Defeating the Greatest Enemy
April 1, 2003 - "Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes."
(Ephesians 6:11, NIV)
by Anne Graham Lotz
Since Sept. 11, America's eyes have been opened to an evil, hate-filled enemy who uses terrorism to achieve the goal of utterly destroying us. Our newspapers, magazines and television talk shows have been filled with information about this enemy and about how to protect ourselves from further attack. From time to time, the entire nation is put on high alert as warnings of imminent danger are issued. At the same time, our military and intelligence agencies are operating offensively 24 hours a day around the world.
Although Saddam Hussein, Osama bin Laden and the global network of terrorists pose a real and present danger, Christians have an even more deadly enemy—the devil—who is dedicated to our utter destruction. And God has put us on high alert, warning us of the daily danger of attack that we face. He also has given us instructions not only on how to defend ourselves, but also on how to seize the offensive in order to have victory.
Only when we have learned how to confront our unseen enemy will we be equipped to deal with the evil we see in the world around us.
Read Ephesians 6:10-18
To The Opponent
- Who is our enemy? Give his names from Genesis 3:4; Matthew 4:3, 12:24, 13:19; John 8:44, 14:30; 2 Corinthians 4:4, 11:14; Ephesians 2:2, 6:16; 1 Peter 5:8; Revelation 12:10.
- What do his names reveal about his character? His purpose? If necessary, use a dictionary to define his names.
To The Opposition
- What word in Ephesians 6:12 indicates that it is not easy to defeat the devil?
- Is the opposition always obvious? Give your reasons from Ephesians 6:12 and 2 Corinthians 11:14 .
- What are two of the devil's oldest and most effective schemes? Compare Matthew 3:17 with Matthew 4:3. What was the devil doing? What was he inferring? Put his statement from Matthew 4:3 into your own words.
- How was his attack on Eve in Genesis 3:1 similar?
- What tactic of the devil do you see in Ephesians 6:16?
- What flaming arrows has he hurled your way?
- Describe in everyday terms how the devil attacks in relationships.
- Compare Job 1:1-11 with Zechariah 3:1. See also Revelation 12:10.
- When going against the devil, what assurance does the believer have? Give phrases from Ephesians 1:19-23, 6:10; Hebrews 2:14-15; 1 John 4:4, 5:5; Revelation 12:10-11?
- What future does the devil face, according to Romans 16:20 and Revelation 20:10?
- What is one thing that makes us vulnerable to the devil's attack according to Ephesians 4:26-27?
- How do we defeat the devil, according to Ephesians 6:13? James 4:7? 1 Peter 5:8?
- How did Jesus defeat the devil in Matthew 4:1-11?
- What are some of the reasons why Eve did not defeat him in Genesis 3:1-6?
- How many pieces of armor are listed in Ephesians 6:13-18? Describe the practical and spiritual use of each piece.
- How much of the armor protects the back of the warrior? What does this tell you about our position toward the devil?
- Which pieces are for defense? Which ones are for offense?
- Which pieces are you missing?
- Write out now how you will apply and implement each piece in your life today.
Applying the Word
What difficulty are you experiencing in your health? Your relationships? Your job? Your finances? Your school or church or family or ministry? Could the difficulty be opposition from the devil? In what way are you being tempted physically? Financially? Socially? Professionally?
Instead of being defeated by the difficulty or yielding to the temptation, choose to be alert, assured and armed, in order to be victorious—for your own good and for the glory of God.