James 4:7 (NIV): Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
1 Peter 5:8 (NIV): Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.
Ephesians 6:12 (NIV): For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
Have you tried to resist the devil in any aspect of your life this week? And if you have tried to resist temptation or sin, have you been successful? I have been trying to write this post for over a week now, but it seems that every effort I make towards writing has been hindered. If you are a follower of Christ, and you are making an effort to share the gospel message of Christ, you will at some point come under attack from the spiritual forces of evil. How will you respond when faced with trials and temptations? Will you succumb to those trials or will you call upon the power of God to overcome and persevere these times of testing?
There are three things a believer must do in order to wage spiritual battle against the dark forces of evil. 1) We must call upon the name of Jesus for protection against the forces of evil. 2) We must pray. 3) We must remain constantly in the Word of God.
The first thing I do when I feel the attacks of the evil one is to call upon the name of Jesus for protection. I ask Jesus to safeguard my mind and to protect me. When we attempt to resist the devil, we must be careful to do so in the name of Jesus. Trying to resist the evil one without doing so in the name of Jesus is useless. The archangel Michael, probably the most powerful angel in the Bible, knew that the devil must be rebuked in the name of our Lord.
Jude 1:9 (NIV): But even the archangel Michael, when he was disputing with the devil about the body of Moses, did not himself dare to condemn him for slander but said, “The Lord rebuke you!”
The seven sons of a Jewish chief priest named Sceva, found out what can happen when you misuse the name of Jesus to drive out evil spirit for selfish gain.
Acts 19:13-16 (NIV): 13 Some Jews who went around driving out evil spirits tried to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus over those who were demon-possessed. They would say, “In the name of the Jesus whom Paul preaches, I command you to come out.” 14 Seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, were doing this. 15 One day the evil spirit answered them, “Jesus I know, and Paul I know about, but who are you?” 16 Then the man who had the evil spirit jumped on them and overpowered them all. He gave them such a beating that they ran out of the house naked and bleeding.
The second way to fight off the advances of the evil one is to pray. Jesus told us to “watch and pray” so as not to fall into temptation (Mark 14:38). Satan wants to take our thoughts and mind away from God so that he can tempt us in sinful ways which prevents us from being in close communion with God. He knows that if he can get us to take the bait, then we will have a difficult time letting go of our sin. When we pray for Jesus to help us in our time of temptation, we are calling upon a higher power, our Lord and Savior, to protect us from the temptations of the evil one.
Jesus gives us the example of prayer as a weapon to resist the temptations of the devil. Luke 22:31-32 (NIV): “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail.” If Jesus himself prayed for the protection of his disciples from the evil one, then we certainly must be doing that as well.
The sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, is the third way that we can resist the devil. (Ephesians 6:17).
When Satan tempted Jesus in the Judean wilderness, Jesus answered every temptation with scripture.
“It is written, ‘MAN SHALL NOT LIVE ON BREAD ALONE, BUT ON EVERY WORD THAT PROCEEDS OUT OF THE MOUTH OF GOD.’” (Matthew 4:4)
“On the other hand, it is written, ‘YOU SHALL NOT PUT THE LORD YOUR GOD TO THE TEST.’” (Matthew 4:7)
“Go, Satan! For it is written, YOU SHALL WORSHIP THE LORD YOUR GOD, AND SERVE HIM ONLY.’” (Matthew 4:10)
When faced with temptation from the devil, resist him and call upon the name of Jesus for protection. Then pray for protection from the evil one and stay in the Word of God, in order to use scripture to “extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one” (Ephesians 6:16).