Last time, we heard about listening to God’s voice and mentioned that Satan is also trying to get your attention. That’s because your decisions don’t only have an earthly impact, but an eternal impact. Satan doesn’t want you to stay strong in your faith in God. Satan doesn’t want you to share with others about the hope that lies in you. Satan doesn’t want you to earn any crowns in heaven for your dedication and service to the Lord. It’s often hard to remember how there is more to life than what we can see. The truth is that there is a spiritual battle for your decisions. Jesus and the apostles spoke about this spiritual realm that we can’t see.
The Apostle Paul commanded the churches to grow in their knowledge of God and to work out that knowledge in the way they lived because Satan was armed with evil strategies to knock them down.
Put on the full armor of God so that you can stand against the tactics of the Devil. For our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the world powers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavens. (Eph. 6:11-12)
Notice that our battle is not against other people. It’s not against the competitor down the street. The enemy is not your spouse, your kids, or your employer. There is a bigger battle going on behind the scenes between the powers of darkness and the powers of light. Satan is not just sitting back waiting for you to make a mistake and then attack. He is actively seeking out a person unprepared and primed to slip.
Be serious! Be alert! Your adversary the Devil is prowling around like a roaring lion, looking for anyone he can devour. (1 Peter 5:8)
Satan is going to attack when you are tired, discouraged, anxious, alone, and afraid. He’s also going to attack you when you are happy, successful, and enjoying life. He’s going to attack whenever you are not being mindful of his tempting presence. As Pastor Neal once said in a message, “never forget when you think you have temptation behind you, you are about to run head first into it. The end is sudden, shocking, and never fun” (Proverbs, June 2017). It will happen unexpectedly. It will happen to anyone including those who are spiritually strong. Jesus warned the Apostle Peter that Satan wanted to scrutinize him and tear him down. And sure enough, Peter made the decision to deny that he knew Jesus to several groups of unbelievers three times in one night.
“Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.” (Luke 22:31-32)
What’s great is that we are not fighting this battle alone. Jesus not only prayed for Peter, but Jesus is currently in heaven praying for us. He’s praying that we would not lose faith. There’s great comfort in knowing how much God is on our side.
Christ Jesus who died– more than that, who was raised to life– is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. (Rom. 8:34 NIV)
God is bigger than Satan and nothing gets by God. And even if Satan gets to us and we fall, God still finds us useful and important. He calls us to renew our commitment to Him, to be rehabilitated through spending time with Him, and to get working on the next assignment.
PAUSE AND PRAY
Take a few moments and look at how Satan has been attacking you. Rather than seeing your conflicts as the people or projects in front you, look at how those conflicts are hurting you spiritually and taking your attention from pursuing God’s Kingdom and His righteousness in your life. Ask God to keep you aware of the spiritual battle and thank Him for interceding for you so that you can stand against Satan’s tactics.
This is part of a 4 week devotional plan for the series “Figuring Out God’s Will.” For complete details, see here.