Stand Strong in Jesus Christ
No one goes to battle believing that the enemy will play dead when they go on the offensive. The enemy will try to fight back. "No one can enter into the house of the strong man to plunder unless he first binds the strong man; then he will plunder his house." Mark 3:27.
As a praying christian, we need to understand that our prayers affect the enemy in a negative way. Look at what happened to Satan when Jesus sent his disciples to go into cities. "The seventy-two returned with joy and said, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.” He replied, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you" Luke 10:17-19.
In the name of Jesus, the demons flee before Christians who use their authority. What they do not see is Satan falling like lightning from heaven. When we pray, we spoil the enemy's house. So, spiritually, as in the physical, the enemy is going to fight back and try to take revenge.
We have to be prepared to go on the offensive, which we do when we preach the gospel and when we pray, and protect ourselves through the blood of Jesus and by confessing the word of God.
Shield of Faith
If we use our authority, we must learn how to use our shield of faith to defend ourselves. Study those swordsmen, they use their sword to attack the enemy, and at the same time use their shield to defend themselves. The enemy attacks involve doubting oneself, doubting God's words, and doubting God's power. He uses negative thoughts to lower self esteem, and make us feel powerless in ourselves by trying to take our eyes of Jesus.
With every attack of the enemy, confess the word of God. Talk the talk as a Christian. Remind the enemy who you are in Jesus Christ and what the word of God says. Try to resist using reasoning to figure out whether you should obey God or not. That is the devil's tactic. He used the same tactic for Eve in the garden of Eden.
"Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?” And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.’ Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”Genesis 3: 1-4.
Use your shield of faith to protect your mind and thoughts. "Above all, taking up the shield of faith, with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the evil one" Ephesians 6:16. "Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things." Philippians 4:8
The Sword of the Spirit
The devil knew how powerful Jesus was going to be after his fasting in the wilderness. Therefore he tried to stir up pride within Jesus's heart by tempting him. "The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread." Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.” Matthew 4:3-4
The devil uses pride to make us feel we can do things in our own power because we are Christians. Whatever we do we must do to the glory of God and not to prove something about ourselves.
The word of God must not depart from our mouth. David said "I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you." Psalm 119:11. Do not get carried away with sensitivity and emotions. Sometimes the devil will try to trick you to accept negative things for yourself. People will joke with you and say negative things regarding you, contrary to the word of God. What do you do? Accept it or respond with a positive confession for your life?
When Jesus was about to fulfill what God called him to do and the most important part of his mission by going to die on the cross for mankind redemption, the devil was there to hinder him through one of his closest disciples. "From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life. Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. “Never, Lord!” he said. “This shall never happen to you!” Matthew 16: 21-22
Some people might state that Peter meant well. He did not recognise that it was the devil using him to stop Jesus from obeying God. He tried to discourage Jesus from saving mankind through his death on the cross and his resurrection. Jesus recognised the devil at work and rebuked the spirit that spoke through Peter. It is unimaginable how Peter must have felt when "Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.” Matthew 16:21-22.
We have to take our stand against the wiles of the enemy and never take our eyes of God. The devil is a cunning being and would try to use other people's words to derail us, at the same time, make us think they do not mean anything. Why allow people to confess negative things for us, contrary to the blessings and promises of God for our lives? Most of the time, we are too polite to rebuke the devil in the presence of those people, so that we do not offend. Yet, what they said could have implications for our lives unknowingly to us. Undo whatever negative words said to you, either in the presence of that person or as soon as you can by confessing positive words to yourself.
Sometimes the enemy appears as the angel of light, and it takes a prayerful Christian to discern the spirit behind it. Paul and Silas were going to a place of prayer when they met a slave girl. "She followed Paul and the rest of us, shouting, “These men are servants of the Most High God, who are telling you the way to be saved.” Acts 16:17.
On face value, what she said was true. After all they were servants of the Most High God and they were proclaiming the way of salvation. "But Paul, becoming greatly annoyed, turned and said to the spirit, “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her!” It came out that very hour." Acts 16:18
Jesus has given us everything we need to pray with authority and protect ourselves. "We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Therefore put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand." Ephesians 6:12-13