"My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all."
- John 10:29 NIV
Recently, when I was going through a very difficult time and earnestly seeking the Lord, He brought it to my attention that I was focusing entirely too much on the devil and not enough on God. As a result, I was feeling more and more fearful, depressed, and hopeless. The Lord led me to the Scripture above, and He impressed upon me to meditate on the phrase, "My Father is greater than all." Every time negative feelings threatened to overwhelm me, I reminded myself of this powerful truth, and I could sense a calmness crowding out my fears.
I often hear from people who say something like, "The devil is really doing a number on me!" I can really sympathize with them, because I know those feelings all too well myself. The good news is that if we will make the effort to remind ourselves of some powerful truths from God's Word, we can be the overcomers that the Lord wants us to be. First of all, we need to remember that only God is all-powerful. Also, God limits the activities of Satan and his demonic forces. And to some extent, we can, too. James 4:7 (NIV) says: "Submit yourselves to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you." By sinning, we can give Satan the opportunity to come into our lives to "steal, kill and destroy." (John 10:10) But by living in submission to God's will, and resisting temptation when it comes, we can slam the door in the devil's face, and severely limit his involvement in our lives.
Another way we can hinder Satan's activities against us is to "pray without ceasing," like the Bible says. (1 Thessalonians 5:17 NKJV) For those of us who belong to the Lord, prayer should be like breathing. We are in a continuous battle with the forces of evil, and by keeping in constant communication with our divine Commander-in-Chief, and relying on His power and guidance, we can avoid many of the traps and obstacles that the enemy puts in our way. As we give God first place in our lives, and as we trust and obey Him in every situation, we can count on Him to fight our battles for us, so that we can live the life of rest and peace that He's called us to. (Hebrews 4:3, Colossians 3:15)
If you have put your hope in Christ, then you have been equipped with heavenly weapons to be an overcomer. I urge you to make a commitment to dig into God's Word, and discover for yourself how the Lord has provided you with everything you need to walk in victory. The apostle John reminds us that because we have been born of God, the One who lives in us (God) is greater than the one who is in the world (Satan). (1 John 4:4) And Paul reminds us that the Lord is not neutral, when he writes, "If God is for us, who can be against us?" (Romans 8:31) On our own, we can do nothing. (John 15:5) But with God on our side, "we are more than conquerors." (Romans 8:37)
It's true that Satan is a formidable opponent. But he's no match for God. When we fear the devil and concentrate on his activities, we actually play into his hands and give him the kind of attention and control he thrives on. But when we keep our eyes on God, and attend to His Word, we strengthen our defenses against satanic attack. The next time you are in a trial and are feeling "under attack," make a conscious decision not to focus on the devil's destructiveness, but on God's greatness. Take heart, and remember the Savior's words - our Father is greater than all!
Prayer: Lord, help me to focus on Your greatness and goodness when I'm going through difficult times. When I'm tempted to fear the devil and his activities, remind me that as long as I fear and reverence You alone, I need fear nothing else. (Isaiah 8:13-14) Teach me how to encourage myself with the truth of Your Word, so that I'll have a keen awareness of who I am in Christ, and who You are to me. Thank You for fighting my battles, and enabling me to live a life of victory and rest!
- J. M. Farro