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 that, 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 awhile 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 that 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.
I know God is greater and will give the victory. I know the victory comes gradually, as we learn to fight and take back ground that was given to the enemy. When the Jews entered the promised land under Joshua God gave them victory, but one battle at a time, even 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 in 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 at you he can. 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 that 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 that 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. (I 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 awhile, 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; I Samuel 17:45-47; II Samuel 22:33-35,40-41).
Since Satan works through getting us to believe his lies, we must really resist and stand fast in this area. By knowing which lies Satan trips you up with you can better be prepared for them. Here are some common ones to look out for.
Where or how does Satan attack you? What tactics are most successful? What can you do to better stand firm and resist? Who can you turn to for prayer and support? Perhaps you should contact them today. Who around you is struggling? Offer them your support and prayer today.
(If I can answer questions or offer personal counsel, or if you would like a free copy of my Spiritual Warfare Handbook, email me at Jerry@ChristianTrainingOrganization.org or download it from http://sw.christiantrainingonline.org/. My next book, Spiritual Warfare in the Bible, which is a more advanced treatment of spiritual warfare, is also available there for free.)