13 Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm.
Remember the Apostle Paul is a Roman citizen. Frequently in his writings he uses Roman military terms to talk about this spiritual battle that is taking place. Satan has no power against God and so Satan is trying to get us to turn from God and want what Satan wants done in the world. Paul doesn’t recommend trying to run from Satan. He says three times in this passage to stand! Take a stand against the forces of evil. We are in a war, but we don’t see this. A battle, but we only see a glimpse. Here is where Satan steps in and uses two main lies right from the start.
The first lie is that there is no Satan or spiritual forces of evil. Satan wants us to buy into the silly comic, cartoon version of the devil. Or Satan wants us to believe there is no evil. This is the sophisticated view of the university. There is no university course that will compare what is good and what is evil.
I remember being on local task force of academic and community leaders to respond to the attack on our nation on September 11. Someone called the attack, “evil,” and one of our key community academic leaders at the time said, “There is no such thing as evil. It only depends on your context.”
The second lie is that Satan is all powerful and at work everywhere to oppose God and it is a battle of equals. Satan is not all powerful. Satan can’t get you to do anything. Satan has to use deception because Satan is limited. The devil doesn’t know your thoughts, for example. Satan can only figure you out the same as any other creature, though Satan is an expert on understanding the human condition. The Garden of Eden is but one example.
So, what is our defense? Don’t think too little of Satan or too much. Satan is behind all the evil in the world, but just because someone disagrees with you doesn’t mean they are necessarily from the devil.
Now it’s time to stand firm.
Are you most likely to underestimate Satan or overestimate Satan’s influence? What has been your experience with evil?