“Neither give place to the devil” (Eph. 4:27). Do not give him place, but put much space between you and him. Why? If you give him an inch, he will take a mile. Without a foothold, the devil cannot operate and manipulate. Twice Paul says to fight the good fight. “Fight the good fight of faith” (1Tim. 6:12). “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith” (2 Tim. 4:7). James also teaches us how we should fight the devil. “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:7).
The goal is flight, not fight. As you draw nigh unto Lord on your knees, the devil flees. A small boy told the big bully, “I’m no longer afraid of you because now my big brother is with me.” The bully looked at the big brother and fled. So we must learn to pick only good fights and avoid bad fights. It is a bad fight when you do it in your own might. You may win a battle but lose the war. Remember it is not who is right but what is right. Attack the problem, not the person. Also don’t wrestle with a pig because you will both get dirty, but he will enjoy it. There are times to win, to wait, to walk away, and times to run. Wisdom is knowing the right time.
How to fight a good fight: First put on the whole armor of God (Eph. 6). Next use the provided weapons against each enemy. Use the weapon of faith to overcome the world. “Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God? (1John 5:5). Use the Spirit to overcome self and sin that is within. “This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh” (Gal. 5:16). At times use the weapon of the written Word (Matt. 4:1-10) Also when the devil reminds you of your past, remind him of his future. Stop blaming your many personal failures and faults on the devil. Do not go to extremes by magnifying or minimizing the devil. Learn to identify your true enemy. As Pogo said, “We have found the enemy and it is us.” Realize your opponent is limited and not Omnipotent, Omniscient, nor Omnipresent as the Lord. Realize a Christian may be obsessed, but he cannot be possessed (1 John 4:4). It is only a good fight when you do what is right in His might. Remember what is over your head is under his feet, and He can do for you what you cannot do for yourself (Eph. 1:22). Realize this is a continuous lifetime battle. But the Lord, the Holy Spirit, Scriptures, fellow Christians, and the church are on your side to make a winning victorious team. One can do much, but many can do much more.
As the little boy said, “I read the end of the book first, and we are on the winning side.” God will have the last word, and it will be good (Rom. 8:28). So let’s learn to fight good fights and avoid bad fights.