The STEPS to VICTORY in our FIGHT against SATAN: “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)
The story of humankind reveals that the devil (a.k.a. Satan) has played a prominent part in bringing a rift between God and man by planting doubt and allurement in the minds of Eve and Adam in the Garden of Even (Gen. 3:1-8). From that moment, Satan has become the #1 enemy of humanity that was part of the first prophetical curse in the scriptures, stated as follows: "And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel" (Gen. 3:15). The ‘Seed of the woman’ Jesus Christ did indeed bruise the head of Satan on the cross at Calvary. Now, this bruised ‘animal’ is all set to attack God's children using any means whatsoever.
In the above passage, Apostle Peter wants us to be aware about the attacks of our only ‘real’ enemy Satan. Peter tells us that Satan wants to devour us by winning us over to his ways just like he did in the Garden of Eden. He does it very effectively by polluting the truth of God’s Word (John 8:44), and trying to deceive us (Gen. 3:1). As God’s children we should adopt the following seven steps in our lives very seriously if we have to be victorious in our everyday fight against Satan:
- Recognize our enemy. God’s Word is very clear that our enemy is not any human being, but Satan and his forces: "For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places" (Eph. 6:12). We should understand that it is the wicked Satan who throws the fiery darts against us (Eph. 6:16b), and he alone is our enemy.
- Be on high alert and watchful always. Peter tells us to be “vigilant” at all times so that we can successfully evade our enemy. We should be always alert and clear-headed (“sober”). When we live in this state of active readiness at all times, we can discern false teaching (see 1 John 4:1-3; 2 John 1:7-11) and overcome temptation at all times (Matt. 26:41). We can then see the danger lurking from a distance, and be ready for the attack of Satan when it comes.
- Recognize that our enemy is not really powerful as he appears. We should note that Peter has described Satan who “walks about like a roaring lion”. He is acting like a lion, but we serve the true “Lion of the tribe of Judah” (Rev. 5:5). We will be victorious in the end!
- Put on the whole armor of God. The way we can resist the attack of Satan is to put on the ‘whole armor of God’ that include integrating truth, righteousness, preparation of the gospel of peace, faith and salvation in our personal lives. We also have the Word of God to attack Satan, and prayer to empower us (Eph. 6:13-18). This is exactly how our Lord Jesus faced the attack of Satan in the wilderness after being empowered through fasting prayer and having hidden the Word in His heart (Matt. 4:1-11).
- Resist the attack of the enemy. When Satan attacks us, we should not keep silent, but rather resist his attacks through prayer and God’s Word. James counsels us to resist the devil and he will flee from us (4:7). We do not have strength in ourselves to oppose him, but as we are firm in our faith, in our dependence on the Lord, we can resist him boldly (1 John 5:4). We should resist him “steadfast in the faith” since we have God on our side to lead us to victory.
- Be aware that Satan attacks every child of God in the same manner. We should be rest assured that we are not the only ones whom Satan attacks and persecutes. Rather "all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution" (2 Tim. 3:12).
- Seek God’s help as we draw closer to Him. Ultimately, it is God alone who will give us the victory over the attacks of Satan. Victory comes when we remain committed to God, because He is greater than our enemy (1 John 4:4). When we humble ourselves in the sight of God, He will lift us up (James 4:10). We should submit ourselves to God, and draw near to Him so that He will draw near to us (James 4:7). We can then lean upon His strength as He is greater than our spiritual enemy, and He alone will make us victorious in the end!