“The evening meal was being served, and the devil had already prompted Judas Iscariot, son of Simon, to betray Jesus.”
I’m not gonna lie, I used to think that it’s weird to talk about the devil–even as a Christian.
“That’s just creepy.”
Also, I didn’t want to be known as someone who blames the devil for everything. However, as God began to open up my eyes to this spiritual instigator, I started to understand just how real he is, how he works best, and where he works best…in our minds.
Sure, the devil has physical powers–both, on his own, and through people (see Acts 19)–but that’s only for unbelievers. 1 John 5:18 makes clear that Satan can’t touch Christians. Therefore, his main conduit of tyranny in our lives is through our thoughts. We are always thinking something!
If you’ll glance at my opening verse of this devotional, you’ll see that the devil even had Judas “mentally ready” to betray Jesus. He had been working on Judas all day! It wasn’t until dinner time that he finally made his mind up to tell the Pharisees where Jesus was at in private. Satan even convinced him to do this at night just so they could arrest Jesus while everyone was at home.
WE MUST BEGIN TO RECOGNIZE THE DEVIL’S TACTICS–IN OUR MINDS!
Jesus said Satan only has three main goals: Steal, kill, destroy (see John 10:10). You can apply one or all three to any situation in your life and if it’s falling apart or strenuous the devil is hard at work in your mind and the mind of others!
But be careful. Don’t call people the devil, that doesn’t do any good. Jesus did this to Peter (see Matthew 16:23), and I’ve tried it–I did not get a favorable result. Learn from my mistake and keep that to yourself. It’s not the truth anyway, even if their behavior looks like it’s coming from hell. Some things only Jesus got to say, and that’s because He saw the spiritual world crystal-clear.
Remember: no matter what the actions and attitudes look like from others, we do not judge. We simply speak the truth with love and allow the Holy Spirit to teach us His discernment. We are to love others unconditionally while realizing healthy boundaries are a part of that love.
Here are a few tips I’ve learned when it comes to noticing our main enemy, his tactics, and what we can do to fight back against this pathetic butt-wipe:
- The devil and his cronies are extremely negative. “This is never going to work out, just give up.” “You’ve failed a thousand times, what makes you think you are going to be successful this time?” “You’ll never get out of debt.” “You’ll never be a good enough Christian.” “You’ll never break that addiction.” “You’re not really saved because you still sin, just look at you.” “You are a terrible Christian, give up.” “Your marriage is done, stop trying.” “You’ll never find a spouse.” “They’ve hurt you too many times, forgiveness won’t help anything.” “If you don’t have sex with them, they won’t love you. You need them.” “Your child will never straighten up.” “You are going to die.” “You have too much anxiety to function.” “You are going to lose your job.” “They hate you.” “Your business will fail.” “You’re a joke.” “You’re ugly.” “You’re fat.” “You’re not smart enough.” “You are the wrong color.” “You come from the wrong family.” “Nobody likes you.”…I could continue, but you get the gist. This demonic moron wants you to be extremely down-in-the-mouth, defeated, depressed, and negative–all day long. Therefore, he will bombard you with lies in your thoughts. Why? Because he knows if you will begin to be hopeful and positive in your mind, your entire life will change for the better! He knows if you will begin to speak out the promises of God, and just how special you really are, you will start to exude the character of Christ! Then you will begin to grow fruit of the Spirit! (See Galatians 5:22-23). So when a negative thought pops into your head, simply ask Jesus, “What do you think?” and He will begin to transform your mind!
- The devil will tempt you, severely. This turd-wagon has been studying the life of man for a loooooooooong time, it started with Adam and Eve. He saw what tempted them the best, and he presented it to them. They didn’t have to eat that one piece of fruit that God said “Don’t.” It was their choice! This continues today! Satan understands very well how to bait and trap us through temptation. And make no mistake, he knows you, personally. From the womb he’s been trying to kill you, and temptations are one of the things he lures you with. He even enticed many of your parents to get an abortion. The temptation of not having to go through a pregnancy or the difficulty of raising a child, this was something that many of you readers’ parents battled against. BUT HERE YOU ARE, LIVING! HE DIDN’T WIN! And now, he’s watched you closely since you were little. He understands your actions, reactions, likes, dislikes, tendencies, and he knows your temperament. The good news is, when it comes to temptation, you are in good company! The devil even tempted Jesus, get this, for 40 straight days! I have a hard time passing up Krispy Kreme once a week, and Jesus was stuck with this moron at a temptation retreat for over a month! (See Matthew 4:1-11). What’s interesting to me is that as he was tempting Jesus, the devil quoted Scripture–out of context–trying to get Him to break! Even Satan has memorized the Bible and he wants to use it against us by twisting it! How did Jesus respond? He didn’t argue or get upset, He simply quoted Scripture right back, but in the correct context.
- The devil wants you to live in fear. This might be his best weapon. If Lucifer and the demons of hell can make you afraid–you will stop dead in your tracks. I speak from experience. Fearful thoughts will cause you to forget who you are. Therefore, you’ll live a life of lies. You won’t change your incorrect actions and attitudes. You won’t spread the gospel. You won’t help others. You won’t forgive. You won’t use your gifts for God. You won’t allow Jesus to live through you. Fear will keep you stuck in a sorry, non-authentic, flimsy, blameful life. Fear is the opposite of faith, and if you’re a believer in Christ you have all the faith you’ll ever need! I’ve learned that just because I might feel fear, I can still move forward and be myself! Even if I have physical manifestations of fear, in which I have no control over–such as sweating, shaking, heart palpitations, or stammering–I can still move forward while afraid! That’s called courage! Courage is moving forward while feeling afraid! Courage is you doing all things through Christ who strengthens you! (See Philippians 4:13).
So today, my friends, know this: Jesus said He has given us power to overcome our enemy! (See Luke 10:19). That power is Christ in us! That power is our new spirits! That power is speaking the truth about who we are! We are God’s children! So stand up to him today! Don’t believe his lies! Watch what you say! Don’t fall into temptation! And most of all, don’t be afraid!
A prayer for you: Heavenly Father, I want to thank you for exposing the devil’s strategies to me. Your Word says in 1 John that Jesus’ main objective for coming to earth was to destroy the work of the devil, and I’m grateful. So now, help us to do the same! Help us to exude the confidence of Christ and STOMP on this snake’s head by being our true selves–holy saints! As we love others unconditionally and overcome evil with good, we are doing just that! By showing mercy, empathy, and forgiveness to absolutely everyone–including ourselves–the enemy stands no chance! In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.
This devotional is from 60 Days for Jesus, Volume 2. Get your copy here!