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3 Key Ways The Devil fights us and 10 Ways to Overcome Him:

Nothing says enemy like someone who wants our eternal damnation. The devil is our truest enemy, he hates God and everyone who follows him. He has some powerful tools in his arsenal some of which align with our own natural flaws. These are some of the key ways we can think of right now. If you think of others kindly add them in the comment section.

Ways the devil tempts us:

1. Holding grudges and consciously refusing to forgive, to stir up enmity:

Recently someone asked me what it means to forgive others. I said it mostly has to do with making the decision to try and let things go. This is because it is hard sometimes to actually be okay with the wrongs others do to us. Not letting even the bad feelings we have to get in the way of doing something for those people. So for me, i can still feel bad that someone hurt me, but I won’t let that feeling prevent me from looking out for their good or doing them a favor when they really need it. Forgiveness is hard and confusing, sometimes we feel guilty about the bad feelings even though we try, but this isn’t always the way. The devil will use anything at his disposal to try and prevent us from forgiving, from letting it go, from choosing to begin to let go. Remember the Lord’s prayer “Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who have sinned against us”. We cannot utter those words with confidence if we consciously hold onto things.

He also wants to use us to cause division between people. There is very little need to define this as this is rather clear. He may use our personality or capitalize on communication issues or basic differences to make us feel the need to further cause division. Sometimes we do not really know we are doing this. We believe we are being political or representing some other interests. Unity is a sign of God’s presence, guess what division means? He hates that Jesus wants unity and prayed for it

“I do not pray for these only, but also for those who believe in me through their word, that they may all be one; even as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.”

John 17: 20-21

2. He wants us to be afraid, to be overwhelmed and to be discouraged:

There is a reason Jesus always called us to be courageous “Do not be afraid”. This is because once a person allows fear to take over their hearts, it is difficult to see much else. To see God’s love in your life or to see the validity of the Salvation plan of God. To see a way out of a particular habitual sin or to see a future where you are truly free to serve God. Faith and Hope cast our fears because we trust in the word of Jesus and believe he will fulfill all his promises. One of which is that we will have joy on earth. Not that we will enjoy and be happy all the time, but that our souls will be filled with his joy. That when we sincerely love and follow him, forgetting ourselves and not counting even our own failures that we shall have our fill of joy.

God does not want us to keep track of our failures and sins. This is what the devil does. God wants us to remember we are prone to sin so that we can trust in his mercy and grace. He wants us to trust in him, not in our abilities. When we trust in him we visit him often in the Sacrament of reconciliation without postponing all the time. We move NOW not tomorrow.

3. He wants to confuse us about freedom and our abilities:

The Church rightly understands freedom not as being able to do whatever one wants but being free to do what we ought to do. We are set free to live our lives according to God’s plan; to function as we are made to function. The Catechism says :

“The more one does what is good, the freer one becomes. There is no true freedom except in the service of what is good and just. The choice to disobey and do evil is an abuse of freedom and leads to “the slavery of sin.”” 

CCC 1733

“Live as free men, yet without using your freedom as a pretext for evil; but live as servants of God.”

1 Peter 2:16

Confusing us about our abilities by making us feel we are strong enough to resist temptations we expose ourselves to. Even if we are not particularly prone to a certain sin, we still avoid any occasion of those sins. Counting on our own strength always leads to failure and the formation of bad habits.

3 Key Ways The Devil fights us and 10 Ways to Overcome Him

10 Ways to Overcome Him/Temptation

1. Run !

She caught him by his cloak and said, “Come to bed with me!” But he left his cloak in her hand and ran out of the house.” 

Gen 39:12

Nothing beats running away from any occasions of sin. Like I said above, the devil wants you to become lax. He wants you to believe you have more strength than you really have and most importantly he wants you to believe that your spiritual strength comes from you and not from God. So he wants you to think that just because so far you have beat a particular sin, you will always beat it. Run!

If there’s a sin you are particularly prone to, do not tempt yourself. Use all you have to remove every reminder of the temptation from your life. Cut relationships if you have to, just to keep your heart from impurities and sin. Run!

Also remember, be ready for a fight. Temptations come to us no matter how fast and how far we run. So be prepared!

“Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.” 

Eph 6:13

2. Don’t be Selfish

Try at least to work on your selfishness. We are all selfish in our different ways, but refusing to admit this means you will refuse to work on it. I have met many people who quickly say “i am not selfish” anytime the subject comes up and I ask them: why do you then feel the need to defend yourself first before asking “how am I selfish”. This kind of defense is a form of selfishness. Selfishness taints even your good deeds and prevents God’s grace from working properly in us.

3. Give God your mind

Cut yourself from idle enjoyments that have sinful overtones. We can enjoy wholesome fun without tempting ourselves. Filling our heads with sinful images and thoughts is dangerous and can be the source of temptation, guilt, and anxiety later. Offer your mind and thoughts to God instead.

“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.” 

Phil 4:8

Fill your mind with God’s word. This helps us become stronger and wiser and offers very powerful counters for when the devil tries to trick us. Not knowing God’s word is dangerous since his word brings life to our souls.

4. Remember what sin really does:

“The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery;idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.” 

Gal 5:19-21

Your soul cannot handle an eternal separation from God. Sin is cutting ourselves from God and basically rebelling against the idea of being eternally happy in the presence of God and his Saints. Sin is very heinous too and disfigured our souls, makes it harder and harder to practice virtue, and makes it almost impossible to hear the voice of or see God in the world.

5. Pray with a sense of God’s presence:

God is truly present when you call on him in prayer. But it happens often that we ramble through everything we want to say without actually calling this to mind. Remember each time that God is with you always, but more so when you pray. This makes prayer an opportunity to have an encounter with Jesus himself and to be changed in the heart by his love. This is what enables us to obey God in our day-to-day choices.

“Go near and listen to all that the LORD our God says. Then tell us whatever the LORD our God tells you. We will listen and obey.”

Deut 5:27

6. Frequent confession:

“Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.”

James 5:16

Like I say often, no matter how many times or how heavily we fall, we have to get up and receive God’s healing. The Sacramental healing of Confession is always available to us, to the point that some of us abuse this gift. We have to remember that to receive absolution we must be actually sorry for our sins, confess them and make restitution after. Going to confession regularly helps us with our resolve to follow Jesus and conquer the devil, our flesh, and the world.

7. Seeking help for habitual sins

Sometimes it is not enough to keep returning to confession for the same sin. It helps to kick the devil from our lives by actually seeking help. It can be professional help if some ailment (like depression) is affecting our resolve to avoid sin or to seek spiritual direction. Being accountable helps us avoid sin, which is why the devil wants us to hide our sins and fill our hearts with shame. As for alcoholics, for instance, admitting one has a problem is the first step towards recovery. Living in denial or hiding in shame does not help anyone.

Finally, 3 more Ways to Overcome:

  • Commit your progress to Mary, asking her help regularly. No one pleases God as she does, she knows the way to the heart of her son.
  • Do penance often to encourage discipline and ward off unnecessary temptations.
  • Understand the devil’s true endgame: to get you to hell and away from God. He will use every good and bad event of your life to achieve this. So BE ALERT!

3 Key Ways The Devil fights us and 10 Ways to Overcome Him

3 Key Ways The Devil fights us and 10 Ways to Overcome Him

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