You do know you can talk back to Satan, right? Jesus modeled this for us when the devil was tempting Him in the wilderness. Satan would tempt Jesus, and Jesus would talk back to the devil, reminding him who he was and putting him in his place. Perhaps you think it’s one thing for Jesus to talk back to the devil and another thing for us to do so. On the contrary, Jesus said we would do greater things than He had done (John 14:12).
As disciples of Jesus, we are to pattern our lives after His. What we see Jesus do, we should do. When Satan comes along flaunting temptation before us, we should not hesitate in saying, “Not today devil!”
I’ve known many Christians who are apprehensive or even freaked out when I mention talking back to the devil. In truth, they are afraid of the consequences. They’ve seen too many Hollywood movies where Satan’s power is on display. For me, I’d be more concerned about the consequences of not talking back to the evil one. Satan is serious evil, but those of us covered by the blood of Jesus should not fear him. What we should fear is what he will do if we allow him to gain a foothold in our lives.
Peter is clear when he describes Satan as a roaring lion, a being who seeks only to kill and destroy (1 Peter 5:8). Given the opportunity, Satan will destroy your relationships, your livelihood, your character, your marriage, and your family. Worse, he will delight in doing so. This is why we must not be afraid to stand up in the power of Jesus and say, “Not today devil. Not here, not now. You will not find a place in my heart or in my relationships. Not today, devil; not today.”
It is said idle hands are the devil’s workshop. This is why Peter encourages us to be ever vigilant (1 Peter 5:8) against the attacks of the enemy. Satan needs only a toehold to begin consuming our lives. Greed doesn’t begin by coming across a million dollars and hoarding it for yourself. Greed begins when you withhold a little of God’s portion of your earnings “just this time” so you can buy something you want. Affairs don’t happen because a member of the opposite sex suddenly comes up and invites you to a hotel. They begin when your head is turned looking at the attractiveness of someone who is not your spouse. Little sparks start great fires (James 3:5).
Temptation is subtle and always starts small. If it were obvious, we would recognize it for what it was. But the insidious and tiny whispers in our ear often invade our defenses. We let them in because they seem harmless. We’ve got to capture them when they are small, when they are simple fleeting thoughts (2 Corinthians 10:3-5). The moment we sense temptation, we’ve got to talk back to the devil. In God’s power, and covered by the blood of Christ, we’ve got to stare Satan down. We need to remind him who he is, where he belongs, and where his eternal destiny lies. We’ve got to say, “Not today devil!”, and walk away.