Seven Ways to Resist the Devil

October 29, 2008 · Print This Article

Seven Ways to Resist the Devil

Part 3

The Word

Text: 1 Peter 5:1-11

Accountability of shepherds

Faithful shepherds who, under the Great Shepherd, Jesus Christ, fulfill their mission, are addressed in the opening verses of this chapter. Explicit requirements are set forth for leaders and for their accountability to God for their flock.

Submission to authority

Submitting under the hand of God (v. 3) has to do how we regard authority which determines what kind of servants of Christ we become. The essence of servanthood is predicated upon an understanding of the concept of authority. You never become a good servant of Jesus unless you learn how to relate not only to Him as your Lord, and to Father God as Creator, but to the ways in which the Father and His Son Jesus administrate their authority toward us and how we respond to circumstances.

Have you been going through unusual pressure, a challenge to your faith, or a test in your soul? We are a part of something taking place on a much larger scale, not only of God’s purposes in us, but as a result of the adversary’s attack and efforts to oppress hope.

The ferocity of lion-like times

In verse 8, the text refers to a “lion” as the stealth and brutality with which people are crept upon and then suddenly taken. In Revelation 12, the Bible describes the last times when there will come an intensity of the works of darkness. The Bible says prophetically that the adversary shall seek to wear out the saints (Daniel 7:24). All of us have been subjected to the soul-wearying barrage. We are told two things:

Cast your care upon the Lord because He cares for you (v. 7)
Resist the devil, being steadfast in the faith (v. 9).

Resisting the devil is not something you do mildly. We cannot approach the battle casually, but what gains the victory isn’t human energy, the tone of our voice or the dynamism with which a prayer is prayed. Our resistance is to be assertive, but it is the appeal for the divine power of God to enter into that situation that brings the victory. There is a stance of the soul in which you go to battle. The only way you resist the adversary is to gird up and mount an attack.

Seven ways to resist the devil

Here are seven practical things a believer can do that will yield victory when following the Biblical directive to “resist the devil.” This is not an exhaustive list, but seven useful means of spiritual warfare with appropriate biblical reference.

1.     The Power of Repentance (Matthew 4:17)

2.     The Heart of Forgiveness (Matthew 6:12)

3.     The Spirit of Praise (Psalm 149:6-9)

4.     The Cross (Colossians 2:14-15)

5.     The Triumph of His Name (Philippians 2:9-11)

6.     The River of the Spirit (John 7:37-38)

7.     The Song of the Lord (Psalm 32:7)

1. The Power of Repentance

(Matthew 4:17) Trial, difficulty or pressure has a way of making us take a fresh inventory of where we aren’t, as well as where we are. Repentance has to do with your personal response to that. The problem is that most of us tend to feel condemned or disqualified by it. To whatever degree your point of failure may be true, God never surfaces violation, failure or neglect to your understanding either to condemn or disqualify. He does so in order that you might repent, confess, have it cleared, and then move with the boldness of a son or daughter of God. But you do need to deal with it.

We are not only all sinners who need salvation, but all of us sin and need forgiveness. It’s amazing the number of things we do that we don’t even notice. They aren’t calculated or rebellious disobedience; just things of neglect or things we let creep in. When Jesus says “Repent,” He says, for the kingdom—the rule, the order, the power, the sovereign might—of God is at hand. It’s right there, ready to move in on your behalf. So repent because the kingdom’s here right now, and waiting for you. That’s the power of repentance—instant kingdom.

2. The Heart of Forgiveness

(Matthew 6:12) Midway in the Lord’s prayer, Jesus teaches us to pray these words: As I have been forgiven, I will be a forgiver. The power of forgiveness is that it allows for the flow of the Lord’s life to come to us.

The issue of forgiveness is essential if we are going to successfully resist the devil. It is tragic when a baby dies in the womb because its umbilical cord becomes knotted. As children of the Lord, we are linked with Him by a cord of grace He’s shown toward us. When we allow ourselves to have unforgiving attitudes toward other people, that cord becomes tangled, restricting the flow of His life toward us.

God does not grant us the license to sit in judgment, even as justified as we may be in our perspective. While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8). You and I would not have any hope if Jesus had insisted on God’s rights. Jesus bore God’s rightful judgment for us so that we could go free. Jesus says that once you see that grace shown toward you, then you are to bring to Him the ungraciousness, unkindness, or neglect by others. Your rights are to be left at Calvary.

Just as repentance makes the way for kingdom power, forgiveness makes room for the flow of grace and life into our circumstances.

3. The Spirit of Praise

(Psalm 149:6-9) This psalm describes the assault force of God’s people who go with praises and the Word of God. It uses graphic terms of binding up the adversary, chaining him where he sought to chain you.

A frontal attack of praise is awesome in its ability to break in on the adversary. If we could see it in the physical realm, there is no question you would see an adversary that is sent away slashed and bloodied. Nothing so affronts the adversary as the exaltation of the Living God. Praise is not just a superficial expression of exuberance. On the lips of a person under attack by the adversary, praise becomes a weapon of retaliation and assault.

The grounds for our praise are what God has promised and what He has done—what has been accomplished on the Cross.

4. The Cross

All victory is on the basis of the Cross. The mouth of the empty tomb shouts forth the validity of the Cross. If the Cross had not accomplished the breaking of the powers of sin and Satan, the grave would still be sealed.

Colossians 2:14-15 says that in Christ’s Cross, two things were accomplished:

  • The blotting out of all record against us for our sins because He bore them for us; and
  • He made an open show, or a “spectacle” of the devil. Literally the picture is of an ancient monarch who has gained victory over an adversary, and parades the conquered king through the streets in humiliation and embarrassment.

If through the Cross the powers of hell were broken, how is it that hell seems to succeed so effectively now? That’s because:

  • God has sustained this era of grace to extend the possibility of salvation to the multitude He’s gathering to Himself, notwithstanding the ferocious works of hell that are still allowed.
  • Hell only is able to perpetrate its program where it is not resisted.

What if you’ve resisted the devil and didn’t get instant victory? The process of resisting the devil (James 4:7) does not always accomplish the victory by the simple moment of assertion. The way that the adversary lays siege to the soul is often the way ancient conquerors would encircle city kingdoms and then seek to cut off their supply by ensconcing themselves against that city. Sometimes it takes time for sufficient resistance to break the attack.

We all prefer seeing the instant scattering of the works of darkness. But when it doesn’t happen that way, it’s not a matter of God being on your case, but of Him bringing us along the way of learning the process. The “muscle tone” of our faith grows under those kinds of circumstances, and we learn the wisdom of God’s time even in, through, and beyond it.

Inevitably you will see the breakthrough of grace, just as surely as night passes and the dawn comes, and then high noon. But there needs to be resistance in order for that to be realized.

Praise the Lord on the grounds of the Cross, declaring the blood of Jesus, taking that as your mantle of covering. Partake of the Lord’s table in your home from time to time. To be “under the blood” means to come under the covering of authority of what was accomplished at Calvary. It is the instrument by which the powers of hell were broken, and so we declare the victory through the Cross.

5. The Triumph of His Name

(Philippians 2:9-11) Embodied in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, the Son of the Living God, is not only the character of God, but the conquering power of God. The Bible says in this passage of Scripture that because of His triumph, God has given Him a name above every name, an authority and dominion above every other power.

Put the name of Jesus on your lips. The adversary must yield to the power of the name of Jesus which has been entrusted to us (Acts 3:6). Resist through the use of His name.

6. The River of the Spirit

(John 7:37-39) At the great feast of tabernacles commemorating the ancient time when water broke forth in the wilderness and the miracle of God’s deliverance from Egypt took place, Jesus stood and shouted out these words: He that believes on Me, out of his inner being will flow rivers of living water. Then John explains He is speaking about the Holy Spirit.

Jesus, who spoke those words just months before His crucifixion, rose from the dead, ascended to the right hand of the Father on high, and at Pentecost, poured out His Spirit as prophesied, so the river was opened within every one.

The Lord birthed His church with the flow of a river that included a language of communication that Paul, in his epistle to the Corinthians said, He that speaks in an unknown language is speaking to God.

There is an unrestricted flow of communication with an edifying value that bursts forth in the spiritual language. More than anything else, it is a language of praise. When you pray in the Spirit, you let the river gush forth, opening up streams into the desert of your circumstance.

7. The Song of the Lord

(Psalm 32:7) However dark it is, however binding and pressing the circumstance, the Lord wants to give a song, beyond whatever it is that seeks to stifle your joy. The song of the Lord introduces a divine power that is unexplainable except that the Bible enjoins us from every facet. Singing brings:

  • Understanding (Colossians 3:16);
  • Fullness of the Spirit (Ephesians 5:18-19);
  • Release where you face darkness and imprisonment (Acts 15:25-26)

The song of the Lord can be sung with songs you know, or it can be songs that you make yourself. If you’re a monotone, the song of the Lord was made for you. You don’t have to have a good voice or be on anything but one note. The song of the Lord is a key means of resisting the devil.

Resist the devil. You’ve got seven ways to do it.



3 Responses to “Seven Ways to Resist the Devil”

  1. kwabena Brako on April 4th, 2015 2:27 am

    God richly bless u all

  2. Naokahao on July 14th, 2015 12:25 pm

    Very practical and very true. Appreciate your sermon.

  3. michael cooper on August 10th, 2015 5:57 pm

    I really need prayer to stay good and live as God wants me to

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