Are you passing through some difficult circumstances in your life, and cannot figure out how to get over them? Maybe you’ve prayed and fasted and claimed all the relevant verses in the Bible that you know, but nothing seems to be happening. All along, Satan keeps reminding you how bad your situation is, and how it might become worse?
If that is you, I want you to know that many of us have had similar situations but God in his mercy showed us how to walk through them victoriously. In the same manner, you can overcome them. All it takes is doing the needful, and you would testify the faithfulness of God. Maybe you would wonder which needful I am talking about since you have prayed and fasted. While prayer is a fundamental thing to do, it needs to be done with the right mindset toward God.
By this, I don’t mean to indict you in any way. But the word of God has taught me that being a successful Christian requires a lot of commitment. That is not to say we can add any effort to what God has already done for us in Christ. As a matter of fact, every believer in Christ has access to God’s promises, but it takes a step further to receive them.
In that regard, I am here to share with you what I am learning from the word of God that is helping me in this life journey.
But in case you are on this site for the first time, I created a series titled Overcoming the strategies of Satan, of which this article is the last topic. You would do well to go back and read it so that you can have a better understanding of the whole series.
Now, back to our topic; every believer is expected to be an overcomer, but somewhere along the line some of us are more of victims than overcomers. I do not think Christ is happy when he sees us being overwhelmed by difficult circumstances. But there is nothing else he would do than what he has done for us. For he testified about himself that,
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me because he has anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he has sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord”. Lk.4:18-19
Furthermore, it was prophesied about him in Isa.53:4-5 that:
“Surely, he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was bruised for our iniquities. The chastisement for our peace was upon him, and by his stripes, we are healed”.
As a matter of fact, Jesus has liberated us from the bondage of Satan; but somehow we are missing it. And the missing link is some basic principles that we have neglected to put into action.
Now, these are some of the principles:
In Eph.6:16, it says,
“Above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts(fiery missiles) of the wicked one”.
From my point of view, I would say our major problem is a lack of faith (trust) in God. From the verse quoted above, faith is meant to protect us from the attacks of the devil (Satan), but when it is not there we become exposed to his attacks.
I am sure you would agree with me that we depend so much on our physical senses. What we see, feel, hear, taste, and smell control our lives the most, and they send signals to our minds. The mind, in turn, decides whether to act or not on the signals received. Meanwhile, the mind is Satan’s target; what happens when the mind receives a wrong signal? If it is not focused on God, you know that Satan can manipulate it.
The stories of Eve and King David are typical examples. Both of them were attracted by what they saw. Eve saw the forbidden fruit and desired it, while King David saw the nakedness of Uriah’s wife and became attracted to her. When their eyes saw, their unprotected minds received it, and before they knew it, they have become casualties.
The signals can be in any form, they could come through a fearful sight, bad news, a disappointment or anything that can affect us negatively. Once we do not set our minds on God, we are likely to become casualties in the hand of Satan. But when our minds are fixed on God, once we receive such signals, God’s Spirit quickens us and gives us the grace to resist them.
2. Obedience to the word
The scripture says faith without works is dead. Believing that there is God is not news because demons also believe and tremble (Jam.2:17,19). The point is, we must back our faith with obedience to the word of God. When we say we trust God, then we must act on what God’s word says.
An example is the story of the ten lepers that Jesus healed, in Luke 17:11-19. Jesus simply told them to go and show themselves to the priest while they were still with the leprosy. Even without seeing the evidence of healing at that moment, they went; because they trusted Jesus.
But the problem with most of us today is, we pray and confess good things about ourselves without taking any action that would bring the manifestation. It is easy for us to cast and bind demons, but at the mention of any fearful news, we become terrified and confused. In like manner, we claim our heart desires in the name of Jesus, but as soon as we say amen, we start complaining about the same situation.
If truly we want to live a victorious Christian life, then we must obey what the word of God says; whether it makes sense to us or not. The scripture said the natural mind does not accept the things of the Spirit because they are foolishness to him (1Cor.2:14).
As for me, when I am tempted to apply logic on God’s word, I am always encouraged with this verse which says:
“The God who gives life to the dead and calls into being things that were not” Rom.4:17c.
In other words,God has power to make something out of nothing.
Who are we to demand evidence before acting on what God says? With his word he created the world; when he said let there be, immediately everything came into existence.
Do you want victory? Back your faith with action.
In regard to forgiveness, Jesus said,
“And whenever, you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive your trespasses. But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses” Mk.11:25-26
That is a hard one; isn’t it? The worse is when they fail to apologise. But if you want victory then forgive with or without apology. It is not a matter of depending on your feelings about the offence. It has to be a deliberate decision because the word of God says we must do so. Forgiveness must be out of love not by compulsion; just as God out of his love forgave us.
Humanly speaking, there are some offences that seem grievous, but it is not at our discretion to choose which offence to forgive and which not. Since that is the standard of God, and it is the only way to relate with him we have no option.
Does that sound too authoritative? The good thing about God is he does not ask us to do a thing without giving us the ability. We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us ( Phil.4:13). The reason we find it difficult to forgive is that we struggle on our own.
The scripture says in Jer.29:13
“And you will find me when you search for me with all your heart”.
When we say we believe in Jesus, we must seek him earnestly. And how do we seek him? It is by studying his word diligently. We must be hungry for God’s word; just as apostle Peter said in his epistle in (1Pet.2:2) that we should desire God’s word as newborn babies crave for milk.
That’s another hard one; isn’t it? We can spend time having gist with friends or watching movies, but studying God’s word seems boring. Most of us that fall victims in the hand of Satan do so because there have nothing to hold unto. We cannot expect to overcome Satan without the knowledge of God’s word. Consistent study of God’s word fills our hearts with the word; when Satan attempts at us, we release it at him, and he bows. If Jesus needed the word to fight Satan how much more do we need it?
In Eph.6:17, the apostle Paul calls it the sword of the Spirit. Sure, it is the weapon we use against Satan, but when it is not there, we find ourselves in trouble.
The Lord Jesus said,
“If you abide in me and my words abide in you, you will ask what you desire and it shall be done for you”. Jn.15:7
There are times we have lingering difficult times, and you may think God has turned his back on you. No matter the situation, be resilient, never relent, trust what God’s word says about the situation, and keep confessing it. All things work together for good to those who love the Lord and are called according to his purpose. At the appointed time you will walk out of it victoriously. The story of Joseph is a typical example.
In conclusion, all through this series, the points I want you to take home are:
- Satan is the ruler of this world, and he is responsible for the evil prevailing in the world.
- he is smart and clever; he devises different strategies to unleash terror on us.
- God, through Jesus Christ, has given us victory against him; therefore, we need not fear him.
- We have a new identity in Christ that gives us access to all the promises of God.
- but we must trust, obey, and earnestly seek God through his word; and we must forgive our offenders; then we shall be victorious in life.
Perhaps you still find it difficult to understand how to take your stand against the strategies of Satan; maybe because you have never had an encounter with Christ. If that is true of you, you ask Jesus to come into your life now by accepting him to be your Lord and Saviour. You can say this prayer,
“Lord Jesus, I admit that I am a sinner, and I believe that you died for my sins and rose again. I accept you today to be my Lord and saviour, come into my life and control me”. If you say that prayer, or for any reason, you can reach me through the contact form on the home page of this site.