Our Nemesis :: by John Lysaught

“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; and your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints” (Ephesians 6:10-18).

We are facing an epic battle right now. This battle has been raging on since Lucifer’s pride went against God’s will and Lucifer lost his place in heaven and fell from God’s favor and became Satan. Satan brought Adam and Eve down in the garden by convincing them to eat from the tree of good and evil. Satan was able to convince 1/3 of the angels to follow him in a battle for our souls. They were cast down from heaven to earth and the angels that followed him became what we call demons.  They are not good. They are unholy. They are our nemesis we face in our spiritual and physical life.

We meet opposition from the unholy ones daily throughout our lives. As Christians, we respond by rejecting the thoughts that come into mind and cast them out in the name of Jesus. Sometimes though, we slip and fall. For me, when I see a good looking woman, I immediately divert my eyes somewhere else or look at my wife and talk to her. Satan uses something as small as an attractive person in inappropriate attire to get us to sin.

Many fall for this and Satan won this little skirmish.  When watching TV I avert my eyes even when people are kissing… it’s something personal I do because I don’t want to be tempted. I’m like a little boy who covers his eyes when mom says to do so.

The opposition’s best venue to reach us is through the media and entertainment industry. Need I say more?  Satan rules the mainstream media and entertainment machine that spouts out crap.  I swear, is there not a movie out there that doesn’t have sex or demonic undertones in it? Though it is all made up, it is also real.

The entertainment machine uses these tactics to numb society to demonic and corrupted moral demise. We can’t avoid media or entertainment unless we isolate ourselves from society, but we can be the litmus test for our brothers and sisters that are new in the faith of what is good and bad in the media, entertainment industry and on the Internet.

Satan’s minions create havoc in our personal lives all the time. They try their best to scare us away from Christ, put negative thoughts in our minds, and encourage us to act on those sinful thoughts that they bombard us with. Some people fall prey to this and do horrid things to others and themselves.

I live in El Paso, Texas. A few weeks ago a disgruntled employee with PTSD went into the Veteran’s Affairs and shot and killed his former supervisor. This wasn’t a spur of the moment thing. This was a year in the making. Evil penetrated the perpetrators mind and slowly but surely, evil grew into his heart and mind and drove him to take the life of another for no other reason than being let go of a job. Not only did he kill his former boss, but he killed himself. This action of self-murder assured Satan that he got this troubled young man’s soul.

I’ve known, know, and have witnessed people who have been influenced and taken over by forces of evil.  They don’t care about others. They look out for number one—themselves—and lie and cheat to get what they want. Now if you are not of Christ, you are of the world. That means if you are not of God, you are a vessel for evil.

Even those who aren’t saved and seem to be good people and lead good lives, they too are vessels for evil. For on the outside things seem to be fine, but internally in their house or in their minds and hearts, they are toying with evil thoughts and deeds. There is an agenda with Satan that is ungodly, whether they know it or not, the unsaved are part of Satan’s plan to try to sway us away from our first love—Christ.

I know a former pastor that fell down and gave into the wiles of Satan. Because of this, his church dwindled to a small number of attendees and failed. We later found out that he had a salary, but was also using tithes to pay his mortgage, personal bills, meals, and other things and used his salary for extra fun things.  He stole from God. Not only that, but he began an affair with a married church member while he, too, was married.

He shortly thereafter left the church, filed and got a divorce from his wife and is now shacking up with this still married girlfriend.  The saddest part though is that he still goes to churches and hospitals to lead worship, services, and Bible studies with his girlfriend at his side participating.  I confronted him about it once and he beat around the bush and said that regardless of what he has done and is doing, he still loves to worship and serve God.

Satan definitely got a hold of this guy. He has blinded him and has made him believe that what he did was not bad and what he is doing is okay.  I don’t think he should be doing what he is doing with church services. He will be held at a higher standard during judgment. I can only pray he finds the truth again and gets back into the mercy and grace of God. He is trying to serve two masters and that is unbiblical (Matthew 6:24).

I could go on and on, but you get the picture. We all know people who fit this bill and live lives contrary to God’s will for us and they call themselves Christians. If they have the knowledge of Christ and what He did for us then it is their fault because they made that decision to turn their back on truth and run face-first into lies.

I get tempted daily and fail sometimes. Not anything big, but usually things in my mind; no actions taken though. I refuse to act on the impulses Satan places before me.  I’m strong enough in my faith to see the evil coming and to stop it before it takes me 9 times out of 10.

As our relationship with Christ grows, we are better able to fight Satan and his principalities that are against us. We must submit ourselves to God and resist the devil (James 4:7). By submitting ourselves we have his hedge of protection around us that makes it hard for our nemesis to penetrate that protection, as long as we keep our guard up and submit to God.

Satan’s mission in his lowly existence is to “steal, kill, and destroy” (John 10:10) as he prowls around like a roaring lion, looking to devour us (1 Peter 5:8). He’s not sitting on the bench waiting for us to screw up but is the quarterback directing plays to his demons to negatively influence us in our lives and relationship with Christ. He is on the offensive in our world, not on the defensive. We must be both on the offensive and defensive when dealing with his evil.

On the defensive, we are to resist the devil and his clever ways that to try to influence us.  Always, all the time, we must be in this defensive stance. If we let our guard down, he will sack us and “wham,” the next thing we know is we just sinned and fell.  Once we sin, we feel guilty and we then either turn to Christ for forgiveness or we dwell in the pool of guilt that slowly eats at us like acid.

We need to be more on the offensive side of the battle.

People, we are in a war for souls, not only ours, but others as well.  When in a war the point of the battle is to gain ground and this we must strive to do. Battles go back and forth with captured land, but inch by inch we are gaining the foothold of faith with Christ on Satan’s ground. We know Satan will lose, for the Bible makes this clear, but it doesn’t mean we sit on the sidelines and wait. We must be active soldiers in this battle.

During the American Civil War, people used to picnic on hills overlooking battlefields. It was entertainment to them to watch the battle going on before them. Let us not be sitting on higher ground watching the battle being raged against Satan by others. Jump up, put on your armor of God and rush into battle.  Fight the good fight. Our nemesis is bound to lose, but we must help in this battle.

God doesn’t tell us to sit by the wayside and avoid the battle with Satan and his demons, but wants us to be active participants. Christ is our general and we are His soldiers. Resist the enemy and fight the enemy with prayer, strength in character, integrity, in your heart, and in your mind.