Last week was the week from hell, literally. Now that I look back on it I realize that much of the anger I felt, the sleeplessness I experienced, and the distractions that kept me from ministry were an attack by the enemy who seeks to steal, kill, and destroy anything and anybody who proclaims the Good News of salvation and hope through Jesus Christ.
I have long felt that much of the rebellion we see in our children is nothing less than the enemy’s attempt to keep the next generation of believers from ever reaching the point of salvation or reaching their peers for Christ. Satan is masterful and cunning and will even go so far as to use our children to hinder our own service and ministries. In recent days I have seen an escalation of Satan’s attacks on the health of several members of my church family and I know that it is because we are proclaiming Christ and exposing the enemy for the true devil he is. Lest you doubt it, Satan is alive and well and working on planet earth to do all in his power (and make no mistake, he is powerful) to see that no one comes to a saving knowledge of Christ and that those of us who do, live as defeated, ineffective Christians.
To those who would say that old people get sick and die, young people get cancer because of environmental or genetic causes, or that bad things happen simply because we live in a fallen world, I would say you are correct. But I also know that Satan uses such things as illness, financial strain, rebellion, and addiction to stop us dead in our tracks or divert us from God’s purpose for our lives. We see evidence of his activity in the book of Job, when God allows Satan to take everything from his servant Job but his very life. Satan destroyed Job’s children, his livestock, his wealth, and his health. Job’s friends blamed his sin for all Job’s trouble. Job questioned God, even as we would. But in the end, God asserted his omnipotence and once Job acknowledged his sovereignty, God renewed his blessings and restored prosperity to Job, blessing the latter part of Job’s life more than the first (Job 42:12).
In Luke 22:31-32 Jesus said, “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.” No attack of the enemy is unnoticed by the God who has already defeated him. If you feel the weight of oppression in your circumstances and sense that there is something bigger at work than ordinary illness or adversity, you may well be under the attack of our enemy. But faint not! Jesus sits at the right hand of the Father interceding for the protection of his own from the enemy (John 17:9, 15). Jesus tells us, “I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy” (Luke 10:19).
As a believer, you are a child of the Lamb, subject to persecution and attack simply because of whose you are. “They will make war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will overcome them because he is Lord of lords and King of kings — and with him will be his called, chosen and faithful followers” (Revelation 17:14). No matter how closely you may walk with the Savior, know that Satan will do all in his power to steal, kill, and destroy any evidence of Christ in you. But as a saved child of God you can rest in this blessed assurance from Christ himself: “I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand” (John 10:28). Not even Satan!