It is one of the Bible’s many sweet and powerful promises: “Resist the devil and he will flee from you” (James 4:7). The question is, though, how do we do this? In very practical ways, how do we resist the devil? Thomas Brooks offers a list of ten ways the Christian can resist Satan’s temptations.
1. Be Ruled by the Word. Make the Word of God your rule and authority and live in obedience to all it says. It will keep you walking straight and guard you from all manner of temptation. “When men throw off the Word, then God throws off them, and then Satan takes them by the hand, and leads them into snares at his pleasure.”
2. Beware of Grieving the Holy Spirit. It is the Holy Spirit that gives the Christian the ability to discern Satan’s temptations and to see his hand in and behind life’s circumstances. If you grieve the Spirit, you drive off the one whose ministry involves guarding you against Satan’s attacks.
3. Labor for Wisdom. There is a great difference between knowledge and wisdom, between accumulating facts and applying Scripture to those facts so they become wisdom. It is not the Christian with the most knowledge, but the Christian with the most wisdom, who is equipped to battle Satan’s temptations.
4. Resist the First Stirring of Temptation. It is safe to resist temptation and dangerous to dabble in it. “He that will play with Satan’s bait, will quickly be taken with Satan’s hook.” God promises that we can resist temptation, not that we can resist sin once we have begun to dabble in that temptation.
5. Labor to Be Filled With the Spirit. The Spirit is a Spirit of light and power. The Spirit’s light shines bright against the darkness of sin and his power is sufficient to overcome all evil and temptation. When it comes to fighting Satan’s temptations, it is better to have a heart filled with the Spirit than a head filled with facts.