Imagine that every morning when you wake up, you see Satan face to face. Every morning, in a surprisingly accurate impersonation of Clint Eastwood, he glares into your eyes and says, “Go ahead. Make my day.”
Those of us who follow Jesus hope to please God with our words and actions every day—and often fall short. We know he still loves us, his grace is sufficient, and we can start fresh tomorrow. But what we don’t often think about is how easily we can defeat Satan when we do what pleases the Lord. Life throws things at us all day long which our enemy hopes will trip us up, and when we fall for it, he succeeds. What if you could remember that anything which does not make the devil’s day is a victory for you?
Does it make the devil’s day when your car or expensive appliance or computer breaks down? Sure, it does. Ask yourself, “how can I ruin the devil’s day in this situation?” The answer is with your attitude. When you take a deep breath, calm down, keep things in perspective, remain grateful, and continue to speak kindly and patiently to those around you—you kick the enemy right in the teeth.
Does it make the devil’s day when you’re in pain? You bet it does. It’s one of his favorite things, because physical pain can defeat our spirits so quickly. Ask yourself, “how can I ruin the devil’s day in the middle of this?” The answer is by continuing to trust God. When you say, “Lord, I hate this and I don’t understand it. But you are my Creator, I know you love me, and I trust you to use this for good in my life,” you beat the enemy at his own game.
Does it make the devil’s day when you hold a grudge? Oh yes. He knows how the slow poison of unforgiveness will corrode your soul until little is left but a bitter, hard stone. You don’t even need to ask yourself how you can ruin the devil’s day because the answer is obvious. Forgive the person who wronged you. Let God deal with them and set yourself free.
Does it make the devil’s day when you’ve gained ground on an addiction you’ve struggled with for years? No, it most certainly does not. So he tries to convince you it’s merely behavior modification, not healing. You’ve steered clear of it for months, but it doesn’t feel like freedom. The temptation is still strong, the gaping hole it’s left in your heart remains empty. You feel defeated—which is right where the enemy wants you. You’ve fallen for a lie, you’ve made his day. Ask yourself: “how can I ruin the devil’s day when I feel so overwhelmed?” The answer is by celebrating the triumph of your own obedience, by declaring to the devil and to yourself that you are more than a conqueror through Christ (Romans 8:37).
In C.S. Lewis’s classic, The Screwtape Letters, the demon Screwtape instructs his nephew Wormwood on how to defeat Christians (hence, any use of “the enemy” refers to God). Screwtape says, “Do not be deceived, Wormwood. Our cause is never more in danger than when a human, no longer desiring, but still intending, to do our Enemy’s will, looks round upon a universe from which every trace of Him seems to have vanished, and asks why he has been forsaken, and still obeys.” [emphasis mine]
You have the power. Now get out there and ruin the devil’s day.
"We are not unaware of his schemes" (2 Corinthians 2:11).