The Enemy ()Jason Moss, January 17, 2016
Part of the Fight on in 2016 series, preached at a Sunday Evening service
We are currently doing a series on ‘The Fight’. The Bible says we have a fight on 3 fronts.
The world (which is the present evil world system in opposition to God), the flesh (which is
or own sinful desires) and the devil (which is what we are going to focus on today).
Today we are going to look at the topic ‘The Enemy’ and so we are specially looking at
Satan and his followers Demons.
-When I was about 15 years old, I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to go to England
for a month to play some cricket. One of the things that England is famous for is their soccer,
also known as the English Premier League (or the EPL). So this includes famous teams like
Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal and Chelsea.
When I was there, a lot of my mates bought the England soccer jerseys. And everywhere we
went, the locals loved them. When they found out they were Aussies wearing their countries
soccer shirts, people loved them, put their arms around them, gave them high fives, told them
why England would win the next soccer world cup. It was like they were one of them.
Now for some reason, I really liked the look of the German soccer shirt and I liked the way
Germany played soccer, so I bought the German away strip which was green.
Late one night, a few mates and I went out to get some dinner. They were wearing their
English soccer shirts and I was wearing my German soccer shirt. And as I was walking down
the street, I heard some men swearing at me, going off and abusing me. As I walked a little
further I heard a bottle smash meters behind me as someone had thrown a beer bottle at me.
And I thought what is going on. As I walked a bit faster, a stranger came up to me and said
‘Young man, please, go home, change your shirt or you will get killed tonight.’ I said why?
He said “Germany has just beaten England in the Eurocup semi-final in a penalty shoot out.
You’re crazy to be wearing that shirt around here tonight.”
I was in a war zone and I had no idea. That is often like our life The Bible says we are in the
middle of a spiritual war zone and we have often are oblivious to it.
Last year NZ played Australia in the world cup rugby and a few days before the game, there
was a photo on the front page of the paper. It was a photo of the Australian coach Michael
Cheika holding the Australian game plan. A camera had zoomed in and taken a photo of it.
This was such a huge issue because if the opposition knows your game plan, they can get
ready with the right attacking and defensive systems to counter it. And if we know we are in
a war zone, and if we know what the enemies strategies are, it means we can be more
prepared to counter them and live a life for Jesus that he wants.
There are often 2 errors people make when it comes to thinking about Satan and Demons.
The first one is that people don’t think about him at all and he is not on their radar. Satan
loves this because these people aren’t alert and aware of his schemes. The second error is the
opposite, some people are so obsessed or fascinated with Satanic things that it become
obsession. Satan loves this because these people often fear him, they place lots of energy on
him rather than Jesus and they spend their time finding Satan in everything from a flat tyre to
their coco pops. Need to have a healthy awareness of him and his schemes but not be fearful or obsessed with him.
1.Who is the enemy?
V8a ‘Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion
looking for someone to devour.’
We are told here that we have an enemy. That there is someone who is opposing us,
someone trying to bring about our downfall, someone trying to destroy our lives and someone
who is trying to destroy our relationship with God.
The enemy we are told is the ‘Devil’. The word ‘Devil’ or ‘Satan’ means ‘to slander’ or
‘adversary’. And so the devil is our enemy and his job description if you like is to oppose the
people of God and to slander us and to slander our God. John 10:10 tells us he has come to
kill, steal and destroy our life.
Now you might ask yourself ‘where did this Devil come from? Because we are told in the
last sentence of Genesis 1 that “God saw all that he had made and it was very good (or
perfect).” … But then just two chapters later in the beginning of Genesis 3 we are told that
Satan appears in the form or a serpent, tempting Eve to disobey God. Therefore sometime
between the end of Genesis 1 and the start of Genesis 3 there must have been some sort of
rebellion in the angelic world where angels turned against God and became evil.
2 Peter 2:4, Jude 6 and Isaiah 14:12-15 suggest that some angels rebelled against God. And it
seems to be that in their pride they wanted to be God rather than to worship God. So as a
result these angels got kicked out of the presence of God and are now what the Bible calls
demons of which Satan is the team captain.
So the Bible teaches that Satan is real. That Satan and his team of demons ferociously
oppose God and God’s people. So Satan and his team of demons are our enemy.
2.What are his strategies?
Read v8 again with me. ‘V8a ‘Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls
around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.’
Satan we are told ‘prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour’.
When we think of Satan and his strategies, I think for many of us we have been influenced
by Hollywood. So unless someone has two heads, black eyes, is walking on the ceiling and
their head is spinning around in circles we think that Satan isn’t at work. But our enemy
usually works much more subtly than that.
Look again at how the devil is described. We are told that ‘he prowls around like a roaring
lion’. I have seen lions locked behind fences at a zoo but I have never seen a lion out in the
wild. BUT I’ve watched the Lion King (which is of no help) but I also love watching wildlife
documentaries. If you have ever seen footage of a Lion before they pounce on their prey and
devour them, they aren’t thumping around the jungle, banging their chest, letting everyone
know they’re around. They just lie in the grass for ages, hiding, watching, learning, waiting.
They are just feeling out their prey, learning their movements, watching their weakness,
getting closer and closer and closer slowly. They are looking for a moment when their prey
isn’t paying attention , isn’t alert and isn’t expecting them to strike. Lions are quietly
cunning. Then when the time is right, they execute their plan, they strike and devour their
Often the way Satan works is very similar. He is cunning. He often lies hidden, watching,
observing, learning, waiting. And then when the time is right he executes his plan to destroy
It is interesting how the Bible describes Satan. He is described as a liar and the father of lies
(John 8:44), he disguises himself as an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14), crafty (2
Corinthians 11:3), deceives the whole world (Revelation 12:9), tempter (Matthew 4:1),
schemes (2 Corinthians 2:10-11),
We see this in the Bible. Think about how he got Adam and Eve to walk away from God. It
wasn’t with heads popping out, but with a few lies, planting a few seeds of doubt about the
goodness of God in their minds. Think about how he tried to get Jesus to walk away from
God in the dessert. He waited until Jesus was at his weakest point haven’t not eaten for 40
days and nights. He doesn’t try to wrestle him or scare him. He says turn that stone into food,
jump off the temple- God will catch you, bow down and worship me and I’ll give you all the
kingdoms of the world. Satan strategies are to lie to you, to deceive you, to whisper in your
ear and lure you away from Gods truth.
There was a guy who lived in the 17th century called Thomas Brooks. He wrote a book titled
‘Precious remedies against Satan’s devices. He list 60-70 different way that Satan in his
cunning tempts us and accuses us. Tim Keller expands on some of them in one of his talks.
As I was preparing for today and thinking through this area of my life, I found them really
helpful. So I’m going to read out a few ways Thomas Brooks describes the way Satan tempts
us and accuses us. I want you to think if any of these sound familiar to you and is the way he
works in your life and your thinking.
Firstly, some of the ways Satan Tempts us
1.Gives you the bait and hides the hook.
Satan will tempt you with the short term pleasures but he hides the long term damage.
He will say go and sleep that that man or that woman- but he doesn’t remind you of the
damage it will do your spouse, kids and your life. All for a fleeting piece of excitement. Or he
says skim a bit of money off the top at work for a new computer or some new clothes but
doesn’t tell you of the friendships you will destroy or the guilt you will have to live with.
2. Rationalise sin as virtue.
Not being greedy just being a little thrifty. I’m not a gossip, I’m just concerned about others
lives and want to know everything about everyone so I can pray for them. I’m not an
alcoholic, I just like the social life and been around people.
3.Making them bitter over suffering
Keller says that this why so many prominent businessmen and leaders sin. They believe the
lie that I have worked so hard (maybe even for the gospel), I go without sleep, I have
sacrificed, I work huge weeks, I do all of this for others … I deserve this. So they get bitter
over the hard lives they have and justify their ungodly out workings.
4.Show Christians how bad people seem to be having great lives.
Classic for me. I see my mates who hoard their money and there onto buying their second
and third houses now and we aren’t close to nailing one. I hear the boys talk about the big
night out on the drink and all the fun and excitement they had getting drunk, I was at home
putting the kids to bed trying to do the right thing, I feel like I’m missing out. Try to share the
gospel at work, with family, friends and all of a sudden you’re an outsider rather than an
insider and can’t quite get back as an insider.
5.Compare one part of your life to the other
I have talked to guys who have been in gaol for murder and they look at me and say I’m not
a bad bloke, I don’t abuse kids like those other guys in there. Because on area of their life is
clean, they think it excuses the other area of their life. I go to church, I give money in the
plate, I’m the first to put my hand up to help people in my street, who cares if I get drunk, or
swear at my wife, husband, kids. I do the right thing every other area of my life, surely a bit
of office gossip or a bit of lying to get ahead is ok.
… Any of these sound familiar??
Secondly, some ways Satan accuses us.
1.He causes us to look more at our sin than our saviour
We get so obsessed with our sin, being introspective, examining our lives, with what we’ve
done wrong that we can’t break the condemnation. Once said that for every look you have at
your sin, take 5 looks at your saviour. Are you spend more time mediating on your sin or
2.He causing Christians to obsess over past sins that have done damage that can’t be
Some of us have done terrible things in the past for which Jesus has died and promises to set
you free. But Satan keeps on reminding you about it and every day you feel sick in the
tummy, feel like looking over your shoulder and do whatever you can to escape that feeling.
The gospel is that Jesus has even died for that and offers you complete 100% forgives and
freedom for that, yes even that.
3.He cause Christians to think suffering and hard times this is punishment for things they
have done wrong
Just because you are suffering doesn’t mean you have done the wrong thing and that God is
out to get you. We live in a broken and sinful world that is marked by suffering. Suffering
isn’t always karma for not living for God. In fact often in the Bible, suffering is a result of
living for God. The car has broken down, I lost my job, my relationships are in turmoil. It
doesn’t mean God is punishing you.
4. He causes Christians to feel condemned about inner struggles and feelings they think real
Christians shouldn’t have.
If I were a real Christian I wouldn’t be having this struggle and desires. If I was a real
Christian I wouldn’t be thinking these things.
I wonder if Satan has used any of these strategies on you? I wonder if any of those
temptations or accusations ring true for you? I wonder if any of those voices or conversations
have gone on in your head before? Satan will continue to feed you those lies, accusations,
temptations waiting for you to take the bait, to believe it and live it.
Satan ultimately wants you to throw in the towel and walk away from Jesus. That’s what he
wants. I wonder how many of you have been close to doing that in your Christian walk?
But if he can’t do that he wants to ruin, kill, destroy your life as a Christian. So he accuses
you so you feel like a failure, worthless, inferior, unlovable, that you deserve to be rejected,
pushed aside, left alone, abandoned. He wants you to be so discouraged that you give up hope
of God delivering you and restoring you. He wants to numb you into a coping kind of
Christianity that has given up hope of seeing Gods resurrection power at work in your life.
Just surviving. I wonder if any of you have ever felt like that, maybe your there today?
For some of us he works the other way. He works on our pride rather than discouragement.
He wants to ruin our life by stroking our ego, encouraging our pride so we feel like we don’t
actually need God, our lives are quite good without him. So we do our religious duty but we
are practical atheist as our day to day lives are lived with no thought of God. Satan has won
when he has us there as well.
3.How do we overcome him?
If Satan is our enemy, and his strategy is to accuse us and tempt us. Lastly, how do we
overcome Satan and his attacks against us?
v8 ‘Be alert and of sober mind’
Recently on beach mission we didn’t lock our doors because we thought we would be ok.
During the Bingo night some thieves came in and stole about $5000 worth of gear because
we weren’t alert. So that night we got together and came up with a game plan about how we
can be alert. We locked the doors, had someone on look out during our night events and set
the alarm. At 5:17 that morning the alarm started blarring. Someone had tried to brak in again
but this time we were alert.
As Christians we often live like we did on beach mission. But the Bible tells us to be alert,
getting ready, expect a hit.
Appl- Be alert, expect Satan to want to destroy your walk with God. Think about what is in
your mind, think about whose voice it is that you are listening to. Maybe it’s not a
coincidence that every time you pray, seek God more, share your faith, take a step of faith
something out of the ordinary happens. Satan hates that so expect, get ready
There have been definite times in my life I have decided to take a step of faith for God and
almost immediately I have seen Satan work to oppose it.
2.Resist him, standing firm in your faith
v9a ‘Resist him, standing firm in your faith ..’
James 4:7 says Resist the devil and he will flee from you.
To resist doesn’t mean just sitting around, it is an active decision to say no to Satan and his
ways and yes to Jesus and your faith in him. U
When I put sunscreen on my son Judah, he doesn’t just say no, he is doing everything to
resist it, Everything in his power to make sure it doesn’t happen.
My friend Bill puts Bible Verses all over his walls at home to make sure he resists the devil
and stands firm.
3.Fight with others
v9b ‘… because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing
the same kind of suffering’
1 Corinthians 10:13 ‘common to mankind’. Suffering and struggle not alone.
Others have doubted truth, others doubted Gods goodness, other looked at the world and felt
like missing out, others tempted to take short cuts or easy road they shouldn’t. The body is
here to help you overcome. Not enough to turn up on Sunday, slip out back door and see you
in a fortnight. We need brothers and sister who can be honest with and share our struggles
Ill: I have a mate in NZ who I skype with regularly to ensure we are standing firm in Jesus.
I have a mate from Bible college who has been hearing voices ‘you’re going to lose’ and
every time he goes to read the bible or pray hears it. He hasn’t been to church regularly or
connecting real for years. I said “Mate, you’re a sitting duck, all by self, no encouragement,
protection, praying for you. Like a soldier taking of the Taliban by yourself.
4.God will help you
v10-11 ‘And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you
have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.
To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen
Ultimately God will restore you, make you strong, firm, steadfast. He called you to eternal
glory in Christ by his grace and he will help you to the finish line. The basis for our
confidence is not ourselves but Gods goodness and power over Satan. Can be confident, not
because you are great and mighty but because God is and he has promised to hold on to you
in this life and guide you home to the next. Don’t need to fear or cower in the corner.
Cross Satan defeated.
Teaching at Penrith. One of my best mates had his youngest brother at the school in Year 9.
He was a nice kid, quiet, a bit quirky and easy pickings for a bully. One day, my friend rang
and said, look, my brother getting a hard time from this bully. Feeling sick before goes to
school, fearful, hates it. Just keep an eye out. One day in the playground, mates brother
minding his own business and I saw this kids walk past and give him a mouthful and tried to
start a fight. Watched and this kids just looked down and scared and intimidated. So I walked
over and put my hand on my mates brother shoulder. I looked the bully in the eye. I said this
guy here, his brother is one of my best mates, so we ae like family. That means that if anyone
picks a fight with him, he picks a fight with me.
I can remember Connors perosna changed. He stood up, puffed his chest out, looked the bully
in the eyes, new confidence. Nothing in him that made him confident, just because he had the
6’4 PE teacher had his back. Bully new I cared for this guy, new I had the power and
authority to do something about it. So he left him alone. All Connor had to do if he ever felt
scared was to stand near me and knew everything would be ok.
Friends, Satan is real, if you are a Christian he is a bully and wants to make your life hard.
When you walk closely with the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords, the one who died and rose
again and has crushed the devils head, power over him, one day destroy him forever. When
you stand closely with him, suddenly the fear goes, confident in him and the devil we are told
will eventually flee.
So be alert, be ready…. But stay close to Jesus and he will help you stand firm to the end.
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