A great portent appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. She was pregnant and was crying out in birth pangs, in the agony of giving birth. Then another portent appeared in heaven: a great red dragon, with seven heads and ten horns, and seven diadems on his heads. His tail swept down a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth. Then the dragon stood before the woman who was about to bear a child, so that he might devour her child as soon as it was born. And she gave birth to a son, a male child, who is to rulea all the nations with a rod of iron. But her child was snatched away and taken to God and to his throne; and the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, so that there she can be nourished for one thousand two hundred sixty days.
And war broke out in heaven; Michael and his angels fought against the dragon. The dragon and his angels fought back, but they were defeated, and there was no longer any place for them in heaven. The great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the Devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world—he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him. Then I heard a loud voice in heaven, proclaiming,
“Now have come the salvation and the powerand the kingdom of our Godand the authority of his Messiah,bfor the accuser of our comradesc has been thrown down,who accuses them day and night before our God.But they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamband by the word of their testimony,for they did not cling to life even in the face of death.
Rejoice then, you heavensand those who dwell in them!But woe to the earth and the sea,for the devil has come down to you with great wrath,because he knows that his time is short!”
So when the dragon saw that he had been thrown down to the earth, he pursuedd the woman who had given birth to the male child. But the woman was given the two wings of the great eagle, so that she could fly from the serpent into the wilderness, to her place where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time. Then from his mouth the serpent poured water like a river after the woman, to sweep her away with the flood. But the earth came to the help of the woman; it opened its mouth and swallowed the river that the dragon had poured from his mouth. Then the dragon was angry with the woman, and went off to make war on the rest of her children, those who keep the commandments of God and hold the testimony of Jesus. Then the dragone took his stand on the sand of the seashore.
Can one born in sin truly recognize sin?If all of life is a thought, then what is death?If faith is an alignment of mind, heart and will, then what is doubt?If no weapon formed against a believer can harm them, then how can a believer be destroyed?If nothing can separate a believer from the love of God, then what can possibly turn a believer away from God?If Jesus Christ died for me, why is it so hard to live completely for Him?
These questions may sound philosophical, but they have very practical answers.
Part 1: Know Thyself, Know Thy Enemy
seduce1. to lead astray, as from duty, rectitude, or the like; corrupt 2. to lead or draw away, as from principles, faith, or allegiance
“Seduction” has a romantic connotation in world culture, however, synonyms for the word “seduce” include decoy, lure, deceive and tempt. None of those words have a romantic ring to them. The word “enemy” can also be misleading, in that it leads one to look outward for danger instead of inward. The spiritual attacks aimed at knocking believers from their walk with God targets the believer’s internal organisms of belief, faith, heart and thoughts. Even though the perpetrator of the attacks is the spirit we know as Satan or the devil or the god of this world, our most dangerous potential enemy is our self. The self that can be seduced into believing something other than the truth. The self that can be beguiled into a change of heart and led astray from their faith. The self that can be deceived into thinking they are less than they are. In a very real sense, a believer can seduce their own self away from God.
We know that God’s children do not make a practice of sinning, for God’s Son holds them securely, and the evil one cannot touch them. We know that we are children of God and that the world around us is under the control of the evil one.
Dear children, keep away from anything that might take God’s place in your hearts. ~ 1 John 5:18-19, 21
If we believe God’s word, nothing Satan/the devil/the evil one attacks us with will harm us. We have only to stand and resist his attacks. Faith is our shield and the Word of God is our sword. The Word of God says that our faith will extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one (Ephesians 6:11-17). Above we read in 1 John 5:18 that the evil one cannot touch us. So if the evil one, aka Satan aka the devil cannot breach our faith, how can he harm us?
He can only succeed against us when we are without our faith – when we have set aside our shield.
Does one not become one’s own worst enemy if one is assured of victory, yet chooses to forfeit said victory?
We are our biggest enemy because we have the ability to choose between life and death – every day, every step, every thought. Satan can’t do that for us, he can only camouflage death (choices leading to death) to make them look like life (or rather the type of life we seek in the world).
It’s important for a believer to know who they are in Christ – saved, delivered, anointed, more than a conqueror, ambassador of Christ, minister of reconciliation, a priest, and a king seated in heavenly places. It is equally important to know who we are when we are not in Christ. When we operate in the flesh (seeking to satisfy our SELF) we are on a slippery slope leading to sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God. (Galatians 5:19-21)
Believers who are susceptible to seduction by the enemy are those who think they can accept Christ, God’s saving grace, and still operate outside of Him, outside of God’s grace. Those who believe they can praise the Lord in the morning and still speak death to their life in the evening. Those who plant a fruitful tree yet starve it at the roots. Their left hand is not aware of the doings of the right. And their thoughts are not expressed by their actions.
I am such a susceptible believer.
I am the most dangerous and destructive enemy I will ever encounter. I need to know that about myself.
You need to know that about yourself.
There is nothing that comes against you that can do more damage than what comes from within you. So the true battle is getting your SELF under control. Once you are in control of your SELF (or every time you regain control of your SELF), submit your SELF under the authority of Christ. It is through Christ that we have the power to continue to walk according to the Spirit of God and it is through the indwelling Holy Spirit of God that we are convicted and corrected of our errors during our walk.
I thank God for His firm hold on me and His persistent voice within me.
The Holy Spirit communicates with our spirit, not with our flesh (our SELF, our sinful nature). So don’t be seduced by SELF (by your flesh, your sinful nature) into seeking temporary worldly pleasures over God’s eternal promises.
But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!
Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives. Let us not become conceited, or provoke one another, or be jealous of one another.~ Galatians 5:22-26
Q: How many times must I die to self in order to live in Christ?