This is the fourth of four posts on The Ways of the Enemy. We have seen that he is an opportunist and a counterfeit—claiming to be the way, the truth and life. This week we taking an overview look at some practical help to stand firm and resist the devil.
We want to live in peace, don’t we? Yet in our world we are surrounded by enemies. Almost daily they attack and kill. They are frightening, unpredictable, deadly.
Yet we have a more powerful, more sinister enemy who hates us and has a terrible plan for our lives. Because he is unseen, we tend to forget or ignore him. But we are warned and admonished in Scripture to be on the alert. We have seen that he is clever, looking for just the right moment, masquerading as good when, in fact, he is abominable.
Our natural tendency is to cringe in fear or to run and hide. God’s Word, though, tells us to do just the opposite: “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” (James 4:7)
How do you resist the devil? Here are some simple but practical ways you can stand up to the demonic bully. The first two help to prepare us to be strong to resist—in the moment and as a way of life.
The evil one does not like hearing our God lifted up, glorified, praised. So we do just that, for Scripture tells us: “But You are holy, enthroned in the praises of Israel.” (Psalm 22:3) God’s glory and greatness are revealed as we praise Him. Praise Him in these simple ways daily or when you feel under attack
Name his names attributes and qualities: He is good, faithful, loving, merciful…. He is God Almighty, Jehovah Jireh, our shepherd…. You can think of many more.
Read aloud from the Psalms that especially praise our Lord, such as Psalms 95-100.
Sing the Doxology.
Sing praise songs.
Read aloud from church liturgies.
Praise will send the demons scattering.
Thank God—in all things
Giving thanks in all things is probably the most life-changing way of life practice I have learned. When Satan confronts or attacks, giving thanks rescues me over and over. When I give thanks to God, especially in difficult or challenging or painful situations, several things happen:
Almost immediately my perspective begins to change from negative to more positive.
I am affirming to God that I trust Him to be who He is—God and good. I say it aloud so listening minions of the evil one hear that as well.
Often saying “Thank You, Lord” is like handing God a key to open a door to show me what He is doing.
Wear the Armor
The Apostle Paul, in Ephesians 6, reminds us that the real battles in life are spiritual: “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.”
He goes on to list the pieces of armor we are to be clothed in at all times: the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, shoes of the gospel of peace, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, the sword of the Spirit—the Word of God, and finally—prayer in the Spirit. You can read more about the armor here.
Speak the Truth
When you sense you are under attack, when you feel oppressed, when confusion reigns, speak aloud to the demons tormenting you, announcing the truth of Scripture. Choose to confront them with truth, rather than making a power play.
Seek out verses that address the way you are being harassed. Quote Scriptural promises, such as:
“Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 1:6)
“The Lord is the one who goes ahead of you; He will be with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.” (Deuteronomy 31:8)
“I am the Lord; in its time I will do this swiftly.” (Isaiah 60:22)
“Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4:16)
Not infrequently I speak the following truths aloud: “Satan and all your demons, you have no authority in my life. I belong to God, washed and cleansed by the blood of Jesus, adopted by the Father into God’s family, filled and guarded by the Holy Spirit. You must cease, desist, leave—go where Jesus tells you to go.”
Walk in the Spirit
This is the ultimate means of resisting the devil: Make sure that I am consistently living in the power of the Holy Spirit.
Think about it: The Spirit of God comes to live in us as we put our faith in Jesus and His sacrifice for us. He offers us so many realities: comfort, counsel, encouragement, wisdom, reminders, help, truth, peace, presence, power. Whatever your need—every day and every moment, even as you are harassed by the evil one—is available to you as you let the Spirit fill you and guide you and empower you.
So when our enemy comes at our weakest moment, or approaches us with subtle variations of counterfeits, we can resist. God gives us praise, thanksgiving, armor, truth and a Holy Spirit so we can stand strong and resist the devil.
What about you? Which of these will help you resist the devil?
C2017 Judy Douglass