Defeating the Devil

The devil is alive and well. Look on the television. Listen to our culture. Everywhere we turn, we see him working, invading, and advancing. It even seems like the devil might win, but the faithful Christian knows of his ultimate doom.  

The fact of the matter is the devil knows of his doom, too. He’s read Scripture and knows Scripture to be true, but he just doesn’t want us to believe in it. We wrestle, “not against flesh and blood,” but against the devil, who seeks to kill and destroy. He attacks us often - driving down the road, at night in our homes, walking along the sidewalk - seemingly everywhere we go. He’s there. He’s determined. He’s waiting. He’s attacking. 

 Let’s be ready. 

 God has not left us empty-handed or powerless. He has given us tools we can use to defeat the devil each time he attacks. Believing this - let us move to highlighting four goals of Satan and his minions. 

 1. Deception - The devil longs to deceive, but we must realize, God will “establish” and “guard” us from the evil one. An on-guard watch is the idea. We are not to “give place to the devil.” James gives the present goal and the future result as he writes, “Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” Scripture is clear: “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked.” How is man deceived? Satan. 

 2. Doubt - This is Satan’s goal for all of us. If he can get us to doubt God, the devil has already won. I love how Paul describes the “plans" of the devil as “wiles.” Who can stand against and defeat the devil? Moses? Nope. Elijah? Fat chance. David? Please. No, only Jesus. If we ever doubt God, the devil has won. 

 3. Destruction - Moses writes, “You must not fear them, for the Lord your God Himself fights for you.” John describes the devil in terms which everyone would understand, as a “thief.” Jesus describes Satan this way, as well. Don’t believe the hype (I’ve always wanted to say that):  the devil wants to kill you. 

 4. Death - Simply put, Satan, wants you dead. He’s not a cartoon figure with a pitchfork and a tail or a good-looking guy with a smirky smile (as today’s culture might indicate). He’s a fallen angel with powers unmatched by anyone - except Jesus. Satan knows his time is running out. Although Satan would like for you to believe he has won, and though it sometimes seems like he has won, he is ultimately defeated by Jesus’ death and resurrection. 

 The key to defeating the devil is to realize, oddly enough, that, on our own, we are powerless. Without Christ, quite simply, Satan will eat us for dinner. Yet, because of Jesus, Satan cannot possess us. He knows he’s defeated. He knows the only accomplishment he can have is to make us less effective in telling others about Christ.  

 The Bible reminds us, “You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in  the world.” Don’t these words give you comfort? No matter what the devil throws at you, speak the truth of the Word of God back at him. We, though weak in ourselves, have overcome (defeated, destroyed, annihilated, etc.) the world and all that is in it. Because of Christ we are victors! The next time Satan reminds of your defeat, remind him of his future! Remind him he was defeated, once and for all, at Calvary. Remind him of his ultimate destiny. He is defeated. He knows it. I pray our church knows it, too.

Dr. Jeff Johnson