“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10).
If Satan can steal, kill, and destroy, how can I overcome him? He can steal the word and God’s promises right out of my head, leaving me with no way to fight. He can cause tragic situations to happen and even kill me. He can destroy relationships and things that I cherish. What can I do?
I can turn to Jesus and love God with my whole heart, mind, and strength. Then, those horrible things that Satan can do become less of a problem. God’s abundant and full love overflows within me and gives me the ability to withstand Satan’s battles.
Here are 10 things Satan cannot do:
1. Make Me Sin
“It’s my own lusts, desires, and selfish wants that make sin appealing enough to cause me to step into it. The more I justify my desires and wants, the more I will want to sin in order to get them” (James 1:13-15).
My free will causes me to sin. The devil can’t make me do anything. Satan may place a bad idea in front of me, but it’s my own fault if I step into it. Sometimes, I only see the full consequences after I fall.
2. Make Me Fear Death
I don’t know what the length of my life will be and I don’t know how my end will come about. Fearing death seems natural; there may be pain and suffering involved. There will be pain from losing the good things on earth that I will miss. And there will probably be regrets regarding the times I didn’t live as a loving, good steward.
But those negatives will only happen in the process of death, not afterwards. The sting of death is gone because of Jesus. He will wipe away my tears and I will be in a place of warmth and love that I can’t even fathom now.
3. Take My Stamina
God will always give me the power to withstand temptation when I ask Him. But I need to remember to pray and ask God for that strength.
I can sometimes think that I’m standing strong when I’m actually standing in my own pride and determination. Then, I will soon fall. But when I lean on God and His strength, He is faithful to help me to walk right on by any temptations that threaten me (1 Corinthians 10:12-13).
4. Pester Me After I Resist
Satan can whisper that I deserve better; he can invite me to get what I want the quickest, easiest way possible. He can even make lies sound truthful.
However, once I make up my mind that I’m going to do it God’s way, Jesus will give me the power to follow through with my commitment and Satan has to flee. James 4:7 says that when I submit myself to God and resist Satan’s schemes, he will flee.
5. Control Me
Once I accept Christ into my heart, Satan cannot control me anymore. Yes, he can still pester me before I resist him in a given situation (refer back to #4). Satan can still whisper lies that sound true. But he can never control me.
When I allowed God into my soul, He locked the door behind Him. I have to say yes to Satan’s whispers, lies, and temptations in order for them to have any power in my life. Unfortunately, sometimes I do still agree with those lies—at least in a particular moment. But even after I’ve stepped in the wrong direction, I can retreat, repent, and head back to the One that my soul really loves.
6. Be Everywhere at Once
Satan cannot be everywhere at once. He can only roam around (Job 1:7). He is not omnipresent, like God. The Lord fills the heavens and the earth (Jeremiah 23:24). I can never flee from God’s presence—day or night. God is there when I rejoice and worship Him. He is even there when I’m in trouble, regretful, and desperately needing help.
Typically, Satan doesn’t show up during those times when I’m rejoicing or when I’m desperately in need of help. He doesn’t like it when I rejoice, but He loves it when I grumble. And he is glad when I desperately need help, for that is his goal—to get me into trouble.
7. Anything Without God’s Permission
The Lord had to give permission for Satan to take away everything that Job had (Job 1:12 & Job 2:6). Even though he does rule the earth for the time being, Satan does so under a tight rein.
God has to allow Satan’s tragedies and temptations. God also gives him limitations on those temptations and tragedies. God only gives him permission when He can bring something good out of it.
8. Steal My Faith
Job lost everything: friends, kids, wife, status, and health, but he never lost his faith in God. Sure, he had a lot of questions. He also didn’t understand why God had allowed such things. But he stayed faithful to God.
When I put on the entire armor of God daily (Ephesians 6:13-17), I am protected by a belt of truth as well as God’s righteousness. Shoes of peace cover my feet and help me to share the good news. A shield of faith stops arrows of lies that come at me. A helmet of salvation gives me confidence to go forward. And God’s Word is given to me as ammunition. Then, I can stand firm against Satan’s wiles.
9. Commandeer My Future
Although I am fighting in the great battle of good vs. evil, I am able to hold my ground because God is on my side. God gives me eternal life and I will never perish. Problems will arise in my life, but in the long run they will seem much smaller.
No one can snatch me away from God’s love (including Satan), for my Father in Heaven is more powerful than anyone or anything. His Hand will hold me securely (John 10:28-29).
Many battles will be won by Satan on this earth, just like the Confederate army won some battles in the U.S. Civil War. In the end, however, God will win the war. The authority of Christ will prevail by the blood of the Lamb (Revelation 12:10-11)!
You see, the blood of the Lamb creates testimonies of all the people that surrender to Christ. Every single time that I step away from temptation, a testimony to God’s power is formed. Each time that I retreat from stepping into sin, repent, and go back to God, another testimony is forged. And, every time that I go through a tragic situation with my faith in God’s goodness intact, another testimony springs forth.