Friday, April 26, 2013

Know Your Enemy

Over the past several weeks I have had occasion to take part in conversations with people who are believers but seem to have a fear of Satan.  If not fear then there is a sense that Satan is somehow as powerful as God.  I don't want to pretend that I have not had my moments of what Satan "might" do to me, but in all honesty, even before I became a Christian I never bought into the notion of Satan as God's equal opposite.  Even as a sinner, I knew that there was no way that Lucifer, this being that God had created, was some how as powerful as God.  We have to remember that Satan is who he is and where he is because of his failed insurrection in heaven (Isaiah 14:12-15).  What I hope to do in this post is to disabuse you of the notion that we should fear Satan, that Satan is so powerful that we must approach him with caution.  I  believe that this blog post is being written under the unction of the Holy Spirit and will be presented with simplicity and clarity so that no one will come away thinking that I am teaching some strange and flawed theology!  So here we go...Know Your Enemy!  We should begin, the beginning.  The scripture referenced above lets us in on Lucifer's fall, so we know why he was cast out of heaven and how he came to be in the Garden of Eden and use the serpent to tempt Adam and Eve.  In falling to Satan's temptation and being disobedient to God, Adam and Eve ceded the dominion of the earth to Satan.  So for several millennia Satan ruled and had power as the god of this world.  Then Jesus, the Son of God came as a human man and walked this earth, operating out of the same authority and dominion that God the Father had given to Adam.  Jesus did not concern himself with Satan.  In the wilderness when He was tempted, Jesus rebuked Satan and sent him away defeated...this was only the first of many times He would rebuke and defeat Satan!  When the demons that tormented God's children would come face to face with Jesus, they trembled and fell at His feet, crying out, "Why have You come to torment us before the time!"  When He commanded them they would leave!  So you say, yes, but He was JESUS!!! But I want you to remember my assertion that He was a human man, He was not operating out of a divine nature, Jesus, the son of Joseph was a human man!  And as a human man, He recognized His access to the Kingdom of Heaven and His position as the Son of God. Jesus exercised the authority that God had given to Adam in the Garden.  In the tenth chapter of the book of Luke, Jesus sends the seventy disciples out to various cities where He, Himself would soon go; and when the disciples returned, the scripture says they returned with joy declaring to Jesus, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name.” Luke 10:17 NKJV.  Jesus' responded to the disciples, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. 19 Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you. 20 Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven.” Luke 10:18-20 NKJV.   Now tell me, dearly loved ones, why should we be wearied by and worried about a fallen being when we have been given authority over all of the power he has.  Let's look at one thing before I close, the difference between authority and power.  In the Greek, the word authority, exousia, means rightful, actual, and unimpeded power to act, or to possess, control, use, dispose of, something or somebody. Wow! And Jesus gave us this authority over all of the enemy (Satan's) power. The word "power in the Greek means, power residing in a thing by virtue of its nature, or which a person or thing exerts and puts forth.  Just think, our authority is unimpeded power to act; Satan's power is the power that he exerts or puts forth.  Jesus gave us unimpeded power to possess, control or dispose of Satan's power!  Satan can only do what we allow him to do, so why do we concern ourselves with what he is going to do?  If you possess unimpeded power to act, control or dispose of Satan's power, why would you allow him to do anything to you, your family or those in your circle of influence?  Know your enemy dearly loved ones...he is a being created by God the Father, cast down by God the Father, and defeated by Jesus Christ the Messiah, who also gave us authority over his power.  We will ALWAYS win in Christ Jesus.  Be Encouraged!