Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings." (1 Peter 5:8-9)
All around us every day is a spiritual realm we can’t fully see. Sometimes I wonder that if we could, maybe we’d choose to live our lives very differently. We might be more aware, in tune, alert to the battles surrounding us and to the evil seeking to take control.
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How Satan Works to Destroy Your Faith:
The enemy’s schemes are ruthless and cunning. The Bible reminds us that his main aim is to steal, kill, and destroy. If you’re a child of the living King, don’t ever believe for a second that the enemy hasn’t planned your demise. He will do everything he can to bring every believer down. That’s his goal, and he will stop at nothing to accomplish it.
- “The god of this age has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ” (2 Corinthians 4:4).
- “You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” (John 8:44)
- “But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ.” (2 Corinthians 11:3)
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Take Heart – Satan Will Not Win
Yet as we know from God’s Word, Satan is not in full control. He’d want you to believe that he is. He will lie and lure and even try to deceive you by masking himself as an angel of light or twisting God’s truth. But the Bible is clear. He’s not to be trusted or believed. Not ever.
God’s given us everything we need to resist and defeat the enemy’s plots and schemes. The Bible never instructs us to fight the devil in our own strength, or to be afraid of him and his attacks. But it does tell us how to live strong and alert, knowing that God is the One who holds us secure.
How to Resist and Defeat Satan’s Schemes – 8 Things to Know:
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1. Resist Satan by Submitting to God
"Submit yourselves to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you." (James 4:7)
Though the enemy’s power is never a match for God’s strength and might, he is very deceptive and dark. God knows how much we need His miraculous covering of power and protection in our lives. So, He’s given us special instructions to know how to stand strong against the enemy’s attacks.
First, He tells us to “submit to God” and come under His authority, for it’s the only way we can discern the ruthless schemes of evil. We need to stay close to God and within the covering of His protection and care.
Then, reminding us to stand firm in our faith, He tells us to “resist” the devil and that the enemy will have to run. That’s how powerful He is within us. That’s how incredible His truth and light are, shining through us. By God’s power the enemy will run! We don’t have to run after him to fight him. We don’t have to battle in our own strength.
We must simply live a life of submission to God’s authority and continually resist his attacks and lies.
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2. Protect Yourself with the Sword of the Spirit and the Armor of God
"A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 6:10-12)
One way to resist the enemy’s attacks is to continually fill our minds with God’s truth and to prepare our lives for battle every day. He arms us with the sword, the Word of God, to stand against Satan’s lies. It is the only offensive weapon we have and is powerful enough to crush the devil’s schemes and silence his accusing attacks.
God also reminds us to put on the “full armor,” to stay prepared for the fight every day. Every piece is important and necessary. Just as a soldier would never go out to the battlefield unprepared, we should never choose to live so carelessly. We’re a moving target if we live that way. Studying God’s Word and knowing His truth will give us wisdom and discernment to quickly notice when spiritual forces are in play. The more we know what is real, and what His word says, the more we understand what is false or a trap. And we are stronger to stand against the lies and schemes in the powerful name of Jesus.
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3. Fight the Enemy’s Temptations through the Power of Prayer
“Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven.” (Matthew 18:18-19)
Never underestimate the power of our prayers. Praying God’s words back to Him, is a strong and mighty weapon against the forces of evil. It is truth and light going out, piercing holes in the darkness.
- It reminds us that God is in control, and that He knows our way and understands what we face today.
- It builds our faith and our trust in Him. It guards our hearts and focuses our minds back on Him.
- It wins the battle.
Prayer + God’s Word = Power
Pray in the name of Jesus. His Name holds power over the dark spiritual forces we face. If all the words you can find to speak in a troubling scenario is, “Lord Jesus, help me!” you have come to the One who is able, more than any other, to save.
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4. Resist him by being Self-Controlled and Alert
"Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith." (1 Peter 5:8-9)
“In all these things, we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.” (Romans 8:37)
The Bible is clear. We must stay close to God’s presence so that the fruits of His Spirit are evident in our lives. It reminds us to live self-controlled – to be aware and alert. Don’t be caught off guard.
Though life goes on around us, and we may forget about the ruthless schemes of the enemy, every single day is truly a spiritual battle. The devil never takes a day off. He's waiting for you to lose focus. He’s planning his attack at your weakest moment. Be ruthless with sin, which is an open door for the enemy to work. Resist him and he has to flee.
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5. Fight Back with the Spirit of God
"Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,' says the Lord of hosts." (Zechariah 4:6)
"In all these things, we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us." (Romans 8:37)
In and of ourselves, we are never a match for the battles we face. It’s only by the fresh filling of God’s Holy Spirit living in us, and through every single day, that we’re able to live strong and free. God equips us with His power, wisdom, and discernment through His own Spirit to stay strong in the battle.
He invites us to daily spend time in His Presence, through prayer and worship, pressing in to know Him more. The same Spirit that healed the sick, set the captives free, split the sea, and raised the dead, is alive today. And He lives in us, every believer.
Believe in His ability to work mightily through you, for His power is never based on us, or on our own abilities. He reminds us that because of Him, in our weakness, we are strong. And we are more than conquerors through Christ.
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6. Know You Are a Conqueror Through the Blood Of Jesus, His Authority, And the Word of Our Testimony
“And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death.” (Revelation 12:11)
Know that in Christ:
- We are forgiven.
- We are set free.
- We have His mighty power working within us.
- We are more than conquerors through Christ.
- We are overcomers in this life because He has overcome, and our lives are hidden in Christ with God.
No enemy or obstacle can touch our souls. When we have been set free by the blood of Christ and the power of His sacrifice by death on the Cross:
- We have a new identity in Him.
- We've been bought with a price – we are not our own.
- We are covered by the grace and forgiveness of Jesus.
- We live victorious, and no demon or darkness can ever separate us from the love of God which is in Christ our Lord.
There is power in the name of Jesus.
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7. Make the Enemy Flee through the Power of Praise
“As they began to sing and praise, the Lord set ambushes against the men of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir who were invading Judah, and they were defeated.” (2 Chronicles 20:22)
“About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them, and suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken. And immediately all the doors were opened, and everyone's bonds were unfastened.” (Acts 16:25-26)
Praise and worship will make the enemy flee. It pushes back the darkness that surrounds. It blocks the attacks and breaks off the chains. Evil will not stick around if we’re praising our God, who will fight our battles for us. In the powerful story of Jehoshaphat, we see God miraculously defeat the enemy because of the people’s obedience to praise Him.
Praise and worship will pave the way for God's power to be displayed and for miracles to happen. God shakes things up through praise. As Paul and Silas sat in prison, shackled and chained, they kept right on praising God. And God sent an earthquake that shook the cells and broke the chains. The jailer and all his entire family came to know Christ that very night, out of darkness into the Light.
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8. Trust God’s Power and Protection
“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust. Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart…” (Psalm 91:1-4)
“For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways.” (Psalm 91:11)
God never leaves us to fend for ourselves in a dark world, but reminds us He is constantly with us, fighting for us, even when we can’t fully see. We can trust that God is always at work on behalf of His children. He sends His angels to protect and guard, though we may be unaware.
There have been countless stories through history of how believers were saved out of dangerous situations because of angels. As accounts unfold in these stories, there are often reports, such as large men, heavenly beings, seen by some, unseen by others, who guard or stand alongside the one under potential attack.
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You Are Not Alone
If you find yourself facing a spiritual battle today, please know you're not alone, neither are you left to fight alone. Many of us are right there in the battle with you, and God is the One who fights on behalf of His own, constantly shielding, protecting, strengthening, even when we're unaware.
We never have to walk in fear. For when we belong to Christ, the enemy never has the final word. We are secure in God's hands, and He assures us over and over in His word that He is with us.
Remember, our battle today may be more about what is unseen than what we see before us. Press on, courageous and free, never held back by fear or defeat. When we resist the devil, God’s word says he has to flee. Stand strong my friends. God has the final victory over our lives. And through every struggle, obstacle, or battle we may face in this life, He is producing within us greater strength, perseverance, wisdom, and might. He promises to use this difficult season for good. The enemy will be silenced, his plans crushed, and God will receive the glory for the great things He has done.
Debbie McDaniel is a writer, pastor's wife, mom to three amazing kids (and a lot of pets). Join her each morning on Fresh Day Ahead's Facebook page, for daily encouragement in living strong, free, hope-filled lives. Find her also on Twitter and at her blog www.debbiemcdaniel.com.
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This article is part of our larger resource library of popular Bible verse phrases and quotes. We want to provide easy to read articles that answer your questions about the meaning, origin and history of specific verses within Scripture context. It is our hope that these will help you better understand the meaning and purpose of God's Word in relation to your life today.
"Pray Without Ceasing"
"Fearfully and Wonderfully Made"
"Faith Without Works is Dead"
"Trust in the Lord with All Your Heart"
"All Things Work Together for Good"
"Be Strong and Courageous"
"Train Up a Child in the Way He Should Go"
"Love Your Neighbor as Yourself"
"Take Every Thought Captive"
"Do Not Fear"
"God is Love"
"Eye for an Eye"
"Wolf in Sheep's Clothing"
"I Can Do All Things Through Christ"
"The Lord is my Shepherd"
Originally published Wednesday, 31 October 2018.