Rev 19:10a Then I fell down at his feet to worship him, but he said to me, “You must not do that! I am a fellow servant with you and your brothers who hold to the testimony of Jesus. Worship God.” First, consider this: What are we supposed to do about God? Well, chiefly we are to worship Him. What does God do? Among other things, God creates. As part of Creation, we like it and therefore worship Him. We don’t worship creation, do we? No, we accept and appreciate and cohabit with the rest of creation, but worship is reserved for God alone.
1 Pe 5:8 Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. As to Satan, we know he lies and destroys. If someone came into your home and tried to kill your children, wouldn’t you fight them? If you wanted to reduce the risk of this happening, you would move to a better neighborhood, get a good set of door locks, get an alarm system, join a neighborhood watch, and so forth. You would take preventative action. When we studied what to do about temptation we learned to take preventative actions. With regard to Satan’s attacks, we shift from the more passive action of preventing a problem to the more confrontational role of facing and dealing with a problem in progress.
Jas 4:7b Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. With temptation we were told to flee. With Satan, we are told to resist. “Resist” is an interesting word. It implies a defensive confrontation. We aren’t instructed to pick a fight, rather to defend ourselves when the enemy presents himself.
Eph 6:10-18 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the Gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints… This is known as the “Whole Armor of God” passage. It is included here in its entirety so you can see for yourself what it entails. God wins. Satan schemes against us. Our enemy is not merely men. Most of the armor is defensive. Only the “Spirit, which is the word of God” is an offensive weapon of attack. Of all the components, this item is purely God and not at all human. Finally, we are instructed to use constant prayer to maintain communication with the battle commander. If we stop communicating with God, we take matters into our own hands. Of what value is our only offensive weapon if we cannot wield it?
We don’t do battle against temptation because it is unrealized sin. We avoid sin by avoiding temptation. Satan seeks to devour (1 Pe 5:8), so him we have to face and fight.
Dt 31:6 Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you. We aren’t alone as long as we abide in Jesus. We can expect to have God’s help and his authority to make Satan flee. None of this scripture stands alone. It must be taken as a whole and in context to understand the full gravity of what is going on. That’s why we need the full armor of God. We can’t win alone.
Various authors say not to give Satan authority he doesn’t already have. I would also say don’t be deceived about the authority he does have (Gen 3, Ro 5, Eph 6:12, Rev 12:9). We don’t need to give him authority because God already has done that. I’ve also heard that Satan can’t be everywhere at once and he doesn’t attack and tempt us directly all the time. Be very careful if that’s what you think. We don’t know how quickly Satan can move from place to place and we don’t know what God permits Satan to do in any given situation. Satan isn’t alone. There are plenty of demons who do the same work and we have no idea how many there are. Scripturally, all are classified as “devil” as far I can tell. The “dark principalities and powers of this world” also include men who do the evil bidding of Satan.
The desire to sin already lies in our flesh. In Romans 5 we see a sinful nature is passed down from Adam, brought to him courtesy of Satan, thus we are susceptible to temptation and sin. Satan doesn’t have to be personally and directly involved for you to “feel” temptation. He is the ultimate author of sin and lies. The world is a fallen system because of Satan and it provides plenty of common temptations.
Why must we deny the self and pick up our cross daily and follow Christ if not to fight?
This post is an excerpt from my book Ask James one.