What do you know about Satan?
For real, what do you know?
Satan. Lucifer. The Devil.
It sounds silly, doesn’t it? The Devil. We think of a little red horned guy in a cartoon with a pitchfork and fire. It’s silly. Most Christians don’t even talk about him anymore. How convenient…
Scripture tells us the devil is real, his name is Satan and he came to steal, kill and destroy. So if you believe in God, you believe His word, then you have to believe you have an enemy named Satan, and he wants to see you fall. He wants to see you broken, betrayed and more than anything he wants to see you ineffective for the Kingdom of God.
You’re all like, Jeff are you really about to write a blog post on the devil? No bro, I’m writing about how to defeat the devil! Luckily enough, God gave us the exact tools to defeat him.
How to know if you are under attack from the devil?
Let’s look at his attacks in scripture.
Garden of Eden.
3 The serpent was the shrewdest of all the wild animals the Lord God had made. One day he asked the woman, “Did God really say you must not eat the fruit from any of the trees in the garden?”
2 “Of course we may eat fruit from the trees in the garden,” the woman replied. 3 “It’s only the fruit from the tree in the middle of the garden that we are not allowed to eat. God said, ‘You must not eat it or even touch it; if you do, you will die.’”
4 “You won’t die!” the serpent replied to the woman. 5 “God knows that your eyes will be opened as soon as you eat it, and you will be like God, knowing both good and evil.”
Another point in scripture the devil shows up to attack Jesus.
Woah bro… you’re batting out of your league right now.
4 Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted there by the devil. 2 For forty days and forty nights he fasted and became very hungry.
3 During that time the devil came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become loaves of bread.”
4 But Jesus told him, “No! The Scriptures say,
‘People do not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”
5 Then the devil took him to the holy city, Jerusalem, to the highest point of the Temple, 6 and said, “If you are the Son of God, jump off! For the Scriptures say,
‘He will order his angels to protect you. And they will hold you up with their hands so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone.’”
7 Jesus responded, “The Scriptures also say, ‘You must not test the Lord your God.’”
8 Next the devil took him to the peak of a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. 9 “I will give it all to you,” he said, “if you will kneel down and worship me.”
10 “Get out of here, Satan,” Jesus told him. “For the Scriptures say,
‘You must worship the Lord your God and serve only him.’”
11 Then the devil went away, and angels came and took care of Jesus.
What do these two encounters have in common?
Neither of these was physical attacks, they were both emotional, mental and spiritual. They were both lies. The devil convinced Eve that eating the forbidden fruit would make her like God, he then tried to convince Jesus to sin and rebel against God. The devil’s tactic is always the same, he will come and try to convince you to rebel against God.
We rebel against God by sinning, therefore Satan will always show up and try to convince us to sin. He can’t force you to sin, sin must be a choice, he will instead tempt you with sin. He’ll feed you the lies of pleasure, of pressure and of acceptance. Notice verse 6 in Eve’s story:
6 The woman was convinced. She saw that the tree was beautiful and its fruit looked delicious, and she wanted the wisdom it would give her.
It was beautiful and looked delicious, then the devil promised her wisdom.
She was tempted.
He came to Jesus at the point of starvation and the first thing he tempted him with was food.
He will come to you at your weakest and tempt you with what you think you want most. You’re lonely and he tempts you with the wrong friends. You just got out of a nasty breakup and he tempts you with a quick rebound. You’re struggling financially and he tempts you with the thoughts of stealing or not giving to God. You’re depressed and numb, he tempts you with thoughts of self-harm. You are getting no attention from the one you want it and he tempts you with the attention of someone else. The devil will show up when you are at your weakest and tempt you to rebel against God in sin.
How do you know you’re in the devil’s crosshairs? Are you being tempted to sin? Does it come so easily? You were about to give up partying but that one friend that you always have a great time with just text. You can’t seem to get attention from the opposite sex but this person is giving you a ton of attention. All you hear at home is yelling and screaming, you long to get away and pot seems to be your ticket out. I don’t know the struggle you’re facing but I know that the devil is trying to lead you to rebellion from God.
He is trying to trick you into sinning, but not just sinning, he’s trying to lead you into the love of sin. Where you love your sin so much you can’t begin to fathom the idea that it is wrong. In fact, if anyone ever says it is wrong they are a hater and a judgemental pig.
“How dare they tell me this is wrong, I know they aren’t living right.”
For the record that sentence is not you convincing anyone that your sin is right, it simply you justifying your sin. God doesn’t grade on a curve, we are all accountable for our own sin, just because you’re better than that guy doesn’t mean you passed.
The devil has won when he convinces us to love our sin. When we get to the point that we can not be swayed from it, then we love it. If you want someone to love something, how do you do it? You turn it into a lifestyle. It’s easy to put down an action but difficult to change your lifestyle.
This is why sin is so often done in repetition, the devil doesn’t want you to get drunk once he wants you to become addicted, to indulge in this habit day after day until you don’t know how to live life without a beer in your hand. This is why drugs are so addicting, why sex is so addicting, why attention is so addicting, etc. When he gets us stuck sinning in repetition, it becomes our lifestyle and becomes difficult to break free from it.
How do we fight the attacks of the devil?
Listen to this: Ephesians 6:10-12
A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. 12 For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.
Paul, writing to the church in Ephesus, knows the attacks they are facing. He knows their enemies are not flesh and blood, they were facing the attacks of the devil. Right here, God will give Paul the answer to fighting off the devil and Paul will pass it down to the church of Ephesus and to us today.
13 Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle, you will still be standing firm. 14 Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. 15 For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. 16 In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. 17 Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
18 Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.
19 And pray for me, too. Ask God to give me the right words so I can boldly explain God’s mysterious plan that the Good News is for Jews and Gentiles alike. 20 I am in chains now, still preaching this message as God’s ambassador. So pray that I will keep on speaking boldly for him, as I should.
If you’re feeling the attacks of the enemy, whether it is a temptation, a feeling of love of sin, anxiety or depression. Lean into and begin to understand the armor of God. It is your protection against the enemy, it is the armor that will fend off the attacks of Satan himself. We must take actionable steps to put it on.
Equip the truth of scripture, clothe yourself in the righteousness of God, have the peace of your security in the Gospel, wield your shield of faith that stands firm through all the enemies attacks and wield your weapon, the sword of the Spirit that is the word of God. Lean into scripture when temptation strikes, lean into the very words of God when you are at your weakest. When the enemy attacks you have to be ready, be prepared and equip the armor of God.