The other night at karate, I was sparring with this kid (I’m old enough now, I guess I can start saying that) who has massively long legs. He’s a less advanced belt rank, so he’s still learning some things (we all are). Every time he would come in for a kick, he’d get right next to me. Instead of using his long reach to throw a kick from far away, he’d just come right in.
Our Sensei stopped us and proceeded to teach him about the advantage that he had, that he was unaware of. He demonstrated what he could do while fighting. I stood there, arms behind my back, just listening, as I wasn’t the one being taught at this moment. Out of nowhere, this kid jumps into me, demonstrating what he had just learned. And of course I did this tremendous block, a spinning half-reverse tilt-a-world crescent kick, and put him down on the mat. Ok, yeah, right.
No. Actually, I stood there, not even seeing it coming because I was listening to what was being said. And this kid lands this kick right on the top of my thigh. Not cool.
He apparently thought we were going right back to sparring. No hard feelings, but afterwards, it got me thinking. Walking around with a limp can do that.
1 Peter 5:8 says, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” There is a real devil, a real adversary, that is really going around looking for someone he can really devour. And if we are not vigilant—watchful, ever on guard—we’re going to be jumped. We’re going to get attacked. And if we’re not careful, we might even get devoured.
Whether you think about it or not, whether you believe it or not, the truth is that we are in a real fight. It’s not a political fight or a natural fight. It’s nothing that easy. It’s a spiritual fight. Our enemy – the devil spirits, demonic activity – is constantly looking for an open door to take us out. Why?
Because we’re the light of the world.
Because we’re the ones that God loves.
Because we’re the ones that have the authority and the power to stop him.
Most people see that scripture above, keep reading to verse 9, and simply think that the devil will flee when we resist him. That’s not true. Look at what verse 9 says:
Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world. – 1 Peter 5:9
It says to resist him, steadfast in the faith. There’s another scripture that talks about resisting the devil. That’s James 4:7. It says, “Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” People read through James 4, see that scripture, and think that they just have to resist the devil and he’s going to flee.
No. That’s not what it says. There’s a lot of people resisting the devil, or trying to, that are getting devoured. It says, “Submit to God” first. Then it says to resist the devil. If you don’t submit to God, you don’t have the ability to resist the devil. The ability to resist the devil comes from spending time with God, aligning your thoughts, motives, desires, your entire life to God – and then the ability comes to resist him.
We have to stay with what the Word says. We need to be on guard at all times. And the best way to do that is to constantly and continually be in the Word. Be in fellowship and communication with the Father. There is a fight going on – a spiritual war. The great part about it though, is that we win! We have the authority! The devil is under our feet! Stay with the Word and the Spirit.
- In what ways do you think the devil tries to attack believers in today’s world? How can you be more aware of his schemes and protect yourself from his attacks?
- James 4:7 talks about resisting the devil, but it starts with submitting to God. Why do you think submitting to God is crucial before resisting the devil? How does spending time with God strengthen your ability to resist the enemy?
- How can you stay rooted in the Word and maintain a strong relationship with God to be prepared for spiritual battles? What practical steps can you take to be in fellowship and communication with the Father regularly?