Battling the Man behind the Curtain
By Skip Heitzig
The Devil reminds me of a scene in the first movie I remember watching, The Wizard of Oz. When Dorothy and her three friends encounter the terrifying wizard, they discover that he's actually an old man behind a curtain operating the whole façade. "Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!" he tells them.
Satan, too, acts very intimidating, but in reality he's just a created being, a fallen angel—a man behind the curtain. Even so, he made some pretty stout accusations against people like Job—namely, that Job only served God for His blessings (see Job 1:9-11)—and he continues to accuse believers to this day. So how can you overcome him?
Revelation 12 gives us a peek. Set in the future, it describes a group of people called tribulation saints, who are said to overcome Satan "by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death" (v. 11). This verse reveals that the Devil can be overcome by three things:
1. The blood of the Lamb. First John 2:1 says, "If anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous." An advocate is a lawyer; in other words, Jesus is our defense attorney against Satan. And the blood of our attorney, Jesus Christ, cleanses us from all sin. That's why Romans 8:33 says, "Who shall bring a charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies."
2. The word of your testimony. Your testimony is what God has done for you, how your life changed when you received Christ. So the next time you feel guilty, accused, or tempted by Satan, try wielding your testimony: "Here's what Jesus did for me." It's powerful and threatening to the Devil to stake your claim.
3. Your surrender: "They did not love their lives to the death." These tribulation believers will consider spiritual loyalty to be far more important than physical security. A person who believes that is unstoppable; Satan can't touch them. As Jesus said, "He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life" (John 12:25). When Jesus Christ is number one in your life, you become more and more out of reach to the Devil.
So if you think you're going to overcome Satan's tactics by saying, "Well, I'm a good person and I go to church and read my Bible," you've lost the battle. You can only overcome the man behind the curtain by the blood of the Lamb, so let that be your testimony. And as your spiritual loyalty becomes more and more important than your physical security, the more out of reach you'll become to the Devil's ploys.
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