O Lord my God, in You I take refuge;
Save me and rescue me from all those who pursue me,
So that my enemy will not tear me like a lion,
Dragging me away while there is no one to rescue [me].
In any battle it is advantageous to know your enemy. In order to set up the proper defenses it’s wise to know how and where the enemy will attack. In our scripture today David speaks of his enemy and likens him unto a lion with the ability to tear his flesh and drag him away. David knew his enemy.
I am so very hesitate to speak of Satan and the devil. I’m afraid my friends will assume I’ve totally lost my mind. So, instead of talking about Satan, I refer to the “sin” or the “weaknesses” that cause me to struggle; and the enemy is cool with that. He would prefer that most disbelieve his existence because it makes his job easier. He’s sneaky that way, but be assured Satan knows you and he knows you by name. Job 1:6-12 tells of the time when Satan came before the Lord in heaven and requested permission to test Job. He knew Job’s name. At that particular meeting God spoke to Satan. Let’s take a listen to their conversation:
Now there was a day when the sons (the angels) of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan (the adversary and accuser) also came among them.
And the Lord said to Satan, “From where did you come?” Then Satan answered the Lord, “From going to and fro on the earth and from walking up and down on it.”
Satan told God that he had been busy walking all over the earth, the very same earth that He [God] had created. I ask myself this question, “Why?” Why is he traversing the earth and what the heck is he looking for? The answer is given to us in I Peter 5:8, “…your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walks about, seeking whom he may devour.” And that’s exactly what he’s still doing today; looking for someone to devour. Jesus once told Simon Peter, “Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat.” Satan knew Simon’s name and just as with Job, he specifically sought him out to test him, or as Jesus says, to sift him as wheat. Sifting wheat is extremely violent. The process beats, bends and thrashes the wheat until it has separated the chaff from the grain. Surely not a pleasant experience for Simon Peter or us, for that matter.
Satan desires to do the same thing to us that he did to Job and Simon Peter. The Apostle Paul tells us in Ephesians, “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.”
Therefore, our enemy is not man, but rather Satan along with his fallen angels. Knowing this, should we cower and be afraid? No. We shouldn’t give them that power over us. God tells us exactly what we need to do, and the first being, to know your enemy and how he works. After that we need to realize that Jesus himself has already prayed for us; “But I [Jesus] have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.” Knowing that God, Himself, has prayed for me gives me so much confidence. Notice I didn’t say “self” confidence because within myself I have no power over Satan. Our confidence is “God confidence” because it is God who will come to our aide, God who will bring us through. Afterward, when our time of testing ends and our faith has been strengthened, Christ asks us to encourage and support others in their times of testing.
So, brothers and sisters, we are not, alone. We have each other, and we should readily make use of that resource. What else can we do? James chapter 4 tells us to “Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” Well, that’s all well and good, but just how, does one go about resisting the devil? Good question! The answer is found within the very same verse; “Submit yourselves therefore to God… [then] Resist the devil and he will flee from you.”
We must first submit ourselves to God. If we do, He promises,“Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you.” (James 4:8) We have this promise as well; “The Lord is with you when you are with him. If you look for him, you will find him.” (II Chronicles 15:2) Jesus tells us to, “…seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.” So, Jesus is there,and prepared to help us, all we have to do is knock and He promises to open the door. How do we knock? Simply through prayer…we draw close to him through prayer.
Should we fear the devil? I say no, because, “Greater is he that is in me than he that is in the world.” We have God in us. We are the temple of God. God placed his Holy Spirit within us when we accepted His free gift of salvation. Lastly and best of all God has already won the war! He is on our side. If God is for us who can stand against us? No one, not even our enemy, Satan.
God wants us to be aware of our enemy. To understand that he is sneaky and deceitful, and he will try anything to trip us up. That is why we must be diligent in prayer to Christ, who is our strength.
To break it down into practical terms…and I love practical Christianity…
- Know the enemy.
- Submit to God in prayer.
- Draw close to God through prayer and his Word.
- Resist the Devil.
- Help others that are going through trials that you’ve overcome.
- Realize we are not alone; we have the support of other Christians.
- Know that God has already won the war!
Today, Let us pray with David,
“O Lord my God, in You I take refuge;
Save me and rescue me from all those who pursue me.”
My Prayer: Dear Lord, I pray as David, be my refuge and protect me from the enemy. Lord, bless my family and bless my friends and protect them as well. May I be a help to them and they a help to me. Go before me this day and show me how to walk in the way that you’ve prepared for me. Lord, I love you and I want to be as close to you as possible. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.