There is good and evil in this world. Everything that is good comes from God. Everything that is evil comes from Satan. As much as we want to only have the influence of good to surround us, the influence of evil is ever-present. How then can we overcome Satan’s influence in our lives?
We are free to choose
God has given us knowledge of good and evil, and we are given the power to choose for ourselves. In order for us to overcome Satan’s influence, we have to be aware that he has no power over us unless we let him. The devil cannot make choices for us. If we choose to shut the door and not welcome Satan, he cannot have power over us. It is ultimately our choices that will determine whether we are on the Lord’s side or the adversary’s.
Satan is not a supportive ally
When Satan tempts us, he promises great rewards and happiness. But these things are not his to give to anyone in the first place. When we experience sorrow and misery after we sin, Satan laughs and rejoices. His promises always fail those who follow him.
The Lord can make weak things become strong
We all have weaknesses and Satan knows this. He knows our weak spots, natural desires and habits; and he knows that in these areas, we are most vulnerable to temptation. So does the Lord Jesus Christ. When we are weak, we are counseled to come unto Christ and He will “make weak things become strong” (Ether 12:27). His grace is sufficient to all those who humble themselves and seek His help.
Prayer will fortify our defenses
Satan is alert and ever-ready to claim us as his victims. So we too, must carefully watch and fortify our defenses. Fortifying our defenses includes praying continually “that [we] may not be led away by the temptations of the devil, that he may not overpower [us]…” Without prayer and God’s help, we cannot win the battle against the adversary.
It is easier to avoid than to resist
Satan is a wise salesman. When we show even the tiniest interest in his enticements, he will use every stratagem and every tool possible to slowly drag us to commit sin. When we leave our doors ajar enough for Satan to get his foot inside, we are more likely to be enticed by him, than when we completely shut the door close and not entertain him. It is easier for us to choose righteously when Satan is not in our heads trying to contest our righteous dispositions.
The temptations of Satan will always be present around us, for the adversary will not stop on his mission to make everyone miserable like unto himself. The key is to dismiss him immediately. Like Joseph of Egypt, we must run as fast and as far away as we can. Additionally, echoing Elder Jeffrey R. Holland’s counsel, “when fleeing the scene of temptation, do not leave a forwarding address.” We have the most powerful Being on our side as we overcome Satan’s influence in our lives. The Lord will strengthen and empower us as we choose to live righteously and do good continually.