Scripture: Philippians 1:28
in no way alarmed by your opponents-- which is a sign of destruction for them, but of salvation for you, and that too, from God.
Insights: Paul starts this verse off by telling us to not be alarmed by the attacks of our opponents. It is vital at this point to remind us that “our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realm (Ephesians 6:12).” Our opponents or enemies are in fact Satan and his minions. There are many tactics he uses, but I will only mention a few. First, Satan desires to rob believers of their faith. This theft is what verse twenty-seven was all about: defend the faith. We need to defend the faith because Satan is going to attack ours. Warren Wiersbe writes, “What we believe determines how we behave, and wrong belief ultimately means a wrong life.” Second, Satan attacks young people. Every local church is only one generation short of potential extinction. If Satan can trip up teenagers and young adults from their faith, he can potentially cripple the church. Satan has a lot of tools at his disposal regarding young people in the twenty-first century. Third, Satan uses the all too familiar divide-and-conquer technique within the church. Even in this letter, whose theme is joy, there are two ladies who are feuding. As a result, the church is taking up sides and division is starting to creep into the church. This division is one of the reasons Paul wrote this letter. He desires to stop the fight before it gets out of hand. Earlier this week I mentioned that Paul wrote sixteen times in this short letter about unity in the body of Christ. This one tactic of Satan has destroyed far too many churches in history. With all three of these examples, however, we ought not to be surprised. These are part of Satan’s arsenal and we must stand firm and strive together for the defense of the faith. One last thing regarding this verse, our salvation from God is a sign of Satan’s destruction. In other words, because we are born again, we are living testimonies of Christ Jesus’ victorious work on the cross of Calvary. Satan is defeated and we are symbols of his loss and eternal destruction. Beloved, praise the Lord and let your life be filled with joy because you have been redeemed by our gracious Savior, Jesus Christ!
- Have you recently been caught off guard by the tactics of the enemy?
- Are you born again; and thus, serving as a sign of destruction for Satan and his minions?
Prayer: Father, protect me from the enemy’s tactics. Keep me grounded in my faith and steadfastly fixed on You. Let my life in Christ serve as a sign of Satan’s demise and bring glory to You my Savior. Amen.