Name That Enemy – Part One – By Julie Henry

In a now-archaic show known to a percentage of readers here, contestants were challenged to identify a tune after hearing only the first 3, 2 , or first notes, requiring a high degree of acuity. Are we believers as vigilant to identify falsehood in its bud?

“I will be like the Most High”. ~ Satan, as quoted in Isaiah 14:14

In the beginning of time as we know it, the adversary of God made the utterly audacious declaration, “I will be like the Most High”. For his rebellion against his creator, and because God has no equal, Satan and his followers were cast out of heaven. But that didn’t keep him from pursuing his mission.

“Your adversary the devil is prowling around like a roaring lion, looking for anyone he can devour.” ~ I Peter 5:8

If we could see our adversary with our eyes; if we could hear his roar with our ears; if we could feel his hot, stinky breath on our necks, perhaps we would take him more seriously. He can see us, but we, his quarry, can’t see him. This is a special kind of warfare. This is insipient, insidious, incriminating warfare that attacks our souls, destroying from the inside out.

“I will be like the Most High.”

Satan’s purpose now is the same as it was in the beginning. The adversary doesn’t target God Himself directly — remember? That’s what got him thrown out of heaven. Think with me: who would a terrorist target if he couldn’t get to the person he wanted to hurt most? That’s right. He would go after loved ones. So now, Satan’s prey is the object of God’s affection: You. And me.

There is no depth of evil to which Satan will not plunge to destroy. He goes deep. Deep into our souls. As it was in Eden, so it is now: the subtle serpent/ come roaring, devouring lion whispers his clandestine, deceitful agenda in our ears with his hot, stinky breath. If he cannot be like the Most High in heaven, he is dedicated to be like the Most High in any soul he can influence. His message is extremely personalized, but you might recognize language such as this:

“You’re not enough. You never will be enough.”
“You’re not worthwhile or loveable. That’s why you’re alone.”
“You’re a failure. You’ll never win. You’ve blown it for good.”
“What makes you think you deserve any better?”
“You deserve better.”
“If God doesn’t give you what you want, you have to go after it yourself.”
“If you bow down and worship me, I will give you the kingdoms of the earth.”

Does any of this sound familiar? Satan seeks to undermine truth by implanting thoughts in your brain that take root in your soul which potentially grow into sinful behavior of all kinds. Worse yet, Satan would like to exchange places with God. He desires to use your mind and mine to do a swip-swap (yeah, I made that up) with what you think about God as opposed to what you believe about Satan. After all, the adversary is expert at masquerading as an angel of light (2 Cor. 11:14). He causes us to question God’s goodness; to take a cynical, suspect view of God.

Satan is the accuser of believers (Rev.12:10). God condemns no believer (Rom. 8:1).

Satan says God is holding out on us (Gen. 3:5). God gives believers the desires of their hearts (Ps. 37:4) and will withhold no good thing from us (Ps 84:11).

Satan says he owns the kingdoms of the world (Matt. 4:8-9). God created the earth and sea, so ownership is His (Ps. 146:6).

If Satan can’t be like the Most High in heaven, he’s dead set on being “like”, or exchanging himself for the Most High in our hearts, attributing God’s power to himself, and pointing his crooked finger at God to make us believe that God uses Satan’s tactics. The deceiver transforms himself into a pretty believable “angel of light” to accomplish his dirty work, to hold us hostage, and to leave us guilty, empty, and shamed. Since his heavenly defeat, Satan’s dogged determination to be like the Most High drives his dastardly motives against those on earth.

God knew full well this would happen (2 Cor. 4:8-18). The onslaught of Satan’s aspiring to be like the Most High in the minds of believers is one of our earthly trials. He tells us to guard our hearts with all diligence (Prov. 4:23), and memorize His truths (Ps. 199:11). Ultimately, He protects us (and desires to protect us as we turn to Him for help) as well (Ps. 91:4, Ps. 17, Matt. 23:37, Luke 13:34, Ps. 36:7, Ps. 57:1, Ps. 63:7,Ps. 18:2, et. al.). And fortunately for us, our Redeemer God provides a way of escape!

He gave us the armor of salvation, including His Word of truth to defend ourselves (Ps 119:11, Eph. 6:10-18)

Jesus prays for us, knowing that Satan desires to sift us like wheat (Luke 22:31, Heb. 7:25, Rom. 8:34, 1 John 2:1)

The Holy Spirit comforts us, knowing how fatigued we are from fighting all day, and how exhausting it is to constantly trying to discern truth from error in the barrage of lies (Acts 9:31, 2 Cor. 1:4, Rom. 8:26-27).

“There is none like unto You, O LORD!” ~ Ps. 6:8, Ex. 15:11, Jer. 10:6

We cannot allow Satan and his subtle, stinging tactics to deceive our thoughts and replace our Most High God, with all His holy attributes and character, with this defiled, perverted imposter. May we learn to recognize the slightest whiff of Satan’s breath and NAME THAT ENEMY!