Know Your Enemy, Part 2

Satan has been defeated, but he doesn’t want Christians to know it. So our enemy, the devil, roams about looking for whom he may devour– and that “whom” is whoever doesn’t know his tricks and strategies. They are perfect prey for attack.

In yesterday’s post, we started looking at some of Satan’s devices because it’s important for us to KNOW our enemy.

Adding to our list:

4. OPPRESSION: this assault describes the constant (not occasional) behavior of the devil

  • To better understand this attack, we need to understand this word in the original Greek: katadunasteao
  • Kata = (the prefix) describes something that comes down very forcefully and controlling
  • Dunasteuo = is related to the word dunamis (dynamite) or power; especially achieving power
  • Therefore “oppression” is literally a controlling and manipulating power that comes with great force to conquer someone.

The Bible says in Acts 10:38, “How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.” This assault of oppression targets our emotions and core because our feelings are linked to our mind, so when the mind is weighed down heavily (oppressed), our emotions and core are affected.

This is why I’m always saying you need to know the difference between faith and feelings!

5. PERCEPTION: the act of coming to a conclusion based on our feelings; fueled by what we allow in our mind

  • This is probably one of the easiest of tricks of the devil against the believer.
  • If we fall short of putting God’s Word in our heart (which is our responsibility), our perception will be full of half-truths, lies, or compromises that only feel like truth.
  • But remember, feelings without truth is dangerous.

So what do we do to fight back?

2 Corinthians 10:4-5, “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.”

Remember, diabolos is the devil’s mode of operation. His goal is to pierce and take captive the mind. Rick Renner, who is an amazing Greek scholar, said, “Every ‘high thing’ in this verse literally describes that which is in your head, the highest part of your physical being.” And what does God’s Word tell us to do? Pull and cast down EVERY HIGH THING by speaking God’s Word over your life.

If we don’t deal with our thoughts once they come, the result will be a stronghold (a mindset that is hard to break). The word “exalts” describes something that slowly and progressively rises to a place of prominence. This means when the devil started throwing lying allegations against our mind, it didn’t happen overnight. It was a constant attack that we allowed to continue without doing anything about it. This means we are the only ones responsible for the strongholds in our life because when the devil began to throw lying allegations against our mind that contradicted the true nature of God and His Word, the Holy Spirit dealt with us — but we ignored it.

God has given us the power to:

  1. CAST DOWN ARGUMENTS & HIGH THINGS THAT EXALT THEMSELVES AGAINST HIM
  2. BRING EVERY THOUGHT CAPTIVE TO THE OBEDIENCE OF CHRIST (His Word)

How?

Evaluate your thought life and bring every thought captive! To “take captive” is the picture a soldier taking control of an enemy who is resisting arrest by holding a knife to his throat. This is what you have to do with thoughts that are contrary to God’s Word.

This also means if the devil found a way to penetrate your mind with lies before you realized these truths or did something about it, the only thing left to do is get brutal with YOURSELF! In other words, start now! Start recognizing these wrong thoughts and speak God’s Word aloud, using it like a sword against the enemy.

In closing, this is one of the reasons I encourage you so often to say, “I am the righteousness of God in Christ.” The more you can speak God’s Truth over yourself and your life, the quicker you’ll be to recognize the devil’s lies.