Victory in Christ over Spiritual Enemies

Jenny Fulton

iBelieve Contributing Writer
Published: Oct 20, 2022
Victory in Christ over Spiritual Enemies

In these times of hardship, though we feel anything but victorious, we can rest in the assurance that God is in control.  

“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12 NASB).

Our world consists of so much more than what is visible. We put our faith in God, whom we can’t see.  

Passages in the Old and New Testaments reveal angelic beings operating on God’s behalf in various capacities. 

From Genesis to Revelation, we see evidence that while God and His angels are actively working for our good, there are also adverse spiritual forces fervently seeking our destruction. These evil unseen beings are God’s enemies and ours.  

Who is Our Enemy?

The Bible tells of a once powerful and beautiful angel who sought to be greater than God. He led other angels in a rebellion, but they were defeated and cast out of heaven. These unholy beings hate God and wage war against those whom He loves most dearly—us (Revelation 12:1-12). 

This former angel is commonly known as Satan or the devil. His followers are called demons. Throughout the Bible, Satan is also referred to as the great dragon, the evil one, the accuser, the tempter, the prince of the power of the air, the prince of demons, and the god of this age. 

What Does He Want?

Satan ultimately wants to destroy God. But since he isn’t strong enough to do that and is still subject to God’s authority, he seeks to do everything he can to prevent us from being in a relationship with the Lord Almighty, including working toward both our physical and spiritual destruction.

In the Garden of Eden, this enemy pushed hard to sever the relationship between people and God by deceiving Eve, convincing her that life would be better if she disobeyed her Creator and ate from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Adam joined Eve in her sin, and for a short while, it looked as though Satan had won. The people who’d sinned were ashamed of their actions and tried to hide from God. They pulled back from their relationship with Him, suddenly afraid of the One they’d once walked beside. But it wouldn’t stay that way.

How Does Satan Fight Us?

“Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” (1 Peter 5:8 NASB)

In Hebrew, the word satan means to oppose, slander, accuse, or be hostile; in Greek, it translates as adversary. The Greek word diabolos (devil) means slanderer. These definitions give us insight into how Satan fights us.

Opposes with Hostility

Sometimes Satan attacks us directly and violently. The Old Testament is full of times when this adversary influenced physical enemies to assault God’s people.

In the New Testament, we see people afflicted by demons who caused physical harm to their victims, like the situation in Mark 9:14-22

Satan still opposes us with violence by the hand of others or sometimes by attempting to push individuals toward self-harm. Perhaps he thinks that if he can hinder or eliminate our physical life, then he can wipe out the way God can use us to reach and impact others for God’s glory.  

Opposes with Obstacles

Many of us have experienced an onslaught of circumstances that have delayed us from doing something God has called us to do. Paul alluded to this enemy tactic in 1 Thessalonians 2:17-18. “But we, brethren, having been taken away from you for a short while—in person, not in spirit—were all the more eager with great desire to see your face. For we wanted to come to you—I, Paul, more than once—and yet Satan hindered us.”

Tempts

Satan often tempts us to walk away from God’s path by dangling something in front of us that, at first glance, looks good and appeals to something in our flesh or spirit. He tries to convince us his way is better than God’s. But anything Satan offers leads to destruction. 

This adversary uses every possible persuasion to get us to turn away from God and commit sin. He even attempted to persuade Jesus to stray from God’s will. If we give into temptation, Satan drives the sword deeper with accusations and judgments.

Accuses

“Then I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, ‘Now the salvation, and the power, and the kingdom of our God and the authority of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren has been thrown down, he who accuses them before our God day and night’” (Revelation 12:10 NASB).

In the book of Job, Satan was permitted to afflict Job, a man God declared to be blameless and upright. The accuser’s goal was to force Job to curse God--to sever his relationship with his Creator. Satan destroyed Job’s physical possessions, killed his children, and inflicted the man with boils. When Job remained faithful amid all those afflictions, Satan influenced his friends to come against him with ceaseless accusations of sin.

Satan loves to accuse and condemn. He knows that just as Adam and Eve did in the Garden of Eden, our first response if we believe him will likely be shame. In the dark heaviness of that shame, we often attempt to run and hide from God. 

Lies and Slanders

In John 8:44, Jesus said this about Satan: “He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”

Satan does everything he can to persuade us to believe lies about God. He also fosters divisions among people by spreading lies and slander. Giving credence to such falsehoods destroys trust and can severely damage relationships.  

How Does God Give Us Victory over Spiritual Enemies?

Throughout the Bible, God is clear that although Satan opposes us, this unseen enemy will not win. 

Even though it seemed the devil was victorious in the Garden of Eden, he didn’t prevent Adam and Eve from having a relationship with God. Our loving Creator knew of Adam and Eve’s sin, yet He still loved, pursued, and desired a relationship with them. Although there were consequences, including greater difficulty in connecting with Him, God did what was needed to care for His people and help them feel more comfortable relating to Him. He made their clothes so they wouldn’t feel ashamed of their nakedness and promised to one day destroy, once and for all, their adversary who’d worked so hard to come between them.  

Prevents Satan from Hurting Us

As much power as darkness often seems to have, it is subject to God’s authority. Satan couldn’t harm Job without God’s permission, and as much as Satan wanted to, he couldn’t kill Jesus until God allowed him to. 

Gives Us Spiritual Authority

God gives spiritual authority to various people in different ways. Some, like the prophets in the Old Testament, could, in accordance with God’s will, command supernatural events. 

In Luke 10:17-20, seventy of Jesus’ disciples were given authority over demons. 

Less dramatically, the Apostle Paul, in 2 Corinthians 10:5, declares our ability to put an end to Satan's lies and slander and to take “every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.”

Allows Satan to Hurt Us So God Can Work Greater Good

Sometimes God permits Satan to bring trials against us to: 

In these times of hardship, though we feel anything but victorious, we can rest in the assurance that God is in control.  

Paid the Price, Removes Our Shame

When Jesus died on the cross, He forgave us for our sins and, in doing so, put to rest all of Satan's accusations and judgments against us. Because we’ve been forgiven, we no longer have to be ashamed of our past mistakes. We can also rest assured that our sins in the present and future cannot permanently separate us from God as long as we continue to love and follow Him. “For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ” (Galatians 3:27 NASB). 

Offers a Way to Escape Temptation

“No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it” (1 Corinthians 10:13 NASB).

“Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you” (James 4:7 NASB)

Temptation does not equate to sin. God knows that Satan will do everything he can to persuade us to sin, just as he did with Jesus. But God also promises that if we submit to Him, He will help us evade Satan's attacks. 

  • God gives us the authority to say, as Jesus did in Matthew 16:23, “Get behind me, Satan.” 

  • The Holy Spirit may bring Scriptures to mind that thwart the attacks as they did when Jesus was tempted in Matthew 4

  • Or, He may direct us to run, as Joseph ran from Potipher’s wife in Genesis 39.

Enables Us to Forgive

“But one whom you forgive anything, I forgive also; for indeed what I have forgiven, if I have forgiven anything, I did it for your sakes in the presence of Christ, so that no advantage would be taken of us by Satan, for we are not ignorant of his schemes” (Corinthians 2:10-11 NASB). 

God enables us to forgive ourselves and others when we are falsely accused or fall into the temptations. If we believe a lie, we can love and forgive the perceived fault and forgive ourselves and others for giving credence to the falsehood. In this way, Satan fails in his attempts to shame and divide us.    

Armor of God

Ephesians 6:13-18 describes more spiritual weapons God has given us to wield against our spiritual enemies. 

  • God’s Words and His truth protect our hearts and minds, enabling us to resist our adversary’s lies.

  • Righteousness, the act of doing what is right in the eyes of God, protects us against falling into temptation.

  • Peace with God and others prevents us from falling prey to Satan's attempt to divide us or cause other sources of turmoil within our souls.

  • Faith in who God is and how much He loves us shields us from the devil’s efforts to persuade us to doubt and pull away from God. “For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith” (1 John 5:4 NASB).

  • God’s salvation is vast and encompasses so many areas of our lives. He has given us a new heart and mind, put His Holy Spirit within us, saved us from the power of sin in our lives, and gave us victory over schemes of the devil.

Ultimate Victory

As long as we live in this world, Satan will wage war against us. 

But as Jesus said in John 16:33, “These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.”

Revelation 21-22 tells us that one day there will be a new heaven and a new earth, and Satan will be fully and completely defeated.

Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/spukkato

Jenny Fulton is a wife, mother, writer, and member of Wholly Loved Ministries who enjoys studying God’s Word and sharing what she has learned with others. She is the author of Princess Lillian and Grandpa’s Goodbye, A Princess’ Guide to the Alphabet, and Striving for Unity: a Study on 1 Corinthians (upcoming release). An enrolled member of the Navajo Nation, Jenny developed a keen interest in language and cultures. In 2007, she graduated from Grace University with a B.S. in Bible, a B.S. in elementary education, and an endorsement in K-12 ESL. For the next seven years, Jenny worked as a teacher in a variety of cultural and educational settings, both abroad and in the United States. Her days are now spent raising her three young daughters and writing as much as time and opportunity allows.

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