"We should want to be like the devil"? Is that what I just said??! YEP!
Let me explain. I know when the words devil, satan or enemy are used in Christian context, it is usually as in...oh no!, BAD, GET AWAY, BE GONE...right?
As I grow in this journey called the life of faith, I am seeing just how smart the devil is! The devil is no comparison to Jesus, but he can sure be smarter than me some days.
BUT GOD is showing me some of the devil's tricks of the trade too!
When we are able to anticipate and recognize how our enemy works, we can be ready for him when He comes a knockin'!
Think of it like this....FOOTBALL. If I was to play my rival team in 3 weeks, you bet I would send spies to watch them play beforehand! I would tape it, watch it and try to pinpoint their secret weapons. I would try to figure out how the opposing team thought and reacted. Then, I would equip my team with the information and understanding of how to not only stop them, but to overpower them for the victory!
SAME thing when it comes to the devil!
He is not going to lay down and let you run over him, BUT if we determine to learn how he thinks and works, we can stop him before he even gets started on us!
So, lets look at a few of the characteristics of the devil that we, as disciples, should work hard to have to win in this game of faith life!
3 Attributes of the Devil We Should Want:
" The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." - John 10:10
If you have met & accepted Jesus, the devil cannot steal that away. Ever. BUT, that just means he will have to work much harder now to keep you from growing a personal relationship with God and to see the plan He has for your life!
#2- PREPARED- satan is not dumb! The devil is very studious. He studies culture, trends, your patterns, your personality and behaviors. He takes time to see what causes your heart to race and what scares the mess out of you. He knows how important it is to study and know your ways if he is to be successful. The devil is actually very creative. He is an out-of-the-box thinker. And just like a good wrestler, He's always prepared and ready to pounce when he sees us let our guard down.
"But I fear that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your minds may be corrupted from a complete and pure devotion to Christ."- 2 Corinthians 11:3
#3- PERSISTENT- The devil will never be called a quitter. He & his workers seems to have more energy than the energizer bunny at times, The devil's team works well together tag teaming if need be.
We cannot be so naive as to think that once we are saved, the devil stops messing with us. WRONG!
When we meet Jesus, satan has to go to Plan B. He has to call in the extra help and revise the attack plan. He knows the power we are given when we accept Jesus, so he has to put more time into finding what it is that will keep you from getting to know Jesus any further. If he can stop that relationship part from the beginning, his work is done. The devil is smart! He is a hard worker. He never sleeps. He is always thinking of ways to distract us and keep us occupied on anything but the things of God. Anything!
The devil doesn't mind a good fight with us every now & then, but he knows if he can keep our power hidden from us that he has a good chance of winning in our daily lives.
Look at these verses and tell me that satan isn't crazy persistent:
"1 Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” 2 The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, 3 but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’ ” 4 “You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. 5 “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”- Genesis 3:1-5
"Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2 After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. 3 The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.”- Matthew 4:1-11
I mean really...the devil not only twisted God's words to Eve by asking her 3x, changing the wording just a tad each time, making her doubt what God had told her. THEN, he played into her with flattery and empty promises. and Eve bit... :(
In the second set of verses, we see the insane brash nerve the devil has as he persists in tempting JESUS!! He is not scared for sure! He knew Jesus was God, but he was persistent enough to try it anyways because Jesus was physically weak. Again, satan used God's Words, scripture this time, to try to get Jesus to forget about God the Father and His will. BUT JESUS didn't bite! Jesus won, but I wanted you to see how determined and persistent our enemy is.
So today, I am challenging you to add these 3 P's to your daily game plan to stop the enemy from having any gain in your life! The devil is smart, cunning and creative as he comes after us, BUT Jesus has deposited in you HIS power to defeat him at every turn!
If we want to be an effective disciple, we must be like the devil: we must know & remember our purpose daily. We must commit to do our homework, studying God's word so we can recognize anything that is not from Him. Then be persistent to finish our race well.
It takes training, hard work and commitment, but victory over our enemy is the biggest and best trophy we will ever receive!