The Three Ways The Devil Attacks Christians

spiritual warfareFor 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. – Ephesians 6:12

We have talked about spiritual warfare in a few articles over the last several months. We have tried to drive home the fact that we do not war against flesh and blood but against powers and principalities, against demons and against the devil himself. What I realized recently is that the methods of his attacks against believers are nuanced and different as compared to his attacks against those who are perishing. I do not want you to be unequipped, because this fight is real and it has eternal consequences. The devil cannot snatch your salvation away from you but he can make you ineffective. The devil has already lost the chance to control your soul, but he can destroy your witness and he loves to do so. This article aims to give you an understanding of three of the methods that the devil will use in order to make you fall and unable to continue on with your witnessing and ministry to a lost and perishing world.

worriedThe first method the devil will try to use against you and the one that I have to struggle with the most is that he tries to convince us that Christ’s sacrifice was insufficient to cover your sins. We all fail. We all fall short of the glory of God, but we who are saved must understand that His salvation covers all transgressions. Many of us, when we fail God and sin, beat ourselves up to such an extent that we believe that we are disconnected from our Father. We believe that the sins that we struggle with and sometimes succumb to somehow make us unworthy of coming to our Father. It is as if our sins somehow make us unworthy of spreading and proclaiming the gospel to those around us. We say, “how can I, a sinner and a wretched person be worthy of telling people about the precious and eternally perfect God of the universe?” The devil loves it when we talk like this. What you do when you say that you are unworthy as a child of Christ is that Jesus Christ’s sacrifice on the cross was insufficient to pay the debt for those specific sins. When we say that our sins have separated us from the Father or from the Holy Spirit or from Christ, we are saying that we are capable of coming up with a sin that not even God can forgive. If you think about it, you can see why the devil would love for us to think this way. If we think this way, then we don’t witness and we don’t come to God. We don’t pray as much and we don’t study the word as much, all because we don’t believe we are worthy. We are to wage war on our sins, but we are also to understand that our sins are forgiven and more importantly we must accept that forgiveness.

The next tactic that the devil employs is that with forgiveness of sins some believe that somehow, God doesn’t care about our sins. So many Americans have given themselves over to their sins. They talk about repentance and they talk about saving grace, but they live as hypocrites. They say that Christians must be born again and wage war on sin but they commit adultery, fornication, and all other manners of transgressions. The next progression from this thought is that with giving one’s self over to sin then all of a sudden God does not care about a specific sin and in fact doesn’t mind if we commit certain sins at all. Then the next progression after that is that certain activities are not actually sins at all and that the Bible is wrong about those sins. This all stems from pride in one’s own abilities and on not relying on God or his word. The American church, especially the liberal mainline denominations have given themselves over to their sins to such an extent as to be unable to provide guidance or to make disciples. There is no real reason to explain why the devil loves this so much. When a person has given themselves over to their sins they have ceased being a tool of God and have now become a tool of the devil. I am NOT saying the there aren’t any brothers or sisters in Christ in these mainline denominations, only that they are completely unable to spread the true and saving gospel because they do not preach it. These people are not saved because of their grasp of the gospel, but in spite of it.

11193217_433949136767105_6590068518750122430_nLastly the devil will tempt you with the sins that you struggle with the most. Ultimately, the devil wants to destroy you. When the devil loses a soul to Jesus he moves into damage control mode. Ultimately, he wants to make sure that you do not spread the gospel to those around you. The more he sees you as a threat, the more he’ll attack you. If you think that it is a coincidence that high-profile pastors have moral failings on such a regular basis, you are sadly mistaken. Every man placed in authority over a flock is constantly attacked by spiritual forces in order to make him ineffective in his preaching and ineffective in his ministry. When the devil attacks faithful followers of Christ he does not do so by possession or by taking over one’s body, because followers of Christ are immune to those types of attacks. What the devil does do is use external stimuli in order to tempt you to fail. The devil is perceptive. He knows your weaknesses and he knows your triggers. If you are struggling with a certain sin, he will make sure that those temptations are around you 24/7. The devil is also very patient and will wait to unveil your transgressions at the exact moment when it will make the most damage. The devil will allow you to go for years justifying your sins and only when it will cause the maximum amount of carnage to yourself and to those around you, will he expose those sins to the light.

You must know what you are up against in order to be effective in your witness, especially if you are a pastor or leader in your church. The devil does not stand idly by while those who follow Christ snatch souls away from him. The devil is very good at destroying Christians’ ability to spread the gospel, by making them focus too much on their sins, by pushing them to give themselves over to their sins or by constantly tempting them to sin. Either way the devil wins. We are to wage war on our sins, but we must understand that when we fail, and we all fail, that Christ’s sacrifice was sufficient to pay for those sins as well. We must understand that we are commanded to be the means that God uses to bring Himself glory and commanded to aid God in showing His mercy by saving the lost. We are fallible and weak, but with an understanding of what we have in Christ, we can be strong and capable. We must resist the tactics of the devil and we must know his methods. Only then can we spread the gospel throughout the world and resist a culture that has given itself over to Satan himself.  Bless you all and fight the good fight.

The Lord will rescue me from every evil deed and bring me safely into his heavenly kingdom. To him be the glory forever and ever. Amen – 2 Timothy 4:18

Michael Davis
Senior Editor of Veterans to Christ. Served as a Cavalry Scout from 2005-2009. Iraq Veteran.