God Promises We Can Resist Satan – 1


Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 9 Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings. 1 Peter 5:8-9

Lions.  The Bible refers to them several times.  Usually, their majesty and power are in focus when we think of Jesus as the Lion of the Tribe of Judah (Revelation 5:5).  But sometimes their deadly violence and their stealth cunning are in view.  That’s when they are used as a picture of Satan.  Peter refers to him as “a roaring lion looking someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8-9).  He should know.  He was devoured by Satan a time or two himself.  But then haven’t we all…

When we are told to “resist,” we know that some pressure is being applied against us.  This command presumes there is a force working to overthrow us that must be resisted.  If we don’t resist it will overwhelm us and knock us down.  It will sweep us away.  That is exactly what Satan wants to do.  The command to “resist” alerts to the fact that a power coming against us can overpower us unless we put all our energy and resources into opposing it.

You might wonder what the promise is in this verse.  Actually, there are two.  First, it is clearly implied that we can resist Satan.  We don’t have to give in to his temptations, or to his demons’ attacks on us or our loved ones.  We aren’t at their mercy, even though they are much more cunning and powerful than us.  They are accountable to God, who has sovereign control over all they can do (Job 1-2).  Don’t believe their lies that we’ll never be free, that we can’t defeat them or that they’ll oppress us forever.  Jesus resisted Satan (Matthew 4:1-11) and with His help so can we.

The second promise, unstated but obviously implied, is that when we resist, he will have to back off.  We see this in James 4:6-8.  Both James (first book written in the New Testament) and Peter (one of the last written) agree.  This is not just theology to them; it is practical experience speaking.  By writing this they testify to the truth of their statements.  I can testify to it as well, and so can you.

Joseph resisted when Potiphar’s wife tried to seduce him.  David resisted killing Saul when he had an opportunity.  Daniel resisted the opportunity to compromise to avoid the lion’s den.  Jesus resisted Satan’s temptations in the wilderness.  Unfortunately, there are many examples of those who didn’t resist and sinned: Eve in Eden, Peter when asked if he knew Jesus, Samson with Delilah, David with Bathsheba and Jonah when he ran from God.

However, as in most promises, there are conditions to be met as well.  If God gave these promises without conditions, we’d not live in obedience to Him, we’d just come to Him when we needed help and then keep living as we did after He did what we wanted.  Wait a minute – don’t we do that sometimes anyway?  God is not a magic gene we come to for help.  He’s not here to serve us.  We are here to serve Him.  His purpose is to make us like Jesus, not to hang around so He is available whenever we get into a situation we can’t handle on our own.  So of course, promises have conditions.  God can only help those who are committed to Him, open to Him and trusting in Him.  As a pastor, people sometimes came to me when they needed help in a tough situation.  I was only able to really help them when they trusted what I said and took my advice.  That’s how it is with God as well.

We’ll look at these conditions in detail in the next blog.  Now just focus on the promises.  Satan can be resisted and, when he is, he will have to back off.  It worked for others; it’ll work for you as well.

Start memorizing 1 Peter 5:8-9.  You’ll have two weeks to complete it.  What temptations do you most often give in to?  Where are you weakest in following Jesus?  When in these situations, quote this promise over and over.


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