Sometimes in our ultramodern world I think we struggle to believe there really is a spiritual adversary, Satan, who is actively attacking us. We think of it like the bogeyman…that elusive being we feared as a kid but grew to know really didn’t exist. But in reality, that couldn’t be further from the truth. The Bible does not shy away from presenting as truth the existence of the devil who is on the prowl to attack us. I think we can develop more of an appreciation for his existence and impact, and therefore more alert to be on guard against Him, if we understand some of the ways he attacks us.
Here is a limited list, but I think it will serve the purpose.
– Doubt – he gets us to question God, His goodness, or His love for us
– Discouragement – he seeks to steal the joy God has given us by getting us to dwell on the negative
– Distraction – getting us to focus on something other than God as most important
-Unworthiness – he continually tells us God can’t use us
– Fear – he seeks to convince us that we will somehow lose if we trust God’s way over man’s best wisdom
-Anger – getting you to dwell on what others have done to you instead of what He has done for you
-Hurt – causing us to dwell on the past rather than the future marked by hope
That’s a quick list, but based on my experience it makes it powerfully clear that we have a very real adversary who is actively seeking to keep us down. But just as certainly God has given us everything necessary to be take on our adversary and win. And often our biggest challenge is just recognizing we are in the battle and therefore need to put up the fight God has put within us.