Earlier this week, I shared about the importance of not allowing discouragement to creep into our lives and slow our progress with God. When we grow discouraged, we lose the strength and motivation needed to move forward with God. Over the next few days, I’ll share some specific ways to avoid discouragement and stay encouraged in the Lord. Today, I’d like to share about being prepared for the devil’s tactics.

One of the greatest keys to winning any contest is to be prepared for your opponent. Whether you’re playing a basketball game or fighting a military battle, it helps to know in advance the tactics your opponent will employ. The principle remains the same in our spiritual walk. The apostle Paul told Christians, “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil” (Eph. 6:11). The word “wiles” means schemes, strategies, or tactics. We must never forget that we face a real enemy in the devil, and he will use his schemes to try to get us off course with God. That doesn’t mean we should be afraid, worried, or intimidated, but it does mean we should be prepared.

Therefore, don’t be surprised when the devil tries to put seeds of doubt or discouragement in your mind. Expect that he will try his best to stop you from accomplishing the will of God. But don’t accept his bait to distract you. The Bible tells us, “Resist the devil and he will flee from you” (James 4:7, NKJV).

Paul understood that we have to prepare ourselves like soldiers who prepare for battle. He instructed:

“Use every piece of God’s armor to resist the enemy in the time of evil, so that after the battle you will still be standing firm. Stand your ground, putting on the sturdy belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News, so that you will be fully prepared. In every battle you will need faith as a shield to stop the fiery arrows aimed at you by Satan. Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. Pray at all times and on every occasion in the power of the Holy Spirit. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all Christians everywhere” (Eph. 6:13-18, NLT).

When we prepare ourselves to stand firm against the devil and his tactics, we’re assured of the victory every time. “Now thanks be unto God, which always causes us to triumph in Christ” (2 Cor. 2:14, KJV). So, don’t cave in to the devil’s schemes and lies. Be encouraged today that we ALWAYS have the victory in Jesus!