This is a 3-part series on spiritual wrestling and the armor of God. In part 1, we examine the importance of not being ignorant of the devil’s devices.
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. (I Peter 5:8)
Some Christians are ignorant of what areas a demon can attack a believer. Some are ignorant to the point that they believe that a demon can’t influence a child of God at all. This is falling right into Satan’s trap; it allows his covert operations to remain undetected and intact. He can accomplish much more in darkness than when exposed. Satan has the legal right to traffic in the realm of darkness, whether a Christian is there or not. The devil knows that his time is short, and he is on a rampage of destruction. This is not the time to be ignorant of Satan’s devices. Listen to the words of the Apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 2:11:
Lest Satan should take advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices.
The word “ignorant” is taken from the Greek word agnoeo, it means “to be ignorant, to have no discernment of, to not understand; to commit a fault arising from the lack of discernment.” Many Christians open the door for demonic involvement because of a lack of discernment. Two-thirds of organized Christendom has no understanding of the spirit world. Therefore, Satan has the advantage over them. The spirit world is more real than the material world. Everything we see in the material realm was first conceived in the spirit realm. This domain is where Satan and his demons operate, as well as the angels of the Lord.
Some Christians think that as long as they believe, they cannot be harmed by demonic forces. This type of believing is only mental assent and not heart faith. The Bible says that demons also believe and tremble (James 2:19). We must know that Christians are the special object of Satan’s hatred, for they represent God in the earth. He already has the people of the world under his control, he need not bother with them. Two classes of people receive special attention from Satan: those working for him and those working against him. If you are working against him, he has an assignment out on you. The good news is that the Holy Spirit will give you discernment and power to overcome!
The Christian must “keep” himself if he is to remain free from demonic involvement. Let us note right here that a true Christian cannot be demon possessed! The purpose of these lessons is to show you that there are areas that Satan is working against Christians that exclude possession. These are the areas we must guard our hearts in. I John 5:18 says:
We know that whoever is born of God does not sin; but he who has been born of God keeps himself, and the wicked one does not touch him.
The original word for “touch” in this verse means “to handle in such a way as to influence, to manipulate.” The entry level workings of Satan are centered in manipulation. Notice the Word says that there is a condition on our part if we are to be protected from Satan’s assignments. The more effective a Christian is at doing the will of God, the more elaborate and sophisticated the assignment of Satan is against them. The Apostle Paul himself said, “Therefore we wanted to come to you—even I Paul, time and again–but Satan hindered us” (I Thessalonians 2:18).
Jesus told us in Matthew 6:22-24 that light could be turned into darkness: The lamp of the body is the eye, if therefore your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eye is bad [margin: evil or unhealthy], your whole body will be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness how great is that darkness. No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.
In the next lesson, we will examine this process of light turning into darkness. It does not happen all at once, it is a gradual process. A Christian has the legal right to say ‘NO!’ to the devil at any time. We cannot say, “The devil made me do it.” Satan can take no ground other than what we yield. Next, we will look at how to take back the ground you may have already forfeited, in part 2, Spiritual Wrestling.