We don’t run from him or his minions, most times we stay and fight. James 4:7 states that we only need to resist him, and the promise from God’s Word is that he will flee from us! In Ephesians 6:10-18 we are instructed to put on our armor. There are several pieces of armor we are instructed to “put on” like the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, sandals of the preparation of the Gospel of Peace, shield of faith, the helmet of salvation and the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. Notice that there is no part of our armor protecting our backs! The first three are past tense – we have them, we need to remember who we are as Christians and what we already have. The other three are present tense. We need them now.
If you are being tempeted in an area where you have fallen before and have often had problems, you are better off to get out of there, and seek immediate fellowship with godly people. They can help you learn how to deal with these “habitual” sins.
There is a pattern for resisting the devil that we need to be familiar with. James 4:7-8a provides us with a good pattern we can use to resist the enemy when his activities become evident to us. Think of it in terms of how you would deal with a burglar who had broken into your house. In that case, you would probably go through four steps to “DETeR” the thief from his objective (Detect, Empower, Trap, Reinforce) which are the same four steps we need to take against our enemy, the Devil.
Step one: DETECT “We are not unaware of his schemes.” 2 Corinthians 2:11b
With a burglar we would say, “I think there’s a burglar in the house!” With Satan we should realize, “I think Satan is tempting me to sin!”
Step two: EMPOWER “Submit yourselves, then, to God” James 4:7a
With a burglar we would grab a gun or a flashlight or something. With Satan, it is crucial for us to spend a moment in prayer, asking God to help us fight Satan. (http://www.greatcom.org/spirit)
Step Three: TRAP “resist the devil and he will flee from you.” James 4:7b
With a burglar you would flip on the light. “Gotcha covered! Reach for the sky or I’ll shoot!” With Satan, you would expose him and address him directly, just as Jesus did in Matthew 4:1-11- using your primary weapon: GOD’S WORD.
Here is a suggested confrontation pattern (this is just a suggestion, not a magic formula!) “Satan, I address you in the name and authority of the Lord Jesus Christ, King of kings and Lord of lords- who has bought me with His blood and made me a child of the Most High God. I am aware of your attempts to cause me to sin. In doing so, you have transgressed the commandment of God, for He has said in His Word, “do not steal. Do not lie. Do not deceive one another.” (Leviticus 19:11) You’re trying to get me to sin against God, so you are in the wrong. Therefore, in the authority given to me by God Himself, I command you to cease your activities directed at me, leave me this moment, and go where Jesus Christ tells you to go.”
Noticed how Jesus confronted Satan in the Wilderness (Matthew 4:1-11). The Sword of the Spirit is your only offensive weapon.
Step 4 REINFORCE “Come near to God and He will come near to you.” James 4:8a
With a burglar you would call the police! With Satan, after the fight, spend a short time in prayer, thanking and praising God, reading the Bible, sealing the victory, and strengthening yourself.
After you have defeated your enemy, it’s like a void is left there. Take a few moments to fill that void with the things of God. Read Luke 11:24-26 to see what happens if you skip this step.
Here’s a Scripture verse that you should purpose to memorize: “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and He will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.” James 4:7-8