God can read your mind, but Satan can’t. However, the devil knows how to manipulate you through fears and questions he perceives that you have. All Satan has to do is watch your behavior, wait for your reactions, observe your body language, and listen to what you say. Since Satan knows the Bible backward and forward, he uses Luke 6:45 to make plans: “For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks. In other words, he listens for signs of weakness. He 'hears' your heart.
Therefore, you must quickly get a lot of God and His Word planted in your heart. That way, words you speak will repel the devil instead of drawing him to you. When you talk to God, use words of faith, and claim scripture out loud. Satan hates faith and despises God's words. What a great way to keep the evil one at a distance.
On the other hand, if you whine about your problems and if you doubt out loud, you can be sure that the devil’s ears perk right up and all the evil familiar spirits get to work reviving your sin nature and self-will.
When the devil hears you talk about your addictions and how weak you are feeling, he will put a drug dealer in your path or have old friends drop by with a twelve-pack of your favorite beer to further weaken your resolve. The devil will stop at nothing to ensure you are fully tempted, to the point where you give in and say out loud, “I can’t resist.” And of course, we know that's not true because God says he has given every one of us a way to escape. (Read 1 Corinthians 10:13.)
Satan doesn't just kick you when you're down. He and his posse will also use tactics to tempt you when you’re at your best and in tune with God. The difference is that when you have been reading the Word and spending time with God, you are spiritually empowered, you are prepared for the spiritual battle, and have the Word of God as your weapon of warfare.
If your sin nature and self-will are allowed to dominate, you are destined for trouble. Pride and self-will prevent you from seeking Christian counsel. When that happens, you’ll resist talking to people who might say no to your ungodly ideas and plans. Instead, when you’re in a funk, you'll begin to share your thoughts with those you know will agree with your negativity and not judge you. But beware of those 'friends' who encourage you to take a break from church and give you permission to take the pressure off yourself. They will tell you that you have done well and deserve a reward. Those words will connect with your sinful self and the devil's plan for your life. Before you know it, you've taken that drink or done those drugs. You've literally invited Satan into the center of your life once again.
Godly people will always challenge you to fight harder and to change. You may not have faith for a lifestyle upgrade, but the people of God have enough faith for you! Hang with them.
If you want your life to be great and to continually keep the devil at a distance, find someone whose life is already great and do what they do. Don’t let your past experiences and failures dictate your future. Instead, design your life by finding Christians whose footsteps you can follow. And don't get out of step with them. Trust what you don't understand, and do what doesn't come natural. Before you know it, the devil is at a distance and you're living the good life in Christ.
Jamee Rae Pineda is the co-director of The Solid Rock Road Christian Recovery program in Medford, Oregon and the co-author of the Christian recovery book "Follow The Solid Rock Road: Pathway to Radical Recovery." You can also find The Solid Rock Road on Twitter and Facebook.
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