How to defeat the devil. It’s something we’d all like to know how to do, right? Well, the truth is Jesus already defeated the devil for us. So the issue isn’t really defeating the devil, it’s resisting him and overcoming his temptations that lead us into sin where we are fair game for his attacks.
We can both resist and overcome the devil by employing the same strategy Jesus used to defeat that old serpent in the first place: dying.
When Jesus died on the cross, He died with the sin of the world upon Him. But to get that far Jesus had to humble Himself. The Bible says He became obedient to the point of death, even the death on a cross (Philippians 2:8). Let me put it another way. Long before Jesus hung on the tree, and even while He was hanging there awaiting the ultimate pain of separation from His Father, He died to self.
Jesus was compelled to get off that cross by religious spirits and mockers. But He resisted and overcame because long before He died for the sin of the world, He died to His own will. His cry to the Father just hours before that fateful scene on Calvary echoes, “Not my will but yours be done” (Luke 22:42).
The Bible says if we resist the devil, he will flee. But right before that it says submit yourself to God (James 4:7). Submitting ourselves to God requires dying to self in whatever area the devil is tempting us. We can’t successfully resist and overcome until we put down our own will and seek to please the Father more than our flesh, another person or the kingdoms of this world.
Jesus already defeated the devil. Jesus already overcame the world (John 16:33). Jesus was not overcome of evil, but He overcame evil with good (Romans 12:21). In Christ, we have also overcome the devil because He who is in us is greater than he who is in the world (1 John 4:4). Victory in our daily lives merely requires walking in Him, and that requires walking in humility and authority at the same time.
How do we do this? By faith. Our faith is the victory that overcomes the world (1 John 5:4). Our faith is the victory that overcomes temptation. Our faith is the victory that overcomes self. Our faith – and the blood of Christ – is the victory that overcomes sin. Consider this final word: “And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death” (Revelation 12:11).
Jesus died once for all, but if we want to live in victory, if we want to successfully resist the devil, if we want to overcome the wicked one each and every day, we must do as did the Apostle Paul. We must die to self daily (1 Corinthians 15:31).