June 13th, 2018 — IGNITE

I played a lot of sports in my younger years. I’ve had the opportunity to be a part of some very good winning teams and also know the sting of being defeated. Through the years though, I don’t watch or follow many sporting events anymore, but this I know – before any team takes the field… the court… the track… the ring… they study the opposition. They watch the video over and over again to learn their opponent's strengths and weaknesses… to see what moves they make… to determine how they are going to react in different situations so that they can have an upper hand when it comes times to compete.

Where am I going with all of this sports talk? Well, I think there’s a good lesson for all of us Christians need to learn. We’re been pretty melancholy when it comes to the fight. We’ve been allowing the enemy to knock us down and count us out because we don’t know who we’re up against. We’re seeing more suicides… more family breakups… more financial ruin, because we haven’t taken the time to study our opponent, the devil and he’s taking advantage of it all.

Listen to me… how can you defeat someone if you don’t know who they are… what they do… or how they compete? How can you defeat someone if you don’t even know what he looks like? The Bible tells us Satan…
“… disguises himself as an angel of light.” 2 Corinthians 11:14

The Bible says the devil…
“… prowls about like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” 1 Peter 5:8

Jesus told us Satan…
“… comes and takes away the word which has been sown…” Mark 4:15

Jesus also said…
“… he is liar, and the father of lies.” John 8:44

One more! Jesus said…
“The thief comes only to steal, kill and destroy.” John 10:10

But how would you know this, if you never studied it? This is why you need to get to know who your enemy is in order to properly defeat him. Once you know who he is, James 4:7 says, “… resist him!” Ephesians 6:11 says to “put on the full armor of God, that you may be able to resist in the evil day.”

You want to defeat the enemy? Forgive those people who hurt you. Don’t believe me? Read this…
“But whom you forgive anything, I forgive also; for indeed what I have forgiven, if I have forgiven anything, I did it for your sakes in the presence of Christ, in order that no advantage be taken of us by Satan; for we are not ignorant of his schemes.” 2 Corinthians 2:10-11

Here’s my word of encouragement for you today: Our enemy has already been defeated by Jesus, but that doesn’t mean he’s going to back off. He wants to make you a loser just like him. Resist him! Put on the full armor and fight back. With Jesus by your side, you’ll win every time.

I stand in the victory of my Savior today. Jesus, it’s in your name I pray, Amen.

Rev. Dr. MM Marxhausen