It never rains but pours. Do you feel overwhelmed? Nothing is going right by you.What do you do when that happens? Do you expect others to help? Do you think you can overcome by yourself?
Is this how your feel? “If it had not been the LORD who was on our side, when men rose up against us: Then they had swallowed us up quick, when their wrath was kindled against us: Then the waters had overwhelmed us, the stream had gone over our soul” (Psalm 124:2-4).
As a child of God, you need not handle all your troubles by yourself.
The Word of God says “When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall raise a standard before him.” Isaiah 59:19.
We know that the enemy is like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour.
But do we know that the Holy Spirit is on our side? He will put the enemy to flight.
Sometimes living for the Lord is a real battle and a real fight. But the Devil can’t lay a claw or a fang on you, he can’t inundate you or drown you with his lies if you resist him with the Word of God! The Bible is God’s standard, like a banner or flag that we can wave in front of the Devil’s sharp pointed nose, and he will flee!–He can’t take the Word! (Jam.4:7)
When the Devil tempts you, what’s the first thing to do?–Ask the Lord for a Scriptural answer! That’s what Jesus did! When the Devil tempted Him and lied to Him, He just quoted the Scriptures! Of course, the Devil also tried quoting Scripture to Jesus, but he twisted them and took them out of context. So the Lord just fired Scriptures back at him the way they should have been applied, “It is written!” (Lk.4:1-13)–And the Devil fled! He can’t resist the Word!
The best way to stop an attack is to counter-attack! The best defense is an offense! Wage a militant warfare against the Enemy! Cover yourself constantly in prayer, soak yourself in the Word, memorise and quote God’s Promises!–Even to the Devil, as well as to yourself! You can put the Enemy out of action with the Word!–Bury him in a flood of the Truth! The promise of God to lift up a standard (The Word) against the enemy is good! It means we can have victory over the enemy’s attacks.
We need to have God’s Word in our heart, and then when the enemy comes against us, the Holy Spirit will bring that Word to our remembrance, and as we speak it in faith, it will overpower the enemy’s attacks, like a flood.
The source of this trouble can be our flesh, the world, or even the devil himself. When the enemy comes in like a flood, God wants to raise up a standard against him. Many times, we respond to this pressure in our normal, usual way that doesn’t avail much.
But God has provided us instructions to overcome in these trials.
As Ephesians 6:10-18 says, “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the Gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints.”
In order to stand up and fight, we need to discern the source of the attack. An attack could be from our flesh, the world, or the devil. We must recognize enemy involvement, reject the world system, repent of known sin, and submit to Christ’s lordship.
Discerning the Source:
I. The Flesh
Mark 7:20-23 “He went on: “What comes out of a man is what makes him ‘unclean.’ For from within, out of men’s hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. All these evils come from inside and make a man ‘unclean.’”
Galatians 5:19-21 “Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.”
II. The World
1 John 2:15-17 “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world-the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life-is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.”
James 4:4 “Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.”
John 16:33 “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world, you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
III. The Devil
John 10:10 “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.”
1 Peter 5:8 “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.”
As Christians, we need to understand and learn to recognize the tactics of the tempter “lest Satan should take advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices” (2 Corinthians 2:11).
Ask the Lord to sharpen your discernment. Hebrews 5:14 says, “But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.” Build authoritative prayer into your lifestyle. Prayer should not be a last-minute combative move against the enemy.
A good swimmer will tell you when the waves get rough, dive into the waves because you can’t outrun them. This is true in our walk with the Lord. The attacks will come. We cannot outrun them. But we don’t have to let the waves of life push us down and drown us. Dive in. Stand up and fight! Put on the amour of God!
In closing, I want to encourage you to “Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses” (1 Timothy 6:12). Stand up to your flesh! Stand up to the influence of the world! And stand up to the devil! Tell him to get behind you.
He is defeated by the blood of Jesus Christ.
In the end, we win!