“Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.” (Eph. 2:2-3)
“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:” (1Peter 5:8)
It has been said that a good general knows his enemy.
Our enemy is that old deceiver and liar, the devil. But he works with two associates to tempt us and keep us from the victory. These companions of the devil in his endeavors are the world and the flesh.
“Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.” (James 4:4)
“Because the carnal mind (carnal: pertaining to the flesh or the body) is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.” (Rom. 8:7)
“For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.” (1John 2:16)
When we become a Christian, the Bible teaches us that God has “…delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son.” (Col. 1:13)
Satan no longer has any direct power over you. He can no longer force you in any way to do his will. As a matter of fact, the Bible says that as far as the born again child of God is concerned, the devil has been paralyzed.
“Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;” (Heb. 2:14)
The word in the Greek that is translated destroy in the King James Version literally means paralyzed.
That is why the Bible tells us in 1 Peter that the devil goes about as a “roaring lion” seeking “whom he may devour”.
Naturalists and the Bible tell us that it is the young lion that is quiet and stealthy as he sneaks up on his prey (Psalm 17:12). It is the old lion that is slow and weak and roars to frighten off the other predators so that he can eat the wounded prey that they have attacked.
Since the devil cannot physically attack you or stop you from serving the Lord, he works through the things and people of the world and through the flesh to tempt you to sin and wound yourself so that then he “may devour”.
“But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.” (James 1:14-15)
The Bible says to “…resist the devil and he will flee from you.” (James 4:7), but it also says to “…neither give place to the devil.” (Eph. 4:27)
The word translated “place” here in the King James Version literally means scabbard in the Greek. A scabbard is a covering or a place for a sword. The sword is ineffective when in the scabbard. The Bible says the Word of God is the sword of the Spirit. (Eph. 6:17)
In order to be effectual in resisting the devil with the sword of the Spirit, we must first remove any “place” in our life that Satan may have gained through the world or the flesh, so that we may then be unencumbered to walk freely in the Spirit.
“Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,” (Heb. 12:1)
This is done by understanding the way that the devil uses the world and flesh together to deceive us and draw us into sin and iniquity.
The enemy’s goal is to wound us to the point of losing hope and faith, so that we give up and our sins become presumptuous to the point that we are unable to be used of God.
“If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me:” (Psalm 66:18)
“Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression.” (Psalm 19:13)
“If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work.” (2Ti 2:21)