April 27, 2009

My primary enemy vs my best Friend

Next week’s topic for my Bible class is distinguishing the difference between messages from Satan and messages from the Holy Spirit. Some are obvious because we know God would never tell me to rob a bank or tell lies, but the lines do become blurry and discernment is often needed.

This morning, my devotional guide offers me the story of the first deception. The devil came to Eve in the form of a serpent and convinced her to take the only thing God had forbidden to her and Adam. After she ate the fruit and gave some to him, God came to them and told them how life would change because of their sin.

God also spoke to the serpent, condemning it to crawl in the dust, but His condemnation went beyond the snake to the evil entity that had taken its form. To Satan, God said,
I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel. (Genesis 3:15).
A careful study of the entire Bible shows that the seed of Satan refers are all those who follow his lies and are false teachers. The Seed of the woman is a term used for Jesus Christ, God in human flesh, born of a woman. He came to defeat sin and Satan’s power to deceive and destroy.

Satan did “bruise His heel” in the sense that his scheme took Jesus to the cross. Little did he realize (because he is in darkness) that this was part of God’s plan. By dying on the cross, Jesus took humanity’s penalty for sin. Not only that, He rose from the dead and destroyed the power of Satan.
Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. (Hebrews 2:14-15)
Satan’s big thing is convincing people that God does not want the best for them; therefore, they should not do anything He says. He used this deception on Eve and it worked. However, the Bible always holds Adam accountable for this because Eve “was deceived” but Adam ate the forbidden fruit with his eyes wide open. He chose to enter into sin with Eve rather than obey God.

Since then, the world is in a spiritual war. Many are blind to the forces of evil whose goal is their allegiance. Those of us who are aware of this battle know that our victory has been secured by the One who “bruised Satan’s head” and robbed him of the power of death. Because Jesus lives, I will live also. I no longer fear death.

Yet even though I have eternal life and Satan cannot take that from me, he can deceive me if I am not alert. He pesters me with lies and temptations in his attempts to stop me from trusting God. He works hard trying to lead me into sin. That is why I am thankful for promises like Romans 16:20, “And the God of peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly.”

Before Jesus came, Satan tried to destroy the Messianic line by destroying God’s people. He tried to slaughter the infant Jesus and later attempted to corrupt Him with temptation. He also instigated mobs to kill Him and tried to make sure Jesus didn’t come out of the tomb. Even though he wanted Jesus to die, that death became his defeat.

I’m aware that the curse on Satan also involved the woman. Does it extend to all women? Do we have a special need to be on guard because that enmity extends from Eve to us? I’m not sure of the answer to that, but I suspect that this week will be filled with spiritual battles as I prepare to take some pot shots at the one who would like to see me and the women in my study group following our sinful nature instead of the Holy Spirit. I also expect that my enemy will lose, not because I am a great spiritual warrior, but because my friend Jesus has already crushed the power out of him.

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