From the start, we all know that if we talk about the enemy of God, it usually refers to Satan.
Satan is the former Lucifer, and was also a former angel of light. Later he rebelled against God and desired to become like God too. He was able to drew the third part of the angels in heaven and led against the army of God. But they did not win against Michael the Archangel and the other angels. They were driven out of heaven and cast into earth, thus Lucifer was called Satan, while the other angels were called demons.
From then on, they roam around the planet to fight against God and make all human beings turn away from God. They became the enemy of God and of those who serve God. Those who were deceived became enemy of God too.
In what ways do people become enemy of God? How do the evil spirits deceive people?
Jas 4:4 You unfaithful people! Don’t you know that love for this evil world is hatred toward God? Whoever wants to be a friend of this world is an enemy of God.
Apostle James shows how the Jews destroyed their covenant to God. The Jews, because of their covenant with God, are represented as being espoused to him; and hence their idolatry, and their iniquity in general, are represented under the notion of adultery.
And although they had not since the Babylonish captivity been guilty of idolatry; according to the letter; yet what is intended by idolatry, having their hearts estranged from God, and seeking their portion in this life and out of God, is that of which the Jews were then notoriously guilty.
Sad to say, many self-professing Christians today are still living according to the ways of this world instead of living according to the will of God.
How can a person who is strongly attached to the world be saved? Having a friend is normal and not bad at all. It is having peace with others. But being friend with worldly things and deceits of the devil, will also mean conforming to its wicked doctrines, thus making one of the enemies of God.
What runs through the mind of a person who become a friend of this world? What do we usually see on them?
Gal 5:19-21 Now the works of the flesh are clear, which are these: evil desire, unclean things, wrong use of the senses, Worship of images, use of strange powers, hates, fighting, desire for what another has, angry feelings, attempts to get the better of others, divisions, false teachings, Envy, uncontrolled drinking and feasting, and such things: of which I give you word clearly, even as I did in the past, that they who do such things will have no part in the kingdom of God.
These are the common things usually seen done with people conforming to the world. They become part of the act of this world. These acts are a direct spiritual adultery and abominations to God. Such doers of these things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
Friendship is a kind of relationship. In a relationship, falling too deeply is inevitable. Being caught deeply in a relationship will mean a slave of that relationship. This is what happened with a person who become friends with the world. He becomes too attached to the world and unknowingly the desires of this world becomes his desires too. He had become a part of the wickedness of this world and all the things he does are uncontrollable desires caused by the spirit of this world.
Rom 7:17-19 So it is no longer I who do it, but the sin living in me. For I am conscious that in me, that is, in my flesh, there is nothing good: I have the mind but not the power to do what is right. For the good which I have a mind to do, I do not: but the evil which I have no mind to do, that I do.
Notice that the self has no authority or power over one’s self. The sin living inside rules and govern the whole body making it doing things unwanted by the doer. These are all because of the close tie-up or relationship with the world. This is not God’s will. His will is to set us free and do not conform with the standard of this world. The works of the flesh are all from this earth, from the devil himself, from the enemy of God. (James 3: 14-15)
This is a tough opponent for all who want to serve the Lord. They have to fight themselves so that they will not be deceived by the works of the devil. The fight is spiritual, and they have to learn how to fight spiritually.
Eph 6:12 For our fight is not against flesh and blood, but against authorities and powers, against the world-rulers of this dark night, against the spirits of evil in the heavens.
What does the Bible say about fighting against wicked spirits of this world?
1 Corinthians 9: 27 ESV - But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.
One of the toughest enemy is one’s self. Besides the deceits of the devil, the flesh in us desires worldly lusts. If we will not discipline our selves we will be controlled by our own desires.
Discipline is important in all things. Athletes get hold of their victory because of their dedication and discipline. Servants of God must have the ability to control themselves especially their wicked desires.
1Co 9:25 Every athlete in training submits to strict discipline, in order to be crowned with a wreath that will not last; but we do it for one that will last forever.
The logic is this, if the athletes do their best and can afford to discipline their bodies in order to win a prize that will pass away, then it is necessary that servants of God possess the spiritual discipline so that they will get the prize of salvation, an incorruptible prize, which is the eternal life.
But is it enough to have discipline?
Col 3:8-10 But now you must get rid of all these things: anger, passion, and hateful feelings. No insults or obscene talk must ever come from your lips. Do not lie to one another, for you have put off the old self with its habits and have put on the new self. This is the new being which God, its Creator, is constantly renewing in his own image, in order to bring you to a full knowledge of himself.
Having the needed spiritual discipline will make us turn away from evil works. But we can only do this if we wear the gear of God, that is, to have a new life created unto following the words of God. We need to take away the old self which is strongly attached to this present wicked world.
Gal 5:16-17 What I say is this: let the Spirit direct your lives, and you will not satisfy the desires of the human nature. For what our human nature wants is opposed to what the Spirit wants, and what the Spirit wants is opposed to what our human nature wants. These two are enemies, and this means that you cannot do what you want to do.
If we have total control of ourselves and get over with the wicked desires of this world, what will we benefit out of it?
Col 3:5 – 6 You must put to death, then, the earthly desires at work in you, such as sexual immorality, indecency, lust, evil passions, and greed (for greed is a form of idolatry). Because of such things God’s anger will come upon those who do not obey him.
God hates and get angry if we don’t follow His will. If we continue to have strong relationship with this world, will we be worthy in His sight?
If we do His will and continue to get hold of the desires of the flesh, will we continue to do things against the will of God? If we continue to turn away from such things then the devil will not win, the deceits will not overcome us. And God will hold His anger against us. This is only one of the benefits of having control of our desires.
If we do His will, God will be happy for us. As parents, if our children do good things that make us proud, we usually reward them with prizes.
Jesus says, If you, then, being evil, are able to give good things to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who make requests to him? (Mat. 7:11)
If we want to be worthy in God’s eyes, if we want Him to be happy with us, if we don’t want Him to be our enemy, then we must take control of ourselves. We must live with spiritual discipline at all times, take away the old self, and wear the spiritual gear designed to walk according to His ways.
We live because He let us live, we live in the state of mercy because He continue to gives us chance to live according to His will. Therefore, our lives must dwell in the beauty of His holiness.
2Co 5:14-15 For it is the love of Christ which is moving us; because we are of the opinion that if one was put to death for all, then all have undergone death; And that he underwent death for all, so that the living might no longer be living to themselves, but to him who underwent death for them and came back from the dead.