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Don Stewart :: How Can the Believer Have Victory over the Devil?

Don Stewart
Though the Bible presents the Devil as a powerful and cunning opponent, it also tells us that Christians can have victory over this enemy.

You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world (1 John 4:4).

We know that those who are born of God do not sin, but the one who was born of God protects them, and the evil one does not touch them (1 John 5:18).

Our Own Choice

It must be emphasized that Satan cannot make the believer do anything! When a Christian sins, it is because they have chosen to sin. It is not the responsibility of anyone else. Satan can entice someone to sin, but he cannot force them to sin.

In Christ

Satan cannot recapture that person who is "in Christ." Therefore, Satan is a defeated enemy, one who ultimately will be thrown into the lake of fire. However, until that time, he is still very active in our world. Consequently the believer must take the proper steps to win victory over this enemy.

Some Victories, Some Defeats

While believers are living in this world-system, and battling the attacks of the Devil, it is possible to achieve temporary victories over this foe. These victories can only come through faith in Christ. Though victory is always possible, occasional defeat will occur, if the believer fails to do their part. Though these defeats do not affect the final outcome, they can hinder a person's Christian testimony, as well as their spiritual growth. Therefore we need to discover how victory over the Devil can be achieved.

Steps To Take

The following are some steps that the believer should take.

1. Understand Our Enemy

It is important that we understand our enemy. We need to know what he is able to do, his limitations, and the various ways in which he works. The Bible says.

Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the Devil's schemes (Ephesians 6:11)

This can only be found from a study of God's Word. Satan takes advantage of those who are spiritually immature and ignorant.

2. Know His Methods

We also need to know how the Devil works - we are not to be ignorant of his methods. The Bible says.

that no advantage may be gained over us by Satan: for we are not ignorant of his devices (2 Corinthians 2:11).

3. Test The Spirits

Believers have a responsibility to test the spirits.

Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God; for many false prophets have gone out into the world (1 John 4:1).

This is something we must actively do, we are not to sit by passively.

4. Be Actively Watching

The Bible tells us to be watching for these tricks of the Devil.

Be sober, be watchful: your adversary the Devil, as a roaring lion, walks about, seeking whom he may devour (1 Peter 5:8).

We should be on guard against his attacks.

5. Resist Him When He Comes

The Bible tells believers to resist the Devil.

Be subject therefore unto God; but resist the Devil, and he will flee from you (James 4:7) .

Resist has the idea of withstand, or to stand our ground. By standing our ground, Satan can be overcome. John wrote to believers.

I am writing to you, fathers, because you know Him who is from the beginning. I am writing to you, young people, because you have conquered the evil one (1 John 2:13).

6. Realize Weak Areas

Every human being has areas in their life in which they are vulnerable. Satan knows these areas. Consequently believers should be especially alert from attacks in the areas where they are the weakest. The Bible commands us not to give any opportunity to the Devil to work.

neither give place to the Devil (Ephesians 4:27).

7. Not In Our Strength

We learn a valuable lesson from Michael the archangel in dealing with Satan.

But when the archangel Michael, contending with the Devil, disputed about the body of Moses, he did not presume to pronounce a reviling judgment upon him, but said, "The Lord rebuke you" (Jude 9).

We should not personally defy the Devil. We need to respect his power and should neither underestimate or overestimate him.

8. Avoid The Situation

As much as possible, believers should avoid any situation that can cause them to sin - they should separate themselves from the source of the temptation.

abstain from every form of evil (1 Thessalonians 5:22).

By separating themselves from a particular sin, both morally and geographically, a temporary victory can be won. However, all victories are only temporary because temptation will always come as long as we are in these bodies.

9. Put On The Full Armor Of God

The believer has authority over the unseen realm by putting on the spiritual armor that God has provided.

For our struggle is not against enemies of blood and flesh, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, so that you may be able to withstand on that evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm (Ephesians 6:12,13).

The armor consists of spiritual realities that believers need to appropriate every day. By daily surrendering ourselves to the Lord, and placing our faith in Him, we can take advantage of these spiritual realities because it is a spiritual battle in which we are fighting. The Bible says.

The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds (2 Corinthians 10:4).

These realities are compared to the outfit a Roman soldier would wear.

The Belt Of Truth

One of our weapons of warfare in the spiritual realm is the belt of truth.

Stand therefore, and fasten the belt of truth around your waist (Ephesians 6:14).

The belt of truth refers to the truth of the Word of God as well as the truthfulness we should display in our daily lives. Since Satan is always a liar (John 8:44) we need to concern ourselves with the truth.

The Coat Of Righteousness

We are told to put on the breastplate, or coat, of righteousness.

and put on the breastplate of righteousness (Ephesians 6:14).

This refers to doing the right thing. We can only do the right thing after we have put on the righteousness of Jesus Christ. This happens when a person trusts Christ as Savior.

Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 5:1).

Believers are now able to do that which is right in the sight of the Lord.

The Sandals Of Preparation

Our feet also need to be covered by God's armor.

As shoes for your feet put on whatever will make you ready to proclaim the gospel of peace (Ephesians 6:15).

This speaks of spreading the good news about Jesus. Our job is to testify to the lost that there is forgiveness of sin in the Person of Jesus Christ. We are to be ready to go wherever He will send us. Those who do this are said to have "beautiful feet."

And how are they to proclaim Him unless they are sent? As it is written, "How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!" (Romans 10:15).

The Shield Of Faith

When the wicked one attacks, there is a shield for believers.

With all of these, take the shield of faith, with which you will be able to quench all the flaming arrows of the evil one (Ephesians 6:16).

We are to place our faith in God's promises when we are attacked with fear and doubt.

The Helmet Of Salvation

The Bible also speaks of armor that protects the head.

Take the helmet of salvation (Ephesians 6:17).

The head speaks of knowledge. We need to understand that we have been given assurance of salvation seeing that it is God who will carry us through. While Satan wants to keep believers ignorant of these truths, and to keep them in continual doubt and , Jesus wants to set them free.

So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed (John 8:36).

The Sword Of The Spirit

Scripture now speaks of an offensive weapon in the believers armor.

the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God (Ephesians 6:17).

The believer needs to understand how to use the Bible effectively when the attacks of the enemy come.

9.Maintain Constant Communication With God

We are also told to constantly be in prayer to God.

Pray in the Spirit at all times in every prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert and always persevere in supplication for all the saints (Ephesians 6:18).

Talking to God on a constant basis can help stop the progress of the Devil. Elsewhere we are commanded to pray unceasingly.

pray continually (1 Thessalonians 5:17).

10. Realize Whose Family You Are Part Of

The Bible speaks of two families of humanity - those who are the children of God, and those who are the children of the Devil. Those who are in the family of God have their lives molded after Him. Those who belong to the Devil act like their spiritual father. Believers ought to realize which family they are a part of and act accordingly. The Bible says.

for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith (1 John 5:4).

11. Rest In God's Promises

Finally, we need to rest in the promises of God. Satan has been overcome and the victory is ours!

No testing has overtaken you that is not common to everyone. God is faithful, and He will not let you be tested beyond your strength, but with the testing He will also provide the way out so that you may be able to endure it (1 Corinthians 10:13).

Paul said.

I can do all things through Him who strengthens me (Philippians 4:13).

Summary

The Bible gives us a way in which we can deal with the Devil. Though the Devil has been defeated, and eventually will be thrown into the lake of fire, he is still actively spreading evil. Christians need to understand who he is, and what he is able to do while he is still active. As long as one looks to Christ, victory can be achieved.
CONTENT DISCLAIMER:

The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.

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