Hebrews 12: 1 - 3, Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls. NKJV
The work of the cross is finished; however, we are still required by the Lord to repent of the evil that we have committed in His sight, ask for forgiveness, and move forward in the power of Christ. You can do all things through Christ; and this includes overcoming your past and walking in victory over the strategies of the Devil.
Even so, once you make a commitment to the Lord to begin to forget those things which are behind you and press toward the upward calling of Christ, you must learn how to place trust in the Lord. While we were in the world and living life for our own pleasures, we only placed confidence in ourselves (or our "self" nature). However, now that we have decided to live the life that God intended for us to live in Christ, we have to undergo the process of relying on the power of God and His Word to bring us through the tests and trials; we will then become established in the faith.
Satan didn't have any say so when it came to the salvation of your soul because it was God's will for you to be saved. Nevertheless, now that you've decided to commit to Jesus and live your life for Him, Satan will still try his best to "trip you up" as you go through the conversion process of becoming established in Christ. Our adversary couldn't prevent God from loving and saving us, but he will definitely try to prevent us from allowing our faith in Christ to transform us into becoming powerful sons and daughters of God. Be careful that you don't fall into the trap of the enemy where you believe that you can do God's will in the strength of your flesh because you will fail every time.
Here's how you will know that you're trying to walk by faith in your own strength, knowledge, and abilities: you will have an encounter with Satan, and you will try to defeat his schemes without turning to the Lord, first. We see this in the story of Eve. Eve was confronted by Satan, who had embodied the serpent so that he could deceive her. It was after she told the serpent what God had told them (not to eat of the forbidden tree of knowledge because they would die) that Satan began to dispute God's Word with her. Once he engaged her in a conversation, he knew that he would win the battle because she didn't invoke the Word of God or the power of God; she simply argued with him in her own strength. We must never try to outsmart Satan with our knowledge, talent, strength or abilities; instead, we must train ourselves to turn to the Lord and pray. If we don't, then we will enter into temptation...just as Jesus taught His disciples in Matthew 26.
Let's break it down so that we can know the correct way to overcome Satan when he attacks our faith in Christ. Eve did okay as long as Satan didn't go outside her knowledge or understanding of God. However, you and I both know that Satan will begin in something we know; and then he will lead us as he did with Eve into deeper, darker waters of the unknown. We must not go there; we must turn to the Lord for assistance. After she told the serpent what God had said, the serpent responded with a lie and an attack on God's character. Think about this for a moment: if Eve knew the truth about what Satan was suggesting concerning God's command and His character, do you think she would have fallen for his lies?
Consequently, we can see that after the serpent engaged her attention to his plan or attack, he proceeded to move her over into doubt and unbelief because she didn't know the truth about what he had told her concerning God. It is here when Eve should have called on God for backup. It is also at this same place that we, as children of God, must turn to the Lord in our own times of trials and temptations. For this reason, we're told over and over in the Word of God, "to be still," "do not fear," or to "be of good cheer." God doesn't want us to be impulsive when Satan attacks our lives or threatens our well being. Paul tells us in Ephesians 6 that we must put on the whole armor of God that we might be able to withstand our enemies in the evil day. We are to turn to the Lord and His Word when life hits us with a problem or a dilemma that goes beyond our knowledge of God's Word or our understanding of God's ways.
If we should act out of fear, desire, or our emotions in response to Satan's schemes, then we will fall into his trap and enter into temptation. Begin today by asking your heavenly Father to guard your heart when offenses come into your life. Ask Him to keep you from allowing your flesh to lead you into temptation and sin. Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding; acknowledge Him in all your ways, and He will direct your steps. The only way for you and I to live a victorious life over the strategies and lies of Satan is to keep our faith in Christ, no matter what comes our way. Eve failed to do this because Satan convinced her that God was holding "good things" back from her. She believed something that wasn't true about God, and it caused her to act out of unbelief; and she sinned. So when the tempter comes, and he will come; don't buy his lies. Turn to the Lord and begin to seek Him. As you do this, then the Lord will begin to show you greater revelations and give you His understanding so that you can be empowered to make the right decisions and not fall prey to Satan's lies. You can do this...
Standing on the Word,
Pastor Asa Dockery