knowing the enemy
"Jesus was casting out a devil which was mute, and when the devil was cast out the dumb man spoke. The crowds were amazed at this. Some of them said, 'It is by Beelzebul, the prince of devils, that He casts out devils.' " —Luke 11:14-15
When Jesus cast out demons, some people reacted negatively. This still happens today. Jesus continues to drive out demons, and some respond by denying the devil's existence or at least the need for deliverance.
Even if we accept the Biblical and orthodox teaching about the devil, we may still be affected or "infected" by secular ideas. We may not take the devil seriously enough, thinking of him as only an evil force. However, he is a real enemy with great intelligence and personal attributes.
To win our battle against the devil (Eph 6:12), we must have a realistic view of him. We should not be terrified of the evil one, for we have authority over him (Mt 10:1). Yet we must recognize the devil as a formidable opponent, "a strong man fully armed," who must be disarmed and despoiled (Lk 11:21, 22).
"Fix your eyes on Jesus" (Heb 3:1), but don't fail to notice the serpent at your feet.
Prayer: Father, give me a realistic assessment of my enemy, Satan.
Promise: "Those who believe are sons of Abraham." —Gal 3:7
Praise: Steven, at first, was unable to share his faith with strangers, but found he was able to do all things with God (see Mt 19:26).
Reference: (To fix your eyes on Jesus, and yet to recognize the devil, read the Bible daily. For encouragement, order any or all of these tapes: Ignorance of Scripture is Ignorance of Christ, AV 82-1, V-82, How to Pray the Bible on audio AV 82-3 or on video V-82, How to Read the Bible on audio AV 46-3 or on video V-46, Principles of Bible Interpretation, audio AV 79-1, video V-79.)
Nihil Obstat: Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, March 30, 2004
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, April 1, 2004