One of the most important elements of a military strategy to defeat an enemy in warfare is that of reconnaissance – or the gathering and disseminating of information concerning the enemy and their tactics. The failure to properly estimate the strength and capabilities of an enemy army can lead to tragic results in warfare. In the Spiritual war to which we have been called as Christians, such failure is inexcusable, for we are furnished with ample military intelligence in Scripture warning us of the nature of our ancient, subtle and fierce foe, Satan.
Our reconnaissance begins back in Genesis chapter 3 where we observe the subtlety and craftiness of Satan as he maneuvers Eve (and Adam) to eat of the forbidden fruit, thus casting all of mankind under the curse of sin and death. Reconnaissance reveals that he can even transform himself as an angel of light and deceive false teachers to look like ministers of righteousness (2 Cor 11:14-15). We come to discover his duplicity, as Jesus indentifies him as the father of lies (John 8:44). We also are made aware of how ancient our foe is, as we see him seducing one-third of the created angelic host, to his side (Dan 8:9-12, Rev 12:4). We observe how formidable he is as we monitor his dealings with men the likes of Noah, Job, Moses, David, Solomon, Peter, (Luke 22:31) and vast number of others; how foolish we would be to think that somehow I would be exempt from or immune to his attack. We comprehend how fierce Satan is as military intelligence divulges his character as a murderer, thief, liar, and devourer (John 10:10, 1 Pet 5:8).
Satan is indeed an ancient, brutal and cunning foe, but Christ triumphed over him in the gospel!