Every single day that we live and breathe we are fighting against an invisible foe.
An invisible foe whose first line of attack is usually launched at our mind with his lies and his deceit. This enemy is not only deceitful, but he is also cunning, conniving and manipulating. And though we may not be able to physically see him, it doesn’t make him any less real or any less powerful.
The plan of this invisible foe
Our enemy has a well thought out plan. He aims to undermine or shake our confidence and get us to stop believing in God. He attempts to distort our true understanding of who God really is. If he can do that, then he will accomplish his ultimate goal, which is to distract us from our purpose and render us ineffective for the Kingdom of God.
One of satan’s most effective ways to bring us to defeat is to get us to believe his lies. His lies are always the opposite to God’s truth. If we reflect and meditate on these lies long enough, they become strongholds in our life. Just about every sin known to us, starts in our mind. And if we let the enemy have his way with our mind, we will develop a mindset or a pattern of thinking that is contrary to God’s word. This pattern of thinking is not only very destructive but also very difficult to pull down.
In order for us to reject the thoughts the enemy wants to plant in our mind, we need to fight and fight hard. Our invisible foe is ruthless and he is relentless in his pursuit to take down God’s children. He knows if he can gain control of our mind, he can control the rest of our body. He is skilled at creating all sorts of confusion, disruptions, and arguments. And, he is the master at creating temptations. That is why we need to “take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”
How do we take captive every thought?
I believe I have the answer to that question but before I share it with you, I want to share a little bit about how the enemy works.
Now, my son is an avid animal lover. He has been watching animal documentaries since he was about 2 years old. He has managed, over the last 20 years to rope the rest of our family into watching these shows with him.
Some of the most amazing shows we have watched include those of the lions in Kruger National Park in South Africa. It is mesmerizing to see the hunting techniques of these big cats, one of earth’s fiercest land predator.
The bible teaches us in 1 Peter 5:8 that our invisible foe, “the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion seeking someone to devour.”
After watching these documentaries, I can see how Peter could use the behaviour of the lion to describe the enemy of our soul. There are some striking similarities.
4 comparative traits of the lion and our invisible foe, the devil.
1. A lion is good at hiding. He camouflage in the tall grasslands and the dense bushes around him to keep his prey from seeing his approach. Satan is very much the same way. He enjoys disguising himself and seldom comes at us as he really is. In fact, most times the enemy’s approach is not dark and dangerous. It is often shrouded in beauty and all that appears good.
2. The lion moves with amazing stealth for such a big cat. His movements are slow, calculated and precise. That is until he is ready to pounce. Our enemy moves in very similar ways. His timing, his plans and his tactics are intended to inflict the greatest harm possible to his prey. His attacks are sneaky, yet deliberate and purposeful.
3. Lions will hunt in the day because they are opportunistic creatures. However, they have excellent night vision and mostly hunt at night. Satan is also an opportunist. He, at times, wait for moments when God’s children are in a weakened state, spiritually, physically or emotionally, to bring about an attack.
4. A lion is a creature of great patience. He will sit for long periods of time, stalking his prey, waiting for the right time to attack. Satan is also patient. In fact, he will patiently wait for however long it takes for a small thought to grow and eventually manifest into a sin that takes over the life of the believer.
Let me just say this friends. Satan is not a wimp cowering in some corner afraid of confrontation. Peter wisely used one of the most feared animals, a roaring lion, to describe satan’s ways. This invisible foe wants to invoke fear in us! He is not afraid to attack and he’s certainly not afraid to try to take us down.
In those same documentaries that I have watched with my son, I have seen the lion in “the kill”. It is vicious and it is messy. Those lions suffocate their prey before ripping it apart and consuming it. Well, satan wants to do the same to us, God’s children!
But guess what friends?!! I have great news!!!
Remember earlier I mentioned I believe I have the answer to how we can take captive every thought so we can fight back against the enemy? Well, here it is. I have noticed in those documentaries that once the lion got the prey in its powerful jaws, there is very little chance for it to get freed. The lion usually have a killer grip. The same with the enemy of our soul. That is why our first line of defense starts before he can get a death grip on us.
It starts with knowing the Word of God! We need it to guard our minds. Knowing the word of God helps us to recognize the lies of the enemy and combat those lies with the truth from the Word.
“We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:5
When we arm our self with, and use God’s word as a weapon, then we are on our way to resist the enemy. But we need to not only know the word, but live it daily. When we have our mind saturated with the Word of God, it leaves very little room for anything else to penetrate it.
“Submit yourselves, then to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” James 4:7
To resist the devil, we need to be spiritually alert and we need to remain watchful. Preys that are watchful and always on the alert, are less likely to have a sneak attack by their enemy, the prowling lion. We all have vulnerable areas in our life and the enemy is fully aware of them. But when we submit our self to God, and function in the power and authority given to us through Jesus Christ, we are fully equipped to resist the schemes of the enemy.
Remember, “the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.” 2 Timothy 1:7
Last but not least, we pray without ceasing, drawing our strength and power from Holy Spirit. Nothing says it more beautifully than this quote by John Bunyan
“Pray often, for prayer is a shield to the soul, a sacrifice to God, and a scourge for satan.”
So come on dear friends, let us journey together by faith today. God bless you!