Consider the enemy’s subtle work in your life.
The Scriptures reveal the spiritual warfare that’s occurring under our noses, both in obvious and subtle ways. In this article, we’ll spotlight 12 Bible verses you can hold on to for recognizing and resisting the Enemy’s plans.
Because for every person on the planet — and for this planet itself — there are two competing agendas.
DEATH vs. LIFE
First, God has a plan for every nation on this earth. In addition, He has a plan for every man, woman and child on this planet, too. His plan can be contained in one word: LIFE.
By comparison, Satan has an agenda as well. His agenda can be summed up in an opposing word: DEATH. He has an intricate plan for every nation and every person, and it’s to steal, kill and destroy.
It is incredibly easy to think the world consists of what we see in our worlds every day, and completely miss the larger picture. There’s an invisible battle happening all around us: life and death are fiercely competing for our devotion.
RECOGNIZING COMPETING AGENDAS
The challenge is to recognize the subtle ways the Enemy achieves his agenda in our lives: He deceives, he lies, he corrupts, he brings shame, and then he dangles temptations to you and me to do things that will kill relationships, break up business, and destroy and families and churches and small groups.
The Devil’s work is diabolical.
And in his creativity, he’s distracted us with the obvious evils in the world. These heinous acts like sex trafficking and the Holocaust are indisputably the work of Satan. But what about our chronic struggle with deceit and greed and gluttony?
HOW THE ENEMY’S AGENDA HAS SHOWN UP IN MY LIFE
When I think about the sneaky ways the Devil has squirmed his way into my life, it’s through subtle factors like —
- Arrogance and prejudice
- My stubborn, know-it-all attitude
He uses these small lapses to plant seeds of doubt and anger, which are his favorite playgrounds.
Thankfully, we don’t have to play.
God has given us everything we need to overcome the Enemy’s schemes and become conquerors. He’s provided examples of spiritual warfare within the Scriptures as a reference for us, and He’s given us His wisdom and armor to combat temptation.God has given us everything we need to overcome the Enemy’s schemes and become conquerors. Learn how to recognize and resist his subtle agenda with these 12 Scriptures https://bit.ly/3v6bdlg Click To Tweet
Here are 12 powerful Scriptures from the Bible to equip you for spiritual warfare recognition and resistance.
Scriptures For Recognizing Spiritual Warfare
1. Satan’s strategy is to destroy through intimidation and isolation. On the contrary, God’s purpose is to deploy through suffering and proclamation.
Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8
2. God is the source of all good; Satan, the author of evil.
When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone. James 1:13
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3. The battle is real.
For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please. Galatians 5:17
Don’t be mistaken — the picture we have of Satan isn’t how he began.
Satan used to be the chief of all the angels who served at the side of God. He was the most beautiful and most knowledgeable angel; the chief of the cherubs. But when he got caught up in his own beauty and decided he wanted God’s job, he led one third of the angels in rebellion against the Creator. Those angels are now called demons.
This is the Tempter against which you are fighting every single day, who is bombarding you with opportunities to hurt and condemn yourself and others.
But do not be discouraged! As you’ll read in the verses below, the Devil was defeated. But our identity is in Christ and He has given us the tools we need to battle spiritual warfare.
Below are the truths to claim as you fight the spiritual battle being waged against you.
Bible Verses To Resist Spiritual Warfare
4. We face a formidable but defeated foe.
And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross. Colossians 2:15
5. God will always give us the power to resist the schemes of the enemy — if we choose.
No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it. 1 Corinthians 10:13
6. Good and evil are realities, not merely concepts or metaphors. This wasn’t some ethereal entity confronting Jesus in this passage of Scripture: it’s Jesus and Satan face-to-face.
Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil … Matthew 4:1
Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only. Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him. Matthew 4:10-11
7. Ignorance of his tactics is lethal.
The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 2 Corinthians 10:4
8. We fight from victory, not for victory.
You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.1 John 4:4
More prayer inspiration: How To Adore God In Prayer
9. We are in an “invisible war” with temporal and eternal consequences.
Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. Ephesians 6:11
10. There are two competing agendas for every person on the planet: God’s plan is for life, and Satan’s plan is for death.
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
11. Pray intensely and strategically.
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. Ephesians 6:18
Finally, let me share a verse that I recommend you put to memory and say to yourself every time you discern the Enemy has you in his sights.
12. Our identity is in the One who loves us and has sacrificed for us.
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. Romans 8:37
We are more than conquerors!
Don’t fall into the error that author C.S. Lewis identified:
“There are two equal and opposite errors into which our race can fall about devils. One is to disbelieve in their existence. The other is to believe, and to feel an excessive and unhealthy interest in them. They themselves are equally pleased by both errors and hail a materialist or a magician with the same delight.”
Not everything is demonic, but live soberly in awareness.
CONSIDER THE ENEMY’S SUBTLE WORK IN YOUR LIFE
- Why do you think you experience a wave of depression every time you decide you want to get back into studying the Bible and communing with God?
- Or you’re working hard on your relationships, but suddenly there’s more strife than ever before?
- Do you see what’s happening behind the scenes when you choose to join a small group and then, the first night, someone says something insensitive that hurts your feelings, causing you to want to stay away?
There is undoubtedly an enemy of your soul, and you will set yourself up for personal defeat if you aren’t equipped for the battle.There is undoubtedly an Enemy of your soul, and you will avoid defeat if you're equipped for the battle. Prepare yourself to recognize the subtle work of the Devil and to resist his creative agenda. Click To Tweet
That’s why I’ve compiled these powerful verses for you to study and memorize. Be sure to also listen to the Diabolical series on YouTube, where you’ll dive deeper into recognizing the Enemy’s schemes and how to prepare for them.
I can’t wait for you to experience freedom and faith in this area of spiritual warfare.
In my Daily Discipleship Series entitled Diabolical, I explore the subtle but serious impact of the Enemy’s work in our churches, in our families and our attitudes. Be sure to check out the Diabolical series on YouTube, and for further study, head to our website for study notes on the series.
Founder & Teaching Pastor, Living on the Edge
Chip Ingram is the CEO and teaching pastor of Living on the Edge, an international teaching and discipleship ministry. A pastor for over thirty years, Chip has a unique ability to communicate truth and challenge people to live out their faith. He is the author of many books, including The Real God, Culture Shock and The Real Heaven. Chip and his wife, Theresa, have four grown children and twelve grandchildren and live in California.More Articles by Chip