Day 13 – Our Enemy, Part 2: How He Works

1 Peter 5:8; Ephesians 6:10–20; Revelation 12:10; John 8:43–44

Today, let’s look at how Satan works with the power and authority he has co-opted from us. Again, we turn to the Scriptures listed for today. In 1 Peter 5:8 we find that Satan “prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” Most of us have seen a video of lions hunting and know that they pursue the weak, the sick, the young, and the isolated. This is what Peter is communicating; Satan looks to pounce on the vulnerable. Ephesians 6 says he has schemes and shoots fiery arrows (not literally, stay with me and we’ll understand these momentarily). In Revelation 12 we see that Satan is constantly accusing us about our shortcomings and sin. That’s a scheme if I ever saw one! Finally, in John 8, we see that Satan lies, lies, and lies some more! Lies are the main type of fiery arrow that Satan uses; they lodge in one’s heart as false convictions.

Specifically, here is how Satan helps produce false convictions in our lives. He comes in our most vulnerable moments and tells us lies—really good lies. A bad lie is 180 degrees from the truth and, therefore, is easy to detect and simple to defuse. Good lies are 3 degrees off the truth and sound very much like the truth because they contain a great deal of it. So he sidles up beside us in our pain, whispers a good lie in our ears, and we become convinced that it is true. A false conviction in the emotional center of our being is formed and it drives behaviors that make others react in a way to affirm the lie over and over again. Slowly our lives fall further and further short of the free and abundant life God intended for us.

Or, rather than suffering, we have success. Things go really well for us in school, sports, music, art, work, or outward beauty. We can quickly find ourselves overconfident in our own strength and ability, which leaves us isolated with a false identity built around achievement—we are what we accomplish. In these instances, the enemy of our soul whispers, “Well, well, well, look at you. Aren’t you something?! Why, someone like you doesn’t need anything or anybody. You are quite capable of doing it your way, when you want, and how you want to do it.” The self-reliant man or woman is set up for the rug to be pulled out from under them later on—when a loved one dies, or divorce comes, or the inability to have children is diagnosed, or the pink slip shows up, or the child rebels. However and whenever the rug is pulled, the fall is hard.

Closing Exercise

Continue to ask God to show you if you are convinced of anything that is not true and that is causing you to behave contrary to your beliefs or not fully live in God’s truth. Specifically, ask God if you are living out of pride or overconfidence in a way that leaves you vulnerable and isolated to the schemes of Satan.