Your Worst Enemy is Not the Devil, It’s Your Own Self!
We’ve heard countless times about the Devil being the enemy of God and mankind, that he opposes and seeks to thwart God’s plans, that he’s behind all evil things happening in the world, that he leads us into sin, that he causes diseases and death, that he’s behind every setback and adversity and all that.
Every bad thing that happens, the Devil has always been the one to blame. Well, why not? He’s the one who orchestrated all these things. But in blaming our problems and tragic circumstances on the Devil, we miss one BIG TRUTH: God Permits What He Can Prevent. Can you think of the things that God can prevent or could have prevented from happening? Well, that practically includes everything. I repeat EVERYTHING. Everything that has happened, is happening or will happen has been permitted by God.
So, what’s the point of blaming the Devil when it has been permitted by God in His unfathomable wisdom? It’s hard to explain why evil things happen or why tragedy takes place in the world but we know that ALL things happen for a reason.
God is Not Fighting Satan but Using him
The great irony here is that what the Devil intends to do to harm us, God uses it for our good. Job’s suffering and eventual recovery reminds us of this. He lost his wealth, his children, his health and his wife who admonished him to just “curse God and die” (Job 2:9). Before all of these things happen, the Devil asked permission from God to harm Job. Yes, the Devil asked God permission to test Job. I believe that nothing happens in life that has not been permitted by God first.
So when bad things happen, don’t blame the Devil, rebuke the Devil or exorcise the Devil. Instead, seek the Lord, pour out your heart to Him and He will listen. Everything that happens to a child of God has been permitted by God so that we can know Him more through His Son Jesus Christ.
Man’s Worst Enemy is Himself
This brings us to the greatest struggle of men and women everywhere: SIN. The devil knows humans are evil in nature. We sin even when no one tells us how to do it because it’s in our nature. It’s part of us. So what the Devil does is to stir up the sin nature in us through temptation.
This struggle was described by the Apostle Paul in Romans 7: 19-20:
“For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing.
Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.”
The prideful heart, the lustful thoughts, the murderous intentions, the envious spirit, the selfish attitude – all of them are manifestations of self-centeredness, the desire to become like God. Our own worst enemy is our SELF.
Love is War by Hillsong United
In connection to this topic, I find one song quite relevant – Love Is War by Hillsong United.
Here’s the Lyric Video from Youtube:
Here’s an excerpt of the song:
Let Your love be my companion
In the war against my pride
Long to break all vain obsession
Till You’re all that I desire
Turn my eyes to see Your face
As all my fears surrender
Hold my heart within this grace
Where burden turns to wonder
I will fight to follow
I will fight for love
Throw my life forever
To the triumph of the Son
The whole point of this post is to point out the struggle of Christian men and women. It’s a hard-fought battle, in which the battleground is the mind. The two warring sides – the old sinful nature and the new nature in Christ – are fighting it out but as long as the new nature holds on to Christ, it wins. Otherwise, it will lose.
Where’s the Devil here? He’s just on the sidelines.