Summary: In our fallen world, Satan goes about like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour - which means that mature disciples of Christ must of necessity have a battle plan for dealing with the threats Satan constantly hurls at us.
HOW WE WISH IT WERE NOT SO, BUT IT IS!
When tragedy strikes, whether personal as when a loved one loses his life in an accident, or national as was the horrific massacre in Las Vegas, how we wish it were not so!
As unbelievable as such tragedies seem at the moment, and no matter how hard we try to escape the reality of it by employing the oldest defense mechanism of denial, nonetheless we must - sooner or later - acknowledge that it is so!
How we react to the tragedy immediately, and how we respond to it over the long haul, is a challenge all of those affected by it must face. Reactions and responses predictably will fall into two categories – spiritual and political.
On both fronts, we must face the music and come to grips with the sour note of the existence of evil in the world. To combat satanic forces, demonic influences, and criminal intent in the hearts of sin sick souls, there are laws - on the books of our system of justice, and written in The Book – the Word of God.
Be that as it may, how long will it take for people to realize that laws only DEFINE bad behavior, laws do not STOP bad behavior. The person killed by a drunk driver is the victim of bad behavior against which there is already a law, not only as written in The Book but also written on the books in our court houses.
That tragic, horrific massacre of innocent people carried out by a deranged person defied both the laws of God and the laws of men. There are laws on books and in The Book that define every one of his actions as criminal and sinful.
All the talk about “more laws” may win political points for politicians whose rhetoric gets them elected, but until somebody of stature steps up and speaks the truth about what our greatest need is - spiritual awakening and revival of morality – you can expect more of the same.
As for you and me - and Christian soldiers everywhere - we can do our part – in the place where we reside geographically - praying for the comfort God brings to those who mourn, for the dawning of an awakening in the hearts of all people everywhere, that sinners will come to know Christ whom to know is life eternal and thereby take up a spiritual residence where sin no longer has dominion!
Since we are residents of the spiritual realm where we reside “in Christ”, what a shame we even have to think about “battle armor” (as in our previous study) and what a shame we must now talk about a “battle plan” (as in our current study)! But talk about it we must!
Like a roaring lion, Satan roams to and fro, seeking whom he may devour! One thing you can be sure of: If the Devil sought to bring Jesus down, how much more will he go out of his way - and try every stunt there is - to bring down those who belong to Jesus! So: be on your guard, be like Jesus, resist the Devil!
We may talk about a battle plan, but Jesus needed no battle plan per se - no step one, two, three. Neither do we! “In Christ” is where we need to be - for, if we are in Him, we become like Him – in that we, like He, will be led by the Spirit who indwells us and therefore compels us, propels us, and repels the Evil One – Matthew 4:1-11 . . .
Jesus - as human as he was divine - referred to in Scripture as the God-man – fully God, fully man. As a man - born of a woman, growing up in a family, working for a living, when the time was right taking upon himself the messianic role for which God had sent him into the world - we are told that he was tempted like we are, yet without sin.
In his human nature, Jesus the man could have yielded to temptation, but because he had yielded his life to the Spirit of God, he yielded not to temptation. And, in that truth is our hope and our glory!
Do not be surprised if we are assaulted by temptation right after a trying experience, when we are tired, during stressful situations, when we are alone, when we are away from home; do not be surprised if temptation appears right after a spiritual “high” – as was the case with Jesus (right after his baptism).
However, notice that victory comes not through the avoidance of Satan’s assaults – whether they attack in the valleys or on the mountain tops – but victory comes by going through the assaults with our faith in God still intact and our dependence upon the Spirit of God stronger than ever.