Basic to all victory over Satan is the absolute truth of Bible doctrine. In the account of His wilderness temptation, our Lord provided us the key to defeating Satan when he or his demons confront us. Each time Satan tempted Jesus or misapplied a statement of the Word, our Lord replied, “It is written,” and then correctly quoted and applied the truth of God (see Matthew 4:1-11).
How important it is to see that Satan backs off from nothing but the absolute truth and fact of God’s Word! Satan finds our emotions, wishes and sincere desires no problem to defeat. With all of my heart, I can want to love and serve the Lord and not be defeated by Satan, but I’ll fail in my sincere efforts if I do not use the truth of God’s Word as my weapon against Satan and for my own strengthening. Jesus, the Son of God, modeled this for us when Satan came at Him in the wilderness. Seeing this truth is perhaps the single greatest key in our warfare against Satan.
However, it is not enough to know sound doctrine. I must apply it in my daily walk. Every truth of God’s Word is given to us not just to know but to use for God’s glory and our victory. That is what 2 Timothy 3:16-17 really means.
How, then, do I use the sound truths of God’s Word? Our faith is a living, vital experiential faith that is to be lived out in daily affairs. It does me little good to know that I’m justified by faith unless I use that truth to glorify God and to walk in victory.
One of the best ways to employ sound Bible doctrine is in what I like to call doctrinal praying. Insight into this truth has continued to grow in my own life until large blocks of my prayer time are devoted to claiming and applying the mighty doctrines of the Word of God. Since God opened my eyes to the importance of this aggressive use of doctrine in my prayer life and daily walk, my own victory in Christ has been greatly benefited and enhanced.
Doctrinal praying is the practice of praying or applying the objective, absolute truths of the Word of God as the hope and basis of resolving our prayer burdens. God loves for us to pray His Word back to Him, claiming His attributes, promises and redemptive work as the ground of our faith, believing that He will answer.
For example, it is obvious that many of the prayers of the psalmists flow out of the subjective feelings, failures and emotional needs of the one praying. The hope of the prayer burden, however, is always based upon the objective absolutes of God’s attributes and character as revealed in His Word (see Psalm 51; 86; 91; 102). The hope of resolving subjective problems and needs will always rest with the applying of God’s objective truth to meet those problems and needs.
Doctrinal praying should occupy much of our daily prayer time. It must be used in praise, petition and intercession. Herein lies one of God’s greatest provisions for our prayer life. Examine the Lord’s Prayer and other prayers recorded in the Word of God to see how much of doctrinal truth is contained in the prayers. It is a tragedy to discover how often the typical prayer rests on worn-out clichés and emotional desires and wishes. How little the average Christian seems to know about resting his petitions, praise and intercessions upon the great revealed truths of God.
In my early ministry, a man I knew lived as a pauper. He scrounged in garbage cans for food and for discarded clothing or anything else of value. He actually lived in a garage part of the time and tried to impose on his brother the rest of the time. One day he suffered a heart attack, and after a brief time in the hospital, he died. Afterward, it was discovered that this man had well over $100,000 concealed in various places. Amazingly, he had great wealth available, but he failed to use it.
That’s like us: Believers have a vast resource of wealth and riches in the grace and gifts bestowed upon us in the Lord Jesus Christ. These precious truths are ours. They are immutably and eternally made ours in Christ. Power, position, authority and total victory over Satan’s world belong to us. It remains only for us to lay hold of our promises and position and bring it consistently and strongly to focus against the devil’s work, and to claim God’s full will and purpose for His saving us.
The believer’s victory over Satan is absolute when he uses the great truths of God to defeat him. God’s Word cannot fail. ©2013 Mark I. Bubeck
Adapted by permission from “The Adversary: The Christian Versus Demon Activity,” by Mark I. Bubeck. Published by Moody Publishers.
Mark I. Bubeck is founder and president emeritus of Deeper Walk International, was a pastor for more than 40 years and is the author of several books.