In Jesus we start from victory to glory as conquerors since Satan’s head and all strategies and plans against us were crushed in Calvary. Resist him and triumph is the magic mantra.
“And the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered and reflected upon My servant Job? For there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God (with reverence) and abstains from and turns away from Evil (because he honors God)” (Job 1:8 AMP). This is the definition of a man, as given by God Himself, who will be able to face up to the false designs of Satan and emerge victor and this is the key to defeat him at his games. Those who follow this strategy are known and feared by the devil and his forces who shriek out “Jesus I know, Paul I know” (Acts 19:15). The devil is not the all powerful angel who can catch and maul anyone. After Calvary he has limited powers and least on the ‘children of God’ and can only come in when invited by us.
What is Satan’s status today? – The emphatic declaration by the Lord on the cross “It is finished” resulted in the closure of the case against Satan for the time being with his head having been crushed. All plans that he makes against the ‘children of God’ are also unsuccessful in the power and protection of the victorious Lord. The final judgement will be at the second coming of the Lord when he will be bound in chains for a thousand years and later for eternity. “Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who has had the power of death, that is, the devil” (Hebrews 2:14). Lord Jesus has caused the destruction of the devil through His death and though the ‘manifestation of His Son, He might destroy the works of the devil’ (1 John 3:8). On the one hand the ‘three words’ on the cross destroyed all his plans and works while on the other finished him/ his authority over mankind.
The curse of ‘going on your belly’ has through its fulfillment ensured utter humiliation for the devil for lying prostrate is the final sign of surrender and humility. Our Lord through His sacrifice has made Satan ‘lie down and move about on his belly’ as an object of extreme weakness. And the final part of the curse was of eating dust, while one translation terms it as ‘groveling in the dust’- implying abject degradation. Satan brings about the downfall of man, yet he has to accept the shame of it always through the hiding of all his acts under guise and deceit. He is now further degraded by having been pushed down into hell and Hades, under the earth, a place of utter darkness and eternal despair.
Our Lord prayed for Simon Peter, since Satan had asked for Peter “to sift him as wheat”, so that his faith should not fail (Luke 22:31-32). Job also fell prey to the same fate and Satan could attack him, though with God’s permission. The Lord’s sacrifice on the cross for our redemption has denied the devil this right and he can no longer ‘ask for any of us believers’ to sift us as wheat. He now ‘seeks whom to devour’ and whoever sins calls him in to be his master. This is the most important piece of information for us to fight him.
What are Satan’s weaknesses? – Satan is a created being and being an angel, he has certain strengths and being the ‘covering cherub’ he is well versed with the Scriptures. He is the ‘prince of darkness’ with no light of his own and he wants to drags, whoever is willing, into the same darkness. He is well aware of his shortcomings and makes every effort to conceal that and to be victorious it is important for us to be aware of these.
- He is not omnipresent- “From roaming throughout the earth, going back and forth on it” is the reply from Satan to God about his work He has to go ‘back and forth’ throughout the earth and thus can only be at one place at a time. He himself can only attend to one situation/person at any given time and has to depend on his minions to do his bidding. The number of these ‘demons’ cannot be known and they are one third of the angels, since this is the number that rebelled with the devil. To have a guess we turn to the Scriptures and the assurance “Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to minister forth to those who will inherit salvation?” (Hebrews 1:14). Believers are provided angels to help them, but what about others? We have no answer to this.
Islam also preaches “For each one are successive (angels) before and behind him who protect him by the decree of Allah” (Quran 13:11). It is believed that there are four angels with each person with two- one on the right recording his good deeds and the one on the left writing down his evil works. The other two guard and protect him from the front and the back with two shifts of four each for day and night.
It will thus be seen that the number is in plural for either way and there are two angels for each person. This puts the number of demons being rather large but still there are not enough to cover each person. He is thus quite short of staff to follow his commands all over the earth.
- He cannot target everyone- We can rest assured that he has to select specific targets for himself and that is why he as our adversary “walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom to devour”. It is natural for any enemy to probe defenses of the intended target and exploit any weakness. The moment we expose our self centered power instead of God oriented approach, he moves in for the kill.
- He is already defeated- Satan has lost his power to control mankind because of the lost dominion through Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden since our Lord has already crushed his head on the cross. This crushing of the head of the curse in Genesis 3 represents what he can do with his head- his plans, deceptions and all lies against God’s Word. His final defeat will be on the second coming of the Lord in full glory but when we are “wise in what is good and simple concerning evil. The God of peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly” (Romans 16:19-20). Our Lord’s name and authority is given to us and the demons flee at this.
- He has limited time-Satan is well aware of his imminent defeat at the hands of Lord Jesus and his entire efforts are directed towards his success by all means. We can not only defeat him in our daily battles under the power vested in us but also cause his ultimate end at the earliest by reaching out to those in darkness. The day of judgement will come when all have heard the name of Lord Jesus and taken a decision to accept or reject the offer of salvation.
What are our strengths? – The moment we accept the Lord Jesus as our Savior and Lord, we are granted multiple benefits in all realms of life and afterlife. We are declared as ‘children of God’ with hereditary rights as power and authority of the victorious ‘Commander of the heavenly host’ our Lord. So what are the strong points on which we operate in this life?
- Closed doors through forgiveness- Satan obtains control over us through sin and the Lord has redeemed us from this curse through His sacrifice in Calvary. Each and every sin, whatever it may be, except those against the Holy Spirit are forgiven. Disobedience to the Holy Spirit is ultimate sin of doom and we must avoid that. Satan’s control over us through these doors is automatically finished through the blood of Jesus and we are no longer subject to Satan’s control nor can he seek any right over us. Satan could ask for Job and Peter (Luke 22:31-33) before Calvary for redemption had not yet come through for us. But now we are free from all such control of the devil.
- Power of the promise- Lord Jesus declared His victory and authority before ascending to heaven and has given us “authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the powers of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you” (Luke 10:19). This power is over the serpent of Genesis and his team of demons who attack us through guile and deceit. With this authority we are already winners in the Lord’s name; the point is to believe and act accordingly.
- Indwelling power- The Holy Spirit was there during the Old Testament times to guide and equip the selected persons to perform the assigned tasks but never resided within that person. Thus Bezalel and his companions were filled with the Spirit of God in wisdom, understanding, in knowledge, and in all kinds of craftsmanship to make artistic designs for work in gold, in silver and in bronze (Exodus 31:3-4). Our Lord bestowed this great honor on us to have the Holy Spirit residing in us for due to washing with His blood we are sanctified to receive Him. He guides us before and after commission of any sin by us to firstly resist and then confess and seek forgiveness. He not only reveals to us the Lord Jesus but also empowers us to change to become like Him through a progressive process.
- Power of the prayer– The promise is “Ask and it will be given to you” and after asking we receive in faith. The woman suffering from the blood flow for twelve years ‘asked’ through the act of ‘touching the border of His garment”. The rewarding was not only healing but the honored title of being called “Daughter” and grant of great rights with that title, even before the final act of redemption on the cross. The blessings of prayers are “Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven” (James 5:14-15). All believers are ‘children of God’ and the Father loves them immensely and not only is He with them but is willing to grant their petitions to make ‘their joy full’.
We are individually endowed with power and in a group this power gets further multiplied for the Lord has promised “Where two or three get together in My name, there am I in their midst” (Matthew 18:20). Our power to beat the designs of the devil is then available “to encourage one another in faith” and not fall prey to darkness.
- Citizenship of God’s kingdom- We as believers are blessed to be joint heirs with the Lord Jesus to the kingdom of heaven and rightful citizens of that Kingdom. This entitles us with the protective hedge of God around us individually and collectively as a family and the help of angels as our “ministering spirits”. Satan knows that he and his demons cannot pierce that protection, which is unmatched. We are undefeated till we step out by committing sins and not seeking forgiveness through repentance. Kingdom of Satan is of darkness and a bottomless pit in which there is no end to the moral fall for its dwellers. But through God’s grace we are saved and protected. Even if we fall to any temptation God extends His hand to save us from going under water and drown.
- Our protective armor- God has provided us the strongest protective armor of His Word, “The Truth, which sets us free” and saves us from being deceived by the devil. When we put on the Lord Jesus, the full armor and power to ‘be strong in His power’ becomes ours to ‘take a stand against the devil’s schemes’. We have ‘the belt of truth buckled around our waist, the breastplate of righteousness and feet fitted with the gospel of peace to remain always ready, the shield of faith to face and extinguish the devil’s flaming arrows’. The final covering is ‘the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit- the Word of God’ with the power of prayer as support for all occasions (Ephesians 6:10-18). With such devastating protective and offensive weaponry it is not surprising that an angel of God could destroy 1, 85,000 enemy warriors in a night in the Assyrian camp (2 kings 19:35) and we are no less.
- Protection from weapons of evil- Prophet Isaiah, in the light of the Holy Spirit, after having described the sufferings of the Lord goes on to reveal the blessings of that sacrifice. “No weapon formed against you will prevail, and you will refute every tongue that accuses you. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and this is their vindication from Me,” declares the Lord” (Isaiah 54:17). Neither can the accuser level any accusation against us for we are washed with the blood of the ‘Lamb of God’ nor can any of his darts reach or hit us. A believer is thus safe from being ‘possessed’ by the devil or his demons since they have no access to us anymore.
“My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge” (Hosea 4:6) is the lament of God, our Father. Knowing the mysteries of the Word of God by the empowering Holy Spirit and standing firm in faith is the secret of success. “Let them give thanks to the Lord for His unfailing love and His wonderful deeds for mankind, for He breaks down gates of bronze and cuts through bars of iron” (Psalm 107:15-16). The battle is the Lord’s, trust and fight.
Resist and the devil will flee but be wise for he is ‘on the prowl’!!