Resisting the Devil

Believers in Christ are going to experience warfare on three levels: against the world, the flesh, and the devil. The first two have to do with external opposition and internal struggles, while the third refers to spiritual powers coming against us.

Protection Against Spiritual Warfare

Because spiritual warfare is not optional—we all must face it at some point and in some way—we need to be on guard by filling our minds with truth (see number 9 on the list of Morning Affirmations for more details):

  1. Against the world: RENEW your mind by focusing on Christ and being filled by the Spirit.
  2. Against the flesh: RECKON yourself as dead to sin and alive in Christ.
  3. Against the devil: RESIST the devil by submitting yourself to God.

Taking these steps will help us to walk in the way of the Lord, becoming more and more in our practice who we are in our position in Christ.

Resisting the Devil

Ephesians 6:10–24 zooms in on the third aspect of spiritual warfare, revealing that our struggle is not ultimately with other people (“flesh and blood”) but is spiritual in nature. God has not left us without weapons. Instead, Paul tells us that He has given us “the full armor of God” (Ephesians 6:13).

Part of using these weapons is preparing in advance, not waiting until we are under attack to try to strengthen ourselves in the faith.

The Armor of God

The belt of truth especially protects us against spiritual warfare, binding together the different parts of the armor of God. Preparing ourselves with this belt means taking time to dwell in Scripture.

The breastplate of righteousness is the righteousness of Christ that was imputed to us. We cannot depend on any righteousness of our own, but we must abide in Him. If we submit to the devil instead of abiding in Christ, we will give the devil a beachhead in our lives. That can quickly develop into a stronghold, which can then turn into a stranglehold. As a result, we should turn to Christ and rely on His righteousness. We must deal promptly with our sins and also be prompt in forgiving others.

The sandals of peace have to do with our readiness, teaching us to spread the gospel by walking close to Christ. In addition, the shield of faith also teaches us to rely on Christ, walking in the victory He has already won for us.

The helmet of salvation is protection for our minds. Instead of focusing on impure thoughts, we need to dwell on truth. It is easy to become sloppy in our thought lives, but we need to be grounded in the Word of God.

The final weapon, the sword of the Spirit, is the offensive weapon in our arsenal. It is meditating on the Word of God. While God’s truth is part of our defensive armor, it is also our offense. It teaches us what is true and false. This gives us discernment and the ability to respond to the devil’s lies.

Resisting the Devil

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