Happy March everyone! I hope that you all are faring well this month. Can you believe that it’s almost spring? That wonderful time when winter ends? Of course, that’s kind of dependent on where you live. In the case of Upstate New York, that’s not really the case. Up here in the North Country, March is actually the month for potential freak weather (so I’ve heard). I haven’t seen it yet, but I’ll have to keep an eye out.
A couple of weeks ago, I was sitting in church and listening to our pastor say that some Christians don’t believe that the devil exists. However, a majority of Christians do believe that the devil is real. Now, it’s good that many of us acknowledge that the evil one is real, but do we really comprehend or realize how active he is in our world–in our lives? Do we treat him like the enemy he is?
Here are 3 reasons why Christians need to be on guard against the devil:
- Satan is active
If you think that he’s just sitting around causing trouble whenever, that’s not the case. He is actively working against God, and working against the Church. While it’s unlikely that any of us will become his personal target, his actions affect our lives and his minions are also at work. The devil is our “adversary” and thus, is continually working against us, seeking to “devour” those who are not watchful.
Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8).
The Lord said to Satan, “From where have you come?” Satan answered the Lord and said, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking up and down on it.” (Job 1:7).
- The devil schemes and plans
The evil one is not some harmless little creature that causes some occasional mischief, but plans death and destruction. We must be on alert against his scheming ways and his acts of disrupting the work of Jesus and the Church–which includes you and me. He’s not merely moving around and working at random, but conjuring up strategic plans to accomplish as much damage as possible.
Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil (Ephesians 6:11).
So that we would not be outwitted by Satan; for we are not ignorant of his designs (2 Corinthians 2:11).
- The devil is crafty and deceives
While some of Satan’s actions are obvious and transparent (i.e. American culture that’s saturated in sex, crime, death, hate, etc.). Much of his work in the lives of the Church is silent, slow, and creeping. It’s not obvious, but gradual and worked in such a way that we generally don’t see what’s happening until the harm has already been done. In his attempts to disrupt the Church, by no means is he going to make it obvious. Which is why we have to be so alert and on our guard against the craftiness of the devil.
Also, he is the father of lies. Deceiving is his speciality and just as with his other means, he isn’t going to be loud about his deceptions. They’re masked in such a way that whatever it is doesn’t really seem bad. He works his deceptions so as to appear harmless and good, and then subtly leads us away from Christ. Don’t be fooled. When he works it’s often subtle and gradual.
You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies (John 8:44).
But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ (2 Corinthians 11:3).
We need to be alert and on guard against the devil because…
- He is active
- The devil schemes and plans destruction
- Satan is the father of lies and is crafty
Christians are not in a leisurely squabble, but in a battle against the enemy of God, who seeks our destruction. The devil takes this fight seriously, so why shouldn’t we? He’s out to take advantage of us, and to find any weakness to exploit. If we don’t treat the devil like a real threat, then we are leaving ourselves vulnerable, and he won’t pass that opportunity.
So then, how many of us leave ourselves open to the work of the devil? How many of us treat him like he’s remote and isolated from our personal lives? How many of us are harmed by his works because we don’t treat him like the enemy he is–a cunning, scheming, and active attacker.
Perhaps it’s time we reconsider our view of the enemy.