I'd like to start by giving you a thought to ponder and as you think about it I will go through and give you my answer.
Here is the thought. Do you think that YOU have the authority and power to resist the devil or would he beat up on you if you tried?
I think this is an interesting thought because I have even heard comedians like Flip Wilson use the excuse in their routines that - “The devil made me do it!” Is this true? Can the devil make you do things? Or is it true that he can only do what you allow him to do by not resisting him and thus giving him power over you?
The scriptures tell us that we should resist the devil!
Jas 4:7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
And that when we resist, he will flee!
So, two basic questions come to mind when we think of this. "WHY should he flee from us?" And, "HOW do we resist him?"
So, Why Will Satan Flee?
The first thing to realise is that we don't resist in our own power although WE are the ones who have to do the resisting. The scriptures don't tell us to plead with God to resist the devil for us. They say, 'Resist the devil and he will flee'. YOU resist the devil and he will flee from you.
We resist in the authority of Jesus Christ of course. We have IN US all the power that IS in Jesus Christ and He has ALL power and authority in heaven and earth.
In Matthew 28:18, Jesus said, "All authority has been given me in heaven and in earth..."
And Jesus has delegated that authority to US, those who believe on him.
Luk 10:19 Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you.
In Mark 16:17-18 Jesus adds even more to make sure we realise how much power we have and what believers can do in his name because He has defeated Satan. And, serpents and scorpians is bible-speak for fallen angels and demons!
Mar 16:17-18 "And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up serpents with their hands; and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover."
We CAN resist the devil successfully because Jesus has defeated Satan already. It's not something that he will do at a later time! And the authority He has on earth because of defeating Satan, He has delegated to us. We need to see and understand this and then live accordingly.
Hebrews 2:14 says, "Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil."
In his death Jesus defeated Satan and we when we were baptised were baptised into Jesus' death. So, in the Spirit, we were there. And when Jesus rose we rose with him.
The devil and his power over us was defeated at the time of the death and resurection of Jesus. That's what the word tells us. Jesus (who is in us by the Holy Spirit) has total power and authority over Satan and everything else.
Satan was displayed in a parade naked and toothless to show us that he has no power over us any more.
If when you rose up out of the water with Jesus you didn't see the parade you can always catch the video in Colossians, chapter 2, verse 15.
Col 2:15 And having disarmed principalities and powers, He mocked them in public, triumphing over them in it.
This is referring to the manner in which the Romans dragged defeated kings and generals through the streets chained to a chariot to show the people that they were no longer a threat!
Jesus has all power and all authority in heaven and in the earth, and He imbued His disciples (You and I) with the authority to command that same power in the manner He says we can.
Jesus has rescued us from Satan's domain and put us into His kingdom! Have a look a few pages back in the book of Colossians, in Chapter 1 verse 13.
Col 1:13 For he has rescued us from the kingdom of darkness and transferred us into the Kingdom of his dear Son, ...
This is even prophesied in Hosea, Chapter 6, verses 2 - 3; that we would be raised up with Him.
Hos 6:2-3 After two days he will revive us; on the third day he will restore us, that we may live in his presence. Let us acknowledge the LORD; let us press on to acknowledge him.
We have been raised with Him, and placed in His kingdom and been given access to the power (the power of the Holy Spirit) to do the things that He did and more!
Another place where the bible writers make clear what power is in us, is in the first letter of John where he tells us that - "He who is in us is greater that he who is in the world". The apostle John said this by inspiration of God and with the experience that he had.
1Jn 4:4 You are of God, little children, and you have overcome them, because 'He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world'.
This can be contrasted with Elisha who said of his protection; "They who are with us are more than they who are with them!" (2 Kings 6:16). He referred to help that was external to him not to God inside him and look at how much he accomplished nevertheless!
So since "He who is in us is greater than he who is in the world", one wonders why many Christians talk more about the power of satan and how he roams through the earth, than about the power of God.
That should not be us. Our speech should be all about 'Jesus In Us'; full of the realisation that we are the ones with the power advantage, not satan.
So now, HOW do we resist Satan and bring this victory that we already have into manifestation?
Knowing that we have all the help and power available that we might need to resist and overcome, lets look at the ways we can go about this.
The first thing is to be prepared - Paul tells us to put on the whole armour of God, so that we can defend ourselves against any onslaught, and fight back.
Eph 6:11-18 Put on the whole armor of God so that you may be able to
stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against
flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against
the world's rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual
wickedness in high places.
Three things we can key on here as we resist the schemes of the devil; the sword of the Spirit (our short range weapon), the shield of faith (defence) and prayer (Our long range weapon!).
Keep you sword sharp by study and speaking the
(Rhema) word of God, relevant (quickened) for a particular situation;
just as Jesus did when He was tested by Satan.
We resist and overcome satan by using the sword of the word of God, by pushing him back with the shield of faith and using our long range weapon, prayer, to destroy his schemes. Knowing who is in us and who we are in Jesus we quote the word of God, it's promises and it's power, in faith.
We can see that when Jesus was tempted by the devil He quoted the word of God and what it said to the situation. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the (Rhema) word of God. But you must resist if the Devil comes against you. You must be able to push back against the enemy. So get your weapons battle ready!
The second thing is to focus our minds such that we leave Satan as little space or time in which to attack us as is possible. Keep your mind stayed on the promises and blessings and pure things given us by God, which would mean that Satan has less opportunity to bring temptations to your consciousness.
Php 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.
When we keep our minds stayed on Jesus and the things of God, we can avoid many of the problems others face through the temptations Satan can bring to bear on an openly receptive mind! In fact while we keep our minds on the promises of God we will not be tempted by Satan and the things of this world, as The writer of Hebrews points out in Chapter 11 verses 14-15, talking of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and other people of God.
Heb 11:14-15 For people who speak thus make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. If they had been thinking of that land from which they had gone out, they would have had opportunity (temptation) to return.
Because Abraham and the other saints of God focussed on the future God had planned for them, they did not consider the world that Satan had built and placed in front of them was a temptation or opportunity worth thinking about!
This is telling you that if you meditate on the promises and blessings that God has given you and make that your focus, then you will not be tempted to go after the things of the world or the things put in your path by Satan. To mix a couple of sayings - "Seek first the kingdom of God and the lights of this world will seem strangely dim"!
And thirdly, if after this we take our eye off the ball for a time and Satan brings a trial upon us, maybe through others aound us, or our own error giving him an inroad into our lives, we should not back down and give in but resist Satan and push him back.
I'll give you an analogy as to how this works. Imagine that you have put on the whole armour of God and have cloaked yourself in Christ and his righteousness and now imagine yourself in a ring of God's riot police who are defending your family and others from rioters of temptation, sin, persecution, oppression/depression and disease.
If you stand in line with the other riot police but with your shield hanging on your arm down by your side and do not brace yourself against the onslaught then you will be pushed back or pushed over and trampled.
It's just the same as with the physical riot police. If THEY don't brace themselves and resist they will be defeated. The armour doesn't do the bracing and resist the pushing of the rioters by itself.
On the other hand if they brace themselves and bring up their arms with the shields and push back, they CAN hold off the rioters and push them back and make way for the ambulance, or whatever.
Similarly you can win if YOU resist personally! The armour isn't yours, it's from God, but having put it on, YOU have to lift the shield and push against the problem and not be passive and expect God to do it all! You resist, Holy Spirit supplies the power and you win!
God is Good and has blessed us with EVERY spiritual blessing in the heavenlies. We must not allow ourselves to be moved from that understanding and miss knowing all his love.
Some will say, "What if you do not have the the strength of faith, for whatever reason, that's needed to take hold of one of God's promises?"
Well, if we take a look at the earlier analogy in the context of the scriptures we can see the answer.
If you are lifting your shield up but don't have the strength to hold it up high, you should call on others in the Church who are strong in the faith to lift up your arms. They will lock their shields with yours and THEY in concert with you will lift your shield up so you can overcome the trial. THEY will brace you against the pressure so that you can win out now and also learn how, and so grow in faith. THEIR strength of faith will do it.
They will see you through as you grow in the faith so that in due time YOU will be able to lift the shield of faith high yourself (like the woman with the issue of blood) and also be able to help others.
So ask the right people to help you grow! People who have faith in your area of need.
Jas 5:14-15 Is anyone of you sick? He should call for the elders of the church, and they should pray for him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered 'in faith' will save the person who is sick. The Lord will raise him up, and if he has committed any sins, he will be forgiven.
You see how it's according to our faith in concert, where we cannot go it alone. These principles apply in all things pertaining to our promises from God. We learn and grow in the knowledge of God and the faith of Jesus Christ. Then WE, using God's word (knowing therefore what is according to God's will), speak forth what we learn, in faith, and WE WIN!
Associate with those who edify and build up and show you how to build your faith and reduce your doubt.
We also throughout all trials must keep in mind that Jesus is always with us and has power over all things. If we revert to thinking that we are only human then Satan will be able to get the upper hand. You start thinking like that and Satan will kick sand in your face and steal your ball!
With any trials that come upon us we follow these principles. We take it to God to get insight and wisdom in the matter. Is there some underlying problem; is there some underlying hindrance to a quick resolution. Then we 'speak to the problem' in Jesus' name, on the basis that the power is in us, and we do this in faith.
You resist the devil, Holy Spirit provides the power and you win.
To give another analogy - Consider the situation as similar to if you are driving a huge, powerful dumpster truck. It isn't your power that would turn the road wheels to steer the truck. The power steering does that. But unless you turn the steering wheel nothing happens. Also until you pull the lever to dump stuff on your problem all the stuff stays in the truck!
We do not give in and accept the status quo if it's not the 'good' that God would want for us. In fact, where bad things have already happened that have been put upon us by others or Satan, we ask God to enact his promise to turn all things to good for those who love Him and are the called.
Rom 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to those that love God, to those who are the called according to his purpose.
We also know that Proverb 18, vers 21 says...
Pro 18:21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.
If people speak things which are on the side of death in our lives or others, within our hearing, we should counter this by speaking life. We should not let those negative thoughts stay as the uppermost things in our minds or the minds of others close by who may have heard.
For instance you may pray for someone to be healed and then soon after hear someone say, "Of course, it may not be God's will to heal!"
You should counter that straight away by speaking life and truth into the situation. You can point out that - "Jesus said in Mar 16:17-18 that those who believe will lay hands on the sick and they will recover" and that "It's always God's will to heal because whenever sick, troubled and even maimed (limb-less) people were brought to Jesus as in Mat 15:29-31, Jesus healed them".
Mat 15:29-30 And Jesus having passed thence, came nigh unto the sea of Galilee, and having gone up to the mountain, he was sitting there, and there came to him great multitudes, having with them lame, blind, dumb, maimed, and many others, and they did lay them at the feet of Jesus, and he healed them, so that the multitudes did wonder, seeing dumb ones speaking, maimed whole, lame walking, and blind seeing; and they glorified the God of Israel.
Always counter their words with the WORD of God. Resist Satan and resist the words and works of those he has kept ill-informed about the overwhelming goodness of God. Tell them that God says through John...
3Jn 1:2 Beloved, in regard to all things I pray that you prosper and be in health, even as your soul prospers.
Notice God wants you to prosper even as your soul is prospering! There's two different prosperities being talked about here! And He also wants you to be in health, as your soul is prospering!
You should know that you know that God and Jesus have ALL power and that same power and authority has been passed on to us because Jesus sends out his disciples (You and I) just as the Father sent him (John 20:21); and that John further tells us in his first letter (1 John 4:17) that "As Jesus is so are we in this world!"
We stand on the promises made by God and what he has already done for us in and through Christ Jesus. We already have those promises and benefits in the Spirit. With faith in God (sole or combined) they WILL manifest.
Know who you are in Jesus and do not doubt the power that is in you through the Holy Spirit. "He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world".
Speak the word of God as Jesus did - "YOU" resist the devil and he will flee from you.
Now a little about recognising the wiles of the Devil.
We have to learn to resist Satan's lies and resist the trials and diseases that he brings against us. When we resist in faith and rebuke satan for coming against God's people, he WILL flee from us and the trial will be lifted or the sickness that he was using to oppresss God's people removed.
Satan tries to hide the fact that he has been defeated.
At the name of Jesus every knee shall bow, in heaven, on earth and under the earth. So, there is no kind of demon that Jesus does not have authority over and just as with the disciples, Jesus has given us authority over all demons. Satan does not have power over us - We have power over him!
Prov 26:2 says "The curse causeless cannot come".
Since all our sins have been removed there is no reason that we can be cursed. We have been redeemed from the curse of the law so Satan cannot bring any charge against us since we are the righteousness of Christ.
But, as Christians, if we let Satan convince us that the sickness or trial we may be facing is because of our sins, or even that God gave them to us, then we will not resist him and we will not live in the blessings that God has for us.
If you believe his lies that try to undermine your belief that God is your strength, your shield and the best Dad you could ever have, then as I said earlier, Satan will kick sand in your face and steal your ball! Don't let him!
Satan tries to make us think he still has power but as the Apostle Peter says in 1Pet 5:8-9...
1Pe 5:8-9 Be sober, be watchful; your adversary the devil walks about as a roaring lion, seeking someone he may devour. Resist him, being steadfast in your faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world. .
Strong lions on the hunt don't roar and warn the prey! Men have been killed and taken from within a camp by a lion padding silently into it at night while everyone was asleep and no-one knew anything untill the morning! But, here Peter tells us that Satan goes around like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour. A lion's roar in the mountains can be heard miles away and you might thing he's just around the corner! He's trying to intimidate us into admitting defeat without a fight because he knows in a fight when we resist and rebuke him, we win!
It's Satan that has been defeated so WE should not have a defeatist attitude.
Satan also tries to make you think that God might not answer your prayers. He wants you to lose faith in God and let your shield dry up so those fiery darts can destroy your defence. But this is what God says...
Isa 65:24 And it shall come to pass that, before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear.
If you don't get the answer straight away, as with Daniel's answer being delayed for 21 days, you should know that it's not because God didn't answer, it's because there's a hindrance somewhere. Ask God what it is and pray for it to be overcome.God always answers us speedily. So keep your sword sharp and your shield wet and stand firm in prayer.
Submit to God, Resist the Devil and he will flee from you.
Do that and YOU WIN!