HOW TO DEFEAT THE DEVIL (By Janine Mick Wills)
Do you want to know how to defeat the Devil? I don’t mean defeat him occasionally. I mean send ol’ Smutty Face headin’ for the hills!
Well, pull up a chair and get cozy. I’ll tell you.
Can you imagine the Minnesota Vikings (I’m a HUGE Viking fan!) taking the field without their helmets? You’d say, “That’s crazy. They’re going to get hurt if they don’t wear their entire uniform!”
How many times do we attempt to battle Satan and forget part of our uniform? I’m sure you know where this is heading – Ephesians 6:11-17 and the whole armor of God. Without it we will not “be able to stand against the wiles of the devil” (vs. 11).
The six pieces of this armor:
- Loins girt with truth
- Breastplate of righteousness
- Feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace
- Shield of faith
- Helmet of salvation
- Sword of the Spirit
And though not a piece of the armor, let’s add the 7th element found in verse 18 for even more protection:
- Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.
A medieval jousting armor weighed up to 110 pounds. A knight without it met certain death, but moving in it could not be easy! According to Wikipediea, “…the only limiting factor being the maximum weight that could be carried by a warhorse of the period.”
Just as a medieval knight needed help toting his armor around, we need help using our spiritual armor. Only we don’t need a war horse; we need God (James 4:7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.)
Please note. We must submit to God first. We show our submission by wearing that six-piece, spiritual armor (with a side arm of prayer).
Why do we need the whole armor of God?
- We are at war with the Devil – Ephesians 6:11, 12
I’m sure I don’t need to tell you that Satan is our enemy (Matthew 13:39), the accuser of the brethren (Revelation 12:10), and wants to destroy us (1 Peter 5:8).
- We are soldiers of the Cross – 2 Timothy 2:3, 4
My brother was killed in the Viet Nam War and many members of me and Jeff’s family (including Jeff) have served in the military. I take pride in the American flag and members of our armed forces.
But as a Christian, our call is even higher. Our Commander-in-Chief is none other than the Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Timothy 2:3 calls us a “good soldier of Jesus Christ” when we “endure hardness” for the cause of Christ. The next verse (vs. 4) says Christ choose us to be His soldiers. What a privilege!
- Our weapons are spiritual, not carnal – 2 Corinthians 10:4
Since our war with Satan takes place on a spiritual battlefield, we must use spiritual weapons. We cannot fight the Devil alone. That is why God gave us Ephesians 6:11-18.
Where the Devil attacks and how to defeat him:
- Where does the Devil attack? The Truth (perverts God’s truths) How to defeat him? Girt your loins with the truth (Ephesians 6:14)
The Devil is a deceiver (Revelation 20:10). He will lie, delete, and twist Scripture to keep people from being saved and to cause God’s people to sin.
More than ever, Christians need the truth of God’s Word. It keeps us from sin and also sets us apart from the world and its evil (John 17:17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth).
- Where does the Devil attack? Our righteousness (a form of righteousness) How to defeat him? Put on the breastplate of righteousness (Ephesian 6:14)
The scribes and Pharisees received scathing remarks from Christ concerning their hypocrisy. He called them “whited sepulchers” and “full of dead men’s bones” (Matthew 23:27).
Sometimes we don an air of spiritual righteousness, when deep down we know we’re not right with God. If this happens, immediately claim 1 John 1:9 and get back into your spiritual warfare (If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness).
- Where does the Devil attack? The Gospel (lack of a witness) How to defeat him? Shod your feet with the preparation of the Gospel (Ephesians 6:15)
I must admit. Witnessing to strangers is not easy. I’m such a people-pleaser and hate to upset anyone. But I must leave my comfort zone and tell people about my Lord. Not only has He commanded it (Matthew 28:19, 20), but when I work up the courage, it brings me great joy (Psalm 126:6 He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him).
- Where does the devil attack? Faith (by making us doubt) How to defeat him? Take the shield of faith (Ephesians 6:16)
Without faith it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6), so it makes perfect sense the Devil would try to foil ours. Faith is believing God and taking Him at His Word (Hebrews 11:1). It’s submission to His will and not ours. When our faith waivers, we are as a wind-driven wave (James 1:6) and prime real estate of which the Devil can park.
Since “faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17). We need to immerse ourselves in God’s Word and count on its strength.
- Where does the Devil attack? Salvation (does not want people saved) How to defeat him? Put on the helmet of salvation (Ephesians 6:17)
If the Vikings played the Green Bay Packers and Aaron Rodgers (Green Bay’s quarterback) moseyed over to the Minnesota sideline, Mike Zimmer (Minnesota’s coach) would give him the boot. Aaron doesn’t belong there.
The same holds true for an unsaved person. She does not possess the spirit of God and belong on His “team” (Romans 8:9). God owes that person nothing but a chance to accept Christ (Yes. It does rain on the just and the unjust, but that’s because the unjust go outside when it rains too!).
If you’ve never asked Jesus to come into your heart and save you, please click here: “How to Know You Have Eternal Life”.
- Where does the Devil attack? God’s Word (with lies and false ministers) How to defeat him? Take the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God (Ephesians 6:17)
To combat the Devil, we need to hide God’s Word in our hearts. This help us live a godly life and do right (Psalm 119:9, 11). Plus, the Bible warns of those who don’t speak the truth. We need to mark and avoid them (Romans 16:17).
Lastly, while Ephesians 6:11-17 does not name prayer as part of our spiritual armor, verse 18 tacks it on as a P.S. It does little good to suit up, but not be prayed up.
- Always praying (1 Thessalonians 5:17)
- Praying with supplication (the action of asking or begging for something earnestly or humbly) Philippians 4:6
- Praying in the Holy Spirit (This can only be done if our hearts are right with the Lord. Otherwise, the Holy Spirit is grieved. Ephesians 4:30)
- Watching in steadfast perseverance (1 Peter 5:9 says we can resist Satan with steadfast faith.)
- Praying for the saints (There’s more strength in numbers. We need to also pray for the spiritual battles faced by our brothers and sisters in Christ.)
We are more than conquerors in Christ (Romans 8:37). So, put that armor on and let’s go forth unto battle!
“Sound the Battle Cry”
Sound the battle cry!
See! the foe is nigh!
Raise the standard high
For the Lord:
Gird your armor on,
Stand firm ev’ry one;
Rest your cause upon his holy Word.
Rouse, then, soldiers!
Rally round the banner!
Ready, steady, pass the word along;
Shout aloud, hosanna!
Christ is captain of the mighty throng!
– William F. Sherwin