“I have forgiven in the sight of Christ for your sake, in order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes.” (2 Corinthians 2:10b-11 NIV)
The devil wants to destroy your marriage. He wants to destroy every other good relationship. Why? Because he loves conflict and arguments. He wants to cause confusion, arguments, stress, hurt feelings, disappointment, anger, chaos. He loves to do it. James says you have to give in to God and let him have control. Then, you have to do some defensive action. You have to resist the devil and realize what he’s doing. If you get up in the morning and you don’t run into the devil head-on, then you’re already going in the same direction.
Paul says in 2 Corinthians 2, “I have forgiven in the sight of Christ for your sake, in order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes.” (v. 10b-11 NIV) In other words: Wise up! Recognize Satan’s tactics. Know how he operates.
How does the devil operate? He doesn’t stand around with a pitchfork and a red suit, like Underwood deviled ham. He plays on our pride — particularly wounded pride. He tells us what we want to hear. He whispers in our ear and gives us little thoughts, suggestions, and ideas. When you’re in the middle of an argument, he starts whispering things in your ear, like “You don’t have to take this kind of stuff. Retaliate. Who do they think they are? Get even. Assert yourself. Don’t put up with this kind of stuff. Show ‘em who’s boss.” He tells you all the things your pride would love to hear.
In response, you have to say, “Satan, I know that’s you.” Resist him.
You resist the devil the same way Jesus did: He quoted Scripture. Memorize Proverbs 13:10: “Pride leads to conflict” (NLT). The next time you get into an argument, the Lord will bring this verse to mind. Stop and ask yourself, “How am I being prideful here? What am I not willing to admit? Why am I not willing to compromise? Why am I only thinking of myself and not the other person’s needs, desires, and attitudes?”
There is a great promise in James 4:7: “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (NIV). You don’t have to put up with him. Give in to God, and get wise to Satan.
Talk About It
- Think of the last time you had an argument. How was your pride involved?
- Ask a friend to help you memorize Scripture, starting with Proverbs 13:10?
Rick Warren is the founding pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., one of America’s largest and most influential churches. Rick is author of the New York Times bestseller The Purpose Driven Life. His book, The Purpose Driven Church, was named one of the 100 Christian books that changed the 20th century. He is also founder of Pastors.com, a global Internet community for pastors.
This devotional © 2012 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.