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No Entry For Evil

1 Peter 5:9
Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings. (NIVUK)

Bullies can be found everywhere, from the school playground to the workplace.  They achieve their wicked purposes by inducing fear, expecting people to submit to their domination.  Facing up to a bully is the best way to make him or her back down.  The threats and whispers which surround these people, and their sycophantic entourage, demand that people of courage should expose them.  It is the same problem with the devil.  The more that people bow to his spiritual terrorism, with its lies and threats, the more trapped they become as they wrongly believe that their situation is hopeless.

But hope is God’s precious gift to every believer.  Peter starts his letter with these words, “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade.” (1 Peter 1:3-4).  So, whatever the difficulty, and believers under persecution have many (Revelation 2:10), it is crucial that they do not succumb to the devil’s taunts.
Peter, who had previously failed to watch and pray (Matthew 26:40-41) and had fallen to temptation in denying Jesus (Luke 22:34), knew that resistance is essential.  Refuse to accept Satan's lies (James 4:7): they do not contain anything you need to act upon, or be frightened by.  But we can only resist the devil if we are secure in Jesus who is far greater than Satan - in the same way that Jesus was not fazed by His wilderness encounter with him because of the utter confidence that He was loved and appointed by His Heavenly Father.  'Standing firm in the faith' does not mean being perfect, but being confident of the love, mercy and grace of the Lord, as described in the Bible.  Do not forget that God has provided you with all the armour you need - as long as you stand and face down the bullying lies of Satan (Ephesians 6:10-20).
It also helps to know that you are not the only one who is a target of Satan.  Today, more people around the world are being persecuted because they believe in Jesus than ever before.  So be encouraged that you are not alone - many others around the world today also consider it worthwhile to stand up for Jesus.  You need God’s encouragement that it is right to resist the powers of darkness; that is why Peter is writing.  We resist by refusing to accept Satan’s lies as being truth, and by challenging erroneous thoughts with God's Word.  As we praise God, we refuse to honour Satan; and as we obey God we dethrone the devil.  Dare to resist Satan (James 4:7).  After all, your 'big brother' is Jesus (Hebrews 2:11), and He is the only person Satan will run away from!

Lord of power and might. Thank You for Your help to stand firm in the face of the attacks of the devil. Forgive me for believing his lies and becoming ensnared in hopelessness. Strengthen me to dare to resist his taunts, attacks and sweet temptations. I also pray for my brothers and sisters around the world who are suffering today because they love Jesus. Please sustain them in their need and may their example encourage me to stand firm for You and against Satan. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
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© Dr Paul Adams