Every Thursday we’ll post something to do with Relationship and Purity. Hope it helps.
“What’s Satan Got Against Me, Anyway?”
We don’t know too much about him, but what we know is sobering and instructive. He’s a created being who fell from grace (Isaiah 14:12); he enticed the first humans into disobedience (Genesis 3:1-4); he’s an adversary to all of us (I Peter 5:8); he has specific devices that can be known (II Corinthians 2:11); his future is sealed and we’ll someday be relieved of him and his wiles. (Revelation20:10)
Meanwhile, he knows you, and hates you. Relentlessly. And he’d love nothing more than to see God’s work in you derailed. Now, I think it’s a fool’s game to see the devil in every detail. Most problems we have, after all, are brought on by the human element, not the demonic. (In fact, I’ve often wondered if Satan doesn’t tell his boys to leave me alone, since I’ve got so many ways to self-destruct without any help from him!) But he is part of that unholy trinity you deal with daily – the world, the flesh, the devil – and his role in your life’s problems can’t be dismissed. But why the enmity? What’s he got against you?
Satan’s hatred of you isn’t about who you are, but whose you are. That alone makes you a target. In the film trilogy The Godfather, the lead character Michael Corleone alludes to this by observing, “When my enemies want to hurt me, they go for the people I love.”
Makes sense. My friend who’s a policeman once told me that sometimes, when he would make an arrest, the person he was detaining would threaten him by saying he’d be watching for him in the future. No big deal; my buddy wasn’t fazed. But if the person then suggested he might go for the officer’s wife and children, something downright scary would happen in my friend’s soul, making it hard for him to resist assaulting the man making the threat. If you really want to get to someone, target their loved ones. A violent reaction is nearly guaranteed.
No wonder the devil was Johnny on the spot when Adam and Eve were created. He was already hostile to God, being both fallen and judged. But as a limited, created being, he could hardly attack God directly and hope for any results. The next best way to strike at the heart of his adversary? Go for the objects of his love. Deceive them, and seduce them into actions that will for centuries mar their very existence. Force their Creator to look on them daily and see your handiwork, and continue inspiring every kind of confusion and calamity among humans. That’s his game, his passion. And there you are, right in the middle.
So there’s no way he’s going to just sit there and watch while you strive for more purity and godliness. He’s loved your compromises; he loathes your zeal. You threw down the gauntlet when you got serious about sanctification, and he’s there for the challenge.
That’s why, more than ever, your commitment to prayer, regular study of the Word, accountability and fidelity is critical. You’ve got an enemy who’s looking for any place of entry into your life where he can disrupt and distort what’s good and vital, and in a way, that’s a compliment. If you weren’t valuable, you wouldn’t be targeted.
Remember the aftermath of September 11, 2001? We’d known for years, of course, that we had enemies, Al Qeada being one of many. But the reality of such a devastating, lethal attack was a wake-up call, reminding us that our enemy was relentless, watchful, evil. No point in living in paralyzed fear over it, but there’s good reason to stay watchful and reasonably defensive when you know you’re at war.
So it is with you. No point in living in fear of the devil. He’s a defeated foe, and the end of our warfare with him is already known. Still, in this life and during this battle, a healthy watchfulness is called for. So stay close to God and loved ones, and keep your awareness of both spiritual and material conflicts in place. Because, as an object of God’s favor and love, you’re also a target. But, I trust, a confident target, always remembering Paul’s hugely reassuring words:
“Nay, in all these things, we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.”(Romans 8:37)