Thursday, February 24, 2011

Resist the Enemy's Schemes

Installment #18 of my self-assigned project to study the "re" words in God's Word. (For further explanation of this undertaking, refer to the entry titled "Reach, Read and Reap" from February 3, 2011.)



(verb) to withstand or oppose the effect of; to act in opposition or make a stand against; to refuse, stand firm

"Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded."  James 4:7-8

"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, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings. 

And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast." 1 Peter 5:8-10

God's Word implies "if/then" statements here about resisting the enemy, both in James 4 and 1 Peter 5...

"If" you submit to God and resist the devil, "then" he will flee from you (James 4:8).

"If" you resist the devil and stand firm in your faith, "then" after suffering a little while, God Himself will restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.

So what does it mean to resist the devil? If I become aware of his schemes in my life, what can I do to resist him and stand firm? God's Word says to first submit to Him by ordering ourselves under God's authority and the truth of His Word. That means not just hearing or reading God's word, but doing what it says. When we are walking in obedience and surrender to Him, spending time basking in His Word, we begin to have spiritual eyes to see and discern the enemy's schemes. By knowing God's truths we will more readily recognize the devil's lies and be able to resist his deception, schemes and intimidation tactics by standing on the promises of God and telling Him to flee. Learning to take lies and negative thoughts captive (those that do not line up with God's Word) and replace with His truths, gives us courage and confidence to tell the devil to flee in Jesus' name. I cannot, in my own power, make the enemy leave. He only flees at the mention of the name of Jesus.

For example, I renounce the lie that I can't do anything right and choose to believe the truth, that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Satan, in the name of Jesus you must flee!
Renouncing the enemy must be done out loud. Only God is omniscient or all-knowing. Satan does not have that kind of power and therefore cannot read our thoughts (or hear our silent prayers) - only God can do that! So tell him to flee in Jesus' name out loud, then he will flee from you. Repeat as necessary, claiming truths from God's Word that are prayerfully hidden in your heart; truths that counteract the lies. Do it every two minutes if you have to. Do it until the harassment stops.

1 Peter 5 says the enemy is prowling around, looking for someone to devour. Someone he can toy with and take down. He comes to steal, kill and destroy the lives of believers. But once again we are given the same sort of advice. Be self-controlled (or guarded against temptation) and alert (attentive to the ploys of the enemy) and resist the enemy by standing firm in the faith (not just being hearers of the Word, but doers). Then, after a while, God promises to make us strong, firm and steadfast. I think this comes after we practice resisting and standing firm, not letting the enemy have his way, but recognizing his lies and deception and reminding him who our God is and what kind of power He has over him. Satan's battle is too often won in the mind. It takes paying attention to our self-talk and thought life and choosing not to agree with the enemy.

Father God, thank You that You have already conquered the enemy, and through the power of Christ within me, I can stand against the enemy's lies. I can refuse to believe them by taking my thoughts captive and believing Your Word instead. I can resist the enemy and send him packing by calling him on his schemes and telling him to flee in Jesus' name because I am a child of the King! Thank You Jesus! There is power in Your name, amen.

No comments:

Post a Comment