(Day 7 of our 8-day study, #thestruggle, on the Armor of God)
“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. “ -Sun Tzu, “The Art of War”
By Katie Gibson
In any battle, it’s good to know your opponent.
Our enemy, Satan, is described several times throughout scripture:
He’s a murderer (John 8:44)
He’s a thief (John 10:10)
He’s a master of disguise (2 Corinthians 11:14)
He is an accuser (Revelation 12:10)
He is powerful (2 Corinthians 4:4)
I think we can all agree that those are some pretty intense descriptions right there.
But the key attribute we’re going to focus on today is found in John 8:44, which tells us, “…He has always hated the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, it is consistent with his character; for he is a liar and the father of lies.”
Or to put it in modern, musical lyrics, if his lips are moving then he’s lyin’ lyin’ lyin.
Sorry… I couldn’t help myself (grin).
But back to the point—if there is great advantage to knowing the enemy, and we know that Satan is the Father of Lies, then it seems pretty crucial that we are armed with a weapon capable of fighting back, right?
The good news is that, on top of all the defensive armor we’ve studied so far, we’ve also been provided with a single, offensive weapon, designed to take down our enemy—the sword of the Spirit.
Ephesians 6:17 says, “…and take the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.”
The Word of God is truth (John 17:17, Psalm 119:160).
The unknown author of Hebrews also describes the word of God as a sword:
“For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12)
“even to dividing soul and spirit… it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart”
Now isn’t that interesting.
What he’s telling us is the Word of God draws the line between what we feel is truth (soul), and what really is truth (spirit).
Friends, that sneaky Father of lies has a way of prodding at our feelings, causing us to do and decide in ways contrary to God’s best.
We must learn to divide between truth and lies by engaging the sword of the Spirit.
Jesus left us an excellent example, when He was tempted in the wilderness by Satan, himself, in Matthew 4:1-11.
It is clear that Jesus spent time in the Word, and knew the scriptures inside and out. Three times Satan tempted him with twisted lies, and three times Jesus responded, wielding the truth of God’s Word, and ultimately defeating him.
We, too, can follow Jesus’ example and become expert swordswomen when we:
Meditate on the Word of God. The point is quality, not quantity. Don’t rush, but instead focus on the truths, the stories and the promises within.
Memorize key verses. Identify the area(s) Satan lies to you the most. Research truths found in scripture that counteract these lies, and memorize them.
Maneuver your Sword. Identifying a lie does no good if you do not act. When Satan comes at you with deception, it’s time to counterattack with truth by speaking them out loud.
One of the biggest lies we believe is that Satan is nothing more than a nuisance. Satan hates us, and He won’t hesitate to try to take us down little by little with his seemingly “harmless” lies.
Take the offensive by picking up the Word of God, and committing it to mind. Then you will be ready and able to wield your sword the moment the “father of lies” tries to take you down.
When we know our enemy, we can know how to defeat Him. Satan is the father of lies, and we can defeat him with the sword of the spirit—Word of God, which is truth.
“I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” Psalm 119:11 (NIV)
1. Memorize the 3 M’s: Meditate on the Word of God; Memorize key verses; and Maneuver your sword
2. Make a plan to put these three into action. Set your alarm 5 minutes earlier to make time to read a chapter of the Word each morning. Write down key scriptures on post-it notes and place them in your car, on your mirror, over your sink—or wherever you will look at them most often!
Father, thank you for the gift of your Word. Forgive me for often undervaluing its power. Help me to be diligent to soak up your Word on a daily basis, so that I will be ready to wield its power against my enemy, the father of lies. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.