Can I Come In?

Little five year old boys don’t usually want to play with girls putting on makeup – unless it is boring because there are no other boys around. That changes everything. At least it did for Jude, my grandson. My four granddaughters had locked themselves in the... read more

My Mother’s Christmas Wish

Devotion: When I was a little girl, the number one question I asked all my family before December 25th was “What do you want for Christmas?” I asked my sisters and my brother, my mother and my father. It was a huge question for me because my funds were limited to a small... read more

Know Your Opponent

“Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” I Peter 5:8 (NIV)

The football game was the most important one being played that season. If our team won, they would advance to the state championship. If they lost, their season was done and they would go home.
Both teams were strong and talented and rivals for years. And both wanted to win badly.
The game went back and forth with outstanding plays and scoring.
But, ever so slightly, a difference in the defense of our team began to shine until it became obvious to everyone who was watching: one of our players seemed to be able to anticipate almost every play the opposing quarterback was making and was able to tackle time and time again for a loss of yards for the opposing team. It made the difference in the game and our team won.
In the post-game interview, the coach explained what had happened. “I think their coach thought I was reading his plays but I wasn’t. I had one young man who spent every evening last week going over the film of this team. Josh studied their quarterback and began to recognize a pattern. The quarterback had a habit of tilting his head or stepping a certain way if he was going to throw a pass or run the ball. Josh recognized that because he had taken the time to dig deep in those films to learn how the other team operated. And it paid off because he was prepared by knowing the opponent.”
It always pays to know your opponent, or as today’s Key Scripture in I Peter 5:8 is saying, your “enemy.” And our opponent – our enemy – in this world is Satan. We are in the battle OF our lives FOR our lives.
Just as football requires a lot of gear to be worn for protection, we Christians must wear protection in our battle with Satan. However if you notice in Ephesians 6:13-17, along with all the gear we need to wear, our one weapon is the sword of the spirit: the Word of God. But it’s all we need!
Josh could have thought about the game all week and hoped it would turn out okay; instead he was disciplined enough to prepare himself off the field so he could battle the other team on the field.
As Christians, we too must be disciplined (self-controlled) and learn how the enemy can attack so we can do battle spiritually. And the one place we will learn about the evil he has planned for us and how to do battle is by being in the Word. God’s Word. Truth. Every day.
By learning to recognize Satan’s possible attacks, we will be like Josh and the football game – alert to every move of the opponent and prepared for battle.

Father, thank you for giving us your Word as a weapon against Satan. I want to dig into it every day so I will recognize the moves of the enemy. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

What spiritual opponents are you facing in your life? Do you feel like you are prepared for battle? Why or why not?

Journal for a week how much time you spend in the Bible and a time of prayer with the Lord, gaining strength from God’s Word and encouragement to you.

Compare that to the victories over sin and Satan that you had during the same week. Determine whether you need to increase your Word time to increase your victory outcome.

I Peter 5:8 (NIV) “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”

Ephesians 6:17 (NIV) “Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”

Romans 12:21 (NIV) “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”

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Copyright 2010  Nancy E. Hughes