Part 1 tells us how to recognize the devil. Our second assignment is to…
Resist. We refuse to accept his devilish ideas. Peter wasn’t doing much resisting in the garden or later by the fire. Those who recognize resist. Paul suggests that our resistance takes the form of wrestling. Spiritual and emotional energy is expended. We resist, firm in our faith. In the midst of Christ’s conflict, He “trusted in God that He would deliver Him.” We do the same.
Satan loves to see us in skirmishes with one another, because he can render us inoperative without lifting a finger. We battle Satan, not saints. Our main problem is not the pastor, the president, the parent, the relative. It is Satan who may use people like these, but is far more sinister and destructive. Not to recognize him is to be duped by him. Jesus said to a self-confident Simon, “Get behind me, Satan.” Congratulations, Peter. You ended up on the wrong side.
Derek Prince, a gifted Bible teacher, once wrote, “I discovered that evil is not something, but someone.” Evil is a person, and he IS out to get us. People who think we are on a picnic rather than in a war will get eaten for lunch.
Resistance is effective where we have already submitted ourselves to God, so we are not tempted to think we are doing hand-to-hand combat with the devil. We contend with his methods, not his muscles. The battleground is the mind field (see 2 Cor. 10:5). We need to carry every thought captive. That is why James precedes the call to resist with the words, “Submit to God.” Notice how Peter likewise exhorts us to humility before actively resisting the devil (I Peter 5:5,6). Submission is essential for spiritual power because authority does not come from shouting louder than our opponent.
Three applications: I once heard of a lady who got sicker every time she was prayed over for healing. Sounds like she was subject to attack from the enemy because of a weakness in her armor. Put on the armor, piece by piece, faith by faith.
I was attending two different prayer meetings where people were taking authority over Satan by saying “I bind you, devil.” A formula like “I bind you, devil” with no authority behind the words will make Satan laugh.
Occasionally I hear of Christians who are being overrun by disasters. We are expected to suffer, but we should not let Satan harass us. People who figure that life is being played out and that what is going to happen will happen are likely to be attacked. Pray this way: “Father, I yield every area to You. Show me any outlook where I am not following. If Satan is the cause of these misfortunes, I resist Him. I put on the armor so I can overcome the devil’s deception. In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.”
There’s no demilitarized zone in this war; we’re either for or against. Fence-sitters fall off. But those who stand in the authority they have as blood-bought saints filled with God’s Spirit will shrink the devil, as Jesus did.