satan is a creature; he is no match for the Creator. Satan is powerful, but not omnipotent. He can hinder, but he cannot prevent. The master of deceit can convince the prayer warrior that his or her prayer has not reached the Throne. Your strength is to remember that Satan is a defeated antagonist. To accredit it to him otherwise is to allow Satan supremacy over you. He is—and always will be—the Usurper. You cannot avoid warfare. You are continuously involved in the battle. Therefore, you must ‘Draw near to God, resist the devil [stand your ground] and he will flee.”
Know Your Enemy’s Names
Let us examine some of Satan’s names recorded in Scripture so you can better understand the character of your enemy. Many of his names not only reveal his character, but also suggest his tactics in warfare against the Body of Christ:
• devil (Matt. 4.1,5,8,11; 1 John 3:8,10; Jude 9; Rev. 12:9,12; 20:2);
• father of lies (John 8:44);
• god ofthis evil world (2 Cor. 4:4);
• an infidel or unbeliever (2 Cor. 6:15);
• prince of the bottomless pit or angel of the abyss (destroyer) (Rev. 9:11);
• angel of light (2 Cor. 11:14);
• star ofthe morning, son ofthe dawn (Isa. 14:12);
• the enemy or the avenger (Ps. 8:2);
• evil one (Matt. 6:13; John 17:15);
• adversary (1 Pet. 5:8);
• ruler of demons (Beelzebub) (Matt. 12:24);
• the destroyer (Job 15:21; 2 Thess. 2:3);
• the accuser (Rev. 12:10);
• the tempter (Gen. 3:1; Matt. 4:3; 1 Thess. 3:5);
• the dragon (Rev. 12:7-13; 20:2);
• the serpent (Gen. 3:1-4.13; Rev. 12:9; 20:2);
• the deceiver (Gen. 3:13; 2 John 7; 2 Thess. 2:3).
Excerpt from Chapter 7 (You’re in a battle) of “Becoming a Prayer Warrior” by Elizabeth Alves