1 Peter 5:8:Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.
Once someone chooses to follow Jesus, you place yourself in the Lamb’s book of life. You guarantee yourself eternal life in heaven. Our sins are washed away by the blood of the lamb. This is news we should rejoice about every day. And yet, we often forget about the eternal and supernatural aspects of our existence, we go about our daily lives and convince ourselves that this is all there is, maybe not logically but in how we act through our daily grind. Christians who deny that we are in a supernatural battle often find themselves at risk for being taken out by our enemy, Satan. After we are saved, we literally have a target on our back; Satan is looking to take out as many Christians as he can before his ultimate punishment.
A classic example of this is the book of Job. Verses 1:8-9- Then the Lord said to Satan, “have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.” “Does Job fear God for nothing?” Satan replied. “Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land. But now stretch out your hand and strike everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face.” Here we see the most righteous man on Earthbeing targeted by Satan, why? Not because of his sin but because he followed the Lord whole heartedly. This became the ultimate test of Job’s faith,would he follow God despite him losing everything he held dear?
Before we continue I want to make clear that not all of ourtrials come from Satan, we live in a fallen world and many of our adversities come from the simple fact of living life. When Christians constantly attribute their woes to Satan, they unrealistically give themselves “martyr status” and a “woe is me” mentality. We want to avoid this.
However if you are close to God and use discernment you can identify when these supernatural attacks occur. It can be after a time of great victory in the Lord, after you take on a new assignment for His kingdom, or when walk in God’s calling and take newground, after you shed an addiction, or focus on prayer and His Word more. We see this with Elijah after his victory against the prophets of Baal in 1 Kings 18. In the next chapter Elijah flees for his life and suffers a deep depression stating in verse 4: “I have had enough, Lord, take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.” This is when God intervenes and encourages Elijah that he is not alone in his battle (v.18). Depression can be a real concern for Christians, especially after battling hard over a situation. We need to be alert and ready at all times and not lose our focus even after a struggle is over.
If you are in leadership for God, you have an even bigger target on your back. This is why so many pastors dramatically fall away from God. It’s like in war when you take out those in charge on the battlefield in hopes that their units will scatter. Those in leadership have an even greater responsibility to be inaccountability with others and keep their relationship solid with Jesus on a daily basis. We also need to pray for our leaders daily that they would not fall victim in battle.
How do we respond to these attacks, are we simply destined to become casualties of war? No! Here are some quick points to consider in our spiritual battle:
- We need to understand that Satan’s power is limited. God put a limit on Satan through all of Job’s trials; he wasn’t allowed to kill him. (Job 2:6) Satan also asked permission to “sift the disciples as wheat” (Luke 22:13)
- Satan masquerades as an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14), meaning that he will try to get us to make small compromises to the Word of God. Just like when he misquoted God back to Eve. This creates doubt… we need to go back to the source (the Bible).
- Satan knows the Bible and will quote it out of context to get his way (Matthew 4:6)
- We must put on the full armor of God from Ephesians 6 for “our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities,against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
- “Rejoice always, pray continually; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1Thessalonians 5:16-18). Don’t underestimate the power of prayer… as a leader of your household it is your responsibility to prayer a covering prayer over your family, not out of ritual but because there is life and power in it.
Ultimately we need to remember that “the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.” (1 John 4:4). We know the ending to the story, God wins! We are not called to live in fear but in God’s power, we are not at the mercy of Satan and his schemes but we know that judgment is waiting for him. Even in death, “death has been swallowed up in victory” (1 Corinthians15:54). Hallelujah!
Discerning Reflection: How do I respond to trials that come my way? Do I pray enough? Do I equip the armor of God daily or do I turn to depression and “woe is me” mentality? What changes can I make today in my life and routines?
Prayer: Lord, help me keep an eternal perspective in my daily walk. Help me understand that you have won the victory and we do not need to be afraid. Help me walk in your will for my life and pray throughout the day. Amen.