And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly….
— Romans 16:20
Are you tired of the devil blocking your way and causing all kinds of disruptions and problems in your life, such as problems in your relationships, financial woes, or health problems? How would you like to lift your foot high and then slam it down as hard as you can on top of the devil — pounding, hammering, trouncing, crushing, and smattering him to bits under your feet? Does that sound like something you wish you could do?
Believe it or not, the apostle Paul encourages you to do exactly that! In Romans 16:20 he writes, “And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly….” The word “bruise” is taken from the Greek word suntribo, a word that significantly presents this notion of trampling the devil under your feet. The word was historically used to denote the act of smashing grapes into wine. However, it was also used to refer to the act of snapping, breaking, and crushing bones. In fact, it pictures bones that have been utterly crushed beyond recognition.
This word suntribo is used in Mark 5:4 where the Bible tells us about the demon-possessed man of the Gadarenes. It says, “Because that he had been often bound with fetters and chains, and the chains had been plucked asunder by him, and the fetters broken in pieces.…” The phrase “broken in pieces” is this same word suntribo. Although bound in chains and fetters, the demonized man was sufficiently energized by the demons to be able to crush those fetters to pieces.
The use of the word suntribo in this verse portrays a demon-possessed man releasing so much rage and violence that he was able to obliterate, smash, demolish, and reduce those fetters to nothing. When he was finished, the fetters fell to the ground in a heap, twisted and deformed — so broken that they would never be used to hold anyone captive again.
Now Paul uses this same word in Romans 16:20 when he says we are to “bruise” Satan under our feet. However, notice that Paul says we are to bruise him under our feet “shortly.” This word “shortly” is extremely important because it takes the whole picture to the next level. It tells us what attitude we must demonstrate the next time the devil tries to get in our way or block our path.
The word “shortly” comes from a military term that described the way Roman soldiers marched in formation. They were instructed by their commanders, “You are Roman soldiers! Lift your feet high, stomp loud, and let everyone know you are coming through town. The sound of the stomping and pounding of your feet is the signal to let everyone know they need to get out of your way. And if someone is foolish enough to stand in your way — even if someone falls down in front of you — don’t you dare stop to ask them to move! Just keep marching, stomping, and pounding, even if it means you have to walk right over them!”
So when Paul uses the word “shortly,” he is referring to the pounding, stomping, crushing steps of a Roman soldier. And remember, Roman soldiers wore shoes that were spiked with nails on the bottom (see March 15). When a challenger stood in front of them — or if a person fell in their path — these soldiers would simply ignore the obstacle and keep marching, stomping, and pounding along their way, leaving the challenger or unfortunate person completely obliterated and trampled beyond recognition — an ugly, bloody sight.
What does all this mean for you and me today? It means the next time the devil tries to get in your way or block your path, you shouldn’t stop to politely ask him to move. If the enemy is stupid enough to challenge you and tries to hinder your plans, God tells you what to do in this verse: “Just keep walking! If the devil tries to stop you, just raise your feet high, pound down as hard as you can, and stomp all over him as you march forward. Crush and bruise him beyond recognition!”
However, it is important to point out that this smashing and crushing of Satan must be done in cooperation with God. Alone you are no match for this archenemy. That’s the reason Paul says, “…The God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet….” In other words, this is a joint partnership between you and God. By yourself, you could never keep Satan subdued. But with God as your Partner, the devil has no chance of ever slipping out from under your heel!
Romans 16:20 suggests this idea:
“The God of peace will smash and completely obliterate Satan under your feet! If Satan tries to get in your way or to block your path, then it’s time for you to act like a soldier — lift your feet high, stomp and pound down hard, crushing the enemy under your feet and leaving him in a heap, trampled beyond recognition, as you march on….”
The glorious truth is that Jesus already completely destroyed Satan’s power over you through His death and resurrection. The devil was utterly smashed, crushed, and bruised when Jesus was victoriously raised from the dead (see January 31, February 11, February 28). Your God-given mission now is to reinforce the victory already won and to demonstrate just how miserably defeated Satan already is!
The enemy may try to lord himself over you; he may attempt to exert his foul influence over your life. However, he is merely using empty threats and illusions to feed fear into your mind.
Never forget — the only place that rightfully belongs to the devil is the small space of ground right under your feet! Jesus accomplished a total, complete, and perfect work through the Cross of Calvary and His resurrection from the dead. That means your healing, your miracle, or your financial blessing already belongs to you! The victory is already yours!
My Prayer for Today
Lord, the next time the devil tries to get in my way or to block my path, help me to raise my feet high, pound down as hard as I can, and stomp all over him as I march forward unhindered to do Your will. I thank You that because of Your victory, Satan has no right to exercise this kind of control over my life anymore! With You working as my Partner, I can stare that old enemy in the face and command him to move. And if he tries to put up a fight, I can push him out of the way and walk on through!
I pray this in Jesus’ name!
My Confession for Today
I boldly declare that Jesus destroyed Satan’s power over me! Through Jesus’ death and resurrection, the devil was utterly smashed, crushed, and bruised. Now my God-given mission is to reinforce that glorious victory and to demonstrate just how miserably defeated Satan already is. The enemy may try to lord himself over me, but he has no authority to exercise any control in my life!
I declare this by faith in Jesus’ name!
Questions to Answer
1. Do you see yourself as a victorious soldier in the army of God?
2. Are your problems under your feet today, or do you feel like you are constantly under the heel of your problems?
3. What are you going to do to turn this situation around? Write down ideas about what actions you can take to start winning the victory over the devil’s attacks in your life.