Almost Devoured - 7 Ways to Fight Satan

The dog came out of nowhere.

My friend and I had been walking for almost an hour, with Winston, my beloved dog, leading the way. Several other dogs had run to the perimeters of their yards to stake their claims and declare their turf off-limits to us, but invisible fences had stopped them.

Not this one.

He raced toward us with lightening speed, surprising in light of his considerable girth. Easily outweighing Winston by fifty pounds, his head was as big as mine.

Although the two dogs began their exchange in typical doggie fashion with sniffs and circling, their greeting led to a growl, then a pounce, and before I knew it, they were engaged in a full-fledged fight.

As I was bending down to wrap my arms around Winston's body to snatch him out of harm's way, Grendel clamped his jaws around Winston's hind leg, and a tug of war ensued. As Winston yelped, I yelled, and my friend looked for a way to come to our aid. I was terrified. 

I feared I was about to see my beloved pet ripped to pieces before my very eyes.

Crying out to the Lord for help, I kicked furiously at the attacking dog. My friend tugged his collar, and Grendel's owner miraculously appeared. We somehow managed to separate the two.

She dragged her dog home as I carried Winston to safety. 

Depositing him in my friend's laundry room, I was terrified at what I might see. Miraculously, with the exception of a huge, slobbery trail of saliva that covered his back leg, he was unscathed.

I, on the other hand, was not.

Physically, I had only a few scratches, but emotionally, I was a wreck. I wobbled to the car, drove home, and carried my precious pooch into the house. Draping him across my chest, I wrapped my arms around him and sobbed at the thought of how different the morning could have ended. I thanked God for his protection and mercy on our behalf and resolved to never walk unprotected again.

My story had a happy ending, but many do not.

Unlike my experience of almost losing a beloved pet to a flesh and blood foe, many believers today are almost devoured by Satan himself. First Peter 5:8 describes his mode of operation: "Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour."

Sometimes he catches us unaware, and sometimes we go walking in his neighborhood.

What seems like a harmless flirtation at work or church becomes a cell phone call and  a secret lunch. A small amount of money taken from the cash drawer or family savings account begins to multiply and grows harder and harder to hide. The "harmless" romance books become soft porn in paperback or on the internet. The glass of wine after dinner becomes an evening of imbibing that makes it hard to rise for work in the morning.

Does Satan have you by the leg? 

Don't let him devour you.

God's Word tell us what to do when the evil one has his teeth clamped down on our leg and is pulling us away from everything good and right.

"Resist him, standing firm in the faith," (1 Peter 5:9).

"Therefore, submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded people. Be miserable--mourn and weep. Your laughter must change to mourning and  your joy to sorrow. Humble yourself before the Lord, and he will lift you up" (James 4:7-10).

This is God's prescription to free ourselves when Satan has a grip on our lives:

1. Humble ourselves before the Lord. Acknowledge that our sin is offensive to a holy God.

2. Mourn and weep -- true repentance involves deep sorrow (not just  guilt or regret) for the sin we have committed against the God who loves us. Picture our hands holding the hammer that crucified Christ and our sin as the nails that held him to the cross. All of a sudden, our sin doesn't look so glamorous any more.

3.  Purify our hearts -- don't just confess, but forsake the sin that has entangled us. Turn our backs on it mentally, physically, and emotionally.

4.  Cleanse our hands -- confess to those against whom we have sinned and take steps to make restitution if appropriate.

5.  Draw near to God -- enlist the help of a trusted, spiritually mature person, and begin to do all the things that our sin took us away from -- Bible study, fellowship with God's church, times of prayer and meditation.

6.  Resist the devil.  Like I yelled and screamed as Winston was being attacked, don't be passive about our sin. We must fight it with everything we have as if our lives depend upon it, for it does. We must physically remove ourselves from anything having to do with it.

7.  Watch the devil flee from us. It's God's promise. We may have to resist and keep resisting, but God's Word is true and powerful. "Greater is he that is in us than he that is in the world."
Don't let Satan sift you. You are dearly loved and worth defending.

My dog, Winston. Photo courtesy of Mary Leigh Hatcher

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  1. Such a powerful image - and great tips too. Thanks for coming by my blog - it's great to connect with you!

    1. Hi Tonya,

      Thanks for having me :) I'm always delighted to find such practical steps in God's Word. . .almost like having an instruction manual for life. . . imagine that!

  2. Wow ... this is so good and at a great time. So many times we don't realize that we have left a crack in the door or the window open just a tad and that is when satan strikes without warning. This is a great reminder to my kids as they start back to school....

  3. "...sometimes we go walking in his neighborhood." Thought provoking idea hear. Even if we spend a lot of time at home, like I do :0), the devil has his crafty ways. For me an issue of late has been envy of "stuff". Which is REALLY odd since our family firmly adheres to a "simple" life...meaning I throw away everyone's stuff :0). I am impatient with home improvements that need to get done "before" I can take the step to decorate...pretty things are nice to have around. so, I think I meed to avoid HGTV for a bit :0). Thanks for the reminder *I* have a choice in many of my battles!

    1. Donnao, you make a very good application. So often it's what we look at that invites temptation and dissatisfaction. On good days, when I think on those things that are pure, lovely, and of good report, I have contentment and patience. Practicing an attitude of gratitude goes a long way to remind me of how good God is. Thanks so much for stopping by.

  4. What a traumatic experience! Glad you and Winton remain okay and will be praying that God will fill you with a "knowing" that He is with you, especially when walking your beloved pet. Yes, Satan comes up with unexpected and underhanded tactics, making a decision to stay close to God a must.

    1. Eternal vigilance, but Satan is sneaky. . . !

  5. Wow...I would have been terrified, too! I love your steps for shaking Satan's hold on our legs. Going to have to pin that one in my heart! ;)

  6. Thank you for this post. We need to put on the full armor of God for our battle is not against flesh and blood...our enemy is real and we need to be aware of his attacks. Humility is, indeed the first step since we need to be humble and admit that we are vulnerable to be attacked. Thanks again, and blessings to you always! I'm visiting from Haven of Rest link up.

  7. This was so thought provoking and deep. I love those verses. Keep posts like this coming.

    Thanks again, for linking up at Haven of Rest. I am really enjoying reading some posts that I would have never discovered!!

  8. Loved reading your post... so beautifully written and such clear teaching.

    The dog fight you described re-kindled memories this morning - this happened to our dog a few years ago and it was really upsetting and frightening. He too was attacked by a much larger dog unexpectedly.

    Yes, the devil too wants to kill, steal and destroy... but Jesus has come that we may have life - Hallelujah!

    I hope you don't mind, but I would like to add this post to my 'Inspirational Posts' page:

    1. Wendy, so sorry to have rekindled those frightening thoughts. I've had a few flashbacks myself since the initial incident. I am so glad that the greater lesson also struck a chord for you. Thank you for the repost. May it encourage and inspire your readers :)

  9. 1. I am SOO happy that your dog was safe!! I have to say that I was terrified and near tears as I pictured that story. You wrote it so well! It made me think of my cats and dogs and when I've thought they were in breaks my heart...but you're right-I would be willing to jump in and help my animal and so with the same passion I would have to protect my beloved pets, I need to have that same passion to resist Satan and resist sin and actually turn away from it. Thank you for this post because it reminded me to REALLY see the reality of my sinful choices-they are not glamourous...thank you for this. I'm glad I found you!

    1. AJ,
      It was certainly one of the scariest experiences of my life, but you're right, there's nothing scarier than Satan's desire to attack and destroy us. I am so thankful that, like my precious pooch, God is there to protect us if we put on the armour HE provides. God bless you, and thanks so much for stopping by Be Not Weary :)

  10. Hey! How do you personally think, have your writting skills upgraded lately?