Every day around the world, we are each confronted by the presence and power of evil. In most of the civilized world, evil has become more visible than it has ever been in my lifetime. These days, evil is out in the open for all to see, and it’s gaining momentum. So how do we defeat evil?
I think if most of us were completely honest, we’d admit that we don’t always succeed at overcoming evil – not because we don’t want to, but because we don’t know how.
I’m going to share from Scripture about the all-important “how.” How you can overcome evil. As believers in Jesus and students of God’s Word we have two – and only two – options.
- We either overcome evil; or
- We are overcome by it.
It is not possible to co-exist with evil without being harmed by it. As a Christian, there is no room for complacency. The apostle Paul presents these alternatives concisely in Romans 12:21 where he says, “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”
To overcome, one must be an overcomer. To be an overcomer, you have to think like an overcomer, and behave like an overcomer. If evil is not resisted and overcome… then by default evil will win.
Evil has authority in this world because Satan is the god of this world. When a Christian resists evil and overcomes it, they are doing something that no one except a Christian can do—because it is done with the authority of Jesus Christ. The only One who has defeated Satan already.
Much like a weed that grows without cultivation, evil will take over without resistance. We are currently living in Satan’s world where evil is the natural order. Only by overwhelming evil with good, does evil not prevail.
These two forces are diametrically opposed and only one of them can dominate at a time. Just as light and darkness cannot coexist in the same space, evil and good cannot coexist. This has proven to be true in my own life. I must either overcome, or eventually I will be overcome.
The starting point for overcoming evil is to have confidence and belief that God’s Word is true and that Jesus Christ has defeated Satan, and has given His authority to His followers. “Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock,” Matthew 7:24.
The Bible is consistent that there are good and evil forces at work all around us continually. Just as we overcome fear with faith, bitterness with forgiveness, and hate with love – we see that there’s only one power in the universe strong enough to overcome evil. It is the power of good.
When an enemy attacks, we cannot attack back with equal or lessor force and expect to win. We must overwhelm our enemy with a greater force. Every force we will ever need to overcome has been made available to God’s people in sufficient supply. When we confront evil, it is necessary to overwhelm it with good that is more powerful than the evil that confronts us.
Where does that power come from? The only source of that goodness is God Himself. Only through Him do we have the power available to us to respond to evil with overcoming goodness (agreement with God).
It’s imperative to understand that everything we need and the instructions on how to use what God has made available to us is revealed through God’s written Word – the Holy Bible.
When we know and understand what the Bible teaches about accessing God’s power, we can become proficient in overcoming our enemy and resistant to any weapon he might use against us. The prophet Isaiah describes this scenario and the people for whom it is designed to work. It is a clear depiction of this superior power that is available to God’s faithful people. “No weapon formed against you shall prosper, And every tongue which rises against you in judgment you shall condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, And their righteousness is from Me,’ Says the Lord.” Isaiah 54:17.
In the cockpit of a jet airliner, or military aircraft, warning lights are a standard feature. When something isn’t working properly, we see, and sometimes hear, the warning “light” or warning “horn” that let’s us know there is a problem.
Let me flash one at you right now. Caution: Bible translations are being hijacked now more than ever. This is a strategic plan from the enemy. Make sure the Bible you are reading is not a paraphrase or one that is a modern edition. Find a Bible that is as old as possible and a solid translation. God’s infallible word is full of power and truth and Satan is fighting fiercely to compromise the truth inside God’s Holy Word.
When evil confronts us… and we look to the Bible for guidance and wisdom, we will find that there is one revelation from God’s Word which is a key to our entire conflict. If we don’t take hold of this key and use it; we will be continually frustrated and eventually defeated.
Now take careful note… the next few sentences contain this key from Scripture. This short and simple key is so vital and so very essential that you do well to memorize it. Are you ready? Here it is:
This evil that you are facing is not something – it is someone! Satan and his evil forces are disembodied beings that are evil from start to finish. Deception and temptation are the tools of their trade. You are their target. They function from a spiritual dimension, so they are not usually visible. However, they are very real and effective in using the following methods: people, circumstances, emotions, and thoughts. All in an attempt to control you. It is your choice whether you allow them access or resist in the authority of Jesus.
“For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled.” 2 Corinthians 10:3-6.
The above Scripture is full of guidance and clarity in how Satan and his demonic agent attack God’s people. And it tells us how to handle these attacks. As a quick example: If you receive a doctor’s report that is contrary to how you are praying—that is an argument that is exalting itself against the knowledge of what God has said and what you are believing. It must be pulled down. We do that by recognizing what occurred and coming against it with the name and authority of Jesus.
I might pray something like this: “I do not receive this evil report. I cast it down in Jesus’ name! I render it null and void in the power of God. It has no authority over me. I am redeemed by the blood of Jesus. I am God’s child and an heir to His promises. Only God’s will reigns in my life. I am healed in Jesus’ name according to God’s word. Jesus paid for my healing, I lay claim to it and receive it, and I establish that powerful truth to reign and rule in my life and my body. I pray these things in Jesus’ name! Amen.”
You must recognize the truth that I am about to share with you, if you want to be successful in defeating evil. It is so simple that most people don’t recognize it… or accept it. But God’s word is always true. Here it is again… Evil is not something – it is someone.
The name Satan means “one who resists or opposes” – that is, the one who resists and opposes God. He opposes God’s purposes and God’s people. As a believer and child of God, the one who opposes us is Satan. He is our adversary.
Whatever weapon Satan brings against you, the root of it is evil. How do we overcome evil? With good. Everything from God is good. He has given us all we need to overcome. But when we recognize something as contrary to God’s will, we must call upon the power of God to help us defeat the evil. We must pull it down in the spiritual realm. And in its place, we must establish God’s will—through speaking God’s word in faith, taking action in faith and determine to remain in agreement with God.
1 John 4:4 tells us, “You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.”
With God nothing is impossible!
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