Keeping the Devil Out 1 Pet 5:8-9 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
In the two prior broadcasts, we discussed possession by the devil and getting the devil out. Today we are going to discuss keeping the devil out. These are precautions that can help you keep the devil from influencing and controlling you. He is so subtle and we are so weak and easily influenced by his temptations. Keeping the devil out requires:
Humility (1 Tim. 3:6) – We must be careful in keeping the devil out through our spiritual warfare not to be lifted up with pride. Submit to God and resist the devil (James 4:7). When Christians are attacked by the devil, they often, unwisely, get into a conversation with him. Don’t do that. That’s pride. You are no match for him. Just submit to God, and resist the devil, at the same time. The Lord is the one who takes him on, not you (2 Tim 4:17). Jesus is your shepherd and he is the one who will keep him out (Jn 10:10-11).
Faith (1 Pet 5:8-9; Ephesians 6:16) – People “believe” the Bible by “faith,” and “understand” the Bible by “revelation.” Take Peter, for instance. He believed that Jesus Christ was the Messiah long before that truth was revealed to him. That’s “faith.” Later, in Matthew 16:17, God revealed to Peter that Jesus was the Christ. That’s “understanding.” But, Peter did not have to understand that Jesus was the Christ to believe that Jesus was the Christ.
However, when Jesus explained to Peter and the disciples that he would die (Matthew 16:21), Peter rebuked him because he did not “believe” that Christ had to die (Matthew 16:22). That’s a lack of faith. Of course, this truth was not revealed to him until after the resurrection (Luke 24: 44-46). He could not possibly have understood this until it was revealed to him. Thus, Peter left himself open to an attack by the devil (Luke 22: 31-32) because he did not “believe” what the Bible said. He refused to believe it since he could not “understand” it.
The devil often trips up people by making them believe that they must understand something before they can believe it. But understanding is not the weapon. Faith is! Faith is one of the greatest weapons in our warfare (1 Jn 5:4).
The whole armor of God (Ephesians 6: 10-18) – The armor of God has six pieces that protect everything on your body but your knees and your back. That’s because we stand by kneeling in prayer. And, for the Christian, there is no retreat. When you turn your back to the devil and run, you are exposed. You must stand and use the shield of faith to quench his fiery darts. You must use the sword of the Spirit which is the word of God just like Jesus did when he was tempted in Matthew 4. Every time he was attacked, he quoted Scripture until the devil left him alone.
The blood of Christ (Hebrews 9:14; Psalm 51: 10) – Although Jesus shed His blood on Calvary nearly 2,000 years ago, it still saved you when you trusted Christ (Col. 1:14). Likewise, the blood of Christ is currently available to purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God. You must plead the blood of Christ whenever you are in spiritual warfare, because at Calvary, Christ triumphed over all principalities and powers (Col 2:14-15).
Spiritual mindedness (Romans 8:6) – Think on spiritual things (Phil 4:8). These keep you from being carnally minded which is death. The trouble with most of us is that we keep our minds filled with distractions of the flesh. The devil can have a heyday in minds like that. You must be “renewed in the spirit of your mind” (Eph. 4:23). The best way to do this is to read plenty of Bible. Don’t give place to the devil (Eph 4:27). Our thoughts need to be in captivity to the Lord Jesus Christ (2 Cor. 10:3-6). Remember that God can read your mind. So, don’t pretend to God that you are thinking something good when you are really thinking evil thoughts (1 Chr. 28:9; Heb. 4:12; Eze. 11:5).
Conclusion: in these three broadcasts we have seen that the devil can possess Christians, that Christians can get the devil out by practical, spiritual means, and that, likewise, Christians can keep the devil out by practical, spiritual means. The Bible is the truth and it shows us how to use the truth to strengthen ourselves against spiritual attacks.