Victory within reach

Published 9:45 pm Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The Bible informs us that we who are believers on the Lord Jesus Christ are in a personal struggle with an unseen enemy whose strength is beyond our own. “Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realm” (Ephesians 6:12).

But the Bible insists that we can live with constant victory over such a foe. “Do not give the devil a foothold” (Ephesians 4:27). “Resist the devil, standing firm in the faith” (1 Peter 5:9). “Submit yourselves to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you” (James 4:7). “Greater is the Spirit of Christ who is in us than the devil and his demons who are in the world” (1 John 4:4). “Be strong in the Lord and in his power — against the devil’s schemes” (Ephesians 6:10-11). “When the evil day comes you can stand your ground” (Ephesians 6:13).

God lays out before us his provision of a protective armor and devastating weapons that we must use to insure our victory against the devil’s unseen attacks (Ephesians 6:13-18). First is a commitment to “truth,” which the devil cannot handle because he is a liar. Jesus is “the truth,” the Bible is the truth, the Holy Spirit is “the Spirit of truth” and truth is the opposite of hypocrisy. Second is a commitment to “righteousness” as opposed to the devil’s desire for your disobedience and rebellion against God. Righteousness is first the gift of a right standing before God through saving faith in the crucified and risen Lord Jesus. Then it is righteous living toward God and others as a result of and in thankfulness for that gift. Third is a commitment to “peace” as opposed to the devil’s turmoil. Peace means peace with God through the cross of Christ; God’s peace of mind (Philippians 4:6-7); and peace with others. Fourth is a commitment to living by “faith” in God as opposed to the devil’s desire for us to live only by sight, controlled by circumstances and with only a dependence upon our human weaknesses and resources. Fifth is a commitment to “hope” as opposed to the devil’s desire that we be obsessed with our present physical, emotional, social and economic defeats or successes. “Hope” is the believers assurance that the future is bright and the best is always ahead. We have not only been rescued from the guilt and penalty of sin but we are being rescued from sin as our master and we are certain that our future includes heaven. The Apostle Paul calls this “the hope of salvation” (1 Thessalonians 5:8). Sixth is a commitment of obedience to the Bible, the word of God, which is “the sword of the Spirit.” “Thy word have I hid in my heart, that I might not sin against God” (Psalm 119:11). Seventh is a commitment to “praying”: all kinds of praying (adoration, confession, thanksgiving and supplication); praying on all occasions; praying that is alert and constant; and praying that includes all of God’s family and her leaders.

We can and must have victory over the devil in our personal lives, our families and in our churches.

Note: This concludes my series of articles on “Simple Truth about the Devil.” Much more could be written but I trust that these articles have served as urgent reminders about our real struggle with our real enemy and the real and constant victory which can be ours.