1 Peter 5:8
“Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.”
We live in a dark world where there is pain and oppression. Everywhere we go, we are faced with difficulties and struggles and worries. We can’t seem to find any rest. Even when we do get a bit of rest, we have nightmares. This is Satan, mainly his army of demons at work folks. This is exactly what he is working day and night to do.
If he can find a way into our lives, he will destroy us. It’s his only purpose. What does he gain? Well, in total, nothing. However, he is eternally cast out of God’s presence and will spend eternity in the pit of Hell. So, for this reason, he is bitter and wants us to follow him right into hell.
Related: The Devil Prowls Around Like A Lion
Of course, when he was a glorious angel in Heaven, he wanted others to praise and worship him. This led to his exile. But now, eternally separated from God, he still wants us to praise and worship him. He still wants to be glorified. How does he do this? By convincing us to live according to his spirit, and not God’s Spirit.
Does he come right out and tell us this is what he’s doing? No. Instead, through subtle deception, he works in our lives to create division between us and God. When we start living for self and only to please self, we are moving further away from God. This pleases Satan. When he see’s progress in us, that is, our obedience to him, he pushes even further – right to the end.
Satan comes into our lives through invitation, not force
We must understand that both Jesus and Satan don’t force their way into our lives. Both stand at our door and knock. It’s us who decides which one we let in. How does Satan knock? He is an enticer. He is a tempter. He is a liar.
When the enemy approaches us, he does it with cleverness. He comes to us with something that is tempting. He makes it appear shiny and glamorous and puts it just within our reach. So, we then put our focus and attention on the attainment of that thing, no matter the cost. This means if we must make poor choices to attain it, we will.
If he can’t get us with temptations, he will get us in our thinking. He tells partial truths. It comes across as harmless, but it’s not all good. This is his deceptive nature. When we do something only partially right, in God’s eyes, it’s fully wrong. The devil knows that this causes division between us and God.
When we get certain negative or destructive thoughts in our mind, we have two options: think about it more or eject the thought. If we eject the thought out of our mind, we are essentially slamming the door on the enemy’s face. When we take the thought and ponder it and essentially meditate on it, we are then opening the door for the enemy and inviting him in.
Many people think that Satan can just come and take them over, or, possess them. But this isn’t so. He will take us over or possess us, but only when we open the door to him. Something as subtle as watching a horror movie can open the door to an evil spirit to come into us. It doesn’t matter the doorway, if we do something that isn’t pleasing to God, we are opening a doorway to Satan.
Satan is a messy roommate
If we do leave a door open to the enemy and he comes in and makes his home in our lives, he will make a complete mess. The longer he gets to live there, the more damage he does. As he messes with our thinking, we can get to a point where we live only to get stuff. The attainment of stuff becomes our sole purpose. But this leads only to emptiness.
After some time of trying to acquire everything imaginable, we are left feeling empty, and maybe even in extreme debt. Debt is another open doorway to the enemy.
“Just as the rich rule the poor,
so the borrower is servant to the lender.”
The slave life is one where we aren’t able to make our own choices. We must do whatever we are told to do or forced to do. This is what debt does to us. When we have excessive debt, we lose our ability to give to others, to go places and be a blessing to others, and even to have nice things for our family. Instead, all we get is stress and frustration.
If the enemy can cause a family to fight over money, he will. Debt is the leading cause of divorce in North America. Remember; Satan is all about division. There are lots of people who can manage debt and stay on top, but this is playing with fire.
I have talked a lot about possessions and money, but this is because we easily make these gods in our lives. This is the biggest thing God hates. He will not tolerate competition. Satan knows this, so he pushes even harder.
The other way Satan messes up our lives is when he gets into our thinking and starts breaking down our self-image. As he tells us lies about how we aren’t any good or that we won’t amount to anything or that we are useless, we will start to give in. As we try things in life and fail, we see this as confirmation that we’re no good. Then he tells us that not even God could love us. This is the ultimate blow when we believe this. For many, this means eternal death apart from God.
We have the power to choose good or evil
Okay, so now that we have talked about the enemy’s power in our lives when we give it to him, let’s talk about Jesus’ power in our lives when we give it to Him.
“Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends.”
Jesus is always knocking and all we must do to let Him in is say, “Please Jesus, come in and make your home in me.” Jesus will come in and set up camp.
But He doesn’t overtake us and possess us. There will never be a time where Jesus is pushy in our lives. Every day we must make a choice to deny ourselves and follow Him (Luke 9:23). But if we are faithful to do this, He is faithful to respond and move mountains in our life. He is also faithful to protect us from the enemy.
See, when Jesus was crucified on the cross and then raised back to life three days later, He accomplished two things; He took our sins once and for all upon Himself as He became the ultimate atonement of these sins before God, and also, He took back the power over everything from Satan. This is the power that was entrusted to us in the beginning in the Garden of Eden. This power was given to the enemy when Adam and Eve gave into the temptations of the serpent and sinned. They were the first to open the doorway for Satan to come into man’s life. They chose to disobey God.
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Jesus is more powerful than Satan
But now, even if we have Satan living in us, we can call out to Jesus and ask Him to come in and clean up our lives. He does this upon request. When we give Him an invitation to come in, He is more powerful than Satan and He will come in and force the enemy out.
How does this happen? It still requires obedience from us. We must make a choice to accept Jesus and His lifestyle. We must make a choice to stop doing wrong. As we seek Jesus each day and all throughout the day, He will guide us and help us make good choices.
As we grow in our relationship with Him, we mature, and we get to a point where we live nearly completely free from sin. We get to a point where Satan has no part in our life. As long as we still live in our worldly bodies, we are still susceptible to sinning. We still can make poor choices. We can still react to emotions and say something or do something that is considered sin. If we get to a point where we say we are perfect, then we are guilty of pride.
But the point is, as we start living more for Jesus, Satan will lose power in our lives and his attacks will do less and less damage. Just because we have Jesus living in us, don’t think that Satan won’t try to continually knock us down. He even tried to cause Jesus to sin, but Jesus was wise to the enemy’s deceptive ways, and used Scripture to take His stand against him (Matthew 4:1-11).
When we operate in the power of Jesus’ authority, the devil must obey. This doesn’t mean we can make the devil do things; this means that if the enemy is attacking us in some way or trying to deceive us, we can command him to leave us alone “In Jesus’ Name,” and he must. But to operate in the power of Jesus’ authority, we must believe in the power of Jesus and His authority over all. Otherwise, Satan just laughs at us and ignores us. Read Acts 19:13-16.
We must put on God’s Armor daily
“Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”
We must engage in a relationship with Jesus if we want to experience His power in our lives. We must invite Him in and then do as He is directing us if we want to share in His victory. This means protecting ourselves with the armor He provides.
But if we want to stand against the enemy, we must read the bible and learn the Scripture. This is how we get to a position of understanding truth versus lies. Remember how I said that the enemy tells only partial truths? Well, as we learn the truth from the bible, we can then easily discern the partial truths and lies of the enemy for what they are.
So, when we wake up, we seek direction for our day from God. We invite Him into our life to lead and we surrender to Him all that we are and have. We go about our day walking with God and learning His Word. We live according to His Spirit, loving others and doing good, and we watch closely for the enemy who is prowling around. We see him all around us because God opens our eyes, but we don’t let him in because God gives us a discerning spirit that knows right and wrong. This helps us keep all doorways closed.
If Satan is attacking you, understand that he only has the power you give him. Likewise, you can call out to Jesus right now and ask Him into your life. You can ask Him to come in and lead you to victory. After you do this, you can command the enemy to leave you and you can begin repairing your life.
But you must choose a side. We can’t live in between.
“I know all the things you do, that you are neither hot nor cold. I wish that you were one or the other! But since you are like lukewarm water, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth!”
God will come in and help, but He wants complete loyalty. If we don’t fully kick Satan out of our lives, he won’t leave at all and God can’t come in and live.
If you don’t have a relationship with Jesus, you can follow this link (Prayer for Salvation) to find out how. Also, if you need prayer for your life or your family, feel free to fill out a private prayer request in the provided prayer box in this article. My wife and I would love to pray for you.