“…The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil.” – 1 John 3:8 (AMP)
Please, meditate on that for a moment. Let that really, really sink in.
Paul’s letter to Ephesus is one of the first things I think about when I read that verse. Are we [the followers of Christ] not all called to do the same? If we are to be like Him, and His will operates through us, don’t we basically toil to destroy the devils handiwork as well? When asking us to put on the full armor or God, Paul reveals, “…For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this [present] darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly (supernatural) places.” (Eph. 6:12 AMP). This life is, primarily, a spiritual battle! Awesome enough, the precepts described in Ephesians are the very virtues that will arm you so that “…you may be able to [successfully] stand up against all the schemes and the strategies and the deceits of the devil.” (Eph. 6:11 AMP) These are the weapons we must use to destroy the works of the devil:
“So stand firm and hold your ground, having tightened the wide band of TRUTH (personal integrity, moral courage) around your waist and having put on the breastplate of RIGHTEOUSNESS (an upright heart), and having strapped on your feet the GOSPEL OF PEACE in preparation [to face the enemy with firm-footed stability and the readiness produced by the good news]. Above all, lift up the [protective] shield of FAITH with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. And take the helmet of SALVATION, and THE SWORD OF THE SPIRIT, which is the Word of God.” Eph. 6:14-17 (AMP)
Arming others with these virtues/precepts will expand and strengthen the ‘army’ of the Church.
Whether you like it or not, and whether you believe it or not, we ARE at war. Satan has been hard a work since the beginning to destroy the works of God. I say, turn-around is fair play. Now, every single sinful act is not directly perpetrated by the devil…afterall, we are sinful creatures that bear a sinful nature and, by default, do sinful things. We do a pretty good job at getting in trouble without the help of Satan. However, if one is to continually commit [a] sin, it may very well draw the attention of the demonic. You will get a little nudge to keep you involved or to go deeper. Demons will bring addictions and habits which, then, lead to something even worse. Some habits bring demonic oppression; and that oppression may lead to possession. Time and time again, in the New Testament, we are encouraged not to fall back into habitual sin lest we end up worse than where we began.
It all boils down to the surrender of our free will. The more we yield to the demonic, the worse we become. conversely, the more we yield to Christ, the better we become. Satan continually pushes us to willingly commit offenses against God’s moral laws. He is good at his job too. If we would only us the tools that Christ has offered to us, we could “…stand up against all the schemes and the strategies and the deceits of the devil.”
Who are you yielding your will to today?