Whenever we purposely stop depending on God’s Holy Spirit to help us stand against being tempted to sin, and then turn around and deliberately make plans to sin, we leave ourselves exposed to possible attacks, or even control, by Satan. It is not just our actions that he attacks—our motivation is under attack as well. We can be sure that, if God is at work in our lives, Satan is going to oppose us! Yet we must realize at all times that God’s grace is far greater than any opposition Satan can make. It doesn’t matter what kind of situation we’re trying to deal with—the power of God is greater than the power of Satan.
Christians have only one power source—the Holy Spirit. And the only way to release that power is by having faith in God. But faith itself it is not the power—faith is confidence in God that can’t be broken. Therefore, Satan will set out to do anything and everything he can to interfere with our progress and make us compromise the faith we have in God. What is the reason why Satan wants to attack us? He wants to destroy whatever faith we have, or at least to make it weak, so our battle will be lost. His goal is for us to lose our faith in God so he will win. But we should not give up! If we will continue to hold onto faith in God, Satan cannot stop us! The Lord gives us “power…over all the power of the enemy” (Luke 10:19). No matter what obstacle Satan may put in our path, He will enable us to overcome.
Who will give us power over ourself, over our sin, and over Satan? The Holy Spirit. “…ye shall receive power, when the Holy [Spirit] is come upon you…” (Acts 1:8). But we are not to go after this power as a substitute for having a personal relationship with Jesus, which is the primary way that the Holy Spirit comes in power. He lives in every true believer in Christ (although He does not necessarily fill or give power to each one, unless they ask Him to). If we will just release the Holy Spirit in us to work by our faith in God, many favorable results will start taking place in our life and walk with Him.
“And the devil said unto Him, All this power will I give You, and the glory of them….” Here we have the mode of operation Satan uses to capture many believers. “…for that is delivered unto me…” pertains to the Garden of Eden, when Satan obtained this power over man, because Adam and Eve forfeited it by their sin. “…and to whomsoever I will I give it” (Luke 4:6) refers to Satan becoming the false ruler of this world. But the authority he has in this world and over man is not unlimited, because final authority over everything rests with God. “When Simon Peter saw it…” (Luke 5:8), it was not intended to make Simon esteem himself highly, but to think of himself in a lowly manner instead. This attitude will always be the result of God’s power and grace being manifested on the conscience of fallen human beings. Jesus told the disciples to fear God’s power, not any other. He also said not to fear Satan, but to “Fear Him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell” (Matthew 10:28).
The Cross is where Christ defeated Satan and every other power forever. Satan’s ultimate victory comes when he can succeed in destroying us by destroying our faith that is anchored in the Cross of Christ. Therefore, the center of every attack he undertakes against God’s work is the Cross. But too many people today don’t depend upon what Jesus Christ can do, or on the miraculous power of God. They only want to look at things from their own point of view. There are others who do believe in God, but can’t imagine how much the Word of God that we speak is able to disable Satan’s power. But it is prayer that paralyzes the very powers of darkness! No wonder Satan tries to keep our minds busy, actively working for God so much that we don’t have time to even think, much less pray! We need to choke other interests and make time to realize that the center of all power in our life is Jesus Christ and His blood shed on the Cross for us. And never forget that Satan’s goal is to keep us away from that point of prayer.
We can remain powerless forever if we keep trying to do God’s work through ideas that come from our own moods and attitude toward life—instead of concentrating on His power. Christ’s death on the Cross is the one thing that should exert the greatest influence in our lives. We need to learn that it is the central point of all power for us. God expects those who know Him to be confident in His ability and power, because He is disciplining us to get us into this central place. Let’s make it our prayer that we will all be “kept by the power of God” (1 Peter 1:5). Then, as we continue to obey Him, we’ll discover that we have a wealth of strength on the inside—a power greater than the devil.