Ephesians 6:12 says: For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.
It is clear from this passage that Christians all over the world are engaged in spiritual warfare. There are unseen demonic forces that wage war against God and the kingdom of God. As long as we live in this earth, the devil will always target Christians by inflicting all kinds of oppression and temptations against the Christian.
However, just like any warfare, it is important for every believer to know how to overcome the enemy and what strategies the Christian believer can use in order to live victoriously.
2 Corinthians 10:4 says: The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.
DISCOVER 5 WAYS IN WHICH WE CAN RESIST THE DEVIL
1. Resist the Devil by Submitting to God
James 4:7 says: Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
Submission means that we accept or yield to a superior force or to the authority or will of another person. Therefore our submission to God is an acknowledgment that God is superior and that He has authority over us.
God not only has authority over us – but He also has authority over the devil himself. Therefore our submission to God is an acknowledgment that ultimately the devil does not fight the Christian believer alone, but the devil also fights the almighty God.
2. Resist the Devil by Using God’s Word
Whenever Jesus was tempted by the devil, you will notice that Christ resisted the devil by using the scriptures to overcome satan’s temptations (Matthew 4:1-11).
Jesus Christ was rooted in the word of God. He lived by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. Christ was obedient to the scriptures.
It’s therefore important for every Christian believer to use God’s word to overcome demonic or satanic philosophies that we may face in life. The word of God stands far above every other idea, suggestion or teaching. The Bible is also a spiritual offensive weapon against the enemy as it is used to both protect and attack in times of spiritual warfare. It is likened to a sword.
Hebrews 4:12 says: For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
3. Resist the Devil by Wearing the Armor of God
Ephesians 6:11 says: Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.
The armor of God consists of the Christian believer exercising godly virtues and characteristics that enable the believer to overcome the schemes of the devil. According to Ephesians 6:13-17, these virtues or characteristics include living according to the truth of God’s word; They include living in the righteousness of Christ; We must also share the gospel of Christ; We must live by faith and not by sight in every circumstance; We must be reminded that our salvation is in Christ alone and we must always use the word of God as the guide in our daily life.
4. Resist the Devil by Prayer & Thanksgiving
1 Thessalonians 5:17-18 says: Pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
As Christians it is important that we pray constantly and that we do not fall into the trap of ungratefulness. Instead we must learn to be thankful in all circumstances.
When we do not pray, we will end up distancing ourselves from God. When we are ungrateful we will have a complaining attitude.
Therefore the devil desires to tempt believers to complain and be ungrateful towards God. The devil also tempts many Christians to avoid spending quality time with God.
Submitting to such temptations make the Christian weaker in or inhibit a Christian from maturing spiritually. It is therefore important to have a lifestyle of prayer and thanksgiving in all circumstances.
Philippians 4:6-7 says: Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
5. Resist the Devil by Having the Correct Thought Life
2 Corinthians 10:5 says: We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
We therefore resist the devil by taking captive every thought and making it obedient to the word of God. Our thinking patterns must glorify God. Our thoughts must always be formed and accepted in light of God’s word. Therefore we must not allow the devil to manage our thought life.
Philippians 4:8 says: Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
The devil cannot be resisted by our own strength or our own tactics and techniques. The word of God must be our ultimate guide.
Resisting the devil or any kind of demonic warfare requires that we also yield to Jesus Christ and realize that the battle ultimately belongs to the Lord.
Jesus Christ is above all things and He has the name that is above all names. Therefore we cannot overcome temptation or the devil without having Jesus Christ as Lord of our lives. When the devil is resisted, it’s because Christ alone gives us the strength and He enables us to resist him.