Resisting the Enemy

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The Invisible War (3) – ”Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” James 4:7

Previously we saw that the most important aspect of spiritual warfare is submitting to God. But spiritual warfare does not end there. We must go on and resist the devil.

To resist means to ‘stand against’, ‘oppose’, or ‘refuse to give place to’. To effectively oppose or resist a thing you must locate it first. The first thing then is to discern when and where the enemy is at work in your environment in order to resist him.

Many times it is obvious when the enemy is at work. So we resist him. But there are also instances when it is difficult to know. It is not every mishap that is an attack from the devil.

How can one discern the enemy’s work? My answer is – ‘Ask the Lord.’ When we ask sincerely and in faith, God will let us know one way or the other what is happening. Some years ago during a time of serious financial difficulty I sought the Lord, and he showed me that it was he himself and not the devil, putting me through a season of testing.

But there are times when it is obviously the enemy at work. A friend of mine had been suffering from a strange ailment for 2 years after an encounter he had had with a witch who had scared him so much that he was overwhelmed with fear, and soon after this, the ailment had begun. When we prayed and resisted the devil together the ailment stopped.

There is a principle in 2 Samuel 21:1 that I find useful for discerning the enemy’s activities:

‘Then there was a famine in the days of David three years, year after year; and David inquired of the Lord. And the Lord answered, It is for Saul, and for his bloody house, because he slew the Gibeonites’ (KJV).

Note the word ‘year after year’. When you find a mishap repeating itself with apparent consistency in your life then it is important to inquire of God what is behind it like David did. There are families, for example where everyone seems to die as soon as they turn 30. Or there are others who every business they start seems to collapse. It is important not to overlook such a circle but to set aside time to inquire of God what is happening. And God will show you.

Finally, after discerning the enemy’s activities how do we resist him? Simple, just talk to him out loud as you would to someone standing before you and command him to stop what he is doing in the Name of Jesus. I would say for example, something like this: “You demon who is causing discord in this relationship, I command you to stop right now in Jesus’ Name!’ And that’s it. If said in faith, it is very powerful because of the authority we have in Christ. Next time we shall look at this authority.

Let us pray: Father, we thank you that you are our Captain who leads us into battle. We thank you that through your help we can discern the activities of the enemy and resist him. Help us to grow in discernment so that we might not give any foothold to the enemy. In Jesus’ Name we pray, Amen.

FOR FURTHER MEDITATION: 1 Peter 5: 8 – 9; Eph. 6:13 (NLT); Matt. 17:14-21; James 4:7