Weekly Devotionals

Week of Monday, November 30 – Saturday, December 5
Know Your Enemy – Man as Defender

“How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, you who weakened the nations! For you have said in your heart: ‘I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation on the farthest sides of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High.’ Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol, to the lowest depths of the Pit.” – Isaiah 14:12-15 (NKJV)

In his classic Art of War, Sun Tsu famously urged: “Know your enemy.” He explained: “If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles… If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.” During nearly four decades in the United States Military, I spent a fair amount of time studying the enemy. Not only troop strength, armor, artillery, air support, etc., but also strategy and tactics. As the commander of the Delta Force, I made it my business to know my enemy as one of the keys to victory.

We must do the same with the enemy of our souls if we are to effectively serve as Defenders. We call him Satan.  But he didn’t begin that way. Through Isaiah’s prophesy against the King of Babylon, we get a glimpse into this angelic being named Lucifer, whose name literally means “light-bearer.” But how did Lucifer, the son of the morning, become Satan, the father of the night? Isaiah offers insight. Note the daring declarations Lucifer made that add up to blasphemy (v. 13-14). Bottom line, his downfall was pride, which resulted in rebellion. He wants to take the place of God.

But he didn’t stop there. Lucifer persuaded a third of the angels to rebel against God (Rev. 12:1-9). Yet no sooner than he unsheathed his sword of rebellion against Almighty God, the judgment of God fell on him, and he fell from heaven like lightening. When he fell to earth, he set about to deceive Adam and Eve, and they joined his rebellion, and with them, the whole of humanity (Gen. 3). The Bible calls Satan the god of this age who blinds the minds of unbelievers (2 Cor. 4:4). And 2 Tim. 2:26 speaks of the snares of the devil. That’s why Paul urges us in Eph. 6:11 to armor up so that we can resist the wiles, the schemes of the devil. The Greek word is methodia from which we get “methods” (see 2 Cor. 2:11).
So we are back to the start: We need to know our enemy—his methods, tactics, and strategies. The chief one is deception. Jesus said in John 8:44 that the devil is a liar and the father of lies. Lucifer lied to Adam and Eve, and he will lie to you. He’ll tell you that there are no consequences to breaking God’s commands, that there are no repercussions to disobeying God’s rules, that there’s no price to pay for sin. After all these years, his playbook hasn’t changed.

How do we beat him? Rev. 12:11 tells us how the saints did it: “And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death.” First, we can’t do it on our own.  It takes the blood of the Lamb—the finished work of Christ on the cross. Second, it takes verbalizing our story of God’s faithfulness and goodness. Let that anchor you against Satan’s deceptions. Third, it takes the courage to lay down your life if necessary. If you are willing to do that, you can win.

Take note that I am not saying that you must physically give your life to be victorious over Satan. Rather, I am saying that you need to be willing to do just that if the Lord calls you to, but the more important thing is that you are willing to die to self in order to defeat this spiritual enemy. You must be willing to put aside all things in life to crush Satan. Sun Tsu put it this way: “The principle on which to manage an army is to set up one standard of courage which all must reach… If they will face death, there is nothing they will not achieve.”  That is how the Defender can defeat the devil.

  • Lucifer is the father of lies. Which of his lies have you believed in the past? Don’t let him continue to accuse you after you repented. Claim God’s forgiveness based on the blood of the Lamb. 
  • How might the devil be trying to deceive you right now? Recall and repeat God’s faithfulness and goodness. Submit to His good rule. Resist the devil and he will flee from you (James 4:7). 
  • Now broaden your focus. How can you stand in the gap and defend your wife, your kids, and your grandkids from the deceptions of the devil? What sacrifices might you need to make to become the Defender your family needs?