Know Thy Enemy

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“I’m sure you must be weary, dear, with soaring up so high;
Will you rest upon my little bed?” said the spider to the fly.
“There are pretty curtains drawn around, the sheets are fine and thin,
And if you like to rest awhile, I’ll snugly tuck you in.”
“O no, no,” said the little fly, “for I’ve often heard it said,
They never, never wake again, who sleep upon your bed.”

-Mary Howitt

It started as a sudden jolt of fear, as I recognized the silhouette of a small hairy spider on the wall across my room. I stared for a while at its small frame, knowing that its size would greatly increase with proximity.  I slid out of bed and snuck towards it, my imagination going wild, adrenaline kicking in. I gasped as I finally took it in fully. Shiny black eyes pointed at me. It’s front legs poised to pounce, its jaws moving hungrily. I ran for a newspaper, but in fear grabbed a bowl instead. Returning to the scene I raised the bowl and found that I couldn’t move. Spider: 1 Adult Human: 0.

What happened next? After some time, I finally got the nerve to see past my fear and capture the little beastie. My fear turned to victory as I held the bowl in my hands, watching the spider try and strike, completely powerless in the sealed bowl. I saw clearly that it was afraid of me, more than I was of it. That what I thought was hungry chewing was actually shaking and shivering terror.

This story is not unlike an elephant afraid of a mouse, or a child too afraid to sit on the lap of the easter bunny. Why are we so afraid? We have rational fears that make sense, but what of the irrational fears? The Phobias…

I fear spiders but nothing gets my blood pumping like wasps. Their angry slanted eyes and buzzing make my hair raise. My husband though is a different story, he swats them away like they are nothing more than overzealous butterflies. The outcome? To my surprise, he never gets stung. It’s like the wasps respect him, while it seems when I walk out the door it’s an air raid. Surely the problem isn’t the wasps, but my fear. I give them power over me by fearing them.

I know it may seem silly but as children of God, filled with power, we can easily give our power away. We see this with satan all the time. He is a bug on the floor, but he uses fear to make himself appear large and undefeatable. It’s his pleasure to scare us giants into submission. He loves making God appear weak and his children appear weaker. Why does he deceive through fear? To fear is to distrust God. A family divided cannot stand, he wants the children of God to rebel against their father, to turn from him. If he can cut us off from God, we are made vulnerable and then like any spider with prey in its web, he comes in for the kill, wrapping us in as many lies as he can till all we can see is distorted by the silk covering our eyes. If you didn’t know it, it could be pretty comfortable wrapped in a web. You could easily mistake a cage for a bed and live in that dream very nicely for quite some time…

But with the film over your eyes, you wouldn’t notice the approaching doom, the life draining from you as each day passes. You weren’t made to be anything less than a child of God. What satan offers you is counterfeit and supremely evil. He comes to kill steal and destroy, but he appears to you looking like everything you ever wanted. He is the ultimate con man.

It’s time the church wakes up to who the devil really is. It’s time the church seeks discernment and faces the hard truth. There is an enemy out there, he hides in the dark and entices you with lies. He can easily work his way into your families, and into your church. The church is not off limits to demons, it’s not like playing tag in school and designating a tree as a ‘safe zone.’ We have to take ground for the kingdom of God, it isn’t given to us freely. Everything, every inch must be fought for and maintained. It really is a war we are dealing with here, the definition of a war- a conflict between two opposing sides.

Know thy enemy. Don’t fear thy enemy. God has decided the outcome, he defeated satan and the power of death. The battle has never been between God and satan, there is no match there….satan is merely a fallen angel. No angel or army of angels can defeat God. In simply speaking he created everything we see today, as well as the galaxies that will forever be beyond fathom. Why then are we fighting someone who is defeated? because satan has always been at war with us, from the beginning of man, when he tricked Adam and Eve, he has declared war on us. And as children of God, made in His likeness, we are to taste the victory of defeating our enemy. To become who God made us, we must pick up our crosses and take back the world.