Rebuke or Resist

Many Christians assume they have the right to use the name of Jesus at will whenever Satan is bothering or harassing them. However, the word of God tells us exactly what we are to do when Satan is harassing us:

1 Peter 5:  

8  Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 

9  But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world. 

From these two verses we can see that Satan wants to devour us and we are to resist him by and through our faith in Jesus, believing that if we hold steady God will make a way of escape from whatever temptation we are experiencing. We also learn that resisting Satan produces suffering, and that suffering is experienced by all the brethren.

10 After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you. 

From verse 10 we see our steadfastness through our suffering will be rewarded by God perfecting, confirming, strengthening and establishing us.  

So we can conclude there is a reason for God allowing Satan to tempt and harass us, and that reason is that we may grow into maturity. Peter refers to this:

1 Peter 4:

1 Therefore, since Christ has suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same purpose, because he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, 

2  so as to live the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for the lusts of men, but for the will of God.

When we try to use the name of Jesus to make the devil leave us alone, we are defeating God’s purpose for His allowing Satan to bother us. 

As an example, when Paul received the messenger of Satan to buffet and torment him, rather than ordering him to leave in the name of Jesus, Paul sought the Lord three times asking that the messenger might leave: 

2 Corinthians 12:

8  Concerning this I implored the Lord three times that it might leave me. 

9a  And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.”

Rebuking and railing against Satan, accusing him of all sorts of things, is not biblical:

Jude 1:

8  Yet in the same way [as angels who did not keep their own domain] men, also by dreaming, defile the flesh, and reject authority, and revile angelic majesties. 

9  But Michael the archangel, when he disputed with the devil and argued about the body of Moses, did not dare pronounce against him a railing judgment, but said, “The Lord rebuke you!” 

10 But these men revile the things which they do not understand; and the things which they know by instinct, like unreasoning animals, by these things they are destroyed.

Those who rail against Satan don’t understand how far off base they are, even if they are using the name of Jesus. They are reviling an angelic being that even an archangel would not judge.

Dear friends, there is a big difference between what the word of God teaches and what the masses today teach, a very big difference.

James 4:

7  Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.

Jon David Banks, God’s most unworthy servant

Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved.