The Bible uses many illustrations from everyday life to relate spiritual concepts. And one of the most revealing is Peter's illustration of the devil like a "lion." "Stay alert!" Peter warned. "Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour" (1 Peter 5:8, NLT).
While writing my book, Activating the Power of God's Word, I dissected this verse in depth and found that Peter's comparison must be no coincidence.
'Like a Roaring Lion'
I discovered that a lion has a small heart and lungs compared to the size of its body. This means the lion has one of the least amounts of stamina in the animal kingdom, which affects how it hunts. Consequently, the lion can't simply attack at the time it sees its prey, because if it did, its prey would likely outrun it. So instead, the lion prowls and studies to determine the most opportune time to attack. Finally, when the lion decides to go for the kill, it does so by jumping on its victim's head in order to get to its mouth to suffocate it.
The spiritual parallels for how the devil attacks each of us can't be missed. Like the lion, he learns our weaknesses to know how and when to attack. Then, when he's ready, the devil goes for our heads—our minds—in order to get to our mouths to silence our voices and steal our testimonies.
3 Steps to Outwit Satan
But this doesn't have to be the outcome. As I explore much further in my book, the way wildlife experts say we should face a potential attack by a lion in the wild reveals so much about how we deal with the devil today.
Step 1: Stay calm and think clearly.
The first step the experts say to take when a lion begins to roar is to "Stay calm and think clearly." Easier said than done, I'm sure! But spiritually speaking, when the devil looks ready to take you down, peace is found by running God's truths through your mind.
Step 2: Appear like a threat.
Secondly, when the lion threatens to charge, the experts say it's time to open your mouth and shout—to appear like a threat. And it's the same in our spiritual battles. When Satan assaults with accusations, open your mouth with declarations and praise about who God says you are.
To get started, here are some powerful declarations sure to silence Satan:
- I am a child of God (Gal. 3:26).
- I am a new person (2 Cor. 5:17).
- I am the righteousness of God (2 Cor. 5:21).
- I am loved unconditionally (Rom. 8:38).
- I am complete (Col. 2:9–10).
- I am God's masterpiece (Eph. 2:10).
Step 3: Stay standing.
And finally, if the lion decides to jump, experts say not to run or cower, but to "stay standing" is your best line of defense. And that's also what Peter said is our defense against the devil. "Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith," he instructed (1 Peter 5:9, NLT).
So when you find yourself in a spiritual battle, stand in the truth of God's promises no matter how the situation looks. Stand on who God says you are, no matter what others have said. Stand on the assurance that Christ's victory is also your victory. When you stay standing, you'll beat that devil down over time!
For a much more in-depth look at how to win your spiritual battles without fighting the devil, register for my free online Bible study.
Kyle Winkler equips people to live in victory. His mobile app, Shut Up, Devil!, is the #1 spiritual warfare app; and his book, Activating the Power of God's Word, uncovers 16 strategic declarations to transform your life. Kyle holds a Master of Divinity in biblical studies from Regent University. Get daily encouragement from Kyle on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Get Spirit-filled content delivered right to your inbox! Click here to subscribe to our newsletter.