“Fighting the Good Fight”
The Ruses & Realms of the Devil – (Ephesians Chapter 6 Verses 10-20)
Yet another of the Devil’s ruses is to confuse people (v11). Especially so in regard to the character of God, making him out to be hard, unreasonable, a hard taskmaster. He will suggest to you that God’s requirements of obedience will most surely frustrate your own aspirations and pleasures. In his wiles he will seek to convince you that obeying God is beneath your human dignity and most certainly your destiny. How high you could climb and what you could achieve in the world if you weren’t hampered by the restrictions of God’s word. He will cause you to question and doubt God’s word as he did Eve in the garden of Eden. If he can get you to question dependability upon God and his word, he will soon have you doubting God’s good intentions for you. You will find yourself questioning as to whether God really is for you (Genesis 18:25; Romans 8:31). Before you know it you are in a state of confusion. This the Devil loves. This is a ruse of the Devil (v11). He masquerades, causing you to think that he doesn’t exist or he is a music hall joker not to be taken seriously. The two extremes he will take you to are these; either denying his existence altogether; or seeing him in absolutely everything that goes wrong. There is no end to his ingenuity. The Bible speaks of false Christ’s (Matthew 24:24). Of false apostles (2Corinthians 11:13). Of false Epistles (2Thessalonians 2:2). Of false miracles (Matthew 7:21f). He is the Devil and he is the author of all that is false in the spiritual realm. Not all that is of a spiritual nature is necessarily of God. We must develop and use discernment (1John 4:1). The Devil is persistent. Maybe you are having a quiet spell, all is peace and quiet, he has left you alone. Is wonderful you think. Be aware, on your guard, he will return. He hasn’t gone away or forgotten you. Remember how he tempted the Lord Jesus in the wilderness, again and again. Then we are told he left him, but it was just, “for a season” (Luke 4:13). He awaits an opportune time. He is determined, you must watch and pray. “Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation. The spirit truly is ready, but the flesh is weak” (Mark 14:38). This is not a time of peace, not yet, we are at war.
His realm is this world’s scene and he is wrathful. We should not be surprised at this, he hates and persecutes the church, we are told to expect this. “Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time. And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child” (Revelation 12:12-13). He is seeking to establish his own kingdom on earth, the kingdom of man without God (Revelation 13:1-4). His design and determination is to make war against the church. He is operating now (2Thessalonians 2:7). There is always a sense of mystery regarding the fact and operations of evil, but they, he, are for real. Be warned, he roams the earth. He uses people in places of power in the state and in the church. If he can influence, control the state and the pulpit he can control the nation. He takes hold of a Jeroboam and all Israel are steeped in idolatry. He is ever seeking to poison the cistern of the church. If he can infiltrate the Seminary, the Bible College, he can defile the students, who in turn go out and defile the church. If he can get them to cry peace when there is no peace, he has won the day. He uses the ‘few’ clever within the church (1Corinthians 1:26f). God’s kingdom is managed in a godly simplicity, it is wisdom not so much cleverness that is needed. This is not to say that the church does not need clever men, of course, she does, and we thank God for such gifted folk. But there are dangers, carnal reason, instead of biblical reasoning, thinking God’s thoughts after him. The Devil is spiritual, demonic, diabolical. He uses foolish leaders too, filling the church’s membership role with silly souls that have never been reborn. The church’s worship then is altered to the humour of these silly souls. Let us be assured from this passage that the apostle confronts us with that we are up against personal, organised powers of evil (v12). The cause of spiritual blindness in the world, godless humanism, and moral decadence. Evil and the power of evil are facts. The objective reality is, the nation of the church (1Peter 2:9), is at war.