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Know Your Enemy

Spiritual Swordfight

2 Corinthians 2:11(KJV) - Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.

Professional athletes in contact sports watch videotapes of their opponents before every game. They study them carefully. They pick up tendencies that they can exploit. Before they even enter the battle, they understand their opponents.

This is the third message in our series, "Seeing The Invisible." It is a continuation from Part Two, "Supernatural Beings." Join us as we journey into the spirit realm where important things are taking place which we cannot see.

Today we'll study a very important aspect of warfare; "Know Your Enemy."

Matthew 4:1-3(KJV) - 1Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. 2And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred. 3And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. (emphasis mine)

Pay close attention to all you just saw in Matthew 4:1-3. When it comes to spiritual warfare, that is the equivalent of watching tape. Like professional athletes, let's study it carefully and pick up tendencies we can exploit. Before we even enter the battle, let's understand our opponent.

How exactly did the devil attack Jesus?

Know Your Enemy

1) He questioned Jesus' identity!

As we discussed in yesterday's blog, "Supernatural Beings" the devil was after Jesus' soul. What do I mean by that? He wanted access to Jesus' mind, will and emotions. He wanted to affect how Jesus was thinking, the decisions He was making and how He felt.

Jesus just finished a 40 day fast and was extremely hungry so the devil knew exactly where He was vulnerable at that time. Hence, the devil tempted Jesus by sarcastically suggesting that He use His supernatural power to satisfy His physical desires. However, the temptation had nothing to do with stones and nothing to do with bread. It was all about Jesus' identity.

Pay close attention to the phrase that I emphasized; "If thou be the Son of God."

By starting with that phrase, the devil questioned Jesus' identity in a moment when He was vulnerable. The devil dared Jesus to prove that He was The Son of God. It was an attempt to coax Jesus to get out of character. The devil wanted to see Jesus defend His position. If Jesus was unsure of Himself, He would have fallen for the trap and tried to prove His worth.

2) He questioned Jesus' relationship with His Father.

In addition, He directly questioned Jesus' identity as it related to His relationship with His Father in heaven. He basically said, "Are you really God's Son or are you not? Hmm, maybe you're Joseph's son or some other man's. Virgin birth whatever! If you are really God's Son then show me your power."

Just like the devil. There he went telling Jesus how The Son of God was supposed to act. He was essentially playing mind games. Now let's study some more tape.

Know Your Enemy

Genesis 3:1-5(KJV) - Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? 2And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: 3But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. 4And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: 5For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.

Pay close attention to the enemy's tactics with Eve. There's a lot more in there but for today's study I just want you to focus on verse 5 and see something familiar.

1) The devil questioned Eve's identity.

She was already made in God's image and likeness according to Genesis 1:26-28 so she was already like God. However, in verse 5 he made her question that. He challenged her to disobey God so that she would be like God even though she already was like God. He questioned her identity and messed with her mind. If she wasn't sure she was made in God's image she would fall for the trap.

2) He questioned Eve's relationship with God.

He made her feel like God was holding something back by telling her not to touch The Tree of The Knowledge of Good and Evil. He did not tell her the truth which was that God was trying to protect her because that would paint God in a good light. So he planted a lie in her head about God and that messed with her soul. How do we know that? He messed with what she thought about God's benevolence, how she made decisions in response to God's directions and how she felt about God's view of her. Maybe God wasn't as good as He portrayed Himself to be after all? Hmmm...

Know Your Enemy

Now think about your own life. How many times has the enemy used the same tactics to mess with your mind? He attacks when you are vulnerable in the area where you're vulnerable. He says things to make you question your identity. He says things to make you question your relationship with God. He says things to control what you think, the decisions you make and how you feel. He'll tempt you to disobey God to get something God could give you in the first place. He wants you to question God's Love for you. He wants you to question God's plan for your life. If you don't know know you are, he has some suggestions for you. He did it with Eve. He did it with Jesus. He'll do it with you. Watch out!

We'll continue from here next week.

Note: Don't keep this to yourself. SHARE IT WITH YOUR FRIENDS! Look down!

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