In being a new believer in Christ, we must learn to resist the enemy and consistently resist him every day of our lives. Resist means the refusal to accept or comply with something; the attempt to prevent something by action or argument. To resist the Devil, we must have grace from God to equip us for the fight. We also must be readily able to recognize the enemy.
Obtaining grace from God is the direct result of my submission, obedience and humbling myself to him. James 4:6, "But he (God) giveth more grace. Wherefore he says, God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble". Grace is the power or virtue to overcome and refuse to accept or comply with the enemy. Grace is also my teacher. Grace teaches me what is Godly and what is ungodly. Grace teaches me to obey the good and deny or resist the bad (Titus 2:11-12). God promises to give us more grace when we humbly ask and when we are obedient.
Consider how humility and pride are very different. Humility is a modest or low view of one's own importance. But, pride is the quality of having an excessively high opinion of oneself or one's own importance. These two words are in stark contrast to one another. I exercise humility when I consider my own abilities and opinions ineffective in comparison to God's wisdom and authority. In fact, God's way is the highest and best solution for any situation we may face in life. On the other hand, pride takes advantage of me when I think I know best. Notice how God is not in the picture of pride, it is all about ME. The Bible warns us that, Pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall ~ Proverbs 16:18. We must be convinced, that God's way is best. A humble attitude will assist me to obey God and do things his way.
James 4:7 begins with this directive, Submit yourselves to God. In other words, we must yield to God's divine authority and his holy will — in all things. Before we can successfully resist the Devil, we must submit ourselves to God. To submit means to accept or yield to a superior force or to the authority or will of another. When we do this, God's grace will be poured out to us in great measure. If we do not submit to God, he will withdraw grace and we will not be able to resist the temptations of the Devil.
As for recognizing the Devil, it is sometimes easier than we think. There are many scriptures to help us, but let us start with two. The first scripture is found in John 10:10a, The thief comes not, but for to STEAL and to KILL and to DESTROY.... The thief is the Devil. Recognize that when he comes on the scene, he comes for one or all three of these motives: steal, kill and destroy. Think spiritually, not so much literally. He wants to destroy our faith in God. Without faith, it will be impossible to please God and the Devil knows this (Hebrews 11: 6). He wants to steal our joy and our peace. Through lies and accusations, he attempts to discourage us and prevent us from enjoying our salvation. Keep in mind he is the great deceiver. He will attempt to sow seeds of doubt any way he is able. He will attack our thought life with lies. He will even use the truth of a situation and twist it all around, to make us think we are at fault. It is so important not to listen to the devil. Know that when he speaks; he speaks lies. Cast down any thoughts he may bring that are contrary to good. Let the Devil know you recognize him and resist him by the grace and help of God.
Another scripture that will help us to recognize the enemy is found in 1 Corinthians 14:33, God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all the churches of the Saints. God is the author of PEACE and NOT the author of confusion. The Devil is the author of CONFUSION. James 3:16 will help us to prove this. The Bible says, For where envying and strife is, there is CONFUSION and every evil work. Envy, strife and confusion are evil works. They are devilish according to James 3:14-15. Also, the word confusion means the state of being bewildered or unclear in one's mind about something. Confusion can be a state of mind. Confusion can also mean the absence of peace and order. The thief loves to attack our peace of mind and sense of order. The Bible teaches us to let all things be done decently and in order (1 Corinthians 14:40). If we meditate in the word of God and hide it in our hearts, we will not be defeated.
We have been talking quite a bit lately about how to fight this good fight of faith in our New B's classes. This article will give us more of God's word to use in the daily battles. We hope this was helpful. By God's grace let us begin to exercise what we have learned now about how to recognize and resist the Devil.
God Bless You!
Blessed be the Lord my strength, which teaches my hands to war and my fingers to fight.~ Psalm 144:1