Once we are "born again" (John 3:3), we not only find a wonderful new life of love, peace and happiness, we also find ourselves in a WAR!--A war of the Worlds between the World of evil and the Kingdom of God!
In the old World War I trench warfare, it wasn't until you came out of your trench and started attacking the enemy's territory, that he would really open up and let you have it with all of his big guns! Now that you're saved, as far as the Devil is concerned, YOU have "gone over the top", & he will do all he can to oppose and stop you! You are now a Christian soldier in GOD'S Army, and a potential threat to hundreds or thousands of others of the Devil's captives! He knows that you now belong to JESUS forever and that he can never get you back, so since he can't STOP you from being a CHRISTIAN, the next best thing he tries to do is to try to stop you from being an ACTIVE Christian. He'll try to make you a DEAD Christian, instead of a real LIVE one! He'll fight and try to stop you from SERVING the Lord, and defeat you from being a good sample to win OTHERS, because he's afraid that he might lose others from his clutches because of YOU!
God's Word says, "We are not ignorant of Satan's devices"--2Corinthians 2:11. We should BEWARE of the Devil's devices and be ON GUARD against the "fiery darts" (Ephesians 6:16) of discouragement, pride, fear, jealousy, selfishness, doubts, negative thoughts etc. which he hurls at us to try to hinder us! But the Enemy can't lay a finger on us unless the Lord ALLOWS him to!--And if the Lord does allow him to, it's only for our GOOD, to make us stronger fighters, to teach us lessons or to drive us closer to Jesus!
Always remember, that as a Christian, you have nothing to fear from the Devil or his forces because JESUS is WITH you! In fact, YOU have POWER over all the devils of Hell, including Satan himself! God's Word tells us, "Greater is He (JESUS) that is in YOU, than he (the Devil) that is in the World!"--1John 4:4. Jesus also said, "ALL POWER is given unto ME in Heaven and in Earth!"--Matthew 28:18--And YOU have JESUS and all of HIS power! He says, "Behold, I give unto you POWER over ALL the power of the Devil!"--Luke 10:19. So through the power of prayer in JESUS' NAME you can rebuke the Enemy & order him to "go jump in the lake and get the Hell out of here!" when he tries to oppress or distress you by speaking to your mind and tempting you with negative or discouraging thoughts!--And he HAS to obey you and FLEE!--James 4:7.
One of the Devil's favourite tools with Christians is DISCOURAGEMENT! He tries to get you looking at your own mistakes, sins, weaknesses and failures! He just picks and picks at all your little flaws and shortcomings and exaggerates and blows them up out of all proportion! This is one of the Devil's favourite tactics. He knows that it's impossible for him to defeat you as long as you keep on fighting, so he tries to persuade you that you're a hopeless case, so you might as well surrender and give up.
What is discouragement? It is a loss of courage resulting from a lack of FAITH. "Faith comes from hearing the WORD of God" (Romans 10:17), so when you feel discouraged, the quickest remedy is to start PRAYING and QUOTING SCRIPTURES and reading the Word and telling the Devil he's a LIAR!--John 8:44. You have to FIGHT discouragement with PRAYER and the WORD! Then your faith will grow, the doubts will flee, and you'll be on the road to victory!
A temptation is the thought or desire to do wrong. Nobody can keep temptations from coming, but you DON'T have to YIELD to them! As the wise old saying goes, "You CAN'T keep the birds from flying over your head, but you CAN keep them from building a NEST in your hair!" In other words, you can't keep the Devil from saying things to you and TEMPTING you with his bad thoughts, but you CAN keep from YIELDING to him!
A lot of people condemn themselves & feel bad and wicked because they've thought or been tempted with sinful thoughts, but even JESUS was tempted in all points the same as we are!--Hebrews 4:15; Matthew 4:1-10. It's NO sin when the Devil tempts you to do something, it's ONLY a sin if you yield to temptation & DO it! The way to resist and get rid of temptations and negative thoughts is to read your BIBLE, PRAY and think about the LORD & good, faith-building, encouraging thoughts instead! "Whatsoever things are true, honest, just, pure, lovely and good, think on THESE things!"--Philippians 4:8. Isaiah says, "Thou wilt keep him in PERFECT PEACE whose mind is stayed on THEE, because he trusteth in Thee"--Isaiah 26:3. If you keep your mind on JESUS you won't have time to think about the distracting lies of the Enemy!
The best defense is an OFFENSE, & if you really want to get the Devil on the run, just start PRAISING the Lord! Count your blessings and THANK and PRAISE Jesus for all that He has done for you! The POWER of POSITIVE PRAISE is just terrific and really puts the Devil on the run! Chase the Devil and his darkness away by simply letting the Light in! The Enemy hates songs of prayer and praise to Jesus, and he ESPECIALLY hates our positive, active SERVICE for the Lord! So don't just sit there, do something POSITIVE! Resist, defy & attack the Enemy by taking positive action & doing something good! Go on the attack and THINK positively, TALK positively, SING positively, PRAY positively, ACT positively!
When you're being attacked by the Enemy, don't just stand there & take it, hit him back! Quote Scriptures & sock it to him with the WORD!--That's the way JESUS fought back when the Devil tempted and lied to Him! He just quoted Scriptures: "It is WRITTEN!" He fought him with the WORD!--Matthew 4:1-11.
When it comes to fighting the Devil, God's Words are almost like spiritual bullets or death rays, and they just BLAST him! Every word absolutely ZAPS him! In the Bible's description of a Christian soldier's armour, the one OFFENSIVE weapon described is "the SWORD of the Spirit, which is the WORD of God"!--Ephesians 6:17. In fact, it is "QUICK (alive) & powerful, and sharper than ANY two-edged sword!"--Hebrews 4:12. The Word is the most powerful thing you can use! The Enemy can't take the Word! He'll turn tail & RUN! So the next time he raises his ugly head & tries to tempt, hinder or slow you down, pull out the white-hot sword of the Spirit, the Word of God, and cut the Devil to the heart!
Often the only weapons you have immediately on hand to fight the Enemy with are the Scriptures that you've MEMORISED. This is why it's so important to memorise and fill your mind and heart with positive, encouraging, strengthening and faith-building thoughts from God's Word, Scriptures that you can continually quote to yourself and even to the Enemy when he attacks you! Fill your mind with the Light of God's Word, and the darkness will flee! Quote Scriptures and really REBUKE the Devil and declare your faith and trust in the Lord & His Word by even quoting it OUT LOUD! Drown his lies out! Just shout! Don't doubt! Kick him out!
Sometimes we really need HELP from our brothers and sisters to fight the battle TOGETHER against the Enemy! "One can chase a thousand, but TWO can put TEN thousand to flight!" (Deuteronomy 32:30), and it is often a great help to have someone else pray WITH you when you feel oppressed, distressed or attacked by the Enemy! Jesus said, "Where TWO or three of you are gathered together in My Name, there am I in the midst of them!"-Matthew 18:20. There is great power in UNITED PRAYER!
The best way to stop an attack is to COUNTER-attack! The best defense is an OFFENSE! Fight the Devil positively! Attack, attack, attack! The Bible says to "RESIST the Enemy and he will FLEE from you"!--James 4:7. We can't just be passive and expect GOD to do it all! We have to be good fighters and RESIST the Enemy! We have to wage a MILITANT warfare against him!
The only way the Devil can possibly defeat you is if you surrender! So KEEP FIGHTING and you CAN'T lose! Keep wielding the weapon of the WORD and you'll WIN! Keep on holding on to God's promises!--Don't let go! Keep on going for Jesus!--Don't stop! Keep on keeping on!
May God help us to be FIGHTERS who like to fight for the Lord with the weapon of his WORD, who enjoy defeating the Devil!