Have you gone through a period of time in your life where you had one crisis, then another, and then another? Then a few little problems get thrown in for good measure, and you think, “Seriously?! You are kidding me, right? I cannot deal with this one more thing (this broken down car, this repair bill, this flood of water) on top of what I am going through here!” Yes, we do have to deal with it, because this is life.
Is it possible this is how Satan attacks us?
A couple years ago, our family was heavily involved in ministry at church. With my husband Mike being a pastor, we are always busy with church ministry, but during this period of time, his ministry was especially involved. I was also heading up an Outreach program that was working to go out into our community in new and interesting ways to serve and tell people about Jesus. It was an exciting time, and I absolutely loved what I was doing. I woke up every day thrilled to start working on this ministry.
Yet suddenly things started breaking down at home. One teen went through an emotional crisis. Another child hit a huge roadblock at school. Then our whole family went through a series of illnesses — including the flu hitting our entire family on Christmas Eve. It was one of those seasons of “Seriously, Lord?!” I felt like if one more thing came at our family, I would melt into a puddle of Mom-mess, and it wouldn’t be pretty.
I was sharing all this with a good friend, and she told me, “You can’t really be surprised at all this. Look at the great ministry you are doing. Of course Satan is going to attack you. He wants nothing more than to see you fail. He doesn’t want to see you grow God’s kingdom.”
Of course Satan is going to attack you. He wants nothing more than to see you fail. Satan doesn’t want to see you grow God’s kingdom.
This is why it’s so important for us to be together in fellowship with other Christians, both at worship and in relationships. We need these reminders on a regular basis.
Satan loves to hit below the belt. He will strike at what matters to us most in the entire world, and for me that’s my family. When my ministry is going at it’s best, I find that suddenly things start to break down in my family.
I’ve seen it happen in my life again recently. My speaking engagements and writing opportunities have increased, the Faithful Finish Lines online program is off to a great start with the second group going strong, and Mike and I are loving the work we are doing together — yet other areas of our family life are in strife.
Read this passage about what Jesus says to Simon Peter at the Last Supper, right before his Crucifixion:
“Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you*, that he might sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you** that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.”
The Greek word for “you”* at the beginning of the passage is plural, referring to all Christians. The second time “you”** is used it refers specifically to Peter. (Check out this link for an excellent explanation of this interesting Bible passage.) Satan demands us and sifts us — like wheat is sifted clearing out the good stuff from the bad. Just the thought of that scares me. These are true spiritual battles we are in the midst of every day, and we need to take them seriously.
Yet Jesus prayed for Peter and look at the powerful result! Peter did later deny Jesus, but he repented and turned back to God. Prayer is our powerful weapon against our enemy.
What to Do When Satan Attacks Us
- Be Aware. Now I recognize the pattern in my own life. In 2 Corinthians 2: 11 it says, “We must be wise to Satan’s schemes. Our enemy is crafty. He knows our weaknesses and our heart’s deepest desires.”
- Put on the Armor of God. Ephesians 6:10-18 explains we have all we need. God has not left us hanging! We have God’s Word, prayer, and faith as our strongest weapons! “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints.”
- Create a Circle of Christian Support. We are stronger together. Join with other believers to pray together, encourage, and strengthen each other. In 2 Timothy 1:8-9 God tells us, “Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God, who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began.”
Stand firm, friends. When Satan attacks, remember that our enemy is already defeated and we are victorious in Christ!
What are some life situations where you have felt Satan attacking lately? How have you been able to stand firm in your faith? Have other Christians encouraged you along the way?