The Real Enemy: Fearless Victory Series, Part 4


We all have our own enemies, but often we mistakenly call our friends "foe", and our foes, we call "friends".

Fort Napoleon, which stands near my hometown in Belgium, was built to protect the Belgian coast from a possible offensive attack from England. This invasion never happened. This fort, in fact, wasn't even completed until 1814, which was right around the time of Napoleon's fall at Waterloo. Great Britain was never a threat to Fort Napoleon!

During both World Wars, Fort Napoleon was occupied by German troops. Here again, the Germans were not the "enemy" of the fort. In fact, they reconstructed the fort, embellishing it with their own artistic strokes!

Only after the WWII liberation did Fort Napoleon fall in disrepair. Left to the natural forces of the region, it soon became clear that its real enemies were not the British it was built to defend against, and they were not the Germans either. Instead, the fort's real enemies were the local teenagers who used it for target practice, rock climbing, various forms of spray paint graffiti, and other illicitly ambiguous activities! And in the end, the teenagers were the ones who succeeded in bringing it down.

Fort Napoleon's restoration didn't take place until 1995, but it now stands as a national historical site, open to history-loving tourists.

Just like the fort didn't understand who its real enemy was, we, also, usually don't recognize who is the real enemy in our lives. And believe me, those we call "enemies" are nothing compared to this manipulator! He used to be a prince from on High, serving God himself. Until the day he rebelled, that is. After all, wasn't it time people started serving him instead of God? Wasn't he splendidly created? Didn't his talents far surpass those of all other creation? He truly believed he could surpass God Himself (See http://www.answers2prayer.org/bible_questions/Answers/satan/origin.html ).

Since this time, this enemy has taken up residence on our planet. He has turned his fury against God's own creation, with the purpose of destroying both who we are, and what we are (See Rev 12:12 and John 10:10). His name is Satan, a.k.a. Lucifer or the devil. And believe me, he doesn't have our best intentions at heart!

Friends, the devil is real! If you don't believe me, take the time to notice that little voice that entices and dares you to do things you are really not supposed to do. You may believe it's you own voice, but most of the time it comes from the one who wants your destruction! If you don't believe me, just look at the drug addicts and those whose hobby is to visit the red zone of any city. These people have become his servants, his slaves, with no hope in sight.

How can we be victorious if we don't know any of his tricks!

Although invisible, the devil is quite cunning and extremely well organized (See 2 Cor 11:3 and Mat 12:26). He specializes in those little things that we all deny, and he never gives up on you. He wants you to be his and his alone (See 1 Peter 5:8), and he is quite successful as he hides his lies among truth so that none will be the wiser (See 2 Cor 10: 14,15).

Though the devil attacks anyone at hand, he pays special attention to anyone who dares to follow God. His techniques with discouragement work splendidly with Christians. He tactfully renders them ineffective as witnesses, and keeps them from winning souls and for reaching their real purpose on earth (See Luke 8:12). In fact he tries to lead the whole world astray (See Rev 12:9)!

The devil's ultimate goal is our destruction: "The thief (Satan) comes only to steal and kill and destroy." (John 10:10 NIV) His method is simple: Deception! "The devil, who deceived themů" (Rev 20:10 NIV)

He has a whole army of followers helping him (See Rev 12:9), with all of them accusing us, deceiving us and discouraging us in every shape, form and fashion.

One thing, though, the devil has no bite! He was defeated by the One who died on the cross, to bring freedom and salvation to those who believe in Him: "The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." (1 Cor 15:56-57 NIV)

The devil has no authority over us. This belongs to Jesus now! "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me." (Matt 28:18 NIV) Satan can only insinuate, intimidate and discourage us, but we don't have to let him! Victory is ours if we rely on the One who died for us!

"Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up." (James 4:7-10 NIV)

May we pray for all of those around us that: "They will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will." (2 Tim 2:26 NIV)

Who is your real enemy?

Will you focus on the temporal or on the Eternal?

P. S. The steps to victory will be shared with you in the upcoming devotionals.

Rob Chaffart

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