Battling Spiritually & Clashing with the Unseen part 10 Eph. 6:10-12
Enlighten Us to Manage Our Adornment v.10
Enlighten Us to Measure Our Adversary v.11-12
Satan Is a Defeated Foe
Satan Is a Destructive Force
He’s a Twisted & Devious Schemer the wiles
He’s a Tricky Diabolical Slanderer of the devil
Slander is the Greek term diabolous, from diaballō , to slander; from this verb comes the noun Devil, the god of all slander.
Satan lives up to his name Diabolous or Devil in the first temptation when he slanders God, in Gen. 3. He entices by insults and defamation, destroying paradise for humanity.
In Matthew 4 we see the Devil again utilizing evil speak in a diabolically slanderous manner to Jesus.
The literal meaning of slander is to set in opposition, to accuse, to repudiate by giving false information. This is the Devil’s mode as a mudslinger and false indicator.
The title Devil also reveals what Satan’s goal in a person’s life is. He doesn’t simply want to stumble us into evil, but works to tempt us to do something that is out of order. It’s a fabricated way to meet a designed need or accomplish what seems like an essential end result.
He’s trying to make us feel like it’s hopeless to endeavor in waiting on God. He is trying to keep us from trusting God’s Word and relying on the Lord’s loving provisions. The tragic thing is he’s an expert on the specific details we so easily worry over and give into fear about.
The Devil says to Jesus three times; if you are the Son of God, do this. In the word “if” is slander and defaming denigration.
He is pushing Jesus to prove His deity by satisfying His hunger by making bread. We all have hungers and desires that the slanderer prods at us about.
Jesus has a different approach to prove His deity. Jesus declares: Man does not live by bread alone but by every Word from God’s mouth. He teaches that real life is verified, fulfilled and satisfied by depending on God’s Word.
Are we living close enough to the Lord to gain our needs and guidance in His Word? Satan wants us to prove ourselves by acting in independence. God’s Spirit leads, even constrains and compels us to demonstrate our true design by dependence on the Lord through His Word.
The second test of the slanderer is to challenge Jesus to throw Himself from a high spot. This is the belittling scorn of trying to push Jesus into a spectacular action to make a supernatural impression. Jesus says we’re not to presume on the Lord or challenge God by defying Him to do weird things.
Who are we to put a dare in God’s face by concocting a presumptive taunt that’s irrational? It’s outrageous to make following Jesus into a jazzy magic act. We are to walk in a trust of Him.
Isaiah 30:15 explains:
For thus says the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel; in returning and rest shall you be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength.
Jesus’ response is proof of the importance of interpreting scripture with scripture and not yanking a text out of context. That is what the slanderer is doing here; he’s pulling the Word of God out of context to rationalize a flashy extravaganza style of religion.
We are, in our modern Christianity, fostering an appetite for the astonishing, the dramatic, and the shocking. We are not to equate the things of the Spirit with the dazzling of impressive entertainment and mob like numbers.
The third slanderous test is to get Jesus to gain power and possessions by adoring the wrong person and the wrong path.
The path to character, to reigning for God and achieving glory for God is through suffering. The cross was to be experienced before the crown. Wiersbe makes the point that there are no shortcuts to walking in God’s will. To share in Christ’s glory, we have to share in His suffering. Satan promises benefits it we worship him, if we adore his ways, and if we bow to his dark kingdom methods in the world.
What we worship is what we become, and what we admire and are flattered with is what we serve. Allowing the wrong affection and values in our heart has a devastating effect on us.
Satan uses slander to achieve his goal in us. Whatever he can do to seduce us away from God is employed.
He’s like an invisible prosecutor calling into play various elements of the fall to push his agenda of rejecting God and ultimately getting us to feel like life in Christ is not practical. He wants us to get into a dualistic life frame. A scheme of separating a secular life alongside what appears a religious dysfunctional counterfeit pretension.
Satan demonstrates three of his names in these three temptations of Christ.
His name is Abaddon which means destruction or destroyer.
His name is Accuser as he accuses day and night before our God, Rev.12:10.
His name is Adversary, 1Pet.5:8 Be aware, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.
Slander is diabolical or devilish in that we are tricked into libel of ourselves, as we foster self-maligning. It doesn’t make sense to defame ourselves but when we grudge our past or feel spite for those God has allowed in our lives we are getting tricked by diabolisms. We become trapped in our own scandal not seeing the outrage of the tempter who is still using the same question of “if” you were this or “if” that happened, we would have achieved something different.
God allows the devil to blaspheme and slander. In Revelation 13:2, Satan is described as a beast with a mouth like a lion. In 1 Peter he’s seen as a lion that roars. He is roaring that we are worthless, that God is untrustworthy, that prayers to the Lord won’t be answered and that it is a waste of time to wait on Jesus for anything. Daniel refers to the beast as a little horn with a mouth speaking great things.
Daniel refers to the devil as boastful, speaking blasphemies, where he exalts and magnifies himself above every god saying unheard of things about the God of gods, until the time of wrath is completed. Dan 11:36.
In Rev.13:6, he’s demanding that the nations worship him instead of God. Why does God allow Satan to be so irreverent and rude? His diabolical slander is oppressive and how weird to have the name of blasphemy on his heads. Rev.13.
I think God permits these attacks for this time, to attract us to all we have in the Lord Jesus. There is an irony in the slander of Satan because it’s a paradox that is allowed by God’s authority to prove the value and power of His Word. We are challenged to move out in faith in God’s Word and to grow in Christ through prayer.
Job’s account of massive losses is perpetrated by the slander and accusation of Satan in the heavenly sphere before God. God allows the tests of Job and lets suffering shape this great man. Job’s attitude is the Lord gives and the Lord takes away and that it’s all a part of God’s blessing. He confesses that even if God slays him that he’s going to trust the Lord.
When the Devil’s diabolical slander looks like it’s conquering, it is actually an opportunity to show God’s power of grace by faith to see demonic evil truly conquered. Philippians 3:10 calls this, the fellowship of Christ’s suffering, where victory is experienced through what seems like defeat.
In the book, Tried by Fire, Brian Birdwell says,
One minute he was visiting the bathroom down the hall from his Pentagon office. The next minute he was burned over 60% of his body from an unknown explosion and resulting fires. That was the hell unleashed on Lt. Col. Brian Birdwell on 9/11/2001.
He didn’t know that a 757 jet had been hijacked by terrorists and flown into his side of the Pentagon building. Nor, did he know that he was one of the few survivors from his office sector of the Pentagon. Nor, did he know about the levels of pain and agony associated with his resulting recovery. That was all to come.
What he did find was that God had plans for him to survive that day, and eventually lead him to become a Texas State Senator. The journey he recalls is a chilling reminder of the depth of trauma that only God can heal. Satan means it for evil, God means it for good.
Jesus taught us how to defeat the devil and his diabolical tricks by exercising humility. We’re to allow the mind of Christ to be our inner experience. If we consider others as better then ourselves we will never slander or talk in a damaging way about another person.
Satan wants us to not only slander and blaspheme God as worthless, but he wants us to feel insignificant and meaningless so we treat others, motivate others and react to others in a slanderous insulting method.
The Lords approach is to build up by praising us, and identifying our value as individuals with unique personalities. He endorses by encouragement and comforts in His gentleness.
We learn humility and tender feelings for each other in the things we suffer and undergo in agony. We can glory in our weaknesses, heartaches and sicknesses, as this is where the power of Christ rests on us.