Lately my family has been going through battle after battle. During the last several years, we faced a worsening in my spinal cord injury, the death of my father, the loss of a precious family pet, illness in members of our immediate family and the list goes on and on. Satan likes to attack those close to the Lord because we are his biggest threat. Why? Because we are not only in conflict with his attempts to sabotage our relationship with God, we are also in a fight with him to help guide people away from him by sharing the good news of our Salvation. It should be a top priority to share the Gospel to those who don’t know it, and to shine the light of our Lord for those who do, but haven’t yet made a choice to repent and accept Christ.
One of satan’s favorite tricks is to fill our time with obstacles he places along the way in an effort to separate us from God. When we are busy putting out fires, it’s easy to say those horrible words, “I don’t have time for devotions, church, regular Bible reading, nightly prayers.” How sad that must make our Father in Heaven.
I try to place the priorities in my life in the proper order, God, family, and serving others. So many times I fail miserably in one or more of them. Praise God that He is full of grace and can help me put the pieces back in the proper order.
Proverbs 3:5-6 tells us:
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight.”
I love those verses and actually the entire Chapter 3 of Proverbs. I am reassured that no matter what occurs in my life, I can ALWAYS trust in the Lord and if I rely on His judgement rather than my own, He will help keep me on the path I should be on. So when the devil attacks, I can tell him to go away because I am joined to the One he cannot defeat. As long as I stay on God’s path, close to Him, I am protected from satan’s tricks and deceit.
I can find no reference to satan having the ability to read our minds, however, the many years he has been roaming the earth, observing human behavior, has given him and his demons a high degree of accuracy at guessing what we are thinking. 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.” This verse emphasizes just how cunning and evil satan is. However, he is not omnipresent, only God has that power so the devil relies on his army of demons to do his work. We should never underestimate their ability at tempting us to turn away from God. The devil and his demons are fallen angels and may have the same power that angels do so they can take on many forms, including looking like a human. Hebrews 13:2 references this for angels so I don’t rule out the possibility that satan or his demons can do the same. Demons are mentioned abundantly in the Bible as possessing a human which leads me to believe they cannot just transform into human form but need someone to inhabit.
We must recognize that when we find excuses to separate ourselves from God by not reading His Word, not having daily ongoing conversations with Him and claiming that we are too busy, this is satan’s influence on us by bringing out the sinful nature of man. So how do we protect ourselves from satan and his army of demons? We can once again look to the Word for guidance. In James 4:7, he states,”Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” This is not a one time thing, but rather an ongoing lifestyle. As I mentioned previously, I don’t believe satan has concerns about those who don’t follow God. But his goal is to pull as many of us who follow God over to his side and to prevent others from receiving the gift of salvation from our Lord and Savior.
We must continually shine God’s light through our daily lives because nobody knows when Christ will return, not even satan, so we should have an urgency to draw others to the Lord for salvation. I believe it’s important to share the gospel with those who aren’t familiar with it and to make ourselves available to answer questions for those who seek. Beyond that, in my opinion we should be a lighthouse for others, shining His light so they wonder why we are different. It’s a fine balance between helping someone who is seeking the Lord find answers versus being pushy and judgmental. Many people have rejected God because of those who were too forceful with their words. There is much more influence by living out the truths that you speak. Nothing turns an atheist away quicker than one who claims to follow God but doesn’t show it in his or her actions. We are sinners and have all done this, however, as ambassadors for the Lord, we must persist in living by God’s standards, including loving and praying for unbelievers. Ultimately God is the only one who can help change a person’s heart and the decision to accept Christ’s salvation is in the hands of the unbeliever. That is why we have free will. My free will chooses God as my Lord and Savior. For every battle I face, if I face it with God, his blessings rain down, while He fights the battle with me or sometimes for me. I will forever have the joy of the Lord in my heart no matter what difficult paths I must cross.
I believe everyday we should evaluate our time spent with God versus other distractions. If the day was not overflowing with God, we need to re-evaluate our priorities. Some verses below can help us when we think “there is not enough time.”
Romans 12:2 “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—His good, pleasing and perfect will.”
Galatians 1:10 “ Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.”
Matthew 6:33-34 “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
Romans 8:28 “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”