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Next Step – Day 14

Next Steps

A 30-DAY GUIDE FOR NEW BELIEVERS
by JOHN D. BECKETT
DAY 14 RESISTING THE DEVIL
How do I deal with the devil?

Yesterday our focus was on overcoming the old self, and we saw that victory comes to us as we walk in the Spirit. Today we will talk about how we deal with the devil.

I learned a great lesson early in my Christian walk. A dispute, one that seemed quite irrational, developed at our company between two senior managers. As tempers flared and harsh words burst out, it looked as though things would only get worse, not better.

Later, as I pondered the problem in the quiet surroundings of my study at home, my eyes fell on an unopened book on my bookshelf, still in its cellophane wrapper. The title intrigued me: Dealing with the Devil by C.S. Lovett. As I leafed through its pages I came across this analogy: Suppose you stood in the middle of a busy traffic intersection, wearing normal street clothes, with cars coming from all directions. You might wave your arms wildly trying to stop traffic, but before long you’d probably be run over. Imagine instead that you do the same thing, only this time change your clothing. Put on a policeman’s uniform. The results would be completely different. Drivers would respect the authority represented by the uniform and do as you directed.

The author then made this point: If a believer is “clothed with Christ,” he or she has authority to deal with spiritual opposition, just as the policeman does in traffic. Armed with this insight, I “put on my uniform” and prayed in Jesus’ name, exerting authority over whatever unseen forces were causing dissension between the two managers. The next day I found to my amazement the problem had vanished — as though there had never been a conflict in the first place. This incident really opened my eyes to spiritual opposition. The Bible has a great deal to say about such warfare. Let’s look more closely.

The devil is a real adversary that you must reckon with. Also known as Satan, he was initially a high-ranking angel in heaven who rebelled, was cast out of heaven (see Luke 10:18) and has been in total opposition to God ever since. It was he who tempted Adam and Eve in the Garden (see Genesis 3:4) and even now is the author of war, famine, murder and every vice known to mankind. Jesus called him a thief that “does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy” (John 10:10).

Satan challenged Jesus at every turn — from His infancy through His death. Yet Jesus was undeterred from His mission to completely defeat His ancient foe. The Apostle John said, “For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil” (1 John 3:8). Though the enemy was a schemer and clever tactician, he made an enormous miscalculation, thinking if he could kill God’s Son he would gain uncontested control of the entire world. However Jesus’ death, which Satan expected to be his supreme triumph, became his ultimate downfall.

Though Satan was indeed defeated, for a while he continues to exert a measure of influence on earth. He is still behind every form of evil, perhaps with increasing intensity, sensing (correctly) the day is coming when he will be completely destroyed. Peter says Satan “walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8). Peter’s counsel? “Resist him, steadfast in the faith” (v.9). Paul says the same: “Be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God that you may be able to stand against the wiles (schemings) of the devil” (Ephesians 6:10,11).

Every day you will see evidence of the devil’s influence around you and in world events. The good news is that in Jesus you can be an “overcomer,” a phrase used often in Revelation, the final book of the Bible. James says emphatically, “Resist the devil and he will flee from you” (James 4:7). In other words, put on the policeman’s uniform!

Key Scripture I (the Lord) will contend with him who contends with you (Isaiah 49:25).
Key Thought Christ’s victory is complete, and He will show me how to apply that victory each day.
 
Copyright © 2006 by John D. Beckett

How wonderful it is to know that we have authority – by and with Christ in us – over Satan. Bind Satan to do no harm to you, your family, friends, everyone! Stay in Christ’s Word, put on the full armor of God & stand against the devil’s scheme’s.

Be blessed, HL

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