How Do Christians Stand Firm Against Satanic Attack?

How do we stand firm against all these attacks?

By Ron Jones ©Titus Institute 2009

Summary of article:

1. Christians need to depend on God for spiritual strength against Satan and his demons.

2. Christians need to make the characteristics of Christ a part of their lives

3. Christians have victory over Satan when they stand firm in their beliefs, values, attitudes, and actions.

You don’t attempt to watch for individual attacks and stand firm against individual attacks, but rather you look for how Satan is generally go to attack and live in such a way that thwarts his attack wherever it may come.

Christians stand firm against Satan by reflecting Christ’s characteristics in their lives. In Eph.6:10-13, Paul calls this “putting on the full armor of God.”

How do we prepare for battle with Satan and his demons? How do we make ourselves ready everyday for his attacks so that when he does we will not be defeated?

1. Christians need to depend on God for spiritual strength against Satan and his demons.

In Eph.6:10 Paul writes, “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.”

No matter what you say or what you do in warfare, victory belongs to the strong. Diplomacy is great before the war begins, but once it begins, only strength matters.

And in a war with Satan and his demons, diplomacy means nothing, only strength matters. - POWER

This is especially true because Satan cannot be reasoned with. He has no characteristic in him that would cause him to show the slightest mercy or grace. He knows only rebellion against God and only destruction and he desires to enlist as many as he can in his campaign against God no matter what the consequences for people.

Satan cannot be persuaded to change; he can only be forced to flee from us.

So, Paul begins with strength and power, but not our own.

In v. 10, “be strong” is passive and has the idea of “be strengthened” or “receive strength” from another source. It does not mean to “make yourself strong and powerful.”

We, as human beings, do not have the strength in ourselves to stand against supernaturally powerful evil angels like Satan and his demons.

We are no match for Satan in our own power. But the Lord does have the power to defeat Satan and that’s whom we receive our power from.

Notice, in v. 10, it says “in the Lord and in his mighty power.” “In the Lord” means “in union with the Lord.” “To be strong in union with the Lord,” means “to receive spiritual strength from the Lord in our battle with Satan.” “His mighty power” refers to all God’s omnipotent and infinite power that He possesses. This means “Don’t flex your muscles, flex God’s muscles.”

God has unlimited power, Satan has limited power. God’s might is infinite. In Job 42:2, Job says, “I know that you can do anything and that no purpose of yours can be withheld from you.”

God is sovereign over Satan and rules over all his activities.

In Job.1:1-2:10 God gives Satan permission to attack Job who is a believer and puts limits on what Satan can do. God is the most powerful being in the universe. His power is infinitely superior to Satan’s. All of Satan’s works are under God’s control.

God allows Satan to work. God allows him to have a kingdom for a temporary period of time. God has already put many boundaries on Satan, which he cannot cross when it comes to us His children.

Satan is very limited in regards to what he can do in our lives. How do we tap God’s omnipotent power when Satan Attacks?

First, we have to depend on it. “Be strong” implies that we need to depend on God to work in our lives. We need to rely on His power in our lives.

How do we do that? We do it by putting on the whole armor of God.

In Eph.6:11-13, Paul says to “put on the whole armor of God.”

When we put on the whole armor of God we wield God’s power against Satan.

To bring out his second way of preparation and later to show us the way to victory, Paul uses the image of a Roman soldier.

The armor of God is a metaphor, a comparison. The Armor is symbolic of Christlike qualities we need to have in our lives in order to defeat Satan’s temptations.

2. Christians need to make the characteristics of Christ a part of their lives

In Eph.6:11 Paul says, “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.”

“Put on” means “to make these characteristics a part of your life. It means to display these characteristics as the regular pattern of your life.

So, “to put on the breastplate of righteousness,” means to make righteousness a part of your life, the regular pattern of your life.”

So, when Paul says, “put on the armor of God,” he means make these characteristics a regular part of your life and when Satan attacks, you will defeat him.

Satan’s attacks are constant with varying intensity. If you don’t have a particular characteristic as a part of your life before the attack, it will be very difficult when he attacks.

That’s the whole issue. We don’t need to be watching every second for satanic temptations coming our way. Rather we are to develop certain characteristics in our lives that keep us prepared at all times for satanic attack.

If Satan uses the world in attacking us, we face the attacks of the world every day.

Think of it this way. If we add the analogy from Hebrews 12, we are running a race.

As a Christian we are not standing around waiting for Satan to attack, we are engaged in living the Christian life as God intended. We are running a spiritual race. Paul would say, “when you run the race make sure that you are wearing armor, because this race is happening in the midst of a war and the enemy is all around.”

Notice in v. 11, Paul says to wear the “whole armor.” This means that we need to have all these characteristics in our lives at the same time.

Every one of these characteristics must be a part of our lives if we are to defeat Satan. If you are missing any part, Satan will hit you there. He will find the weak link.

What is the armor? What are these characteristics of Christ that we are to make a part of our lives?

1. Belt of truth - living according to the truth of God as revealed in the Scriptures

2. Breastplate of righteousness - living according to God’s way of living

3. Shoes of the preparation of the gospel of peace - living with assurance that you have peace with God

4. Shield of faith - living by faith

5. Helmet of salvation - living with assurance that we are eternally saved and nothing can take our salvation away

6. Sword of the spirit, which is the Word of God - living according to the Word of God

That is, if we are maturing in Christ so that these Christ-like characteristics are in our lives according to our maturity level, we will be able to stand firm against Satan.

These are the characteristics that need to be in our lives—every one of them.

I am not going to take the time to go through each one, but let me give you a summary of them.

1. The Belt of Truth - “having girded yourself (put on a belt) with truth”

“To gird yourself” in modern terms means to “put on a belt.” The belt is truth. To put it around your waist means to commit yourself to know, understand, and live out the truth in your life as God has revealed it in the Scriptures.

If Satan is trying to redefine sin or tempt us to doubt God’s love, it is only God’s truth that can keep us from being deceived.

Our beliefs, values, attitudes and actions must be based on God’s truth.

Ask yourself when you are tempted - Is there something I am being tempted to believe about God that is not true or to believe about his Word that is not true?

2. The Breastplate of righteousness - “putting on the breastplate of righteousness”

What he’s talking about here is the personal daily righteousness in our lives.

Righteousness is conforming to God’s ethical and moral standards. It is following God’s commands and way of living.

To put on the breastplate of righteousness means to follow God’s commandments (His way of living) as revealed in the Scriptures as the regular pattern of our lives.

There are only two ways of living in the universe – God’s way and Satan’s way which unbelieving man reflects.

We need to make a commitment to live God’s way. This commitment will help keep us strong against the world’s temptations.

3. The shoes of the gospel of peace - “your feet fitted with the shoes of preparation of the gospel of peace”

The shoes represent “preparation or readiness to stand against Satan” which comes from a firm spiritual footing, which comes from the gospel of peace.

The gospel of peace is the good news that we can have peace with God through Christ’s death on the cross.

Rom.5:1 says, “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

That peace gives us two very important blessings that we need to continually hold onto if we are to stand against Satan. First, it means that God is always with us working in our behalf (1 Jn.3:1). Second, it means that we may approach our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ at anytime for help (Heb.4:14-16).

To put on the shoes of the gospel of peace is “to continually hold onto the confidence that we have peace with God through Jesus Christ, that God is always with us working for our blessing and we may approach him for help at anytime.”

We must hold onto this truth at all times. Satan will attempt to get us to believe that we have no resources or that we have only ourselves. When we face life’s trials and troubles, we need a firm confidence that the Lord will be there to help us. If we don’t have that confidence, we will despair and seek the world’s way out. We will try to escape using selfishness, addictions, and other such behaviors.

If we have turned away from the Lord and now want to turn toward him and follow him, we need to know he will be there to welcome us back because we have peace with him in Christ. If we feel that we have to clean up our act on our own and then approach the Lord we will not be able to turn toward him.

But if we know that we can turn toward the Lord for help, and that he will help rebuild our lives, if we will confess and turn to him, then we will be strong and be able to stand against Satan.

How can we follow the Lord’s way of living and not turn toward the world’s way, if we do not believe that our lives are in his hands and that he is there to bless and strengthen us at all times?

This is why it is so important that we know we have peace with God forever and that this peace, this relationship we have with him is unconditional.

4. The shield of faith - “Above all, taking the shield of faith, with which you shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.”

To wield the shield of faith is to trust daily in what God has revealed in His Word.

Our faith is only as good as the object of our faith. Because the Word of God reveals what the true God says and it is true, then when we trust it, our faith becomes our shield.

To wield it we need to know and understand the Word of God so we can know what God wants us to trust him for.

What are the fiery darts of Satan? They are all the temptations he brings through the world, which are described at the beginning of this article.

5. The helmet of salvation - “take up the helmet of salvation”

The idea here is “assurance of salvation.”

And in Scripture “assurance of salvation” has three aspects:

1) Assurance that we are saved

2) Assurance that we cannot lose our salvation

3) Assurance that salvation will bring eternal blessing in God’s presence forever

Taking up the helmet of salvation is holding on to these precious truths, that we are saved, that we cannot lose our salvation, and that our salvation will bring a future of eternal blessing.

Why is this so important?

If we as Christians did not believe that we would spend an eternity with Jesus Christ in eternal joy and happiness, why would we turn away from sin and honor God when it requires great sacrifice on our part?

When we are in the midst of physical trials and even facing death, if we did not believe that we were headed to a better place, how could we trust God and obey Him and endure?

6. The sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God - “the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God.”

This “sword” is called by Paul “the sword of the Spirit”, that is it is the sword which comes from and belongs to the Holy Spirit.

This sword, which comes from and belongs to the Holy Spirit, is “the word of God.” The sword represents the word of God.

The Greek word used for Word here refers to specific statements, commands and truths in the Word of God as a whole.

The sword is wielded when we apply specific Biblical statements, commands, and truths to specific situations, issues and temptations in our lives.

The Bible gives God’s will on a variety of subjects and we need to apply them to the subjects that they address.

So wielding the sword of the Spirit means to apply specific Scriptures to our lives.

How do we wield the sword of the Spirit in regard to temptation?

The sword is wielded when we apply specific Biblical statements, commands, and truths to temptations in our lives.

We need to be examining regularly what we think and what we believe to make sure it conforms to what the Bible says about it.

We need to continually ask ourselves, “Is this what the Bible teaches?”

Many of Satan’s temptations come from beliefs and values the world has. We need to make sure that we have not fallen into the way the world thinks about things, but make sure we believe and value what the Lord says is right and good.

When we are tempted, to wield the sword, we need to think of the appropriate truth in God’s Word, Holy Spirit brings to mind, then trust it and obey it.

If we do that, we will turn away from that temptation.

When we are tempted, do we address Satan, “Be gone Satan, the Bible says be anxious for nothing, but…” or “Get out of here, demon, the Bible says do not lie.”

No, this is not the idea here. We wield the sword by trusting and obeying the Word, by applying the Word to our lives.

We also use the sword of the Spirit offensively when we share the truth of God with others. The Word of God destroys Satan’s lies with the truth.

As we speak the Word of God to others both believers and unbelievers we destroy any lies that they might be believing (2 Cor.10:3-6).

3. Christians have victory over Satan when they stand firm in their beliefs, values, attitudes, and actions.

What is the victory over Satan that we as Christians can experience by making Christlike characteristics part our lives?

What does God expect from us when we are facing temptations from Satan? What kind of victory can we have?

Paul gives the answer in Eph.6:11 when he says, “Put on the whole armor of God so that you may be able to stand firm against the wiles of the devil.”

“Stand firm” means just that, we are to stand firm and we can stand firm.

The purpose of depending on the Lord’s power and wearing the armor of God is so that we might be able to stand firm.

This is what God wants us to do when Satan attacks. God wants us not to fall, not to give into temptation, but to stand firm in what we believe and in doing what we know to be right. We are to stand firm for Jesus Christ.

We will be able to resist Satan and stand firm.

In Eph.6:13, Paul gives us the time of temptation, “the day of evil.” “The day of evil” refers to a period of temptation, a time when the temptation to do evil is intensified in our lives. Satan is constantly attacking us through the world, but there are times of particular intensity.

This could be a time of trial, financial, physical, or emotional. It could be a time of great emotional and physical fatigue. It could be a time of great victory when we can be susceptible to evil.

When it comes, we are to resist. We are to have stood firm in what we believe, what godly lives we are living, and what ministry we are accomplishing for the Lord.

When the time of temptation is over you have stood firm when you still believe the same, you still live the same kind of godly life, and you still do the things God has given you to do.

Notice, God does not say we are to beat Satan up; we are not to win demons to Christ; we are not to attack Satan directly. We are not to hunt for Demonic strongholds and tear them down. We are to stand firm and to use the other analogy from Hebrews, keep on running the race.

That’s our victory. Satan wants us to fear him so we will not resist him. We can resist Satan and have victory over him and his demonic army.