God wants us to be happy and at peace. The devil does not. I hate the devil, and won’t even give him the dignity of capitalizing his name. Every person who walks the planet deals with temptations, lies and afflictions from that jerk. While God is trying to draw us closer to Himself and give us the joy that comes from knowing Him, the devil tries to ruin our relationship with the One we were made for. This is commonly called ‘spiritual warfare’ by Christians.
As someone who is earnestly seeking God I encounter spiritual warfare all the time. Sometimes I emerge victorious and sometimes I fail and let it set me back. Unfortunately I’m not a perfect model of someone who always responds to the devil’s attacks in the right way. But the Bible has taught me a few things about how to live in victory and I would like to share them.
“The truth shall set you free” –John 8:32
Lies are some of the devil’s most commonly used weapons. He is called the father of lies for a reason. In his debut on Earth, he told Eve a lie, which led to the first sin. You can trace most of your problems back to believing lies. If we feel distant from God, it is because we don’t know how truly close to Him we are (1 Corinthians 3:16). If we are afraid that something won’t turn out well, it is because we aren’t believing the truth that God works all things for our good (Romans 8:28). This is why Paul says in Romans 12:2 to “be transformed by the renewal of your minds,” and Jesus says “the truth shall set you free,” (John 8:32). When we read the Word of God and learn the truth, it will renew our minds and set us free from the lies we are fed. So my first piece of spiritual warfare advice: read the Bible and learn the truth.
“He has rescued us from the domain of darkness and has transferred us into the kingdom of His beloved Son” –Colossians 1:13
My second piece of advice is a little simpler: know that the victory has already been won. I won’t go into detail, but let’s just say that there have been times when I felt the mean red guys with pitchforks afflicting me. Despite my best efforts and prayers, the afflictions wouldn’t stop. Funny enough, the thing that made them go away was the realization of what Colossians 1:13 means. We are not under the power of darkness! God has delivered us from it. When we hold on to this truth it becomes harder for the devil to convince us that we are under his power, and his only choice is to depart from us.
God has delivered us. The real war was already won on the cross. Let’s walk through life with our heads held high in the face of affliction, knowing that we can walk through it victoriously. Oh yeah- and let’s stomp the devil.