I’m a lover not a fighter.
In fact, I used to pride myself on my loving personality. (The key words in that sentence are “used to”.)
I taught my children to be nice.
We did not allow them to fight. They were NOT allowed to argue with each other or their parents. EVER.
I began to see the bad fruit of this parenting style when they began playing soccer. . . they were too nice! They were polite and afraid to hurt the other players. They’d apologize if they knocked a kid down.
I wanted them to be more competitive. To play harder! To FIGHT! My boys grew out of the niceness in sports when they became lacrosse players. And I became the mom yelling, “Hit him! Knock him out of bounds!”
Yep. I became that mom.
Sometimes, I’m too nice spiritually. I forget that there is a battle waging in the heavenlies. My prayers are soft and gentle petitioning God to do something, but I forget that there’s more to prayer than asking God to act.
Prayer is war.
I’ve found myself yelling at God, but the truth is, our battle is not with God, it’s with evil. And evil loves for us to keep our anger turned toward God. That’s when the enemy can work the most.
I’ve got to show you the words under our English translation in this verse. It will help us better know our enemy, so we can win the battles.
I’m so excited to expose the enemy’s tactics and weakness.
The word translated as “devil” is the Greek word, Diabolos. Read this definition:
Accuser, slanderer…The Devil, nickname of Satan, so called because originally he accused or slandered God in Eden. The Devil still slanders God by false and blasphemous suggestions. . .” (Key Word, NIV)
Thoughts that question the goodness of God or the power of Jesus, dialogues in our minds that accuse God of being anything other than true, powerful, kind, wise, and loving, are all whispers of Diabolos.
Sometimes we entertain thoughts that accuse us or slander our intentions. They tell us we’re no good to anybody. We don’t have purpose. We’re failing. We aren’t smart enough or good enough. Those are from Diabolos.
You can discern between God’s rebukes and the Devil’s slander. God’s convictions bring healing and peace, but the Devil’s slander and accusation weigh us down. They are heavy and dark. Discouraging. Stifling.
“There is no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 8:1, NIV)
When God points out idols in our lives or disobedience, it brings freedom. His rebukes aren’t condemning. I know because I’ve experienced those breakthroughs. It was the weirdest thing. God’s discipline gave me life. It didn’t paralyze me or fill me with fear. If anything, I experienced His love in His rebuke.
His words aren’t confusing and they will always align with His Word, the Bible.
Read Genesis 3:1-7 (when you get the chance) and underline the serpent’s words. The Devil twisted God’s words and told Eve that God lied to her. His words were strategic. His planted doubt into Eve’s mind.
Beware of your thoughts. Line them up to this truth: [tweetability]If thoughts cause you to doubt God’s goodness or your righteousness in Christ, they are not from Him. [/tweetability]
Diabolos schemes against us.
Look at the Greek word:
Methodeia; to work by method. Method, the following or pursuing of an orderly and technical procedure in the handling of a subject.
Satan’s schemes are methodical. He pursues his subjects. His plans are technical procedures.
We shouldn’t be surprised when we find ourselves fighting battle after battle or problem after problem. Because his schemes usually have more than one problem or doubtful thought, or tragedy in mind. But. . .
The Devil has lost the eternal battle.
We are saved in Christ. We are forgiven and will go home one day to stand face to face with Jesus, but what Satan can do now is keep us from being mighty warriors for the Kingdom.
He can trick us into being mad at God or discouraged in our call.
But don’t let him.
He’s afraid of you. No more being nice.
I’ve got to pray for us:
“Dear God, we are so thankful for victory in Jesus. But Lord, we’re still down here on the battlefield; we need your help. Clothe us in truth and power. Help us put that helmet of salvation on, the breastplate of righteousness, with the belt of truth strapped around us holding it all together. Make our feet swift as we share the gospel of peace. We have peace with you. Strengthen us to hold up the shield of faith and use our swords. Thank you. Make us strong and cunning. Battle ready. Hoo-ah!”