While in this world, Christians must engage in a constant struggle with the enemy. First Peter 5:8 says, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” Satan is a liar and a murder (John 8:44). Through various methods (Eph. 6:11) he seeks to tempt Christians (1 Thess. 3:5), exploit them (Eph. 4:26-27), lure them away from Christ (1 Tim. 2:14), and hinder the cause of the gospel (1 Thess. 2:18). Though he may be tenacious in his efforts, his power is not unlimited. Our Lord reigns victorious over the Devil (Heb. 2:14; 4:14-16) and has provided assurance and the means necessary for His people to do the same. James 4:7 highlights this well¬–“Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.”
To “resist” the Devil is to set oneself against him and oppose him. When we oppose him the Devil will run away. Note that this is neither a suggestion nor a possibility. Rather, it is a command and a promise. Sometimes we have a defeatist mindset as if Satan is too strong for us and we will never be able to overcome his advances. But the Bible says that if we will stand strong and fight him, he will run for safety.
Our Lord exemplifies this well in the record of His temptation in Matthew 4:1-11.
It should bring us great joy to know that our God gives us the ability to defeat our mortal enemy, but practically speaking, how can we do so? Consider the following suggestions.
1. Know how the Devil works. Satan majors in deception but God’s Word exposes him for what he truly is. We are not ignorant of his devices (2 Cor. 2:11).
2. Meditate on God’s Word. Study closely the temptation of Jesus in Mathew 4:1-11 and note that He countered every advance with a “thus saith the Lord.” God’s Word is the sword of the Spirit (Eph. 6:17). The best way to fight off the Devil is to fill our hearts and minds with scripture so that we can harness its power effectively.
3. Associate with God’s people (Heb. 10:25). The strength we gain from one another is one of our greatest assets.
May God help us in our fight against our adversary, the Devil.
– Cody Westbrook