“Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.” (Eph. 6:11)
The power of persuasion is one of the most efficient weapons in the arsenal of our adversary, our free will is what allows us to be ensnared by them. The lost have no shield, no belt, no sword, they have absolutely no strength in any form to stand against him, nor in this matter do we, it is the Holy Spirit alone that can keep us and protect us from those snares, those traps and temptations.
“And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, he is in thine hand; but save his life.” (Job 2:6) Satan has the power of death over the lost, for the saved, in no matter shape he desires to inflict suffering upon us, he must ask permission, and he does ask. “And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.” (Rev. 12:10)
One must consider why we fall, why we succumb to his wills, his persuasion, and for most the answer is quite simple and true, for our old man, our sin nature still resides within us, it will not be removed until we are glorified, but there is one thing they tend to forget, that it is only the Holy Spirit that can hinder him, our response is to agree with the Holy Spirit. That is the crux of the issue, that is our free will being exercised in agreement with what we know is pleasing to the Lord.
We have a choice, and those choices have repercussions, both here and in the life to come. “Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.” (Rev. 3:11) You can lose those treasures you have laid up in heaven, you can lose your rewards.
How many men of God can you recall that have succumbed to the adversary’s wiles, who lived for God, Christ-centered, Spirit filled decades for the Lamb of God who fell, were personally and publicly disgraced, whose ministry remained in shambles and essentially ineffectual until their dying day. Those who were led to the Lord by them lose nothing, but that man lost all that he had gained, even after great repentance and the subsequent forgiveness by the Almighty, what they obtained was lost.
“The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.” (Psalm 51:17)
“Howbeit, because by this deed thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme, the child also that is born unto thee shall surely die.” (2 Sam. 12:14) And the sword never left the kingdom of David, four of his sons were killed.
There are temporal and eternal losses when we freely walk into sin. “As free, and not using your liberty for a cloke of maliciousness, but as the servants of God.” (1 Peter 2:16) Those who attempt to be obedient because of those possible loses will fail, those who do so out of a deep abiding love for the Savior will be blessed with Spiritual discernment, the ability to discern between good and evil, but they also will fall, perhaps not as often, and never by their own power will they stand.
“There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” (1 Cor. 10:13)
Your responsibility is to take that way out.
Expect the lost to sin, expect them to adhere to a moral code that in their mind they believe to be correct, to be just, but do not expect them to be what you are called to be, holy.
Our relationship to the Lord Jesus Christ is not symbiotic, it is one of obedience because of love, it is one of servitude out of the reverence for His Holy name, it is the creature glorifying the Creator, willingly.
You cannot stand against the wiles of the devil anymore than the lost can, it is not possible, but the Holy Spirit can, and He offers you the shield of God, the strength of His unlimited power, and a love for the Lord Jesus Christ that can make you as holy as you are commanded to be. The love you have for Christ, the desire in your heart to see God glorified, that is the strength we are to walk in, that is what keeps those darts from hitting you.