One does not have to be highly mature to discern that Satan is persistently on the offensive. Sadly, too many Christians choose to give the devil his due by playing the victim instead of walking in Christ’s victory.
When used in the vernacular, give the devil his due, refers to the choice to respect a bad person’s good qualities. But, I’m not going to give the devil his due. Satan is not worthy of due respect because he has no good qualities. He is a liar and a thief who wants to keep you bound in lies and ultimately keep you from the abundant life that Christ wants you to have (see John 10:10).
Peter said this to the sanctified, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world” (1 Peter 5:8-9).
“Resist him!” That’s what I’m talking (writing) about. Our resistance is not like some unstable rebel force that is unsure of victory. Through Christ and our faith in Him, we resist the devil because from the perspective of a victory that has already been won.
Now, let me share four highly effective methods to help you resist the devil. When you resist him from a place of victory, you avoid giving the devil his due.
1. Don’t stray from the written Word. In some seasons, Christians neglect God’s Word. When you do so for a prolonged period of time, your life begins to show it. How so? You begin to stray from the living Word and prayerful pursuits. Next thing you know, you become a victim to Satan’s snares.
The solution – Guard your devotional life like a bulldog and draw near to God daily. Become a member of the Bible before breakfast club. Take a stand for God early in the morning and throughout the day. Look for ways to include the Word of God in your daily routine. The Spirit of God will help you with this endeavor.
2. Don’t strut about your great gifts. Some Christians get overwhelmed when they are used greatly by God. It’s wonderful to be appointed and anointed of God. However, if you lack humility and begin to desire the honor of people, you become ugly. God resists such inner ugliness, but the devil sure likes it.
The solution – Stay humble and give God the glory for every good deed and minutia of service you have a part in. Recognize that without Him, you are nothing. Such genuine humility is attractive to God. He anoints the humble servant to help others walk in victory.
3. Don’t stoop to worldly ways. Occasionally, Christians can take on worldly attitudes. Such attitudes quickly bring you down to a devilish level. Worldly attitudes lead to unethical decisions, relaxed morals, and willful sin. Such living is participating in a worldly system that Christ has delivered you from.
The solution – Repent of attitudes that cooperate with worldliness and forsake any sinful behavior that you’ve participated in. Pray for the mind of Christ to shape your attitudes and restore the joy of your salvation. God delights in restoring His wayward children.
4. Don’t stop boldly believing. Many Christians have made a great start in their journey of faith. You must realize though, that this race is a lifetime marathon and not a two-week sprint. Regardless of the difficulties of life, you must not doubt God’s Word. Doubting leads to trying to straighten out every problem of life on your own. Before long, you’re doubly burdened as though it’s your job to be the king of your world.
The solution – Trust in God and relax in faith. There is a rest for the children of God that comes from childlike dependency in His care. Understand that no mess in your life is greater than the sufficient grace of Christ, your burden bearer. His promises are true. Faithful is He that called you Who also will keep you. God will take care of you.
For me, the scriptural reality that I come back to is that we must learn to walk in the victory that is ours through Christ. The Kingdom of God on Earth is a victorious occupation of the Kingdom of Heaven. As pilgrims, we are colonizing the inhabitants of this world on our way to an eternal home in Heaven.
While on my journey, I want to rebuke the devil and not give him his due. He might be “seeking whom he may devour,” but I choose to resist him steadfastly in the faith. The word may, has to do with permission. I declare that he may not devour, dismay, or destroy me and my household. Let that thief steal no more!