“Get out of here, Satan.” ~Jesus
See Matthew 4:10
“YOU’RE A LOSER!”
“YOU’LL NEVER AMOUNT TO ANYTHING!”
“YOU’RE A DRUNK!”
“YOU’RE A CHEAT!”
“YOU’RE A DRUG ADDICT!”
“YOU’RE THE SAME AS YOU’VE ALWAY BEEN!”
“YOU’RE A PHONEY!”
“YOU’RE A BAD PARENT!”
“NOBODY LOVES YOU!”
“YOU’RE A HOT HEAD!”
“YOU’RE AN IDIOT!”
“YOU’RE GETTING WHAT YOU DESERVE!”
“YOU’RE A TERRIBLE CHRISTIAN!”
…These are common phrases from Satan. Sometimes these words come as thoughts, and at other times they come from people who are heavily influenced by Satan. So what should we do about it?
WE MUST RECOGNIZE HIS VOICE AND SPEAK BACK! DO NOT AGREE WITH HIM!
I was on a morning jog the other day, and all of a sudden I had a really bad thought which came out of nowhere. It was totally out of character so I said to myself, “Where is this coming from?” Almost immediately the Holy Spirit spoke up and said, “That’s not coming from you. That thought is coming from the enemy. Ignore it.”
I was like, “Yep! You don’t stand a chance devil, get lost. I’m not going there,” and I kept on running. I had made the correct choice by agreeing with Christ in me, and disagreeing with the thought that the devil had placed in my mind. I could have easily agreed with it, and then chased it down for the rest of the day–but nope! Instead, I spoke back with the truth!
Trespassing into our thought life is not a new strategy for our enemy. He even tried the same barrage on Jesus in Matthew chapter 4. However, each time he lied to Jesus, Jesus spoke back! Notice that Jesus didn’t argue with him, but instead, He spoke the truth to this trouble-making idiot. The devil hates the truth. He will attempt to use everyone around you–especially those who want nothing to do with Jesus–to try to get you to believe his lies.
What are his lies? Any thought that makes you feel worthless, not good enough, furious, depressed, anxious, used, overlooked, self-righteous, better-than, stuck in your past, fearful, greedy, lazy, jealous, condemned, unloved, unliked, hated, resented, codependent, addicted, or not completely forgiven–these are the lies from our enemy or from one of the demons who do his bidding.
The Bible says “we are not battling against flesh and blood, but against spirits and principalities of the heavenly realms” (see Ephesians 6:12). There is a spiritual world, just the same as there is a physical world. If you are a Christian who doesn’t realize this, allow me to dump a cold bucket of water on your face, “WAAAAAAAAAAAKE UP! MY GOODNESS! PLEASE, WAKE UP!”
Right now, as human beings, we are in the middle of both the spiritual world and the physical world because we are both spirit and body. The devil is constantly walloping our physical lives through the spiritual world. He is doing everything he possibly can do, in order to lure you into doing things his way. He is evil! And sometimes he makes his evil look like a great option! In addition, he wants to compound his evil by baiting you into reacting with even more evil!
Paul knew this about Satan and that’s why he told the Roman Christians to “overcome evil with good” (see Romans 12:21). For me, this was life-changing even though at first I fought it! In the beginning, I didn’t want to overcome evil with good–I WANTED TO GET PEOPLE BACK! The sin of my flesh and my unrenewed mindsets did anyway; but not the real me.
“What?! You mean I’m supposed to be kind to them?! Are you serious?! How could you ask this of me when you know what they’ve done?! God, how could you possibly expect me to put up with such pain and not attack them back?!
He replied, “Look to the Cross, and stay focused on what Jesus did, for you.”
“BUT IT’S NOT FAIR! I DON’T DESERVE THIS! IT HURTS SO MUCH!”
“I know it does. You’ll be fine, just give it time. I’m strengthening you through this. You have all you need to pass these tests, my grace is sufficient for you.”
Friend, as we begin to fight the devil how God wants us to, rather than by our old methods (fighting evil with evil), eventually we begin to understand our value as well as the value of others. So when we do have a battle, we don’t fight with gossip or hurtful retaliations. Instead, we fight like this: “I love you, but I’m no longer putting up with this as normal–your choices are not okay. A change must happen in your actions and attitudes because you are effecting my life, and the lives of others, very negatively. Healthy changes will happen, or our relationship will not be the same. Please take my requests seriously, because that’s exactly what they are.”
This is just one example of how to overcome evil with good, and as you can see, God’s fighting style is so much better than us throwing a sinful fit as we attempt to force healthy changes in the actions and attitudes of others. Confrontations are coming, so expect them and don’t back down!
As you confront, simply allow the Holy Spirit to guide your thoughts and words during those confrontations. If you feel yourself starting to react by the sin of your flesh or by a section of your unrenewed mind–stop. Just be quiet. Nothing good will come from you at that point. Let your emotions die down and cool off. Regroup, stop confronting, and forgive yourself quickly.
But remember: Plan on confronting again later. And next time, allow the Spirit to guide you into that confrontation deeper. He is with you, so listen for Him. But more than anything, never stop confronting the unacceptable behavior of others which impacts YOUR LIFE negatively. Jesus confronted people all the time–out of love–and they too didn’t always like it.
So as you learn how to confront people with respect (both for them and for you) you’ll begin to notice yourself organically growing Fruit of the Spirit, which is: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control! (See Galatians 5:22-23). From that point on, as you continue to water that fruit by walking in God’s grace, you will naturally and easily defeat Satan on a regular basis! HE STANDS NO CHANCE AGAINST YOU BECAUSE CHRIST IS IN YOU!
A prayer for you: Father, I want to thank you for the gift of Christ’s power within me. Because of Him, Satan is already defeated for good! That’s EXACTLY what happened at the Cross! He knows his days are numbered, and that’s why he attacks us–BUT WE HAVE OVERCOME SATAN BY FAITH IN CHRIST’S BLOOD, AS WELL AS BY OUR TESTIMONIES! Right now, I lift up all who are reading this, directly to you. Help them begin to recognize the lies that are coming from hell, and give them the grace to combat those lies with the truth of their spiritual perfection! In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.
This devotional is from 60 Days for Jesus, Volume 1. Get your copy here!