The God Of Peace Will Soon Crush Satan!
(Preparing Your Family for Battle)
By Kim Butts
Years ago, a group of young mothers I was leading in a Bible Study was concerned about how the devil was stirring up conflict and disorder in their homes. Romans 16:19-20 spoke loudly to us: "Everyone has heard about your obedience, so I am full of joy over you; but I want you to be wise about what is good, and innocent about what is evil. The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet."
We decided to literally "stand" upon this passage! We even became quite creative in our expression of belief in God’s promise. One morning we all wrote "Satan" on the bottoms of our shoes and walked on him as we went about our day. There were some interesting stories the next week. One woman enthusiastically shared that she had been much more aware of the presence of the Lord crushing the devil’s attempts to cause harm or dissension in her home. Another told of the witness this action was to her children, who decided to "stomp" all over the devil too! I told a humorous story about the look of confusion on a woman’s face when the bottom of my shoe was visible to those passing by the bench where I was seated. As a group, we concluded that the God of peace is indeed the defeater of our enemy and the keeper of our joy, and that we wanted to learn more about being wise about what is good and innocent about what is evil.
If we wish to keep the devil from doing damage within our lives and the lives of our families, these are very important principles to study carefully! We must also be determined to pass along these truths to our children and grandchildren so that they will have the tools they need to deal effectively with Satan.
Be Wise about What Is Good
• Train your family to know without a doubt that the Lord is always good: "Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him" (Psalm 34:8); "The lions may grow weak and hungry, but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing" (Psalm 34:10). "The Lord is good to all; He has compassion on all He has made" (Psalm 145:9).
• Train your family to fully understand God’s grace: "For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say ‘No’ to ungodliness and worldly passions and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope – the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for Himself a people that are His very own, eager to do what is good" (Titus 2:11-15). God has made a way for us to escape evil. Our forgiveness was bought at the price of His own Son, Jesus Christ. Teach your family that God will never take this gift of grace from us – even if we feel that we have failed Him. There is no sin so great that our loving Father cannot forgive us when our hearts are truly repentant. The power of His Holy Spirit will help us to live rightly before Him.
• Train your family to become mature believers: "But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil" (Hebrews 5:14). Your home must be a spiritual training ground for your family so that there is always a very clear, distinct line between what is good and what is evil. Independently and corporately, your family should be encouraged and exhorted to study the Word of God deeply, to seek the Lord intimately in prayer, to worship joyfully and expressively, to listen and wait upon the Lord quietly and patiently, and to be active doers of God’s Word. In this way, you will have a household filled with radical followers of Jesus, intent upon obeying the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20) and the Great Commandment (Mark 12:29-31).
• Train your family how to be able to quickly recognize the difference between the Spirit of God and spirits that are not of God: "This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God…" (1 John 4:2-3a). "Dear friend, do not imitate what is evil but what is good. Anyone who does what is good is from God. Anyone who does what is evil has not seen God" (3 John 11). "Simply let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one" (Matthew 5:37).
• Train your family to be eager to do good: "Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble. Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing. For, ‘Whoever would love life and see good days must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from deceitful speech. He must turn from evil and do good; he must seek peace and pursue it. For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and His ears are attentive to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.’ Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. Do not fear what they fear; do not be frightened. But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. It is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil" (1 Peter 3:8-17).
• Train your family how to understand the "fear" of the Lord: "Come my children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the Lord. Whoever of you loves life and desires to see many good days, keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking lies. Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it" (Psalm 34:11-14). It is important that our families understand the awesomeness of our holy God! He alone is completely good. The goal of our lives is to be like Him.
• Train your family to have godly wisdom: "Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom" (James 3:13). Wisdom in the life of a Christian is measured by good deeds done in humility rather than from wrong motives or for selfish gain. If we live from the heart of the world, we will be seen as foolish people. We must learn to live as those who are wise, because we act from hearts connected to our Father.
Be Innocent about What Is Evil
• Teach your family not to go looking for the enemy: "He who seeks good finds goodwill, but evil comes to him who searches for it" (Proverbs 11:27). Jesus dealt with the enemy decisively and confidently using the Word of God (during His temptation), rebuking him (as when he used Peter’s mouth), or by casting demons from individuals who were being harassed by them. In all of these cases, Jesus did not go looking for Satan. He did not dwell on the enemy, but rather, on the kingdom of God! He wanted to be about His Father’s business only, stopping to deal with demons only when necessary, and when His actions would bring glory to God. Jesus does not want us focused on the evil acts of the enemy, but upon the glorious acts of the Lord.
• Teach your family to be self-controlled and alert: "Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith…" (1 Peter 5:8-9a). It is so important to be aware that you are in a battle daily, but not to be consumed by the battle. Instead, teach your family to remember always that Jesus has the victory!
• Teach your family to keep their thoughts pure: "Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me – put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you" (Philippians 4:8-9).
• Teach your family to flee from the love of money: "For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness" (1 Timothy 6:10-11).
• Teach your family to flee the evil desires of youth: "Flee the evil desires of youth, and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart" (2 Timothy 2:22). "Brothers, stop thinking like children. In regard to evil be infants, but in your thinking be adults" (1 Corinthians 14:20).
• Teach your family to seek good, not evil: "Seek good, not evil, that you may live. Then the Lord God Almighty will be with you, just as you say He is" (Amos 5:14).
• Teach your family to not repay anyone evil for evil: "Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody" (Romans 12:17).
• Teach your family to not be overcome by evil, but to overcome evil with good: "Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good" (Romans 12:21).
• Teach your family to pray for the Lord’s deliverance from evil: "And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from the evil one" (Matthew 6:13).
• Teach your family to "Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it" (Psalm 34:14).
The God of Peace Will Soon Crush Satan under Your Feet
• Teach your family to resist the devil: "Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and He will come near to you" (James 4:7).
• Teach your family to put on the armor of God and use it: Read Ephesians 6:10-18! Teach them to fight Satan with the Word of God when they are tempted to do wrong, think wrong, or say wrong things: "Jesus said to him, ‘Away from Me, Satan! For it is written: "Worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only."’" (Matthew 4:10).
• Teach your family to trust in the God of peace: "May the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing His will, and may He work in us what is pleasing to Him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen" (Hebrews 13:20-21). "May God Himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful and He will do it" (1 Thessalonians 5:23-24).
Our God is greater than anything Satan can throw against us, but Satan will most certainly take aim for your family if you are following Christ wholeheartedly! Please do not take his anger against the people of God lightly! Prepare your family to be wise about what is good, and innocent about what is evil. Help them to know without a doubt that the God of peace is able, and indeed has already defeated Satan at the cross of Calvary!