Resisting the Devil

Have you ever tried to make the right decision, but no matter how hard you try it always seems like you make a mistake? It’s almost like there are some situations in this life where we simply cannot win. We make wrong choices even when we desire to do right and we suffer because of those choices. It is almost like there is some conscious force that draws people to do what is wrong. Scripture refers to Satan, a fallen angel who tried to rebel against God. Christians are challenged in scripture to resist him.

Be serious! Be alert! Your adversary the Devil is prowling around like a roaring lion, looking for anyone he can devour. Resist him and be firm in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are being experienced by your fellow believers throughout the world.

Now the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ Jesus, will personally restore, establish, strengthen, and support you after you have suffered a little. The dominion belongs to Him forever. Amen.[1]

Resist the Devil

Peter describes that in this life we will perish, but in Christ we will live forever. This means that in this life, we will still experience pain and let down. In his conclusion, Peter urges his audience to keep their guard up because people have a very real enemy: the Devil who prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for anyone he can devour.

As I looked at this, I wondered how Satan, or other demons, might attack God’s people. Everyone has their thoughts on the subject, but I thought it best to find examples in Scripture. Satan might try to make us doubt God’s goodness as he did with Adam and Eve (Gen. 3:4-5). He might tempt us to deceive others by trying to look spiritual or more moral as he did with Ananias and his wife (Acts 5). This means that Christians who put on a façade of spirituality or piousness actually do so under the direction of Satan. God’s people should be honest and not deceive others into thinking they are more spiritual or pious than they are. The devil may bring physical pain or suffering on us to torment us and lead us away from Christ (2 Corinthians 12:7) He might disguise himself as an angel of light, so that what he offers appears to be good. His followers, false prophets or fake Christians may do the same (2 Corinthians 11:13-15). Satan may ask to sift us out for a concentrated attack as he did with Peter when Peter denied Christ three times (Luke 22:31). As we discover these things that he can do, we also discover that Satan and his demons actually have a great deal of power in this world and they will attack.

Knowing this, I have to ask one question: Why does God let Satan live in this world? If God is good and Satan draws people away from Him, why would God place him on this earth? Scripture does not answer this question directly. It does claim that Satan is here as punishment for his own rebellion against God (Revelation 12:9, Luke 10:18) and that God has cast him down to be shamed before the kings of the earth (Ezekiel 28:17). It seems that God proves to Satan over and over again that Satan is not qualified to rule. We are also told that the devil’s final destination is the eternal Lake of Fire (Revelation 20:10).

Because Satan is present on this earth, we must resist him, staying firm in the faith we have in Christ! Peter also assures his audience that they are not alone in their sufferings. The sufferings we endure are experienced by others.

God’s promise

So, we stand firm in our faith in Christ and resist the Devil. Here is God’s promise: He will restore, establish, strengthen and support us. The suffering that we endure on this earth pales in comparison to the life we have in Christ. After we live on this earth for a short time, enduring the suffering of this world; we will be fully restored, we will be established (be given permanent acceptance or recognition), we will be strengthened and God Himself will support us. Those who are not in Christ do not have this promise Those in Christ are forever imperishable!

[1] 1 Peter 5:8-11 (HCSB)

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