Joyce Meyer says the devil is real and not just a 'cartoon character in red outfit with pitchfork'

Joyce Meyer says 'when we accept Christ as our Savior and come in to a personal relationship with Him, we gain access to the authority and power of God in our lives.'(Facebook/Joyce Meyer Ministries)

People might not like to acknowledge the presence of the enemy—the devil—but Christian speaker and author Joyce Meyer says it is important for people to understand who he is, otherwise they face defeat in life.

"I went to church for years and didn't know the devil was real; I thought he was just a cartoon character in a red outfit with a pitchfork," she writes in an article for The Christian Post. "I never heard a message about the devil and how we can have authority over him. I did get a good foundation of what salvation is, and I'm very thankful for that. But I wasn't living a victorious life in Christ because I didn't understand who the enemy is, that he is the author of my problems, and that I need to aggressively resist him."

People might be apprehensive to talk about the devil, but Meyer warns that he always has strategies and plans against people, so the worst thing people can do is to ignore him.

"In other words, people are not the source of our problems. People can create problems, but we need to realise that the enemy works through people, and if we just deal with them, we're not getting to the root cause of the issues in our lives," she explains.

The good news though, according to Meyer, is that Jesus Christ already put the devil in his place. It says so in the Bible verse 1 John 3:8: "For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil."

"When we accept Christ as our Saviour and come into a personal relationship with Him, we gain access to the authority and power of God in our lives," she says. "John 10:10 says that the enemy comes to steal, kill and destroy, but Jesus came to give us life — abundant life! And John 8:32 says God's truth sets us free."

Meyer reminds Christians that God loves them and has plans in their lives that are good. She encourages people to "make a determined decision to aggressively pursue your relationship with God in prayer and through studying His Word."

"By God's grace, you can defeat the attacks of the enemy and have the victorious, more-than-a-conqueror life Jesus died to give you!" she says.