I suppose two mistakes can be made as you ponder Satan’s work in your life. While we can agree his labors are real and mysterious, to what extent does he impact your life? You can overestimate him and blame all your temptations and filth on him. But this leaves out your own flesh, that “carnal man” within us all. Or, you can underestimate him, and totally forget a busy devil roams about the earth, seeking to flat-out destroy you.
Here’s what he’s up to right now:
1) Tempting you to sin
“For some have already strayed after Satan” (1 Timothy 5:15).
He is constantly luring your sin-sick heart towards pleasures, and he at all times aims to deny or water down the utmost necessity of God’s Word.
[See also Genesis 3:1-19; Job 1:6-12, 2:1-7; Matthew 4:1-10; Mark 1:13, 8:33; Luke 4:2-13, 22:31; 1 Corinthians 7:5; 1 Timothy 3:6-7, 5:15; Revelation 2:10]
2) Provoking you to sin
“But Peter said, ‘Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back for yourself part of the proceeds of the land?’” (Acts 5:3).
By tempting you, Satan is attempting to make you sin. He longs to construct walls between you and God. Which is why he tempts. That’s why we flee from temptation (2 Timothy 2:22).
[See also 1 Chronicles 21:1; Luke 22:3; John 8:44, 13:2, 27]
3) Hindering the work of God in your life
“Because we wanted to come to you—I, Paul, again and again—but Satan hindered us . . . ” (1 Thessalonians 2:1).
Spiritual warfare is a real thing. Read Daniel 10, specifically verse 13, as an example. He actively labors to throw wrenches into our God-given plans.
[See also: Matthew 13:19, 38; Mark 4:15; Luke 8:12]
4) Deceiving you
“Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil” (Ephesians 6:11).
Satan wants you looking the wrong way, believing the wrong truths, saying the wrong words, distracted with lesser things, angry about trivial matters, obsessed with idols, in love with illusions, and settling for a miniature version of Christianity.
[See also 2 Corinthians 4:4, 11:14; 2 Thessalonians 2:9; Revelation 2:24, 20:10]
5) Oppressing and harming you
“Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8).
The work of the devil is one of destruction. He disturbs God’s natural order in whatever way he can. He enjoys dismantling your life, spiritually, circumstantially, emotionally, and even physically.
[See also: Luke 13:16; John 8:44; Acts 10:38, 26:18; 1 Corinthians 5:5; 2 Corinthians 2:11; 12:7; Ephesians 6:16; 1 Timothy 1:20; 1 John 3:12, 5:18; Revelation 12:12]
6) Accusing you before God
“Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right hand to accuse him” (Zechariah 3:1).
Satan is in 100% agreement with 50% of the gospel. He wants you so paralyzed by the first half – that you’re undeservingly sinful – that you simply can’t believe the second half – that Jesus sacrificially died for you on the cross. He’ll use half truths to stunt your growth. Yes, you just sinned. Bad. But grace abounds and trains you (Titus 2:11-12) to repent and advance forward.
[See also Job 1:8-11, 2:3-5; Revelation 12:10]
Satan’s work in your life is thorough. The clear command of Scripture, therefore, is to resist him (James 4:7) and submit to God. Jesus’ grace, Word, church and gospel will carry you through to victory over the evil one!
Copyright © 2020 by Justin Talbert @ https://getgroundedministries.com. Used with permission. No part of this article may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from Lifeword.org.