VIDEO Facing A Satanic Attack

How does a person resist the Devil? Why does resisting the Devil cause him to flee?

Whether as accuser, adversary, or destroyer, it is clear that the Devil is the enemy of God and God’s people (Job 1—2Zechariah 3:1–2Ephesians 2:21 John 5:19Revelation 12:9). Having been created by God as the chief amongst angelic beings, the Devil would not abide his station but instead tried to usurp God Almighty. The Devil’s pride and covetousness were his undoing. God cast the Devil out of heaven along with the rebellious angels, whom we now know as demons. Because of their rebellion, the Devil and his demons will spend eternity in the lake of fire prepared for them (Matthew 25:41). Ever since his ejection from the heavenly sphere, the Devil has made it his purpose to destroy the works of God (John 10:10). He began with his assiduous assault on Adam and Eve, who were the pinnacle of God’s creation on earth. Taking the form of a serpent, he tempted Adam and Eve to distrust God’s goodness and steal the one thing that God had forbidden them (Genesis 3Revelation 12:9). In doing so, the Devil succeeded in getting mankind to imitate his own pride and selfish greed. Upon mankind’s fall from grace, God promised to send One who would overcome the destruction wrought by the Devil. This promised Redeemer would crush the serpent’s head and reverse the curse of death and damnation (Genesis 3:15). This, God did by sending His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, to suffer and die for the sins of those who would believe in Him, and rise victoriously over death three days later. Whereas Satan brought a curse, Christ is the cure. Whereas Satan possessed a serpent to bring death, Christ is likened to the serpent who brings life (John 3:14–15). Christ has conquered the Devil. Although an angelic being, the Devil is a defeated finite creature. Although his sentence had been pronounced, the execution of that sentence lies in the future.

While awaiting his judgment, the Devil seeks to inflict as much damage as is possible while he is still free to roam the earth. In fact, Scripture compares him to a lion roaming about seeking someone to devour. As such, we must always be alert and on guard against his wiles and tactics (1 Peter 5:8). God commands us to resist the Devil and promises, if we do so, that the Devil will run away from us. James 4:7 says, “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” So, what does it mean to resist the Devil, and why must he flee?

First, it is of primary importance to point out that we resist the Devil by the power of God, not our own (Zechariah 4:6John 15:52 Corinthians 12:9). God has given His Spirit, the Spirt of Christ, to all who are trusting in Christ for salvation (Romans 8:9). The same Spirit that enabled Christ to successfully ward off the Devil’s forty-day campaign in the desert has been given to believers (Mark 1:13). The first step to resisting the Devil is submitting to God. We are made right with God through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, and then in our lives we submit to Him by responding to the Holy Spirit’s work in our lives. Additionally, God has not left us defenseless in our battle against that ancient evil dragon but has provided us with a complete set of armor (Ephesians 6:10–20). God has given us the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, gospel shoes, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, the sword of the Spirit, and prayer.

The truth of God’s Word, the sword of the Spirit, acts as both a defensive and offensive weapon. God’s truth protects us from the Devil’s lies and is used to proclaim the truth of the gospel. Our loins are to be girded with truth, meaning that the truth of God provides stability and core support. A “belt” is also a place where flowing tunics could be gathered up to enable feet to move freely. God’s truth gives us not only structure and support, but freedom to not be entangled (John 8:31–33Hebrews 12:1–2). It is because of God’s truth that we know we are made righteous in Christ, and through His truth that we live out this righteousness in practice. The righteousness that comes through faith in Christ acts as a breastplate and shield to protect us from the Devil’s assaults to our hearts (Romans 3:22Philippians 1:11). The gospel shoes give us peace, which helps enable us to stand firm and also to move in the direction God calls. The shield of faith enables us to “extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one” (Ephesians 6:16). When Satan accuses us or tempts us to doubt God, faith acts as our protector. The helmet of salvation secures our minds. First Corinthians 2:16 says that “we have the mind of Christ.” Romans 12:2 tells us to “be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” The helmet of salvation assures us that we are eternally saved by God. And it also functions as a sort of ongoing salvation in delivering us from the power of sin. When our minds are secure in Christ, we can better resist the Devil. An often forgotten weapon in the battle against the Devil is prayer. In some of the most crucial moments in the life of Christ, He prepared Himself through prayer (Matthew 26:36–46Hebrews 5:7).

All of these spiritual weapons are wielded by believers in the power of the Spirit through faith in Jesus Christ. God has provided everything we need to defend ourselves against the cunning and devious attacks of he who disguises himself as an angel of light (2 Peter 1:32 Corinthians 11:14). It is by faith in Christ and in the power of the Spirit that we overcome both the world and the Devil (1 John 5:4–5). We resist the Devil when, like Christ, we resist temptation. We resist the Devil by refusing to worship anyone or anything other than God (Matthew 4:8–10). We resist the Devil by refusing to put God to the test by being careless and reckless in our spiritual lives (Matthew 4:5–7). We resist the Devil by living on the very Word of God and not merely on bread (Matthew 4:2–4).

Finally, why must the Devil flee when we resist him in this manner? Simply put, the Devil must flee when we resist him with spiritual weapons because He who lives in us (Jesus Christ) is greater than the Devil (1 John 4:4). Just as the demons cower and shriek in frightful terror before the presence of Christ, the Devil must flee from us when we resist him because Christ dwells in us (Matthew 8:29Romans 8:10Colossians 1:27). Christ has triumphed over the Devil’s attacks and accusations by defeating the powers of sin and death (1 Corinthians 15:54–57). When the Devil accuses a Christian of sin and guilt, the Christian can appeal to the blood of Christ (Ephesians 2:13Hebrews 9:26). When the Devil attacks a Christian with doubts about God’s promises and goodness, the Christian can counter with the sword of the Spirit. God has thoroughly equipped the believer in Christ to resist the Devil and cause him to flee.

https://www.compellingtruth.org/resist-devil.html


Facing a Satanic Attack – Dr. Charles Stanley

Hope Blossoms

The desert and the parched land will be glad; the wilderness will rejoice and blossom. Isaiah 35:1

 

In the city of Philadelphia, when weedy vacant lots were cleaned up and brightened with beautiful flowers and trees, nearby residents also brightened in overall mental health. This proved especially true for those who struggled economically.

“There’s a growing body of evidence that green space can have an impact on mental health,” said Dr. Eugenia South, “and that’s particularly important for people living in poorer neighborhoods.” South, a faculty member at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine, is coauthor of a study on the subject.

The downtrodden people of Israel and Judah found fresh hope in the prophet Isaiah’s vision of their beautiful restoration by God. Amid all the doom and judgment Isaiah foretold, this bright promise took root: “The desert and the parched land will be glad; the wilderness will rejoice and blossom. Like the crocus, it will burst into bloom; it will rejoice greatly and shout for joy” (Isaiah 35:1–2).

No matter our situation today, we too can rejoice in the beautiful ways our heavenly Father restores us with fresh hope, including through His creation. When we feel down, reflecting on His glory and splendor will bolster us. “Strengthen the feeble hands, steady the knees that give way,” Isaiah encouraged (v. 3).

Can a few flowers rekindle our hope? A prophet said yes. So does our hope-giving God.

By:  Patricia Raybon

Reflect & Pray

When you feel hopeless, how do you usually respond? How could spending time outdoors in God’s creation transform your despair to renewed hope in God?

Dear God, thank You for the splendor of Your creation, pointing me to Your glory, and reviving my hope in You.

For encouragement, read Hope: Choosing Faith Instead of Fear at discoveryseries.org/q0733.

Growing Faith

2 Thessalonians 1:3-5

God’s desire is that we grow in faith as we walk with Him. Faith is not merely a one-time event through which we were saved; rather, it’s a continuous way of life from the point of salvation forward. Ideally, the longer we live, the greater our confidence in God should become.

Our degree of faith in the Lord affects every area of our life—our thoughts, attitudes, prayers, and behavior. And trials often reveal just how much we trust Him. When we face afflictions, do we notice only the suffering and impossibilities, or do we see the greatness of our heavenly Father, who controls all these situations?

Faith also has the power to influence emotions. When our minds are filled with doubts about God, anxiety and fear rush in. Instead of resting in Christ, we fuss and fume, trying to anticipate all possible outcomes and solve every problem in our own strength.

But when God’s Word is the foundation for our thoughts, we’ll find that His love, sovereignty, and wisdom become our focus. And as our confidence in the Father grows, we’ll find ourselves depending on Him more. Then difficulties won’t shake us as easily because His peace and joy will guard our heart and our mind.

The Logical Milk

“As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby.” (1 Peter 2:2)

This exhortation is directed to young Christians who have only recently trusted God’s enduring Word, preached to them in the saving gospel of Christ.

Because of this miracle of regeneration just experienced, a new Christian must now “[lay] aside [the verb form here means to ‘lay aside once and for all’] all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies” (1 Peter 2:1) and partake—as babes—of the “milk of sincerity.” The word for “sincere” means, literally, “without guile,” so he/she must now build all future progress in his/her new life not on guile but on guilelessness!

The phrase “of the word” is especially noteworthy. This is not the usual word for “word” (Greek logos) but a closely related word (logikos) from which we get our words “logic” and “logical.” It is used only one other time in the New Testament, where it is rendered “reasonable” in the classic passage dealing with “your reasonable service” (Romans 12:1).

Thus, Peter is talking about partaking of a spiritual milk that is both logical and without guile. This can be nothing else (as seen in the context) than the incorruptible, eternal, regenerating Word of God and the living Word (Jesus Christ) revealed therein.

Now, the Lord Jesus is surely logical, for He is “the truth” (John 14:6). In this same chapter, Peter also notes that Christ was without guile (1 Peter 2:22). These attributes must be equally true of His written Word. The Scriptures are not full of secret meanings that only specially trained interpreters can fathom. They are sincere, meaning precisely what they say! Neither are they naive and unscientific but fully logical and correct in everything they say. Therefore, they are genuine spiritual nourishment for babes in Christ and will certainly enable them to “grow thereby.” HMM

Just Trying to Decide

(For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.)

—2 Corinthians 6:2

 

This is so desperately a matter of importance for every human being who comes into the world that I first become indignant, and then I become sad, when I try to give spiritual counsel to a person who looks me in the eye and tells me: “Well, I am trying to make up my mind if I should accept Christ or not.”

Such a person gives absolutely no indication that he realizes he is talking about the most important decision he can make in his lifetime—a decision to get right with God, to believe in the eternal Son, the Savior, to become a disciple, an obedient witness to Jesus Christ as Lord.

How can any man or woman, lost and undone, sinful and wretched, alienated from God, stand there and intimate that the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and God’s revealed plan of salvation do not take priority over some of life’s other decisions?   CES156

Lord, give us boldness to share this vital message with anyone with whom we come in contact who may be facing a Christless eternity. Amen.

 

Reaping Follows Sowing

Good understanding giveth favour: but the way of transgressors is hard.

—Proverbs 13:15

 

We may sow to the flesh if we will. There will be no interference from above. Thus to sow is our privilege—if we want to reap the harvest of corruption which must inevitably follow, a harvest no man in his right mind could deliberately choose.

No, the snare lies in choosing the pleasures of sowing with the secret hope that in some way we can escape the sorrows of the reaping; but never since the beginning of the world has it been possible to separate the one from the other.

The way to deal with a law of God is to work along with it. By faith and obedience we can put every divine law to work for us. And the law of sowing and reaping may be brought to our service and made to toil for our everlasting good.

So kind is God and so thoughtful of His creatures. NCA086-087

Disobedience always leads to danger. The way of wrong is the way of peril; the way of transgressors is hard. God has said so, and you can never make it otherwise. CTBC, Vol. 4/598

 

A Summer Reverie

Acts 17:27-28

 

God is near—so very near!

I see Him in the rising of the sun,

in the glow of an open fire,

in the busy scurrying of a little mouse,

in the radiant beauty of a wild flower.

God is near—I know He’s near!

I hear Him in the stillness of the early dawn,

in the plaintive cooing of a dove,

in the carefree laughter of a child,

in the patter of the rain on parched ground.

It must be true that God is near!

I feel Him in the companionship of many friends,

in the unqualified love of my family,

in the tender, prodding voice of conscience,

in the inspiring wisdom of His word.

Yes, God is near—so very near!

And yet, although His love I see,

a timeless question puzzles me.

With evidence like this about,

how can it be that men still doubt?

Dorothy E. Breen, It’s Beautiful!