As I had mentioned in a previous devotional, I recently read a book about World War I naval conflict. The British Admiralty (the United Kingdom equivalent of the American Department of the Navy) had an espionage room called “Room 40”. They had broken the German naval communication codes and were very often aware of the intentions of their enemy long before they were put into action. On one occasion the British Grand Fleet, knowing in advance about a planned German offensive, actually put to sea five hours before the High Seas Fleet of Germany launched.
As God’s people, we have a great enemy in Satan. Though we are not able to see him specifically, we are not uniformed about his methods and schemes. Paul said it this way to the Corinthians…
2 Cor. 2:10 If you forgive anyone, I also forgive him. And what I have forgiven–if there was anything to forgive–I have forgiven in the sight of Christ for your sake, 11 in order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes.
We do not need to be unknowledgeable about Satan’s schemes, though many of us apparently are. The Bible is a sort of “Room 40” for us. Satan’s techniques are not new, as compared to his methods over the generations. Peter warned his readers with these words…
1PE 5:8 Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 9 Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.
A lion never rests for long; it is always considering where its next meal may be. We have all seen those television nature programs with the lion lurking, looking for the vulnerable gazelle that strays a bit from the herd or loses its sense of caution and respect for imminent danger. The picture is a colorful one that we should certainly heed. And note also that this danger is not unique to us or to our setting or our generation. It is the common experience of believers around the world.
Imagine you were being stalked by a person, an enemy of your life that desired to see you fail in a whole variety of ways. Imagine that person showed up at your workplace from time to time; and every so often you saw him outside your house window. What would you do? Well, certainly you would go to a higher authority concerning the problem. You would want to understand why this person hated you so significantly. And you most definitely would have a strategy to deal with this threat to your life.
Well, this actually is your situation! You do have an enemy in Satan that wants to see you fail in many places of your life. He, or his emissaries, are out and about your life… looking into your activities for a crack in your armor. You need to go to a higher authority in trusting God. It serves you well to have a working understanding of Satan and his schemes. And you surely need a strategy. So here is a biblical strategy session…
EPH 6:10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.
The pursuit of evil is a part of the big story, and a part of your story. It is popular in our generation and within Western Civilization to deny the reality of such. Don’t be that foolish.