On Battling The Devil

Southaven, Ms

By: Mike Upchurch

I apologize in advance for the length of this column, but this is critical information every believer needs in order to understand the biblical position we must take against the devil. This comes from years of ministry and of being on both sides of how we should fight the enemy. I feel I have the Holy Spirit on this.

Now and then I hear some of my friends talk of being embattled in spiritual warfare. It’s real, and there are casualties and there are victories. Most of those battles are intercessory battles fought for others who can’t fight for themselves, either because of an addiction, or perhaps they are just not equipped with the knowledge to battle and win.

But there are other Christians whose total focus is on the enemy and the warfare they have decided to engage in. They continually bind the devil away from them and their family. (I used to be that guy, but exhaustive bible study has had me rethink that).  They talk of storming the gates of hell to take back what’s been stolen from them. 

But read Paul’s letters. He didn’t focus on the devil at all.  He focused on Christ’s finished work on the cross. He focused on relationships with other Christians. He wrote of the matchless glory of Christ in God and our inheritance.  In fact, he only mentioned or referred to the devil a total of ten times in all thirteen letters combined in the New Testament, and none of those references mention warfare but one. Are you greater than Paul?  Did the Lord equip you with new revelation He didn’t impart to Paul?  If so, I bow before you. But remember in the book of Jude that even the Archangel Michael didn’t war against the devil, but turned judgement over to the Lord. It’s a good example for us to follow…..

“But even Michael, one of the mightiest of the angels, did not dare accuse the devil of blasphemy, but simply said, “The Lord rebuke you!” (This took place when Michael was arguing with the devil about Moses’ body.)”‭‭Jude‬ ‭1:9‬ ‭NLT‬‬

But let’s continue on. People who go around fighting the devil are taking on Hell and that is not scriptural.  We’re not talking about demonic deliverance of someone possessed. That’s another topic altogether.  But we’re speaking of Christians with good intentions who feel they can take on the devil and win.

They are focusing on the wrong entity. They need to focus on the One the battle is truly about. Jesus the Christ, King of all kings and Lord of all lords.  Satan hates God and is after His children to destroy them. Don’t take it personally. He’s not all that impressed with you. He IS though, absolutely terrified of your Father!

Those who engage satan and focus on battling him remind me of Gandalf the Grey in “The Lord of the Rings” standing before Balrog. In their mind they have their way cool scepter or staff and proclaim “You Can Not Pass!” to the devil. Unfortunately, that is just a J. R. R. Tolkien fantasy and is not scriptural.  The truth is, the devil would win that fight if you’re standing there in your own strength. It would be much better if you would hide behind the robe of Jesus instead and watch HIM defeat your enemy. But if you insist on battling him there are things you should know. 

Satan (I really hate capitalizing his name but he begins the sentence) is out to prove some things. He is out to prove we aren’t redeemed. He wants to prove the word of God is a lie. He is out to prove he is more powerful than the Lord lolololol…(snort)…I’m sorry…(lol)…I just couldn’t contain myself on that one…(snicker)…what a fool he is…but he is the father of lies and believes all lies including the one that says he can defeat God…but I digress.

The fact is, and it’s a HUGE fact, NO created being (which satan is) can EVER be more powerful than his creator, who is God!  Here’s a little reminder….. 

“You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because GREATER IS HE WHO IS IN YOU than he who is in the world.”‭‭1 John‬ ‭4:4 (emphasis mine)

Greater in every way. Greater in thought, greater in power, greater in intelligence, greater in wisdom, greater in strength, greater in patience, greater in resolve; He, the Lord, is greater in EVERY way!  Yes, satan is allowed to harass and attack us, but ONLY with God’s permission. We learned that from the book of Job. 

Another fact about the devil is that he hates you because God loves you! That’s why he battles you. That’s why he attacks you. It’s not because he heard you are a mighty warrior. Contrary to that, he thinks you’re an easy defeat.  He is trying to defeat God in you. And he may be right that you’re an easy defeat if you’re going after him in your own strength. I hear some Christians call out the devil. They dare him to come. Ummm, that may not be your brightest move. We might read later of you and your demise. 

If this pertains to you, why are you trying to take on the enemy by yourself?  Why are you waging war on the battlefield and trying to do it on your own and in your own strength?  The truth is, you will probably get beat. He is not more powerful than Jesus, but we on our own aren’t much of a match. We are flesh and he is spirit. He has demons, thousands of demons, at his disposal. Together they can overwhelm you!  Which is why you NEVER go into battle trying to fight in your own power.  What did Paul say?

“For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses.”‭‭2 Corinthians‬ ‭10:3-4‬

Divinely powerful. That means “God weapons”. Well what ARE those weapons?  It’s not our mind or our cunning. It’s not our perseverance. It’s not about our strength. It’s not our bravery. It’s not our lack of fear. It’s not anything about who we are. It’s about the One dwelling in us. HE is greater, not us.

So then our weapons must be the tools that GOD has given us, and not those which we have developed on our own. So what do we have that He gave us?

We have faith. The Bible says every man is given a measure of faith (Romans 12:3)

We have the belief in our being saved. His word promises us that if we confess our sins He will forgive them. (1st John 1:9). This counters the devil’s lies that we’re not saved.

We have the Word!  We are to learn the verses that give us the power to defeat him and them. Here are three of those verses which all have a similar theme…..

“Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.”‭‭James‬ ‭4:7

Let that sink in…..he will FLEE!  Scampering and scurrying like a backyard squirrel whom you startled by opening the patio door!  IF, you resist him. Resist doesn’t mean to engage. Resist doesn’t mean to shout at him and tell him he’s defeated.  Resist doesn’t mean to pace back and forth binding him. Resist means to resist. 

The definition of resist in the Greek is this…..


Pronounced anth-is’-tay-meeto stand against, i.e. oppose:–resist, withstand.

When the enemy comes in with his attacks, then you counteract by opposing him.  You withstand him. You say no to his temptations and push back, and you are determined you are not giving in to his schemes.

I’m convinced that the longer you are in spiritual battles with the enemy, the more obvious his traps become to you, and the easier it becomes to resist. And when you do resist, he flees!  And who is he fleeing from?  Not you, but the One inside of you!  He is TERRIFIED of Him!  See, when you resist, you take away his power over you.  But when you cave and give in, you give him authority over you and he has permission to attack and defeat you. You are a free will agent; if you CHOOSE to sin you are allowed to, but there will be consequences. 

Here’s another scripture…..

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. 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. Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.”‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭6:10-13

Even Paul said to resist him in battle.  He didn’t say to fight. And Peter chimed in as well…..

“Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world.”‭‭1 Peter‬ ‭5:8-9

So according to the verses above, you resist. And you resist while wearing your armor. And you stand! That is key! You STAND against him, not go after him.  It doesn’t say “go seek him out and attack him and fight toe to toe.” It says to put on your armor and resist him and stand!  Don’t try to be Gandalf!  Instead let the Lord send him packing.  Let the Lord fight for you to regain what’s been stolen. Remember Moses’ words to the Children of Israel…..

“But Moses said to the people, “Do not fear! Stand by and see the salvation of the LORD which He will accomplish for you today; for the Egyptians whom you have seen today, you will never see them again forever.”‭‭Exodus‬ ‭14:13

Stand your ground with your armor on. He is shooting fiery arrows at you.  But you’re ready!  Truth, given you by Jesus, is around your waist. Your salvation, given you by Jesus, is on your head. Your righteousness, given you by Jesus, is on your chest. Your testimony of the gospel of peace, given you by Jesus, is on your feet. You’re holding up your shield of faith, given you by Jesus, to deflect the fiery arrows.  And notice this, those items making up your suit of armor are just for your defense.  They aren’t weaponry. The only weapon you have, I repeat the ONLY weapon you have been given, is the word of God which is the sword of the spirit.

Don’t go into battle ill prepared and on your own. Let the battle come to you and stand your ground in your armor while holding the sword of the Word and RESIST!  Let God defeat him for you!  Let Jesus take him on!  Then watch him flee!  Cry out to the Lord when you’re attacked! Cry out to the Lord when you’re overwhelmed!  Cry out to the Lord to rescue you!  Cry out to the Lord to deliver you!  Then stand by and watch the salvation of the Lord!  Vengeance is HIS!

And that’s the way I see it!

Pastor Mike