Rebuking the Devil’s Deadly D’s
In order to defeat the enemy we must first know our enemy. In our last post we studied the character of Satan. Knowing his character will help us understand what kind of thoughts originate from him (or his demons) compared with our own fleshly thoughts and desires.
Today we will talk about the various weapons of warfare Satan uses to attack believers. I’ll be using some references from the course I just finished at Liberty: The Doctrine of Satan. In it, my instructor lists the sixteen deadly “D’s” and I’ll be sharing his insights with you over the next several posts. I have no doubt you’ll recognize some of them in your life.
The Deadly D’s of the Devil
What Christian (or human being) hasn’t experienced disappointment? Let’s face it; we all have expectations that are not met. We all have wants and desires that never come to fruition in our lives. Satan loves to capitalize on the demoralizing feelings of disappointment in the believer’s life. If we’re not standing guard with our weapons of war (the Armor of God—see Ephesians 6:10-18) we will be ill equipped to fight through disappointment successfully.
“To be disappointed is to forget Romans 8:28, ‘And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to his purpose.’
Disappointment is God’s appointment.”¹ <<<<(Click to Tweet!)
When the fiery arrow of disappointment is aimed at our heart, we need to take the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God, and deflect the attack with the truth. We need to pray out loud (this is VERY important because the devil cannot read our minds, he can only place thoughts there), “Lord, I am disappointed, but I know that this disappointment is merely Your divine appointment in my life, and You are working these circumstances out for my greatest good. I choose to reject the lie that I can only be happy when I am getting my way and believe Your word that you care for me and have provided all I need to be complete.”
When disappointment is left unchecked, it deteriorates into discouragement. It’s important to note that any form of discouragement has its origins in the devil. Discouragement cannot come from God. When we walk around with a sore countenance, griping and moaning about our circumstances, we give over a place of our hearts to discouragement (a spiritual stronghold for Satan to gain ground in our lives), which completely contradicts our New Life in Christ. Not only are we opening the door for Satan, but we fail to display the joy and peace of Christ to a world that needs His hope.
“To be discouraged is to forget 1 Samuel 30:6, ‘And David was greatly distressed; for the people spake of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters: but David encouraged himself in the Lord his God.’”¹
If we’ve allowed discouragement to take root in our lives, we must pray out loud, “Lord, I confess my attitude of discouragement to you. I now choose to repent of this sinful spirit and renounce the lie that my joy and peace depend on favorable circumstances in my life. I choose to believe that my joy, security, and peace can only be found in You, Lord. From this moment on I am choosing to focus on the comforting truth available to me through Your Word.”
Despair is the final result of disappointment and discouragement left to fester in one’s spirit. The despairing believer has no joy, purpose, or peace. I know a lot about despair because I lived a decade of my life in that place. I tried to commit suicide and suffered with addiction, eating disorders, and severe mental illness. It is impossible to effectively serve God or experience the fullness of His presence in such a state of mind. The despairing believer has willfully traded the truth of Jesus for the lies of the devil.
“To despair is to forget 2 Corinthians 4:8,‘We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair.’”¹
If we’ve found ourselves in this destructive place, we need to pray out loud, “Lord, I confess that I have believed the devil’s lie that I am __________ (worthless, purposeless, unusable, etc.) and I now renounce that lie and replace it with Your truth. I know You love me, have created me for a specific purpose, and have assigned good works for me to do while I am here on this earth. You have a plan for my life, and I now embrace that plan and choose to trust Your Sovereign control over my life and circumstances.”
The best way to keep these first three deadly d’s from gaining ground in our lives is to recognize where they are coming from (Satan) and fight against it with the Word of God and prayer. It all starts with a little disappointment, so remember—Disappointment is God’s appointment. Give it to Him the moment it occurs and choose His truth over Satan’s lies.
How about you? Have you ever seen these deadly d’s take root in your life? What was the end result?
1- Dr. H.L. Willmington, Willmington’s Guide to the Bible, ©1981, 1984 by H.L. Willmington–all rights reserved.
Check out these posts for more:
What’s the difference between the flesh and Satan?
Can Satan’s influence affect children?
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Rebecca Aarup has written devotionals and Bible teaching articles for a variety of publications including The Secret Place (Judson press), Evangel (Light and Life Communications), and Mustard Seed Ministries. She just released a new Bible Study The Word: Six Lessons from Psalm 119 which is available as a free download on her website or in print form from Amazon. Beyond writing, Rebecca is a wife, home-schooling mom, and Bible student at Liberty University. She lives in Glendale, Az with her husband Chris and 5 year old, Samantha. You can read more from Rebecca by subscribing to her blog (it’s free) and following her on twitter and facebook.
This is great Rebecca. Amazing.
Thank you so much I was on the 2nd D…I have just read your message and prayed and I felt a warmth come over me 😊 God is on my side and in TOTAL control 🙏
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Rebecca, oh how I needed this. And I love the continual comment, “we need to pray out loud.” I talk with God all day long but have finally caught on to the difference in those communications and praying out loud to Him. I’ve struggled (and still struggle) with many of the things you’ve shared here and praying out loud is so necessary for me to fight against the lies Satan tries to fill my mind with. Thank you for your heart and words.
Beth, thank you for stopping by my blog and commenting. I just shared this message with my life group this morning and we all admitted we’ve struggled with these areas. Fortunately the truth gives us freedom and we never have to settle for less than God’s best. Keep on fighting those lies!
Another excellent post, Rebecca. David sums it up well. I’m intrigued to know what the next 13 ‘D’s’ are: depression, death, disaster, a few guesses. Looking forward to finding & learning them.
Keep it up. Ian
Ian, those are great guesses but actually none of those are part of the 16 deadly d’s! Although I think depression and despair kind of go hand in hand.
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Rebecca, I have been following your blog for some time now, and I have watched my little sis in Christ grow so much. I am proud of you and filled with great joy by what our Lord is doing in your life. I guess this is the long way around of saying great post. May our Abba Father keep filling you to over flowing with wisdom and knowledge of His Kingdom, Amen!
James, sometimes I forget that you’ve pretty much been by my “blogging” side from the very beginning! Thank you for encouraging me all the way and putting up with bad writing and changing blog designs and all that stuff. You’re commitment to reading anything I write has been the biggest blessing to me. You’ve read more of my heart then even my own family and friends. So glad to be on this journey together, growing in Christ and writing for His glory. Thank you Jesus!
Thanks Rebecca. With such a dearth of blogs and perspectives that offer a “balanced” view of spiritual warfare, your blog is important. How else do we challenge the anti-supernatural bias in western culture AND–believe it or not–in the church.
Thank you David, your encouragement means a lot to me! Nice to know someone is reading this and “getting it”!