“NEVER GIVE UP!”
(This is blog 2 in the series “Names of Satan.”)
In the last blog we saw the name “Satan” means “adversary” and is exactly who he is. He is our enemy (Matthew 13:39). God has given us His Spirit to have victory. He provides spiritual armor for us (Ephesians 6:10-18). Battles are not easy, nor do they end quickly. God says we must RESIST Satan and he will flee (James 4;7). It isn’t always easy to resist. We get weary of the battle. Sometimes it seems like we will never win. But we can only defeat our adversary by persistently fighting against him.
There are 2 keys to attaining and keeping spiritual victory: 1. You have to want it so bad you are willing to pay any price to get it. You must be 100% committed to sticking it out no matter what. 2. The other key is, as soon as you fail, you get right back up and start again. Don’t lay there in defeat but start over. It’s taken a lifetime to get into this; it’ll take a while to get out. Gradually you will log more and more time ‘sober’ and less and less ‘under the influence.’ That’s how it works.
Persevere no matter what. God can and will set you free from this. Deliverance is a process He uses to teach us things about Himself and ourselves. He wants us to persevere in faithfulness to Him no matter what for it helps us learn to depend on Him and trust Him. It’s also part of the way He works to make us more like Jesus.
God is greater and will give the victory. The victory comes gradually, as we learn to fight and take back ground which was given to the enemy. When the Jews entered the Promised Land under Joshua, God gave them victory, but one battle at a time, then one generation at a time. He didn’t give it all to them at once. He wanted them to learn to fight, to need to keep trusting Him, to develop patience and perseverance. What was true of them physically is true of us spiritually. So, don’t give up. Persevere. It may be hard to see progress but remember – there is improvement. Look back at your life and you’ll see improvement from the past to the present. You certainly wouldn’t want to go back! Progress is slow but steady, like the story of the tortoise and the hare. Also be encouraged because it’s obvious the enemy is now throwing everything he can at you. That means this is as bad as it gets, this is all he can do. If he could do more he would. While this is bad, knowing it is as bad as it gets and it will gradually but certainly get better helps. It takes time. God is interested in the process you are going through as you grow, not just the final product. You do the same thing with your children.
We are told over and over again in the Bible to resist Satan (in Jesus’ strength), to stand firm and not give in. “Resist the devil and he will flee from you” (James 4:7-8) is a promise to claim. The conditions for the promise to work, though, are we are to submit to God (total commitment to God after salvation), draw near to God (quality and quantity time in prayer and meditation) and be pure (life a holy life, confessing all known sin). The key is keeping our eyes on Jesus.
“Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devout. Resist him, standing firm in the faith” (1 Peter 5:8-9). Alert means literally to “be sleepless,” it implies a purposeful and active state of awareness. It implies being active and watching out for anything that would tone down our alertness (like being seduced by the world’s pleasures). “Resist” is a strong word meaning “to oppose”. We aren’t to hide in fear, hoping he’ll leave us alone. Each must wage his own fight; you cannot expect a parent, mate, pastor or friend to resist for you. “Stand firm” means to stand solid, hard, unbending in the faith. Jesus prayed Peter would stand when attacked by Satan (Luke 22:32).
Satan is like a bully. When he or his forces find someone who will give in they push them around. Taking a stand may mean a fight for a while, but then the promise comes that he will flee. We are to be courageous and not fearful, taking our stand in the Lord (Joshua 1:9; 10:8; 23:9-11; Leviticus 26:8; Exodus 14:13; 1 Samuel 17:45-47; 2 Samuel 22:33-35, 40-41).
What spiritual battles are you fighting today? On a scale of 1 to 10, how are you doing? Where are you lacking? What do you need to do TODAY to persevere? Will you do it? Then do it now!
cto Rev. Dr. JERRY SCHMOYER
Christian Training Organization
(India Outreach, Spiritual Warfare, Family Ministries, Counseling, World View)
Copyright © 2020
I have written two books on spiritual warfare: “Spiritual Warfare Handbook” and “Spiritual Warfare in the Bible.” You can receive a free PDF of either or both by writing me, email@example.com, or downloading them from https://www.christiantrainingonline.org/our-ministries/spiritual-warfare/learning-more/ If you have any questions or if I can help you in any way please email me.