We have a natural enemy, regardless of whether we have just been born, or just been born again. He is real and he is good at what he does. He hides around corners and sticks his leg out to make you trip and fall. He’s the kinda guy that’d shove a stick through the spokes on your bike to throw you over the handlebars of your bike.
He’s a meanie, he’s a bully, and he’s not going to stop!
So we should just ignore him right? Go live in a specially created bubble, or cover ourselves in bubblewrap so we don’t skin our knees everytime he makes us trip up, right?
Though he might push and prod me, tempt me and tease me, lead me astray and hurt me, I don’t want to give him the satisfaction of me accepting his torment as a regular part of my day and life. That is just an open invitation for him and all his stooges to come and do whatever they feel like. It’s called making a deal with the devil.
Now, I know it’s not like you have actually made a deal with the devil, but you are making an agreement. Gritting your teeth and bearing it against the enemy just makes him lick his lips, much like a torturer whipping a slave. If he doesn’t get the reaction he wants, he’s just going to hit you harder, and harder until he finally gets the reaction out of you that he wants.
The devil by nature opposes ALL that is of God, including you and me. God’s one desire is to bring all mankind closer to Him and have a relationship with us, the devil’s desire is to keep us away from that relationship. From that relationship, we find salvation, love and freedom; whilst our old enemy, having forsaken love, freedom, and salvation has to accept that he is beaten come the end of days, and that he will be bound in hell along with all of his henchmen. What better way to poke God in the eye then lead us all away?
Which also means, the more we do for the kingdom of God, the more we become bigger targets for him. If we are opposing his plan of steering us all away, by bringing people to the kingdom, he is going to want to throw his arsenal of weaponry your way. He will make you trip, fall, curse, rue, he will try to torment you, he will throw the kitchen sink at you.
But he’s not all powerful, and the God of the universe, our Lord and Friend is! And because He loves us so, He has given us (as usual) the weapons we need to beat the enemy at his own game. So come with me, so I can show you the game plan.
Revelation 12:11 “And they overcame him (satan) by the blood of the lamb and the power of their testimony…”
The two most powerful things we have in our Christian life, are the sacrifice jesus paid for us, and our story. The blood of the lamb, and our testimony. Everyday you walk toward God, everyday you walk in defiance to the enemy is a powerful entry in your testimony. Your testimony is a diary of your walk, and each entry is offensive to the enemy. It tears down his strongholds, and shows him that on a regular basis he has failed at his job of separating you from God.
Step 1: Publicly acknowledge the price Jesus has paid for you, and share your testimony. Your victories for christ, whether you came from a shady background to the light, or whether you have been raised a christian and stayed a christian, both stories are powerful and the world needs to hear what God has done for you!
1 Peter 5:8-9 “be sober, be vigilant, because YOUR ADVERSARY the devil walks about like a ROARING LION, seeking whom he may devour. RESIST him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.”
(Quick Side Note: Nothing the devil does is new. His plans, his tricks, his ploys everything he has done has been done before. The things you are experiencing from him today are the same thing he was doing hundreds and thousands of years ago. And don’t fret. Your brothers and sisters in christ are experiencing it, or have experienced it. But more importantly, they have overcome it. Hold firm!)
It goes against all my knowledge and wisdom to stand face to face with a lion and resist him. Those teeth, those claws, that muscle, those documentaries of lions pulling down and devouring whatever they want in Africa, has told me that the last thing I want to do with a lion is pick a fight with it. Yet, that’s excatly what this verse is telling us we should do against our enemy (Note, not real lions. Please don’t ever pick a fight with a real lion!!!). We’re told to resist him, dig our heels in and refuse to budge. Stare him in his beady eyes and rattle off our testimony, “Remember when you tried to _____ and you failed? I do! Cause you, by nature Satan are a failure and are nothing compared to my God, the almighty.”
We just have to blatantly tell him no, and mean it! But how will he react? If you walk in the authority of Christ, covered in His blood, the bible says that the devil, the “Roaring lion” will flee from you. But if you walk in your own power and come in your own name, he’ll shrug and throw something harder at you!
James 4:7 “Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you”
Step 2:Roar right back at that lion with the full force and authority of the kingdom of God, and he will stick his tail between his legs and he will head for the hills. He’s not scared of you, he’s scared of the God in you! So unload both barrels of everything God is in you.
Unfortunately the devil is an opportunist, and resisting him once is never enough, he will try again, often in a moment of weakness or he will tempt you in some of the weaker area’s of life. Like a lion in Africa, he’s going to stalk his pray and try and get them when their back is turn. Just be aware, that he is out there, and he is more threatened of you then you should be of him. Oh and he’s a roaring lion, you can hear him coming a mile off!
So what happens if you fall, if you lose your focus and fall into one of his traps? The good news is that God, our wonderful God of grace created repentance as a way for us all to come back. Go humbly to Him and submit to Him, and like the prodigal son he will clothe you and robe you, he will cover your wounds and kiss it all better. Sure, the enemy will try and attack you the same way he just did (why change a winning formula?) But YOU have the power to make him run and hide! Just pick yourself back up!
Proverbs 24:16 “for though the righteous fall seven times, they rise again…”
Step 3: No matter how hard it gets, strengthen yourself in the Lord and pick yourself back up. If the devil is persistant with you, then you need to rip a page from his play book, and give him a taste of his own medicine!
Blessings – The Kid