With the dawn of a new year, there is the need to make new resolutions. The new year is a time to start afresh, to begin again on a clean slate. “Old things have passed away, behold all things have become new.”
For many, this may mean standing firm and resisting all attempts and temptations of the enemy (devil). This is why this article has been shared to begin the new year. Arm yourself with the Word.
HAPPY NEW YEAR: Editor’s note
God loves you and has a good plan for your life. But if you want to live in His plan, you have to renew your mind and change your whole way of thinking, according to the Word of God. Romans 12:2 (AMPC) says, “Do not be conformed to this world (this age)…but be transformed (changed) by the [entire] renewal of your mind [by its new ideals and its new attitude], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God….”
I can tell you from personal experience that this is true, because after I got serious about my relationship with God and started to study the Word, my life changed in amazing ways. I was basically a miserable person with a lot of negativity, bitterness and anger, but as my mind was renewed, I became a joyful, peaceful, pleasant, hopeful person.
The Bible also tells us we’re in a war. Ephesians 6:12 (NLT) says, “For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.” The devil and his demons are real, and their first line of attack is our mind.
But although the enemy “comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy,” Jesus came so we can “have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows)” (John 10:10 AMPC). And Luke 10:19 (AMPC) says He has given us “authority and power…over all the power that the enemy [possesses]….”
The enemy has power, but through Christ, we have authority and power over him. The truth is he only has authority to use his power against us when we give it to him.
Know the Word
The number one way to defeat the devil is to know the Word of God well enough that you recognize the lies of the enemy, so you can cast down those thoughts. Second Corinthians 10:5 tells us that “we demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ” (NIV).
The key is knowing Scripture so you can quickly recognize the lies of the devil and come right back at him with the Truth. Ephesians 6:17 says we have the helmet of salvation, which means we can think like someone who is born again as we renew our mind with God’s Word.
Have a Peaceful Approach to Life
Another way to overcome the attack of the enemy is to stay in peace at all times. Peace is power, and when the devil throws his best attack at you and you stay peaceful, he doesn’t know what to do!
When you’re struggling with a difficult situation, if you will trust that God is working, no matter what it looks like or how you feel, then you can stay peaceful. We all face challenges that can steal our peace, and we have a choice to make. We can go through life being frantic when trouble comes, or we can cast our care on God and enjoy the journey! (See 1 Peter 5:7.)
Live in His Presence
Spending time in God’s presence is another way we resist the devil. It’s true that we spend our time and money on things that are really important to us. And making God our top priority—working our schedules around our time with Him, rather than working Him into our busy schedules—is how we live when He is the most important thing in our life.
When we hang out with Jesus, people know there is something different about us. We’re peaceful, and they can tell by the way we act that we are Christians. And did you know that when you pray and study the Bible, you’re doing spiritual warfare?
Psalm 31:20 (AMPC) says, “In the secret place of Your presence You hide them from the plots of men; You keep them secretly in Your pavilion from the strife of tongues.” I love how this scripture shows that I’m protected as I spend time in God’s presence. I’m aware that He is an ever-present reality, and I have victory when His presence is all around me.
Win the War with Love
John 3:16 demonstrates how walking in love is spiritual warfare. It says, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (NIV). This verse shows us two ways love is expressed: it gives and it forgives.
God gave Jesus so we can have eternal life. And through Christ, He forgives us and meets our needs. The same way He loves us is how He wants us to love others.
Romans 12:21 says we overcome evil with good. When we have problems, those are the times we need to love someone by being good to them, doing something that helps to make their life better.
Remember that love is not just a warm, fuzzy feeling or a theory; it’s a decision about how you will treat people. We can’t love if we do it only when we feel like it. We have to make a decision to be committed to live a life of love, and this is possible when we put our trust in God and rely on Him to give us the grace to do it.
I want to encourage you to study God’s Word, spend time in His presence every day, stay peaceful in every situation, and love others the way God loves you. It’s the way you can defeat the attack of the enemy and enjoy the abundant life Jesus died to give you.