1 Peter 5:8-9 (HCSB) 8 Be serious! Be alert! Your adversary the Devil is prowling around like a roaring lion, looking for anyone he can devour.9 Resist him and be firm in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are being experienced by your fellow believers throughout the world.
A lot of believers either don’t realize that they are in a war or don't take it seriously. So they are not actively engaged in the war,even though they are on the receiving end of the consequences of that war. They are attacked and become wounded and incapacitated because they are totally unprepared to face the enemy.
In order to survive the first thing we have to realize is that there really is a war and we do have an enemy. What we must realize is that our enemy is God’s enemy. In fact he is our enemy because he is God’s enemy. The mere fact that you are a child of God means that you are subject to attack at any time. You may believe you don’t have to engage in the battle, but you do.
Satan does exist and he has a military force. The war is never over because the enemy never never gives up. Jesus has defeated him but he continues to engage in gorilla warfare. Much like Isis or any other defeated enemy does until they are totally destroyed.
This is a spiritual war, but it’s every bit as real as the the conflicts that we see being waged the world today. The Bible is clear that this is not a battle which is fought on a physical plane at all, but rather a spiritual one.
Ephesians 6:12 (HCSB) 12 For our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the world powers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavens.
Who are these principalities, powers, rulers of darkness?
They are the soldiers of Satan’s military. He works through a vast army of demon spirits. Remember Satan is a created being and not omnipresent, so he can only be in one place at a time, but he has a large demonic spiritual army.
Satan is very powerful, but let's not give him too much credit.
We blame Satan for everything from us having a flat tire, to us contracting an illness. We have a flat tire because we ran over a nail in the road, we get hypertension because we have a family history and we don’t eat right. Satan had nothing to do with that. What Satan can do however is cause us to think that he has the power to do these things causing us to doubt God’s word that He will care for us no matter the situation or circumstance we find ourselves in.
Matthew 6:25, 33-34 (HCSB)25 “This is why I tell you: Don’t worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Isn’t life more than food and the body more than clothing?33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you.34 Therefore don’t worry about tomorrow, because tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Hebrews 13:5 (HCSB)5 Your life should be free from the love of money. Be satisfied with what you have, for He Himself has said, I will never leave you or forsake you.
2 Peter 1:3 (HCSB)3 His divine power has given us everything required for life and godliness through the knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness.
But there’s also an unseen battle we may not be readily aware of. Day in and day out, we face a real enemy. We may not always see it, we might forget he’s there. It’s often easy to lose focus and get distracted with the other struggles in life.
But the truth is this: spiritual forces are still at work.
And just like a hidden virus that spreads among us causing destruction and disease, the enemy works to do the same. Though the days may feel difficult and scary right now, we don’t have to let him win.
In order to stand strong in the battle, every wise soldier knows he must do one thing.
Know who the enemy is.
When we understand how Satan operates, we’ll have the wisdom to move away from his traps. God has much to say about his devious schemes. And though he never tells us to be afraid, he does remind us to be on guard and to live aware.
God has a plan for our lives. The enemy has a plan for us too. We just have to determine which voice we’re going to listen to, and who we will choose to follow.
Ways Satan Is at Work in COVID-19 and How He Tries to Bring Defeat
1. He is crafty. He is a schemer. He is cunning and evil. He can never be trusted. He is a master manipulator; don’t fall for his schemes.
Genesis 3:1 (HCSB) 1 Now the serpent was the most cunning of all the wild animals that the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You can’t eat from any tree in the garden’?”
Ephesians 6:10-13 (HCSB) 10 Finally, be strengthened by the Lord and by His vast strength.11 Put on the full armor of God so that you can stand against the tactics of the Devil.12 For our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the world powers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavens.13 This is why you must take up the full armor of God, so that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having prepared everything, to take your stand.
He works to consume us in doubt, fear and worry. He tries to deceive us into thinking we’re all alone.
2. He tries to steal, kill, and destroy all that we hold dear. He’s the master of destruction.
Satan is a thief. He comes to steal, kill, and destroy. He will try his best to rob us of all joy, peace, security, and purpose. He works hard to destroy our families, lives, and all that we hold dear.
John 10:10 (HCSB) 10 A thief comes only to steal and to kill and to destroy. I have come so that they may have life and have it in abundance.
3. He tempts us to rely on ourselves and our own strength to get us through. He disguises himself as an angel of light.
Satan will do anything to try to lure us away from truth, away from God. He knows our weaknesses and will try to tempt us in our greatest times of struggle. He wants us to fall for his traps and he’ll take any opportunity to kick us while we’re down. He is deceptively cunning and can make himself appear beautiful and alluring. He attempts to make sin look good and evil enticing.
2 Corinthians 11:14 (HCSB) 14 And no wonder! For Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.
1 Corinthians 10:13 (HCSB) 13 No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to humanity. God is faithful, and He will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation He will also provide a way of escape so that you are able to bear it.
4. He is the author of confusion. He breeds distrust and paranoia.
He is a deceiver. He will seek to bring confusion and lead many astray, he is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. He is a liar and works hard to make us doubt God’s truth. From the beginning of time, he has hissed lies our way, twisting God’s word to bring doubt and disbelief.
John 8:44 (HCSB) 44 You are of your father the Devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning and has not stood in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he tells a lie, he speaks from his own nature, because he is a liar and the father of liars. (emphasis mine).
Revelation 12:9 (HCSB) 9 So the great dragon was thrown out--the ancient serpent, who is called the Devil and Satan, the one who deceives the whole world. He was thrown to earth, and his angels with him. (emphasis mine).
5. He works hard to bring disunity and strife.
He wants nothing more than to break up the body of Christ. He is one who hinders. He is a stumbling block. He will do anything to try and prevent the name of Jesus Christ from being proclaimed and His truth from being shared. He will try every trick possible to throw roadblocks in our path and to stop us from being fruitful. He loves to stir up trouble and rumors. If he can divide us through disunity, he knows he has already won part of the battle.
1 Thessalonians 2:17-18 (HCSB) 17 But as for us, brothers, after we were forced to leave you for a short time (in person, not in heart), we greatly desired and made every effort to return and see you face to face.18 So we wanted to come to you—even I, Paul, time and again--but Satan hindered us. (emphasis mine)
Matthew 16:21-23 (HCSB) 21 From then on Jesus began to point out to His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders, chief priests, and scribes, be killed, and be raised the third day.22 Then Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, “Oh no, Lord! This will never happen to You!”23 But He turned and told Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me because you’re not thinking about God’s concerns, but man’s.” (emphasis mine).
We have a choice of who we listen to and what we believe. Recognize who is at the root of fear and worry. Push past his lies; step over his traps.
2 Timothy 1:7 (HCSB) 7 For God has not given us a spirit of fearfulness, but one of power, love, and sound judgment.
God gives us the power through His Holy Spirit to live free from the entanglement of sin. He gives us the power to live strong. He gives wisdom and discernment to make the right choices.
James 1:5-8 (HCSB) 5 Now if any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives to all generously and without criticizing, and it will be given to him.6 But let him ask in faith without doubting. For the doubter is like the surging sea, driven and tossed by the wind.7 That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord.8 An indecisive man is unstable in all his ways.
He gives joy deep inside. He offers the assurance that no matter what we face, He is with us.
Deuteronomy 31:6 (HCSB) 6 Be strong and courageous; don’t be terrified or afraid of them. For it is the LORD your God who goes with you; He will not leave you or forsake you.”
Hebrews 13:5-6 (HCSB) 5 Your life should be free from the love of money. Be satisfied with what you have, for He Himself has said, I will never leave you or forsake you.
6 Therefore, we may boldly say: The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?
5 Ways to Protect Yourself from Satan’s Schemes
1. Be aware. Stay alert.
1 Peter 5:8 (HCSB) 8 Be serious! Be alert! Your adversary the Devil is prowling around like a roaring lion, looking for anyone he can devour.
2. Submit to God’s authority. Be ruthless with sin, which is an open door for the enemy to work.
James 4:7-8 (HCSB) 7 Therefore, submit to God. But resist the Devil, and he will flee from you.8 Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, sinners, and purify your hearts, double-minded people!
3. Know that in Christ, we are forgiven. You are set free. You have His mighty power working within you. You are more than a conqueror through Christ.
Romans 8:35-39 (HCSB) 35 Who can separate us from the love of Christ? Can affliction or anguish or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?36 As it is written: Because of You we are being put to death all day long; we are counted as sheep to be slaughtered.37 No, in all these things we are more than victorious through Him who loved us.38 For I am persuaded that not even death or life, angels or rulers, things present or things to come, ⌊hostile⌋ powers,39 height or depth, or any other created thing will have the power to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord! (emphasis mine).
4. Put on the armor of God every day. Pray. Take up His word, the sword of the Spirit, which is our only offensive weapon.
Ephesians 6:11-18 (HCSB) 11 Put on the full armor of God so that you can stand against the tactics of the Devil.12 For our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the world powers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavens.13 This is why you must take up the full armor of God, so that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having prepared everything, to take your stand.14 Stand, therefore, with truth like a belt around your waist, righteousness like armor on your chest,15 and your feet sandaled with readiness for the gospel of peace.16 In every situation take the shield of faith, and with it you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.17 Take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is God’s word. 18 Pray at all times in the Spirit with every prayer and request, and stay alert in this with all perseverance and intercession for all the saints.
5. Know that He is for you. He is with you.
The enemy does not have the final say over your life. God fights for you, even in times you’re unaware. He’s always working on your behalf, often behind the scenes where you cannot see. And the enemy’s plans will be crushed.
Romans 16:20 (HCSB) 20 The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you.
- Keep living aware. Keep standing strong. You are never alone.
- May His grace, peace, and joy cover your day.
- He is with you. And He is greater. Always.
1 John 4:4 (HCSB) 4 You are from God, little children, and you have conquered them, because the One who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.