by Mike Ratliff
1 Now I, Paul, myself urge you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ—I who am meek when face to face with you, but bold toward you when absent! 2 I ask that when I am present I need not be bold with the confidence with which I propose to be courageous against some, who regard us as if we walked according to the flesh. 3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, 4 for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. 5 We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ, 6 and we are ready to punish all disobedience, whenever your obedience is complete. 2 Corinthians 10:1-6 (NASB)
Satan opposes the believer in many ways. No matter how he attempts to subvert our faith, the method he uses is a fiery missile. With these fiery darts he attempts to attack or question or deny God’s character and credibility. We see this as he works through those who hate Christianity, Lord God, and His Holy Word. Their attacks will always be to try to bring doubt into our hearts about God’s faithfulness and our faith. If we are successful in our service to God he will try to undermine our victories by generating trouble that makes life difficult, thereby temping us to forsake obedience to God’s standards and calling.
He attacks believers through doctrinal confusion and falsehood. Remember he cannot attack God so he attacks the church. He wants to destroy unity in the Body of Christ. What better way to divide God’s people than over doctrine? He also attacks God’s people by hindering their service to Him. I have a great deal of experience in this. It seems that every time I would have a role to play in some ministry at church, there would be things that would go wrong. These things could be anything, but many times it was people who seemed bent on thwarting our efforts through non-cooperation or some other method in which we could not follow through in what we needed to do. Through these things divisions in the body would become apparent.
He attacks believers by persuading them to trust their own resources. This is an area in which we can all testify I’m sure. If we are trusting in our own abilities then we will be an easy target for one of Satan’s fiery darts. He also attacks believers by leading them into hypocrisy. Hypocrisy is a fruit of pride and no believer is where they should be if they are functioning from pride. Humility, knowing who we are in Christ, functioning within His Lordship, and obeying Him as servants to all is where we should be, but our enemy will convince some that their righteousness is somehow earned. This is the beginning of hypocrisy.
He attacks believers by leading them into worldliness. This is a slippery slide. Once we step of into compromise with the world, we will find the next step a little easier then before we know it we are on a slippery slide into apostasy. He attacks believers by leading them to disobey God’s Word. If there are parts of the Bible we hate to read because we do not want to submit to what it says then we have been attacked by Satan and have given in to him. This is not good. However, although we should be aware of all of these devices of Satan, our defense against them is not simply our knowledge of them, but rather God’s provision to meet them. Continue reading