Published: June 01, 2017
The dog seemed to come out of nowhere.
I thought I was moving fast enough. But I was just starting to climb a hill on my bike, and I was losing momentum.
And the dog was faster than I thought.
It stopped barking at me only to lurch forward and sink its teeth deep into my leg.
I come across dogs a lot when I’m riding my bike or running. Like the one that bit me, they usually come out of nowhere, yapping, barking, or growling.
That’s what Satan likes to do in your life.
Like a barking, growling dog that believes a road or a sidewalk belongs to him, Satan will come at you trying to rattle you, or throw you off, or make you give up.
1 Peter 5:8 tells us to be self-controlled and alert because our enemy prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. He’s not looking for the unbelievers, because he already has them. No, he’s looking for the believers.
He’s looking for you.
So what should you do?
James 4:7 says, “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”
I used to think that meant I was just supposed to avoid the devil, avoid the confrontation. But that’s not what it means. No, resist means to oppose or set against. It means to stop or block, to hit hard.
You should resist. Because Satan has NO right to your life.
I know. When he sets that stage, your natural instinct is probably just like mine was with that dog—pedal faster, get away, react, panic, and yield to fear.
But that’s when you have to stay self-controlled. Yes, the enemy is going to roar, or yap, or growl. Don’t focus on the roar, or the growl, or even the snarling teeth. If you focus on those things, you forget who you are. You forget the promises of God. You forget what the Word says about your situation. You forget the enemy has already been defeated.
So, when the enemy comes at you, you have to resist. You have to engage.
I learned my lesson with that dog that bit me. I didn’t want anything to do with riding in that area for a really long time. Eventually, though, I rode that route again. And guess who was there.
But this time, I recognized my mistake.
I saw the dog, and I stopped. I got off my bike.
I stood my ground. Sure, I may have put my bike between the dog and me, but I stood my ground. Then I came at it and yelled at it to GET OUT OF HERE! And it turned and took off running.
That’s the way you have to handle the enemy in your life.
Taking territory doesn’t happen when you’re sitting on the couch. Taking territory only happens when you engage, when you take action.
Look through the Word of God. It doesn’t talk about spiritual warfare against Satan.
Because he’s already been defeated.
As a believer, the real battle occurs in your mind and in your flesh. The only way the enemy can gain entrance is working through your mind. You’ve got to take your thoughts captive. You’ve got to say no more. You’ve got to draw the line; you’ve got to enforce it.
So when the enemy comes barking and growling, what will you do?
Do you really believe? Do you have the Name of Jesus? Do you have the Word of God? Will you say enough is enough? Will you stand your ground?
Watch the complete four-part Taking Territory series with Pastor Gary and Pastor Tim. Start here.