October 6

Today's Bible Reading
     I Kings 9
     Ephesians 6
     Ezekiel 39
     Psalms 90
            “Put on the whole armor of God that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 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.” 
(Ephesians 6:11-12)
             The Christian life is certainly not a bed of roses. It is, on the other hand, a holy war, an invisible war. This war begins in the Heavenlies, with Heaven's angels against Hell's angels. Lucifer, one of the leading angels in Heaven, led one-third of Heaven's angels in rebellion against God. According to the prophecies of Ezekiel and Isaiah, this angel that decided he would overthrow God was cast out and all of his followers with him. They became Satan and the demons that now seek to destroy, steal, and kill.
            The foeis involved. Satan is a powerful foe. The devil is a real personal individual. He is in charge of the forces of Hell. He is the Prince of the power of the air. He has charge over his own demons and is allowed by God to be the tempter of mankind. He is called “the enemy, father of lies, ruler of darkness, tempter, and the god of this world.” We are told never to give place to the devil.
            Often, man has the mistaken idea that the devil is repulsive and that we would immediately reject him. The truth is, he has made himself very beautiful to become the tempter of mankind.  He is presented in the prophecies of Ezekiel and Isaiah as one full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. He was a great singer. He was an exalted and anointed being. He was Prime Minister under God. He was an anointed cherub, the High Priest in his holy mountain.  He is, indeed, a powerful enemy.
            Now there are somethings he does not know. He does know how to tempt each one of us, but he does not know the future, and he cannot read my mind. He is not omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent. Only God is, but Satan is also a personal foe. He knows each one of us individually and how to defeat us.
            Not only does this spiritual war include a foe, but it includes a fight. We are in a daily conflict with Satan and the powers of Hell. He is not afraid of you, but he is afraid of your big brother, Jesus. Many Christians are defeated because they spend most of their time in the devil's neighborhood with the devil's crowd.  No wonder they are defeated.
            I remember, frommy childhood, that if I ventured far into the neighborhood of some bullies, they would always take advantage of the situation, and I would go home with a black eye or a bloody nose. It's important to stay out of the devil's backyard. I'm glad to report to you that in this encounter with our enemy, and in the fight with him, there is also a fleeing. “Therefore submitto God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.”(James 4:7)
            As a child, I discovered that bullies would tum and run when their threats were resisted. By the way, Satan is a defeated foe. ''Greater is He that is in youthan he that is in the world.''
            This needs to be summarized that in our encounter with the devil, our victory is based upon our faith. Our warfare against Satan must be warfare of faith and faithfulness. Remember now, we are fighting a war on three fronts: the world, the flesh, and the devil.
            Satan is the subtle, supernatural, and sinister enemy of the church and the individual believer. God has given us, in Ephesians 6, the armor to put on in opposing the enemy. Are you dressed for battle today? So get dressed for battle and get ready.
            Wycliffe Bible Translators have been committed to translating the New Testament and the Old Testament into all the languages of the world. By the tum of the century, they had completed 500 New Testaments, and were involved in the further 1,100 projects. They have a staff of 6,000, so it is obvious that they are committed to this task. They believe they can have a Bible translation in every language that needs one by the year 2025. Pray for Wycliffe and all those who serve with them to accomplish this remarkable goal.