The bible says that when the enemy shall come like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord will raise up a standard against him (Isaiah 59:19).
The focus verse says three things which capture the direction of the enemy:
I will pursue
The devil is still the tempter, still in the business of tempting, and he is not retiring anytime soon. He comes with different suggestions. The devil pursued Eve with temptation, and she was eventually captured in the web of sin (Genesis 3).
If the devil has any vision at all, it is to entrap us in sin. He creates tempting situation around us. The persecution he sends our way is to tempt us away from allegiance to Christ, because he wants our allegiance of himself. If our allegiance is not to Jesus, then it is to the devil, no matter who/what he is manifesting through to capture our allegiance away from Christ.
The words of the focus verse were the songs of Moses revealing what was in the mind of the army of Egypt as they pursued the Israelites as they walked free from Egypt. They could not think of a life in which they will not have their slaves. And so they decided they’ll rather die than lose their slaves. Similarly, the devil will rather go to hell than not have people subservient to him.
The ultimate enemy (Satan) “feeds” on those who serve/worship him, through which human beings give him power, make his lord, give him authority. But when we submit to Jesus, we transfer the right to have authority over us to Jesus from the devil.
The devil pursues to the end. The enemy is not the enemy if he does not have anyone to oppress, he is not the adversary if he is not tramping on people.
Peter said that the enemy roars like lion looking for whom to devour (1Peter 5:8). He is called the devourer, the enemy, Jesus said, has come to steal kill and destroy (John 10:10). The bible says the devil has wiles (Ephesians 6:11), schemes, he is the harbinger of hate, having a lot of fury.
There was war in heaven and the Michael and his angel fought with the devil and his angel (Revelation 12:7-12), and was beaten to the earth having great fury because his time was short.
He is out to trap people in more and more bondage using the fear of death (Hebrews 2:14-15). But Jesus has come that we might live in abundance, that we might move above the principalities and power, embodied with his power, and his name, shining with his light, expressing his glory.
While Jesus went about healing those who are oppressed of the devil (Acts 10:38), the devil stands as opposer to everything good. But with the name of Jesus we get to set people free from the bondage in which he puts them.
Since he is darkness the bible says that we have been translated from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of light, the kingdom of Jesus (Colossians 1:13). We are no longer alone but greater is he who is in us than he who is in the world (1John 4:4, 5:4). We have authority to trample upon snakes and scorpion (Luke 10:19).
I will overtake
Overtaking means to take over. The devil does not just want to steal but he wants to kill and destroy. The devil does not just want a foothold he wants ten miles. He does not just want to deceive, he wants to control. The enemy said: I will pursue (talking about his effort) I will overtake (talking about his intention) I will divide the spoil (the endpoint).
Paul said if we are ignorant of the devices of the devil, he will take advantage of us, overtake us (2Corinthians 2:11). We have need for wisdom for us to be able to stay above the wave of Satan’s intention.
When we walk in the light, we are able to overcome darkness. When we walk in the truth we are able to overcome the enemy whose forte is deception. Without the tool of deception, the enemy cannot do anything, without the gates of lies, there is no gate of hell, and the devil cannot keep us imprisoned. When the door of deception is closed, the door to the devil is closed. And change and freedom come when we come into the light when we come into truth.
I will divide the spoil
Just as God has a kingdom, and he wants to divide different inheritances to his children (Acts 20:32), the devil, who at best attempts to be a copycat, does something similar.
When the devil became the god of this world (2Corinthians 4:4) he divided it among his demonic forces. Hence there were the prince of the Persia and the prince of Greece (Daniel 10:20). There are principalities, powers, rulers of the darkness of this world and spiritual wickedness in high places (Ephesians 6:10-12). These all give personality to the darkened influence in the world.
“Divide the spoil” is also a statement about the plan to maintain what has been gained. So also we need to have plans to maintain the territories that we have gotten through the preaching of the kingdom of God.
Jesus is the model. After the work he did on the earth, he did not just wish his followers the best, but he gave them an instruction, on how to divide the spoil.
He said that they should make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:19-20). Through the process of discipleship, they maintain and expand the territory. It is true the saying that if we are not moving forward, we are moving backwards. We not only help those who believe to grow but also help them to grow others.
That was what Paul told timothy. He said: the things you have heard from me, commit to faithful men who will also be teach others also. It is a chain reaction caused by the process and principle of discipleship (2Timothy 2:2).
The devil also have his own kind of discipleship. His own mentorship programme.
He extends his influence, multiplied it, by messing up the family. That was what he did in the first few chapters of the bible. He was after the family, because, he thought, if he messed up the parents, the children are all but guaranteed to be messed up, at least at the beginning.
In the same way God set the family as his discipleship platform, he said of Abraham I know him, which he will instruct his children to continue in my word (Genesis 18:19). And in the establishment of the nation of Israel, God said that the older ones should teach the younger to learn and do the word (Deuteronomy 32:46). And the church should also be a family and in that context, discipleship goes on.
- Don’t Take the Bait (wheelsms.wordpress.com)
- When Satan Comes Sweeping Down the Plains, or Of Bread and Satanists (theparish.typepad.com)
- Spiritual Armor for Spiritual Warfare (ejaife.wordpress.com)
- Luke 11:14-28 – Jesus on Unclean Spirits (genebrooks.blogspot.com)
- This Stuff Is For Real! (1peter311.wordpress.com)
- The Devil’s Desire (revderrickkeeter.wordpress.com)
- The Third Temptation of Jesus Matthew 4:8-10 (whatshotn.wordpress.com)
- Introduction to Discipleship (ministerkenn.wordpress.com)