Satan's Domain: The Realm of Darkness, Part 2

By Francis Frangipane

Submit to God
The trip wire that Satan used to cause Peter's fall was the disciple's own sin of pride. Let us recognize before we do warfare that the areas we hide in darkness are the very areas of our future defeat. Often the battles we face will not cease until we discover and repent for the darkness that is within us. If we will be effective in spiritual warfare, we must be discerning of our own hearts; we must walk humbly with our God. Our first course of action must be, "Submit . . . to God." Then, as we "resist the devil . . . he will flee" (James 4:7).

Satan will never be given permission to destroy the saints. Rather, he is limited to sifting us "like wheat." The good news is that God knows there is wheat inside each of us. The outcome of this type of satanic assault, which is allowed through the permissive will of God, is to cleanse the soul of pride and produce greater meekness and transparency in our lives. It may feel terrible, but God causes it to work for good. Our husk-like outer nature must die to facilitate the breaking forth of the wheat-like nature of the new creation man. Both the chaff and the husk were necessary; they provided protection for us from the harsh elements of this life. But before God can truly use us, in one way or another we will pass through a time of threshing.

Peter's husk nature was presumptuous and proud. His initial successes had made him ambitious and self-oriented. God can never entrust His kingdom to anyone who has not been broken of pride, for pride is the armor of darkness itself. So when Satan demanded permission to assault Peter, Jesus said in effect, You can sift him, but you cannot destroy him. The warfare against Peter was devastating but measured. It served the purpose of God.

Peter was ignorant of the areas of darkness within him, and his ignorance left him open to attack. But the Lord would ask each of us, "Do you know the areas where you are vulnerable to satanic assault?" Jesus would have us not be ignorant of our need. In fact, when He reveals the sin in our hearts, it is so He might destroy the works of the devil. Thus, we should realize that the greatest defense we can have against the devil is to possess an honest and humble heart before God.

When the Holy Spirit shows us an area that needs repentance, we must overcome the instinct to defend ourselves. We must silence the little lawyer who steps out from a dark closet in our minds, pleading, "My client is not so bad." Your "defense attorney" will defend you until the day you die -- and if you listen to him you will never see what is wrong in you nor face what needs to change. For you to succeed in warfare, your self-preservation instincts must be submitted to the Lord Jesus, for Christ alone is your true advocate.

We cannot engage in spiritual battle without embracing this knowledge. Indeed, James 4:6 says, "God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble." God is opposed to the proud. That is a very important verse. If God is opposed to the proud, and we are too proud to humble ourselves and admit when we are wrong, then God is opposed to us.

James continues in verse 7, "Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you." When we see this verse, it is usually all by itself as a monument to spiritual warfare.
However, it is in the context of repentance, humility, and possessing a clean heart that we find Satan fleeing from us.

We must go beyond a vague submission to God; we must submit the exact area of our personal battle to Him. When we come against the power of the devil, it must be from a heart in submission to Jesus.

There is a recurring precept throughout this book. It is vital that you know, understand, and apply this principle for your future success in spiritual warfare. That principle is this: Victory begins with the name of Jesus on your lips, but it will not be consummated until the nature of Jesus is in your heart. This rule applies to every facet of spiritual warfare. Indeed, Satan will be allowed to come against the area of your weakness until you realize God's only answer for you is that you become Christlike. As you begin to appropriate not just the name of Jesus but His nature as well, the adversary will withdraw. Satan will not continue to assault you if the circumstances he designed to destroy you are now working to perfect you.

The outcome of Peter's experience was that, after Pentecost, when God used him to heal a lame man a new, humble Peter spoke to the gathering crowd. He asked, "Why do you gaze at us, as if by our own power or piety we had made him walk?" (Acts 3:12). Peter's victory over pride and the devil began with the name of Jesus on his lips, and it was consummated by the nature of Jesus in his heart. The darkness in Peter was displaced with light; the pride in Peter was replaced with Christ


Adapted from Francis Frangipane's book, The Three Battlegrounds, available at www.arrowbookstore.com.