How’s this for a big idea….
We don’t need to advance against Satan. We just need to stand and not give up any ground. It’s up to us to not snatch defeat from the jaws of victory! The battle is already won.
When I read this concept in Watchman Nee’s little book Sit, Walk, Stand it was scary simple. Jesus defeated Satan at the cross. The outcome of this war between ‘spirits of the air’ has already been determined. Our side wins.
Personalize this concept. When you and I were saved, we were forgiven and washed clean of all our sins past, present and future. Our lives became holy through Christ’s payment, not through our behavior. In battlefield parlance, the ground was taken by Jesus’ victory over death and evil 2000 years ago.
God makes Himself available to us through the Holy Spirit as we sit before His throne, let Him love on us as we praise and thank Him. Then we walk with Him as we live our lives, hopefully living examined lives where we do His will and apply His Word. We become His ‘hands and feet’ as we love and serve others in His name. We connect with Jesus through prayer, through a local church, through praise, worship, service and giving.
But nowhere are we called to defeat Satan. We’re simply challenged to stand. Ephesians 6:10-11, 13-18 tells us to put on the ‘full armor of God’ but all the elements, (except possibly the sword) are defensive in nature. In verse 11, He says we put on this ‘armor’ “to stand against the wiles of the devil”. Three more times we read the word ‘stand’. He doesn’t say ‘march’, ‘advance’, ‘crush’, ‘defeat’, ‘eliminate’ . . . none of those. He says to ‘stand’ against and to ‘withstand in the evil day’.
What does this mean from a practical standpoint?
1. Acknowledge he’s there – You can’t stand against an enemy you don’t believe exists. There is a devil, a ‘father of lies’, an ‘internal accuser’, an unspeakably evil spirit working against Jesus in every facet of earthly life. Jesus believed in the devil, why would I doubt his existence? Without seeing a boogeyman behind every tree, become aware that he’s coming at you – evil and its subtle influence in your life and the lives of your family.
2. Draw lines, set boundaries – Satan’s trying to tug you into places Jesus doesn’t want you to go. Draw lines far in front of those points of temptation. Let’s say it’s drinking. Set your line at no drinking or at one drink, one beer, one glass of wine. I tell my guys “One is understandable, the second one has a different purpose.” If lust is your weakness, draw the line so you just don’t see movies, TV shows or subscribe to magazines that are going to suck you in. Charles Stanley taught years ago “Spiritual battles are won and lost at the threshold of the mind.” Not in the middle, at the beginning. You can opt out early and shut the devil down before he gets any momentum in your thinking.
3. Call for help – When Satan attacks, when you’re thinking stuff, contemplating doing something you know is going to open the door to evil, call Jesus and a friend. The name of Jesus has an amazing effect on ‘spiritual forces of the air’. Amazing things happen when you say His name out loud. He is the Light of the world. Where light is, darkness can’t be. So when you invite Him in, He shows up and the pressure’s reduced. Calling a friend and bringing your temptation into the ‘light’ of awareness – both yours and your friends – gives additional strength to your stand.
Question: Doesn’t it feel better knowing we aren’t called to defeat evil but to simply stand against it? That feels like a more ‘doable’ deal to me. How about you? Share here.