In your mind… when you think of Satan… what picture comes to you? Were he to stand before you, what would he look like… what would he sound like… what kind of things would he say? For many he has a grossly hideous face with red skin, horns, a pointed tail, and a pitchfork. His voice is rough, deep, gravely, and intimidating. But that is pretty much what he wants us to believe about him. That way when he really does stand before us and whispers in our ear, we won’t recognize him… and then he has an advantage.
Truth is, he is much less intimidating and horrific. He presents himself as innocent… on our side… a friend… one who wants to support and help us. He presents himself as one of God’s messengers (2 Cor 11:14-15) and does so to deceive and draw us away from God. Satan is always scheming (Eph 6:11) and working plans to outwit us in our desire to follow God (2 Cor 2:10-11). 24/7/365 he is prowling around doing everything he can to set traps for us to fall in to (1 Peter 5:8-9). He waits patiently in little nooks and crannies of our life so that when we stumble he pounces to ravage us (Genesis 4:5-7). We think people and situations are our greatest temptation, but in reality it is the force behind the temptation we fight against (Eph 6:12).
Personally, I think Satan would much rather tempt us to fall in relation to what we think are our strongest points. That way, if we fall or fail, the destruction is that much greater. We actually expect to make mistakes where we’re weak… so that’s why I believe he goes after us where we think we are the strongest. The example of this is Peter who was 100% sure he would never deny Christ… and that is where Satan focused his temptation.
Where do you believe you are the strongest? What area of your life do you think is where you are least likely to fall or fail? Consider what is written in 1 Cor 10:12, “Let him who stand take heed lest he fall.” Soberly think on that for a few minutes…
So how do we overcome temptation? How do we defeat Satan? How can we keep from stumbling and falling into sin? Here are a few suggestions…
Foundation: Dedicate yourself to a war time mentality because that is what we are in… spiritual war. This means adopting an attitude of seriousness regarding the battle we are in.
1-A. Submit to God (James 4:7a).
1-B. Draw close to God (James 4:8).
1-C. Humble yourself before God (James 4:10).
2. Resist Satan and he will flee (James 4:7b). Resisting him is useless unless we first submit to God!
3. Walk with God in His spirit (Galatians 5:16).
4. BE strong in the Lord and rely upon His strength (Ephesians 6:10).
5. Put on God’s armor (Ephesians 6:11-18). At this point I suggest taking one of the parts of armour each week and focusing upon it with one building upon another.
6. Worship God (Psalm 22:3 and Psalm 147:1). Jack Taylor wrote, “Praise brings the consciousness of the presence of God and all that accompanies it. The liars of the pit of hell cannot market their wares in an atmosphere of worship and praise.” Amy Carmichael worte, “I believe Satan cannot endure praise and worship. So he slips out of the room more or less while it is going on.” Paul Billheimer wrote, “Satan is allergic to praise. Wherever there is worship and praise Satan is paralyzed, bound, and banished.”
Conclusion: “Greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world!” (1 John 4:4)