Editor’s note: Daniel Maritz’ 90-day devotional for men, Bold Pursuit, will help you (or the men in your life) build a life-changing relationship with Jesus.
Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. — 1 Peter 5:8
If you’ve ever played sports, you know the importance of a scouting report. Knowing what an opponent is likely to do helps you prepare a successful game plan. In warfare, where the stakes are much higher, spies risk their lives to provide intelligence on an enemy’s plans.
Peter gave reborn Christians a scouting report on our enemy in the passage above.
- Giving us key intelligence about Satan is one way God equips us for spiritual battle.
Paul warned that Satan tries to take advantage of people. But then Paul said,
We are not ignorant of his schemes. — 2 Corinthians 2:11
Lying is the key to Satan’s designs. Jesus said, “There is no truth in him,” and He called Satan “the father of lies” (John 8:44). His lies can have a devastating impact on people’s lives — now and forever. Satan “has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they will not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God” (2 Corinthians 4:4). That’s why it’s important for believers to counter Satan’s lies with the truth of the gospel.
Satan uses people, including those closest to us, to distract us from God’s will. He even tried to do this with Jesus. When Jesus told His disciples that He would be killed and then raised from the dead on the third day,
Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, ‘God forbid it, Lord! This shall never happen to You!’ But He turned and said to Peter, ‘Get behind Me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to Me; for you are not setting your mind on God’s purposes, but men’s’. — Matthew 16:22–23
Satan sends demons to trouble us and steal our peace and joy. Paul wrote,
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. — Ephesians 6:12
Satan is a dangerous enemy, but he is no match for God. He is a created being. He can do only what God allows him to, as we see in the story of Job (Job 2:6). James gave us the secret to overcoming our powerful, but limited, enemy:
Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. — James 4:7
God can use Satan’s attacks to make us stronger and wiser, and bring us closer to Him. Paul said,
For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing will be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. — Romans 8:38–39
The more we resist the devil and his strategies, the closer we grow to God.
The more you resist Satan, the less influence he has over your life. Ask yourself the following questions and answer them truthfully:
- What does resisting the devil look like in your life?
- How might God use Satan’s attacks to strengthen you and bring you closer to Him?
Excerpted with permission from Bold Pursuit by Daniel Maritz, copyright Daniel Maritz.
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How are you resisting the devil? Are you watching out for his schemes and tricks? If not, start today! Yet, even the sneaky games he plays can bring you closer to Jesus as you resist him and follow Him! ~ Devotionals Daily