The word adversary in English dictionary simply means an opponent or rival. Do we Christians have an opponent? Why will anyone oppose us? We need to find out answers and much more in this article.
1Pe 5:8-9 KJV 8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: 9 Whom resist steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.
The word of God teaches us on how to handle the adversary that has come against us. The irony of life is that many Christian believes they don’t have any adversary, they also don’t want to be bothered by the devil or come across his way, some even think that he does not exist at all. The fact is that Peter made it clear beyond the shadow of doubt that there is an adversary and he went ahead to name him. He call him the devil. The Greek word they used for the adversary here is “antidikos” and it means: opponent, an opponent in a suit of law, an adversary one who accuses, a plaintiff in a law court. This talk about a real personality. Peter did not mince word in naming him. He said the devil. The word “devil” in Greek is “diabolos” and it means: prone to slander, slanderous, accusing falsely, a calumniator, false accuser, slanderer. In the book of Revelation he was called the accuser of the brethren that accuses them night and day Rev 12: 10. He accused God to man in Gen 3: 4-5 and accuses man to God as seen in Job 1 and accuses brethren against brethren. Accept the fact you have an adversary that is against you and all that you represents. He is against your life, ministry, business, children, spouse, job, prosperity, peace of mind, progress, education, success and all the blessings of God over your life.
There are not too many revelation of Satan in the Old Testament unlike what we have now in the New Testament. There were just about fifteen times when the same Satan was mentioned in the Old Testament and most of it was in the book of Job. Even when they knew that it was the devil that was behind their problem they couldn’t do anything much because they were not born again and had no authority over the devil. Jesus hadn’t come and restored mankind back unto God. When devil blocked the answer to the prayer of Daniel (Dan 10), Daniel was not aware of what was going on in spiritual realm and even if he was aware he could not do much. He had no authority over him.
When Moses died and Satan was disputing about him, the Bible says that the angel that came could not rebuke Satan directly because he had no direct authority and had to invoke the name of God to do that Jude 1: 9. Devil was the god of this world 2Cor 4:4 . He took the rulership from Adam when Adam committed the treasonable sin against God and handed over the rulership of the earth committed to him to the devil.
One of the greatest art of war is to know your enemy. At least study him to know his strength and weakness, The Philistine wanted to know where the strength of Samson lies and they did everything to get it which they got when Samson laid on the lap of Delilah and that was what destroyed the strongest man that ever lived in the Old Testament Jud 16: 1-12. Here under the New Testament, we are not left to be ignorant of who our adversary is and his characteristics. Many mistake the adversary to be their neighbour, old man in the village, boss, and those human beings out there.
Paul says we are not wrestling against flesh and blood Epes 6: 12. That talks about human being. Human beings are not the real enemy but the adversary is the devil that instigate them and use them directly or indirectly.
Peter said the devil is like a roaring lion roaming around. The lion by nature roars to intimidate the preys when he is very hungry. He study the potential prey animals very well and sometimes look for the weak, isolated and lazy one. The Bible says he look for whom he may devour. There is element of possibility here, that is he cannot devour everybody but only those he lay hands on. Those who are not vigilant, sober and at alert.
The word used for destroy there means to gulp or swallow which talk about total destruction. Jesus had said that the thief comes but to steal, kill and destroy. May he not destroy you. That is his mission. John 10:10
John 8: 44 says he is a liar and father of lies. The father means the originator and instigator of lies. he doesn’t abide in truth, manipulates the word of God to suit his purpose. He twisted Ps 91 for Jesus but praise God that our Lord is the Master. His angel manifest as good instrument and minister while he himself manifest as angel of light.
Eph 6:11 KJV Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
The Greek word used for “wiles” there is “methodeia” meaning cunning arts, deceit, craft, trickery. His major instrument and power is deception. Devil uses human power to afflict humans when we believes his lies.
He walks about to and fro, up and down on earth Job 1: 7. The same thing he told God in the book of Job. What was he looking for? Opportunity to afflict, deceive and destroy.
What is the solution?
Many Christian feels that the devil is so powerful that there is nothing anyone can do about it, some even equate his power with that of God Almighty. They talk and lift up the devil so much, some preachers preach most of the time about the devil rather than talk about the goodness of God. Because many Christian has been beaten by the devil more than necessary they now feel that they just have to succumb to situations.
Another major problem that Christians has is the wrong teaching prevailing in the body of Christ about the sovereignty of God. The main core of that teaching is that whatever happens to a man must have been done by God. It is either God cause it, or allows it for our goods, to straighten us, correct us and chastise us. Some teaches that Satan is God’s messenger boy. They say Satan cannot do anything to you without God giving him permission. They quote Job as good example.
God does not need to use the instrumentality of the devil to correct His children. It is misappropriation of scripture to use Heb 12: 1-3 as scripture to say that God chastises us in this way. The word “chastise” there actually means education or correction, the way a teacher corrects a child. Paul write in Timothy 2Tim 3: 16 that the word of God is God breathed and it is profitable for instruction in righteousness, correction and other things like that.
2TiM 3:16 KJV All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
The way God corrects us is through the word and not through affliction and sickness. God can use what the devil meant for bad and turn them around for our good. Rom 8:28 But that portion of the scripture didn’t say He cause it.
If a Christian believes that whatever happens to us is caused by God or that God allows or permitted it then it takes all resisting from you and you just absorbs all that the devils wants to do. you become passive because resisting the devil will means fighting against God. You see such people will still go to hospital when they are sick. Why will you go to hospital to remove the will of God if you believes God cause your problem?
How much power has the devil got? What are his powers?
We know that many Christians are afraid of the devil and that will be true if you have not been exposed to the truth of the Gospel. The fact is that Satan cannot do anything to us without our cooperation and consent. The Bible says that Jesus stripped the devil of the power he has and gave gift unto men.
Col 2:15 KJV And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.
He took the keys of hade an hell from him.
Rev 1:18 KJV I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.
He spoilt principality. The word “spoiled” there means He took them off from Himself. Jesus came out of the grave saying all power in heaven and earth has been given unto me Mt 28. He got it. Satan has no more power. All he has is what Paul says in the book of Epes 6:11 The wiles of the devil. The word wiles means the deceit and lies and deception of the devil. It is only when you fall for his lies that you become trapped. The greatest antidote is the truth.
Resisting the devil
James 4:7 says the most outstanding thing that any preacher can ever say in the New Testament, he said we should resist the devil and he will flee from us.
Jas 4:7 KJV Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
The word “resist” means to actively and consistently fight against someone. It is in Greek called “anthistemi” meaning: to set one’s self against, to withstand, resist, oppose, to set against.
In order words we are not to dilly dally with the devil but to oppose him and set ourselves against him. This is a good news because it means that the devil is not invincible. He can be resisted, defeated and subdued. Peter says we should resist the devil steadfastly in faith.
The word “steadfast” in Greek is “stereos” and it means: strong, firm, immovable, solid, hard, rigid, in a bad sense, cruel, stiff, stubborn, hard, in a good sense, firm, steadfast. In order word the resisting has to be strong and rigid like a strong foundation in faith. In faith means in the confidence and trust in the word of God. What God has said in His word about you, what God has said about the situation and the understanding of what we have in Christ Jesus. This is the reason why you need to be rooted, grounded and firm in the word. Faith comes by hearing and hearing the message of Jesus rom 10: 17. The amount of the word in you determines how far you will go in resisting the devil. Sometimes you have too be stubborn in it.
If we resist long enough James says he will flee from us. He will vanish. If the devil is not handing off your matter it is because he is not being resisted enough.
Some Christians resist for some time because they think they are only human but that it is not true, we are not just human, but we are spirits that have souls and lives in bodies. God lives in us. The greater one lives in us. 1John 4: 4
If he put sickness upon you, don’t take it, resit it in faith. The word of God says by His stripes we are healed 1Pet 2: 24. Use the word to resist the negative thought and suggestion of the devil. Counter his words with God’s words. Don’t give up or give in, don’t relax your hands until solution is achieved. You can break his yoke and destroy his influences. Satan is just like a fowl killed but still struggles, he has no life in it again. The life is gone for good and what you have is just skeletal thing out there.