A Sermon

Get Thee Behind Me, Satan: Standing Against the Wiles of the Devil

Michael Beck Michael Beck

When we are ignorant of what Satan is up to we allow him to gain an advantage over us.

Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices. (2 Corinthians 2:11)

The devil is both the adversary of God and man. He is ever on the prowl, seeking whom he may destroy. When we’re unaware of what he’s up to we can be devoured before we even realize how deviously he was at work.

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour (1 Peter 5:8)

The devil would take advantage of painful, difficult situations to throw us off the course God has for us. He wants us to stumble and act in such a way that our testimony will be marred before men.

Dead flies cause the ointment of the apothecary to send forth a stinking savour: so doth a little folly him that is in reputation for wisdom and honour. (Ecclesiastes 10:1)

Satan wants us to stumble and fall so he can bring us into shame and reproach. He wants to separate us from Christ. He fears what we can do and be for God if we keep following Him. He wants to silence us.

And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren. (Luke 22:31,32)

The more “precious” our life to God, the more Satan will go after us.

For by means of a whorish woman a man is brought to a piece of bread: and the adulteress will hunt for the precious life. (Proverbs 6:26)

1. RECOGNIZE

Jesus confronted Satan head on in the wilderness.

And Jesus answered and said unto him, Get thee behind me, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. (Luke 4:8)

Satan attacked Jesus more subtly through His own beloved disciple.

From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again on the third day. Then Peter took hum, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee. But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men. (Matthew 16:21-23)

We don’t “wrestle” with flesh and blood. The devil uses people (who don’t even know they are being used) to cause us to stumble. We must recognize how he would use a person or the problems of a difficult day to cause us to fall.

Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. (Ephesians 6:10-13)

There is a “good fight of faith” we must actively engage in. There is an evil fight with men we must avoid. No matter how much Satan would use another to harm us we must never angrily view that person as the enemy, we must see them through eyes of mercy as a victim of the Enemy.

Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses. (1 Timothy 6:12)

2. REBUKE

Devils have a voice. When Jesus rebuked devils He silenced them.

And devils also came out of many, crying out, and saying, Thou art Christ the Son of God. And he rebuking them suffered them not to speak: for they knew that he was Christ. (Luke 4:41)

Jesus served notice on Satan that he was not going to allow him to use Peter to hinder His obedience to the Father. Rebuking involves correction (i.e., setting another straight.)

…And Peter took him, and began to rebuke him. But when he had turned about and looked on his disciples, he rebuked Peter, saying, Get thee behind me, Satan: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but the things that be of men. (Mark 8:32,33)

3. RESIST

We are not to run from the devil, we are to steadfastly withstand him. It is he who moves, not us. (“Get thee behind me, Satan!”) It is he who flees.

Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. (James 4:7)

Successful resistance of Satan’s “grab” of us must be combined with a fresh and full surrender to God. We must commit to running to God like never before.

Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. (James 4:8)

When the enemy of our souls would discourage us, and feel us with self-pity and anger over a certain ongoing situation, we must encourage ourselves through the promises of God. We must lift up the shield of faith and declare that we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us.

I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. (Philippians 4:12,13)

If we are going to finish our course we must fight the good fight until the end. We cannot lay down, give in, or give up. If we do, Satan will have no pity for us. He will move in for the kill.

I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith (2 Timothy 4:7)

4. RESOLVE

In severe trials, the devil would have us justify some form of disobedience. He wants us to prove ourselves unfaithful to God. But God desires to use the same situation to prove our faithfulness to Him.

Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him. (James 1:12)

We must know and believe that God only allows us to face such trials as He will enable us to stand in.

There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. (1 Corinthians 10:13)

Resolve that Satan is going to pay for trying to trip you up. Instead of falling, resolve that you are going to stand. Instead of being plundered, resolve that you are going to get rich through the fire you are in. See how God wants to use the situation for His good in your life. Take “holy revenge.”

I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich (Revelations 3:18)



Michael Beck is a pastor in New York City and the main author on Signpost. You can find him on Facebook.