I’ve felt lately that my battles seem like attacks from the devil- on myself and my family members. In my prayers each morning, I pray for help to resist the devil and for God to grant a “hedge of protection” around each one of us. But how do we resist? What if we don’t think the hedge is working?
How Does Satan Work?
I remember reading a faith magazine as a child (a long time ago!) It had a cartoon that depicted the devil with spots and horns and he was always sneaking around and trying to get children to disobey their parents.
I understood then, and I know today, that he “prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.” (1 Peter 5:8) When God asks Satan where he had come from in the book of Job, Satan responds, “From roaming through the earth” and “walking back and forth in it.”
That he is actively seeking us out as his targets is sobering. This adversary, as we sometimes call him, is just that. He is our enemy in the conflict of good vs evil. It makes me want, more than ever, to know how to keep him at bay.
How to Resist The Devil
Resist Temptation and It will Flee
1 Peter 5:8 is a great reminder in resisting the devil: “Be self-controlled and alert.”
Resisting Satan involves being aware of how Satan works, and who he is. He is a wily enemy who uses lies and deceit to tempt us to sin and lead us away from God. Be on the watch for him.
Satan loves a good foothold and wants us to concentrate more on our trials in life than standing strong in Jesus. Who better to attack than someone who is struggling or suffering? Be especially cautious in these times!
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Cling to God and the Devil will Flee
Verse 9 continues with more help to resist him- “Stand firm in the faith.” Satan loves to lie to us and plant seeds of doubt. It was his opening line in the Garden of Eden! He wants to tempt us to worry, lose hope, and feel overwhelmed. To “stand firm” means to plant your heart and mind in God- every day. When I question and doubt, I need to go to his word for encouragement and strength. Satan was named “the great deceiver” for a good reason. He wants us to doubt God’s word and His love and care for us.
Submit to God, Resist the Devil and He will Flee
The James passage about resisting the devil I spoke of earlier begins with “humble yourself before God.“ When we follow God’s will and continue to develop our character to be more like Jesus, it does cause Satan to flee and to move on.
Our faith is a gift from God (Romans 12:3), and it is up to us to grow and renew our faith daily. Use it as a protective shield against Satan.
Flee from Temptation
The Holy Spirit is within us and helps us live according to God’s will. Of course, we will continue to sin, and Satan takes note. He loves to take advantage of our weaknesses.
Understand and recognize what type of sin you are more prone to commit. See them as a foothold for Satan to lead us away from God.
Resist the Devil with the Word of God
Satan will never stop trying to tempt us into sin. He must have a mighty big ego, as he even tried to tempt Jesus.
Three times “the tempter” tried to lure Jesus into sin while he was fasting for 40 days in the desert. Jesus was hungry, weak and tired. To each temptation, Jesus responds with the words of God. He defeated Satan by speaking the word of God back to him.
We have the same weapon available to make him flee. Knowing the truths found in scripture help us recognize the lies of the devil. Speak what you know to be true back to Satan!
Prayer is a Powerful Weapon against Satan
It doesn’t take 40 days to make me lose patience and act snappy. I know how I get when I’m tired and hungry: cranky. That’s when I pray for patience.
When my children are going through a struggle, I worry. That’s when I pray for trust and faith.
I struggle with the “business end” of running a blog. Satan would love for me to throw in the towel. I pray for strength and encouragement in His words: to “not grow weary and lose heart” (Hebrews 12:3) and knowing “I can do all things through him..” (Phil 4:13.)
God hears our prayers for protection, and he also allows trials. In those times, I will continue to pray for a hedge of his protection because he can and does provide it. I will also pray for his grace to give encouragement and to support us in our physical and mental health through the trials.
Prayer to Resist the Devil
Father, we love you and trust you completely. We know you are faithful, and will strengthen and protect us from the evil one. We want to walk with you daily. Help us put off our old ways so that Satan can not attack us. Focus our thoughts on you and your truth. Help us obey and follow your will. Empower us with your words to defeat the tempter when he comes prowling around. Hold Satan back from our loved ones. Place your hedge of protection around them. Give us the strength to turn to You and recognize the deceiver’s lies.
All Scripture is taken from the NIV unless specified otherwise.
Photo Credit: Canva, AnnMarie Anderson