Summary: To help the listener recognize the enemy.
Will the Real Enemy Please Stand Up?
Scripture: I Peter 5:8-9 Date: 19 March 2006
Purpose: To help the listener recognize the enemy!
8 Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 9 Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.
In the popular game show entitled, “To Tell the Truth” we would eagerly watch as three contestants claimed to be the same person. We would join with a celebrity panel as they asked them questions, trying to guess who was telling the truth.
At the end of the show, the host would say: “Would the real blank please stand up?” It was the highlight of many American’s lives to tune in each week to see just how good they were at picking them out.
We need to realize that even though “To Tell the Truth” was a television show, it tells us something about our lives.
Today it is difficult to spot the enemy but our inability to easily identify him has not stopped the havoc he sows and the destruction he causes. “Will the real enemy please stand up?”
Many of us would say that we don’t have any enemies. We may have some people that we don’t see eye to eye with or who may be bent out of shape about something that has happened and as a result they don’t like us, but we would not qualify these persons as enemies, because an enemy is someone who is out to hurt us and to destroy us.
Some of us to be sure do have enemies in our life- whose intent is to destroy us or at least to hurt us in everyway they can. We can relate to David in the Psalms who quite often speaks of his enemies that lay in wait to destroy him. This morning I want to dispel a false impression.
If you think you don’t have an enemy, you need to think again. Everybody has an enemy that is out to get you. Whether you agree or disagree will not change the facts.
His name is many: Beelzebub, The Serpent, the Ruler of the world, Satan, the devil and many more, but I can assure you he is not so much considered about what you call him as he is about how he can get a hold of your life and mine and keep it.
“Will the real enemy please stand up?” That is what you and I need to know. How can we identify the enemy and expose him for who he really is? If he is like a terrorist among us how can we know him?
I. Someone may ask, “Well what does he look like?"
A. First of all it is not his appearance that tips you off but his approach!
1. In verse 8 of our text, the devil is described as a Lion who prowls about. The ability to “prowl” implies that he has freedom of movement and thus does not appear to be the enemy among us at all.
2. Unfortunately the red suit, horns and pitch fork are not his usual attire! If we knew his face and what he was wearing, we could easily identify him, but my friend he is among us and we don’t even know it.
3. In II Corinthians 11:14 and following we read, “Satan masquerades himself as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, if his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness…”
4. So it’s not his appearance that we need to be so focused on, rather it is his behavior. Looks can be deceiving but behavior never lies.
5. Let us never forget one very important truth! Satan can only do his work through people. He does not do his own dirty work as he has limited power; he seeks to influence others to do it for him.
7. That is why Paul says in Ephesians 6:12 “for our struggle is not against flesh and blood…” Satan’s approach is to use people, sometimes even you and even me.
8. We need to ask the Holy Spirit to check our approach. People are not the enemy- Satan is the enemy! Now I have met some people - and I’m sure you have as well, that if there was a look a like contest for the devil they would come close.
9. But people are not the problem – Satan is. Peter, one of Jesus’ own trusted followers responded to Jesus in a way that revealed the approach of the enemy and Jesus told him,
In Mark 8:33“Get behind me, Satan!” he said. “You do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men.”