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May 10, 2017

Know Your Enemy

“How you have fallen from heaven, O morning star, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations! You said in your heart, ‘I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of the sacred mountain. I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.’ But you are brought down to the grave, to the depths of the pit.” Isaiah 14:12-15 (NIV)

One of my favorite lines in the movie Patton was when General Patton won a decisive victory in a North African tank battle, defeating Erwin Rommell. Upon his victory, Patton says how he won the battle, “I read your (Rommel’s) book!” Although there is question as to whether that actually happened in history, knowing your enemy’s strategies is key to winning the battle.

When we find ourselves engaged in a conflict, it’s easy for us to forget who the real enemy is and what the point of the conflict is. The Bible tells us that our real struggle is not against flesh and blood. There is a cosmic conflict going on behind the scenes. Our real enemy is exposed in Isaiah 14:12-15.

“How you have fallen from heaven, O morning star, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations! You said in your heart, ‘I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of the sacred mountain. I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.’ But you are brought down to the grave, to the depths of the pit.” 

Did you notice how many times Satan says, “I…”  Five times in four verses! Satan has an “I” problem! He is blinded by pride. And, if we’re honest, most of our conflicts result from an “I” problem as well. Look again at the verse and see where Satan is carrying out his mission –  on earth.  While many think Satan is in hell, he’s not. He’s been cast down to the earth. One day, he will be cast into hell forever and ever; but, for now, he is our ultimate enemy! But, take heart! Although Satan is a formidable foe, he is not a god. There is only one God.  Satan is a created and fallen being. He is not all-knowing, all-present, nor all-powerful.  In fact, Satan is a defeated foe. Still, he exists in our world and operates with his minions in a fallen world to create chaos, death, disease and destruction. We are told in Scripture not to be ignorant of Satan’s schemes so that he will not outwit us.

If you’re engaged in a conflict, step back for a minute and reconsider who the real enemy is. When we are aware of our real enemy and his battle plan, we have already won half the battle against him.