Know Your Enemy, Part 1

If righteousness is the ability to stand before God without inferiority (or fear), then God wants us to stand before the devil that way too. In other words, without cowering.

But how do you stand strong against an enemy you know very little about? Good soldiers (soldiers of God) need to KNOW their enemy and his strategies against them.

So let’s just start with his name: the devil or diabolos. 1 Peter 5:8 says, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary, the devil, walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” I like the Amplified version: “Be sober [well balanced and self-disciplined], be alert and cautious at all times. That enemy of yours, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion [fiercely hungry], seeking someone to devour.”

Don’t be deceived. He is your enemy.

In the Greek, diabolos means false accuser (one who falsely accuses and divides people without any reason). This certainly describes the devil. And that’s something else we need to understand–his name is also his mode of operation. Let me show you:

  • Dia = (prefix) describes the act of penetrating… or something that pierces or passes into or through something else
  • Ballo = to throw like a rock

So the word diabolos (devil) is one who continually hits us, throwing lying allegations against our mind until penetration is accomplished; piercing the mind and soul to take one captive. This means when the devil repeatedly hits us, throwing lying allegations against our mind — and we do nothing about it — he eventually gains penetration into our mind by paving a road into our thoughts so that we struggle to discern truth from falsehood. In fact, his primary goal is to get us to buy the lie until it is empowered to become a bona fide reality in our life.

The Bible describes the devil’s assaults against the believer as devices, wiles, deception, and oppression, just to name a few.

  1. DEVICES: describes the enemy’s purpose or thought
  • 2 Corinthians 2:11, “Lest Satan [diabolos] should take advantage of us, we are not ignorant of his devices.”
  • This assault targets our ignorance (our lack of knowledge, or our choice to ignore truth). Both are dangerous.
  • Believers need to know their enemy. And it’s vital to know the weapons he uses against them.
  1. WILES: this paints a picture of something being run over; also means travesty or trickery
  • Ephesians 6:10-12, “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against all the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.”
  • This assault targets weakness or a lack of armor meaning, when we forget to draw our strength from God and prepare ourselves. In other words, no one goes to a gun fight in their underwear!
  • Ephesians 6:13-18 reminds us to wear all our armor: truth, righteousness, peace, faith, salvation, and the sword of the spirit (His Word). In other words, make time with God a priority.
  1. DECEPTION: to completely seduce, to deceive, to lead out of the right way into error
  • 2 Corinthians 11:3, “But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.”
  • This assault targets logical thinking. Faith is simple. Jesus told us to just believe like a child. The trouble (snare) is when we try to process God and His way of doing things “logically” instead of by faith.
  • Don’t think that you’re immune from this attack. The Bible says,  “For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light” (2 Corinthians 11:14). This is a picture of pure deception!
  • Remember the natural and supernatural work together. We live in natural bodies in a natural world, but we are filled with the supernatural spirit of God, and there is a supernatural arena that exists outside what our natural mind can see or comprehend!

Knowledge is the key. What you don’t know can hurt you! Know your enemy.


*Tomorrow I’ll share two more devices of the enemy and what you can do to stand strong!