Just like any predator would do, Satan spends his time targeting the young, the sick and the lame, stalking and attacking Christians who are struggling and losing the fight of faith. Everyone struggles sometimes and we all experience seasons of change, difficulties, joy, victory, setbacks and waiting. The enemy is watching you. As he very boldly said to the Lord, he is roaming “to and fro” around the earth “seeking people to devour.” (Job 1:7 & 1 Peter 5:8) He has never made it a secret that he seeks to destroy you. How does he do that? By getting you to destroy yourself.
You’re about to embark on a new season, so be prepared for the battles that come with taking new spiritual territory!! Today’s devotion will be a little longer than usual because it is going to address some very important aspects of faith, where the enemy has held on for too long! Satan is a liar, but he’s a good one! Let’s take back some territory right now by exposing areas where Satan has encroached with his subtle and deceptive strategies to keep your faith watery and weak, or struggling and flailing to stay above water. God has much more for your life than barely keeping afloat!!
Even people with the strongest faith experience seasons of struggle, so there is never a point in time when you can let down your guard. Guard your eyes. Guard your heart. Guard your anointing. Guard your marriage. Guard your reputation. Guard your home. Guard your children. Guard your mouth. Guard your spirit. Satan is actively searching for the weak points in your faith because he wants to exploit them. God is actively searching for the weak points in your faith because He wants to expose them. Solomon wrote, “If you faint in the day of adversity, your strength is small.” (Proverbs 24:10)
Satan is actively searching for the weak points in your faith because he wants to exploit them. God is actively searching for the weak points in your faith because He wants to expose them.
But Isaiah wrote, “…those who wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles, they shall run and not be weary, and they shall walk and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:30-31) No matter what your condition of faith, however, you will always be a target for the enemy, so at least be a moving target – those are much harder to capture! Friends, “let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith.” (Hebrews 12:1-2) Keep this in mind: A predator can try and take down its prey, but if the prey fights back hard enough, the predator will eventually go find an easier target. “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you,” James wrote. (James 4:7) As a person of faith, stay strong! Keep your faith grounded in the word. Keep your spirit connected to God’s through your ministry of worship. Don’t let the enemy exploit your areas of weakness, let God reveal them to you so you can protect and strengthen them!
Here are 5 points of F.A.I.T.H. to be always work on to strengthen within yourself as you journey i your faith, knowing the enemy will attack you the worst in seasons when you are the weakest:
- Fear: “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” (2 Timothy 1:7) Well… if it is not from God, then you know it’s from Satan! Why tolerate fear? Fear is an illusion. Fear is a feeling. Even if there is something to be afraid of in the natural, like a diagnosis or a terrible situation, there is a peace that goes beyond what you understand in the natural. (Philippians 4:7) This is what people of victory must stare down, defy and deny! Push past that fear and go forward! “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. Whoever fears is not perfect in love.” (1 John 4:18) That “perfect love” is JESUS and He has overcome the world and it’s fears. (John 16:33) Fear is distraction. God has victory for you, but the enemy has set a trap to keep you caged into the “What If” scenarios. God lives in the future HE makes, not the ones you imagine. Find a Scripture and stand on it until the storm has passed! Get a grip on your thought life R.E.F.U.S.E. to think about anything else except for love of God, which is the antidote to the poison of fear! (Read Philippians 4:8)
- Anger: Anger makes a place for the devil, Paul wrote. (Ephesians 4:26-27) It’s okay to be angry, but there comes a point where that anger becomes sinful – when you hold on and refuse to let go; when it’s all you can think about; when your anger affects everything in your life. You may be justified in your anger. You may be on the right side of your anger. You may be the true victim with every right to be angry, but if you want to move ahead, you must set anger aside “every weight and sin that so easily besets us,” (Hebrews 12:1). God will never take what you don’t willingly give. YOU have to set anger aside, with intention and determination and move ahead with your life. If anger has a grip on you, so does Satan.
- Immaturity: “…by now you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.” Spiritual immaturity is okay for a baby and so is living off of a bottle, but if you’re not growing at a natural pace in your faith, you are disabled and the enemy would like nothing more than to snap you up. There is a natural pace to spiritual growth and there is no excuse for spiritual ignorance or immaturity. Get into church, and a small group. Get known by other Christians. It’s not easy, but it is for your spiritual benefit! (Hebrews 10:24-25)
- Tiredness: “I have had enough, Lord,” Elijah said. ‘Take my life’…then he lay down under the bush and fell asleep.” (1 Kings 19:4) When you are spiritually, emotionally, mentally or physically exhausted, the enemy will come to try and attack you. He will attack you with strongholds from your past like addiction, sexual sin, depression and all the other areas God won the victory. The enemy will try and convince you that you are still that same old person you once were. He will tempt you to sin and he will play tricks in your mind. He will try and get you to believe in coincidence and lies to convince you. Stand firm! This is when faith is of the utmost importance. Do not live by how you feel! (2 Corinthians 5:7) Call on the Lord! (Read Psalm 18:6-19)
- Hurt: “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds,” the Psalmist wrote, but it’s never that easy, is it? (Psalm 147:3) You are guaranteed troubles in this life. Jesus was very clear about that! (John 16:33) Sometimes those hurts and wounds are from things we’ve done to ourselves and sometimes they are from others. Sometimes those hurts are terrible and deep and painful and ugly and devastating and you are a truly innocent victim – but that does not mean you have to carry that label for the rest of your life. Jesus Christ was also an innocent victim. (1 Peter 1:19) Jesus Christ can turn a victim into a victor, but if you insist on continuing to carry around the hurt – no matter how bad – you’ll always be walking with a limp in your faith. Your trauma can become your testimony. Your area of hurt can become the path to another person’s healing because of what you allow God to take and transform. But Satan wants you to stay wounded. He wants you to see yourself as a victim. He wants you to remember what happened to you so he can keep you trapped in pain. Satan wants to keep you weak and limping so you can never bear the burden of another who needs help. God can and will heal you, but there is a road by which He will take you – only if you desire to go.
Thought for today
The easiest targets are those who are losing their faith battles, succumbing to injuries and diseases like doubt, anxiety, pain, woundedness, unforgiveness, bitterness, fear impatience, anger, jealousy and more. Just like a predator perks up its ears at the sound of a wounded prey, so the enemy’s ears and eyes focus in on the Christians who words make the sounds of doubt, complaint and grievance, fear, rebellion, anger, bitterness carnality and the like. He can hear the desperate sounds of a dying Christian from a great distance. BUT. Satan cannot read your thoughts, only God can do that because Satan is not omniscient. However, he and his demons absolutely can hear what you say. So stop giving Satan the news! Stop giving him strategies and information about how to use your issues against you by no longer about it to everyone else and instead take it to the Lord! Refuse to speak anything except for faith about your situation. Take that, Satan!
Doesn’t sound realistic? That’s because it’s a spiritual discipline that takes time, intention and effort to develop. You WILL have to deny yourself – over and over and over. Paul said, “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds, casting down imaginations and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.“ (2 Corinthians 10:3-7) Your battle is spiritual. Guard yourself and fight with spiritual weapons if you want to win!