When something negative happens to us, we have two choices. We can be angry at God for seemingly not coming through for us; or angry at the devil for afflicting us with the issue in the first place. The devil should be our choice because we know God is our deliverer regardless of our experience. We also know from God’s Word that the devil is the author of sickness, poverty, sin, and death. He is the ultimate enemy.
The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. (John 10:10)
He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil. (I John 3:8)
“…how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him”. (Acts 10:38)
Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power. For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet. The last enemy that will be destroyed is death. (I Corinthians 15:24-26)
We also have two other choices. We can steam and spit, cry and mourn, wishing the devil had picked on someone else. Or we can do something that would really count – we can give him a “black eye”! This is an analogy because the devil is not a physical being, but a spiritual one (Ephesians 6:12). He must be fought and defeated with spiritual weapons and actions that advance the Kingdom of God.
Ultimately, Jesus defeated the devil on the cross; but there are things we can do to put him in his place while we live on the earth. These actions make the devil nervous, irritated, and ultimately a loser! We can make the devil wish he had never messed with us!
Whether you and I have had tragedy happen to us or not, we can daily wound the devil and his kingdom! The following are some ways we can “give the devil a black eye”! In a nutshell, it results in being a good disciple of Jesus, pushing the devil’s authority out of our lives.
- Live for Jesus – in every area.
Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. James 4:7
The ultimate way to get the better of the devil is to commit our lives to Jesus – spirit, soul, and body. This means the devil has no authority over us because we now are part of God’s family! When we are saved, we become a threat to the kingdom of darkness, rather than a pawn the devil can control. Nothing is more aggravating to him!
- Advance the Kingdom of God.
And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.” Mark 16:15-18
Advancing the Kingdom of God means dismantling the devil’s kingdom piece by piece. The more we reach out and proclaim the Gospel, the less impact the devil has on the world. We can promote the Gospel by giving and serving in missions, praying for people, and witnessing to the lost. Ministering to our church body also imparts strength to God’s Kingdom. The stronger the Church, the weaker the devil!
- Walk in love.
A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:34-35
Jesus is love; the devil is not. The devil winces every time we show love, especially when the person is undeserving and we don’t feel like showing it. Since Jesus has called us to be like Him, our choice to reflect His love is an expression of our submission to His Lordship. Yet another wound to the devil’s plans!
- Live by faith.
For we walk by faith, not by sight. I Corinthians 5:7
Everything about salvation is based on faith. We live according to what the Word of God says, not by what we feel or see. When we choose not to be moved by our senses or what others say, we are putting a stop to the devil’s ability to move in our lives. He wants us to doubt God’s Word; but a heart of faith, trusting in God alone, stops his ability to steal from us and ours!
- Use our authority.
Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you. Luke 10:19
The devil delights in pestering anyone who doesn’t know their authority over him. However, he doesn’t stand a chance against someone who knows how to implement the Name of Jesus and the Sword of the Spirit (Mark 16:15-18; Ephesians 6:10-18)! He has no choice but to flee!
- Praise and worship.
“To console those who mourn in Zion, to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they may be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.” (Isaiah 61:3)
Depression, anxiety, and fear are all are a part of the “spirit of heaviness,” sent by the devil to distract and oppress us. They render us weak, unable to fulfill our calling. God’s remedy, however, is “the garment of praise.” The devil can’t live in an atmosphere of worship because God “inhabits the praises of His people” (Psalm 22:3). It greatly aggravates Him when God is glorified, especially when He’s glorified from our lips!
- Never give up!
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing. 2 Timothy 4:7-8
We are called to persevere, fighting to the very end as we pursue hearing Jesus say, “Well done, good and faithful servant!” (Matthew 23:25) While God delights in never giving up, the devil delights in quitting. It means he has won when we throw in the towel. It’s frustrating to him, however, when he comes face to face with someone who will not stop! It’s a sure sign of his demise!
The greatest glory in harming the devil’s kingdom is the ultimate result of glorifying Jesus that much more! It always comes back to Jesus – He is the victor and we live our victory through Him!
For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? (I John 5:4)