“Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you” James 4:7-8
Satan uses a fivefold strategy to undermine the believer and damage the work of the Lord. This devotion uncovers the devil’s repertoire of repression and reproach so that you’re better able to avoid his snares and move forward in the victory you have in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Firstly, the devil distracts. He is the master of distraction, abstraction and inattention. He aims to divert you from clear thinking and focused action. He does this by trying to entice your eyes, engage your ears, and entertain your senses. There’s only one way to deal with the devil’s distractions – give the Lord your full attention. James 4:7-8 says, “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you.”
Secondly, the devil deceives. The work of deception is the work of pretense, trickery, swindling, lying, guile, falseness, and fraud. Jess C. Moody said, “The devil is the top hidden persuader – the master of subliminal motivation.” His aim is to cause the wrong to seem right and the right to seem wrong. He attempts to tarnish the truth and cloud your judgement. So be on your guard for our enemy the devil has “no truth in him . . . he is a liar and the father of lies” John 8:44. You deal with deception by knowing God’s Word, for when you know the truth the truth will set you free.
Thirdly, the devil disgraces. The devil tempts you through the lust of the flesh, the love of money, and the desire for popularity. He’s constantly on the prowl for ways to discredit and disgrace you. As we read in Revelation 12:10, the devil is “the accuser of our brothers.” He’s the one pointing fingers at others. He’s never idle. Day and night (cf. Revelation 12:10) he tries to bring disgrace with accusations of wrongdoing, sin, shortcoming, and false motives. The way to deal with these accusations is to “be self-controlled and alert” 1 Peter 5:8. You must “resist him” and stand “firm in the faith … and the God of all grace … will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast” 1 Peter 5:9-10.
Fourthly, the devil depresses. The devil works hard to bring believers down. He delights in discouraging God’s children and takes every opportunity he can find to lower your spirits, sap your strength, and push you down. He afflicts believers with testing, trials, trouble, and torment. Like Job, the way to be victorious when the devil seeks to depress you is to be “blameless and upright; he feared God and shunned evil” Job 1:1.
Fifthly, the devil destroys. The devil is in the demolition business. His ultimate desire is to defeat and destroy God’s people (cf. 1 Peter 5:8). As a Christian you are at war with the devil. He’s your chief adversary. He’s the one working to break down all that God is building up. But he’s “neither omnipotent nor free to do everything he pleases. Prince of the world he may be, but the Prince of Peace has come and dealt him a death blow” Harold Lindsell.
That’s the good news: The devil is a defeated foe. The Son of God, our Lord Jesus Christ has conquered Satan by overcoming sin and death. That means the devil can’t harm you if you’re in Christ (cf. Luke 10:19). “He can’t handle the One to whom you’re joined; he can’t handle the One to whom you’re united, and he can’t handle the One whose nature dwells in your nature” A. W. Tozer. Yes, “Greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world” 1 John 4:4 KJV. So even though the devil still seeks to distract, deceive, disgrace, depress and even attempts to destroy you, remember that he’s already beaten. For “the reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work” 1 John 3:8. Hallelujah!