The Enemy Is Relentless
by Anne Peterson
“Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” - 1 Peter 5:8
One thing happened after another. I’d almost catch my breath and another thing would go wrong. My daughter and I looked at each other as we said in unison. “This is warfare.” It was interesting. The first thing Jessie asked me was, “Mom what were you doing right before all this happened?” At first, I wanted to minimize what she was asking me, but instead, I cleared my mind and recalled exactly what I was doing. I was singing to the Lord, praising Him.
And I knew it was warfare. The enemy of our souls doesn’t want us worshipping God. The one he used to worship. And just knowing what was going on helped me know what to do. I needed to focus on truth, instead of believing the lies that were being shot at me.
Satan Is the Father of Lies
Just so you understand, Jesus himself was approached by Satan. And Jesus, the Son of God didn’t try to fight Satan on his own. He continually referred to God’s Word. He responded over and over, with the words, “It is written…" Satan is the one who tries to convince us that God doesn’t care about us. But he doesn’t tell us this when we are confident, or when we’ve just been victorious. He waits till we are weary. He waits till we are weak. But the good news is that the Holy Spirit who lives within those who have trusted Christ is stronger than Satan (1 John 4:4).
His Tactics Have Not Changed
Even back in the Garden of Eden, Satan set out to deceive Eve. He didn’t do it blatantly, but instead, Satan took what God had told Eve and made her question God’s words to her. He loves to just take things and twist them a little. “You shall not surely die,” the serpent said (Genesis 3:4-5). If Satan can get us to question God in any way, we are sliding down a slippery slope.
Satan Wants Us Confused
One helpful thing to do is to call another Christian when you start getting confused about a situation. The ESV version of 1 Corinthians 14:33 states that God is not a God of confusion. So you can bet that the enemy is trying that tactic to muddle up your mind, which makes it difficult to concentrate on the truth.
Satan Hates the Truth
Satan only knows how to lie. He hates the truth, so there is no better way to defeat him than by staying in the truth. Meditating on the truth and even memorizing it. The more we are in the Word of God, the easier we can discern when the enemy is in the picture. For example. Satan will try to convince us of things that would keep us stuck. When we are praying to God about a concern, Satan will either tell us that God doesn’t care about what we’re going through, or he’ll tell us that we don’t deserve for God to help us. Either tactic will get us to doubt the God who loves us.
Satan Wants to Thwart God’s Work
When we are responding to the Lord and using our gifts to follow God, the enemy has to try and stop us. If we’re successful, others may be watching and we may lead others to follow Christ. So Satan is continually trying to stop what God is doing. Being aware of this is so helpful. We can then jump back into the Word, bathing ourselves in what God has told us. And we will be refuting what the enemy is trying to do. But he has more than one tactic.
Another One of Satan’s Tactics
One thing that the enemy of our souls will do again and again is make us feel guilty when we have blown it. What I’m referring to, is when we feel encumbered with guilt. How freeing to learn that guilt is not from God. Paul tells us there is no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1). God’s Holy Spirit is the one who convicts us when we sin, but it is Satan that heaps guilt on us when we do wrong. He tells us how worthless we are and continues from that point on. Knowing what God says about us is the only way we can recognize it is the enemy who is whispering lies to us.
When Jesus took our sins on the cross, God took out His wrath on Jesus. Always be aware of the father of lies.
My Favorite Weapon against the Enemy
1 Peter 2:20 tells us: “When we suffer for doing wrong and we endure it, how is it to our credit? But if we suffer for doing good and we endure it, this is commendable before God.” Wanting to please God is what motivates me to go even further. So I’ve been praising God for who He is when I hurt because of the actions of another person. The truth is God is always worthy of our praise, and yet, sometimes when we’re hurting, we’re not in a place of praising God. I’m so glad we are free to choose. We were the joy set before Jesus when he endured the cross. And we can let Jesus be the joy set before us when we suffer. Because one day, we will no longer have the fiery darts to deal with. One day.
Intersecting Faith and Life:
The longer we walk with the Lord and study His Word, the better equipped we will be when Satan tries to defeat us. What lies has Satan told you? What have you found helpful in those times? Lord, I pray that you give us wisdom as we are in this world. We thank you that we were not left alone, but that you are with us. We thank you that you have given us your Word so that we can stand against the evil one. Thank you, Lord, that one day we will live in a world without Satan. We pray all this in your Son’s precious and Holy name. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
My Child, I see you are burdened
by the cares of your world day and night.
So please, take my yoke on your shoulders, learn of me— for my burden is light.
The enemy tells you the trials you face are proof that I never have cared.
But the enemy lies, and he will till he dies.
I have promised I’ll always be there.
-Anne Peterson © 2020
For Further Reading:
Read my article on Crosswalk: 7 Signs the Pursuit of Perfection is Satan’s Ploy
Photo credit: PlayBackMedia/©Sparrowstock
Anne Peterson is a poet, speaker, and published author of 16 books. Her most recent book is Always There: Finding God's Comfort through Loss. Anne has published 42 Bible Studies and numerous articles with christianbiblestudies.com. She has been a regular contributor to Crosswalk for seven years. Visit Anne’s website at annepeterson.com and sign up for a free eBook or visit her Facebook page. You can also subscribe to Anne’s YouTube channel where you can watch her recite her poems and share her heart.
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