Ephesians 6:10-16 says,
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.”
Christians are equipped with everything needed for life and Godliness. But many of us aren’t ready when the enemy attacks. That causes us to live in defeat in many areas of our lives.
The last two weeks as we’ve reviewed The Battle Plan for Prayer, we’ve talked about praying offensively and praying preemptively. This week we’re sharing the defensive strategy – a hand to hand combat against Satan’s attacks.
Alex and Stephen Kendrick suggest an acronym to help us remember how to pray defensively. RESPOND. Today we’re sharing the meaning of these seven letters.
We’re sharing the RESPOND acronym today to help us in our defensive prayer.
R is for RESIST; resist Satan in Jesus name. James 4:7 tells us to resist the devil and he will flee from us. We don’t have to put up with Satan’s thoughts, accusations, or mind games. Jesus refused to be bribed into surrendering control or falling victim to his schemes. Christ pushed back. ‘He said go away Satan’ on one occasion, (Matt 4:10) and get behind me Satan on another (Mark 8:33). We should do the same thing, but we do so in Christ’s name and by his authority, not our own.
The name of Jesus Christ is above every other name. His is the name in which we pray, are healed, and cast out demons. There’s a reason why the name Jesus Christ is used for cursing and profanity in movies and television, and never Buddha or Mohammed… Because it is the name of power that Satan must submit to and wants to dishonor. We should never speak Jesus‘s name irreverently. It is holy. So when you are confronted in combat with the devil, resist him by calling on the most powerful name known to man. Either confront him directly with “Go away Satan, in Jesus name!”…Or indirectly in prayer, “Father, in Jesus‘s name, I ask you to rebuke Satan. He must flee.”
E is for ESCAPE; escape with scripture. God promises to always provide “way of escape” from Temptation. Every time Jesus was tempted by the devil, he raised his shield of faith and strategically cut down Satan by quoting the word of God. We should trust and utilize the appropriate verse that deals with the specific Jesus does this in Matthew 4:1–11. God has given us loads of powerful ammunition in Scripture, ready to fire at the enemy. We just need to learn the verses that deal with your issues so when Satan temps or plants a wicked thought in your head like “you are unloved and will fail,” you can respond with, “Get away from me Satan, in Jesus name.”
Romans 5:8 says God proved his love for us when Christ died for us. And Philippians 4:13 says “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!“
Block, counter, punch, and kick to the face!
S is for SEARCH; search for unconfessed sin. The times you are tested should become a motivation for cleansing. The book of James says after you submit to God and resist the devil, you should “cleanse your hands, sinners, and purify your hearts”.
Victory should lead to repentance because repentance helps you stand strong against temptations. But there’s a difference between being tempted by something and being tormented by something. Everyone is tempted. Jesus was and you will be. It’s not a sin to be tempted. If the enemy is constantly tormenting you with something there’s a good chance that an unconfessed sin from your past has given him a foothold and allow his network of lies into your heart. The truth will set us free, why can keep us in bondage. We must throw off any hindrance of saying “which so easily in tangles us” and the lies that go with it so that we can walk in the victory and freedom Christ has already one for us on the cross. I name is attacks today may not be because of yesterday sin- regardless we should pray, “search me. Oh God. And know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting “(Psalm 139: 23-24)
If God reveals any un-repented sin from yesterday. Or even a decade ago. quickly admit and empty yourself of it.
P is for PLEAD; Plead the blood of Jesus. When we admit our sin and plead (appeal by faith) for God to cleanse us by his blood, he is faithful to forgive and Wash is from all unrighteousness. We should rest in this. Forgiving believers who don’t believe they are forgiven will not act like believers, these believers make easy marks for enemy fire. It’s true “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God”. But by faith in him, we’ve been “justified as a gift by his grace through the redemption which in Jesus Christ… And his blood”. Only his blood washes away sin. If God says you are forgiven, do not call him a liar and your heart by believing you are not. The devil might continue steady accusations against this truth as part of his overall attack. But just because he says something and you believe it doesn’t make it any more accurate. Cling to the scripture when your emotions are spinning out of control. There is power in the blood; read it, ask for it, and trust it. Pray: “father, I plead for you to cover me and cleanse me with the blood of Jesus. I trust your faithfulness and rest in your forgiveness”
O is for OVERTAKE; overtake ground given to Satan. Through the cross, Jesus fully disarmed the power of the enemy. So Satan knows his weapons are already defective. That’s why he bluffs and deceives people into submitting to him.
When we sin or doubt, we are giving him ground. Ephesians 4:26-27 says, 26 “In your anger do not sin.” Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27 and do not give the devil a foothold.”
But when we repent and believe the truth, he loses control over us. 2 Timothy 2:24-26 says, “And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. 25 Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, 26 and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.”
We need to ask God to occupy the dark areas or temptations of our heart with His spirit and His word. Present yourself back to God and rededicate yourself fully and completely to the Lordship of Christ. Let’s keep advancing on the ground He already died to claim.
N is for NAME; name someone in targeted prayer. Ephesians 6:18 is Paul’s reminder for us to get busy praying for others! “18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.”
We can escape with the Bible when we feel temptation coming on. Part of that escape is praying for others. Prayer can help us get off of the endless cycle of worry for ourselves and focused on the needs of others.
D is for DELIGHT; delight in the Lord.
Psalm 27 says, “And now my head will be lifted up above my enemies around me, and I will offer in his tent sacrifices the shouts of joy: I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to the Lord.”
The enemy approached. He brought his worst. He bore down with all his weight, but in Christ, you stood firm. You resisted without stumbling. You came back from a battleground, where you had lost other times, victorious!
Remember “a righteous man falls seven times and rises again.” Rejoice and delight in that wisdom from Proverbs.
When we learn how to RESPOND, Satan’s the one in for the surprise!
Lord, I thank you that you are greater in me then he who is in the world. Thank you for paving the way and not leaving me here to fight my battles alone. Thank you for showing yourself more than capable of giving me everything needed. Help me walk in the victory you have already one on the cross. Please give me the wisdom and grace to overcome every lie, stronghold, addiction, an area of defeat in my life. Teach me how to be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Help me put on the full armor of God and stand firm in the evil day. I am confident in you and in how much I need you. In Jesus name I pray, amen.
Thank for listening! – Hannah Radke