attack (7)

Update on the October 28 Woman
For many Muslims, it is a long journey to faith with many ups and downs along the way.  On October 28, we shared about a local woman who is a victim of black magic and who also saw a vision of a red cross on the wall of her bedroom.  Praise God that Christian women continue to meet with her and minister to her needs.  This woman, whom we will call "Jennifer" from now on, is currently suffering from much fear and anxiety due to the black magic in her life.  She is calling upon God in the name of Jesus but also continues to read the Quran to find any relief from its power.  The core problem is that her family practices black magic in the home.  Strange things happen.  For example, last week, she found her maid completely naked and dazed in her home.  Needless to say, this shocked Jennifer.   She also suffers from physical ailments which she believes come from this evil.  She lives in fear and paranoia believing that people and demons are after her.  She is desperate and needs our prayers.  Ultimately, she needs Jesus Christ to save her from her sins and regenerate her in the Holy Spirit.  Then and only then, will the demons leave her forever.  So please continue to pray with us for her and her family's salvation.  Pray that Jesus would free all of them from the tyranny of this evil.  Pray that the Son of God would destroy the works of the devil in their lives (1 John 3:8) and pray that she would read the Bible and be released and have no more fear but only the love and peace of God in her heart. 
Praise Reports
Praise God for saving two, Muslim South Asian men recently!  There are millions of South Asians in the Arabian Peninsula and God is moving among them as well. 

The first one is from Bangladesh.  He has been attending an expat church for three to four months now.  He has made a profession of faith, but is afraid of what his mother and father will say when they find out.  Please pray for him and his parents.  Pray that he will be strong in the faith and will love his parents into the Kingdom despite any opposition. 

The second man is from India.  He has been a seeker and has had ties with members of an expat church who have been sharing with him.  He has also made a profession of faith and immediately asked these believers to share with his father and three brothers.  His father is an imam (an Islamic leader).  The believers traveled a long distance to meet his family and in due time, the father and three brothers came to faith too!  So praise God that He is working through entire families.  Because the father is an imam, there will certainly be challenges ahead (2 Timothy 3:12).

Pray that the Lord would keep these new believers strong and vitally connected with Him and other believers so that they do not revert back to Islam.  Unfortunately, this is not uncommon.  Pray that they would continue in what they have learned and be discipled well in a community of believers that love and support them (2 Timothy 3:14).
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Your prayer life needs the tension of spiritual attack. Have you ever been hunting with a bow? Have you ever shot an arrow from a bow? Most of us have at one time or another. Of course before you can shoot an arrow you must stretch the string on the bow. And as you draw the bow to shoot, the tension on the string multiplies. So it is with your prayer life. Before the power of your prayers is unleashed in the purpose of God, He must increase the tension of spiritual attack in Your life.

The Bible is clear that the reasons for spiritual attack are beyond our level of understanding. Job was never told as much about the purpose of the attack on his life as readers are told in the first chapter of the book. In the same vein Ephesians 3:10 says God intends for His manifold wisdom to be demonstrated through us to rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms. But however cosmic the reasons for spiritual war, you are also part of God’s purpose for these things. James 2 and Romans 5 declare that trials develop patience, character and hope.

We can rejoice in the spiritual attack being lashed upon us in these days. It causes us to cry out to God. And His mighty power will be unleashed in our prayers.
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If you significantly increase your prayer life you will certainly come under spiritual attack. So if I am going to encourage you to pray more, I need to help you prepare for the onslaught of the evil one.

I believe one of the most important things you can do when you come under spiritual attack is praise God. It is true that you need to wake up to the reality of our enemy’s schemes. But you also need to connect with the reality of our God. Nothing focuses us on the power, glory and victory of our Lord in our lives and on the earth as swiftly or thoroughly as praise. Without it even our prayers can be filled with discouragement.
I write regularly in a prayer journal. This is often my best outlet for the frustration and fear of spiritual attack. But I discipline myself to begin every entry with praise. “Father, You are glorious! You are majestic! You are mighty! You are holy! You are God Almighty!” Such praise changes the entire perspective of my prayers. I challenge you to spend some significant time today simply praising God. He is worthy of our praise and worship. He will deliver you from the hand of the enemy.
”Jehoshaphat bowed with his face to the ground, and all the people of Judah and Jerusalem fell down in worship before the Lord. Then some Levites from the Kohathites and Korahites stood up and praised the Lord, the God of Israel, with very loud voice.”
(2 Chronicles 20:18,19)
Verse 22 tells us that when they began to praise, God began to bring about their deliverance.
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What if we face spiritual attack when we try to increase our prayer life? In that case we need to pray. I am not sure I need to write anything else in this blog entry. The primary reason the enemy of our souls attacks when we pray is to stop us from praying. When you pray even more you are by definition victorious.

Of course you should pray for deliverance. When you fall into sin, ask for forgiveness. When you see temptation coming pray for protection. And pray that you will not miss the growth and blessings God has for you in the midst of a particularly painful trial.

Pray also for God to be glorified through the attack. Pray that He will be glorified as He keeps you strong. Pray that He will be glorified even in your failure.

And pray for others. Peter wrote, “Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. [1] Let spiritual attack remind you that others are under similar attack, and need your prayer.

When you find yourself under spiritual onslaught, pray.


[1] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. 2001 (1 Pe 5:9). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

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My primary goal in this blog is to encourage you to pray and possibly to grow your prayer life. I pray that many of you who read this blog will make significant advances in the amount of time you spend in the presence of God, worshipping, petitioning and drawing nearer to God’s heart.

So what do you think will happen if you significantly increase your prayer life? This may surprise some of you. You will certainly come under spiritual attack. So if I am going to encourage you to pray more, I need to help you prepare for the onslaught of the evil one.

The first thing you need to do is brace yourself for this reality. It is like the escapes made from German Prisoner of War Camps during WWII. When prisoners managed to escape the maximum security prison camps they knew the NAZIs would go on high alert. When you break through Satan’s efforts to keep you from praying, you will face the enemy of our souls.

In the next few weeks I will give you several means of countering spiritual attack. Our Lord has not left us defenseless. But all of these defenses require us to wake up the reality of spiritual war. Satan has asked to sift you like wheat (Luke 22:31). Are you on your guard? Much victory is achieved by simply understanding that we are called into battle.

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I would like you to open your mind and be very attentive, as you read this message. Don’t allow the enemies to make you miss one sentence from what you are about to read now. This message discusses the problems that are not from the enemies. A careful search of the word of God will make us to understand that there are five sources of sufferings for a Christian.

1. It could be due to satanic activities: Job 2:7 confirms this, "So went Satan forth from the presence of the Lord and smote Job with sore boils from the sole of his foot unto his crown" Job’s problem therefore was as a result of satanic activities. The woman in Luke Chapter 13 that Jesus healed; the woman called the daughter of Abraham was bound up by the devil for 18 years. Jesus himself confirmed the fact. It is an established fact therefore that Job as well as the daughter of Abraham were both afflicted by Satan.

2. Ungodly men: 2 Timothy Chapter 4 verse 14 says, “Alexander the coppersmith did me much evil; the Lord reward him according to his works”. It is certain therefore that a believer’s suffering could come from ungodly men like Alexander the coppersmith.

3. The world system: 2 Peter Chapter 2 verse 8 says, "For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds." The world system too could constitute a problem for the righteous men. They really harass the souls and spirits of believers everyday.

4. A believer’s suffering could come from man’s fallen nature: Roman Chapter 7 verses 14 and 15 say, "For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin. For that which I do, I allow not: for what I would that do I not; but what I hate, that do I”. Man’s fallen nature without any doubt, could give him problems.

Carnal Christianity: Philippians Chapter I verses 15 and 16 say, "Some indeed preach Christ even of envy and strife; and some also of goodwill. The one preach Christ of contention, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my bonds. "2 Timothy Chapter 4 verse 10 says; "For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica."

Beloved reader, the five sources of believers’ sufferings as far as the Bible is concerned, are what you have just read. It is important to locate the source of one’s problems. Remember the story of a farmer in Matthew, who planted wheat on his farmland, but from nowhere, tares started growing amidst it. The farmer knew straightaway that the enemy performed the wicked task. Whenever God plants good things in a place, the enemy or Satan is usually unhappy. It does not come as a surprise therefore that the enemy will make moves to destroy, pollute or choke them.

I don’t know whether you will like what I’m about to say. It is very tempting to blame everything that goes wrong on the devil. When things go wrong, people complain bitterly and say that it is the devil that pushed them to do it. The question is why did such people supply their backs for Satan to ride on? God does not at any point in time expect you you supply your back to the devil. He does not expect you to turn your back to the enemy and run. He expects you to wage war against him.

A long time ago in England, there was a cartoon in one of the major newspapers. It was the picture of a church and of the devil. The devil was standing outside the church, crying bitterly. Then somebody came to Mr. Devil to find out why he was crying bitterly. The devil responded tearfully that he was usually blamed for all the evil taking place in the church. The devil then narrated what happened at a christian naming ceremony. He the devil had afflicted the food to be served there, He said that a greedy brother who was supposed to have only one plate of food collected three rations. The brother became greatly afflicted by his own greediness, he had serious cholera. The devil said that the brother in question was responsible for the affliction that visited him.

The problem in our lives, in many instances are not always demonic in their source, no matter how we sometimes claim to be innocent. The blunt truth is that most people are the cause of their problems. Many of man’s problems will disappear if he can just remove selfishness from his life. He will also get freedom if he thinks first before acting. The selfishness of a man or a woman can land the whole of his or her family in trouble. A lot of problems would disappear from your life if selfishness is removed from your marriage. Many people shut themselves off from blessings, they are concerned only about their own comfort.

You must know this fact, that most of those that were blessed in the bible by God, had always blessed others first, both in cash and in kind. Have you ever thought of the fact that if Jesus was selfish, he would not have come to die for us. The bible says that one might even offer to die for a good man. But when a person decides to die for somebody who is evil, then there is need to think of the selflessness of that person. You and I are saved today because Jesus was not selfish. Selfish people often harm themselves.

There was this story of a man, who had an accident and was rushed to the hospital. The nurse on duty was supposed to close at 8.00 p.m. For the simple reason that the man who had an accident was brought to that hospital at about 8.00 p.m. the nurse refused to attend to him. She chose instead to paint her lips and change her clothes. The fact that the situation was an emergency one did nothing to change the heart of the lady. All pleas to make her change her mind fell on deaf ears. She insisted on going home. She went home only to discover that her husband was not at home. By the time she ran around to know where her husband was, she found out that her husband was the injured man to whom she refused to give the necessary service the previous night. The man died thereafter. Now if I may ask you this question, was the devil responsible for the woman’s affliction?

Many Christians may not like to face this fact, but a lot of believers are very selfish. Majority of the prayers that most Christians pray are for themselves. All forms of anger that most people engage in, are motivated by selfishness. Most people are angry because somebody has violated their rights. May be you are fond of saying, ’A whole me’, the big question is "who are you?" If God withdraws your breath for five minutes, where will you be? When you are bitter against somebody because he or she has done something to harm your pride, you are undoubtedly a selfish person. Although this is very difficult for many people to admit, many problems are of people’s own making and a lot of people have specialised in what is called "Blame shifting". Try to accept blame for your own wrong doing and stop putting the blame on someone else.

Many problems we bring on ourselves are as a result of our words and/or deeds. When you speak words carelessly in an angry way, those words could be missiles that have irrevocable result. The principle that the Bible highlighted in Galatians Chapter 6 verse 7, can never be defeated. It says that, "whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap." You cannot push it aside. David sowed a seed of family destruction, took another man’s wife, and killed the man. David then reaped the harvest of family destruction from his son, Absalom. If you must throw mud at others you would first of all have to stain your own hands. You must therefore not throw mud at people. It is just a simple law of repercussion.

God Himself can also be the source of our problems. Therefore, not all problems are bad problems. God can design problems that will make you come closer to Him and also make you more prayerful. Naaman was a proud person who didn’t get his healing until he dumped his pride and moved closer to God.

The flesh is another source of problem. Our own carnal nature could be the source of our problems. It is the old man. The demons and the evil spirits are like vultures that eat our flesh or our carnal nature. That is why problems from evil spirits can be solved by expelling the evil spirits. But if the problem is from your own flesh, death is the only solution. That flesh must be crucified.

I remember the story of a serious Christian brother who boarded a bus and somebody gave him a dirty slap. Although the other commuters wanted the brother to retaliate, he refused bluntly. He said he would not slap the man back as his hands have been nailed to the cross. In essence, the brother was saying that his hands and indeed his entire body have been nailed to the cross.

Beloved reader, the question you need to answer is this, can you do what that brother did? I am quite sure some Christians would rather deal countless blows on the person involved. Such people have not crucified their flesh. Satan will always send his demons into an already bad situation, if you are not weary. All you have to do is to avoid certain things. Every bit of anger that you put up could be your problem activator. Every exercise in worry that you engage in, could be your problem activator. A good prayer point is for you to know your problem activator. Sometimes, by memorising and confessing scriptures that speak to certain life’s problems, Satan and his agents will stay away from you. You have to determine to do this or else, the flesh will keep you away from confessing the scriptures.

Most things posing as problems to Christians cannot withstand regular bombardment of prayers, but the flesh will not do the regular bombardment of prayers. By the time people come to church and they are able to absorb the word of God, they will be able to deal with spirit of worry, discouragement, impatience, etc. They will also be able to repent, and resist temptations. The problems would then disappear. By the time you come to the house of God and you refuse to work on other people’s agenda, 90% of the problems are over.

It will interest you to know that not all problems require casting out demons from believers’ lives. For example, if the enemy has removed a part of somebody’s body, such a person does not need deliverance, he needs a creative miracle. So it is a great prayer to ask for creative miracle where it is necessary in your life. Deliverance will not restore or replace any part of the body that is lost. Somebody that is not feeding well and becomes sick as a result of this does not need deliverance. He needs to feed very well. Sometimes it is after a situation has gone bad and terrible, that the devil will send his demons there, meanwhile, the demons were not there originally. A creative miracle is required in those kinds of cases.

Let me tell you one big truth today, most Christians need to check what they eat. You will find that the food recommended by the bible is not expensive, but the problem is that what most people need is not what they eat. Mark 12:30-31 says, "And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. 31And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these" There are three groups of people for you to love; you must love God, you must love your neighbours, then you must love yourself. Many would say they don’t need a lecture on how to love themselves.

The truth is that a lot of people have intense hatred for themselves. God made the body, soul and spirit. God is undoubtedly interested in every department of your life. You are the temple of God. So if you are destroying the temple of God which is your body, or you are misusing it, you will have problems with God. It is destruction and you will think it is witches and wizards not knowing that it is God.

God is interested in what you eat. A lot of Christians consume terrible poison everyday. When you over eat flesh, sugar, butter, etc they would overtax your digestive organ, because your body cannot process the food fast enough and unless you use up that energy supply that you have, you will begin to have problems which you will think is demonic, whereas there is no demon involved. A lot of Christians kill themselves daily because of what they eat. Some people have become tea addicts, soft drink addicts, canned food addicts, chocolate addicts, e.t.c. Some hate fasting in any form, not knowing that it is another way of purifying their systems.

God sometimes calls people fools, because they don’t know what they are supposed to know. And right now, even as you are reading this message, do you know that you could be your own enemy? You may be fighting actively against yourself. But one thing is certain, malfunctioning in anybody’s life, is not God’s fault. People don’t like facing the truth. A lot of people have turned themselves to masquerades. They are the ones pursuing themselves.

How long will you run away from yourself? When will you stand up and acknowledge the truth about yourself? Acknowledging the truth about yourself is the first step in the school of spiritual maturity. For how long will you repeat the mistake of Adam? Adam did not point at himself, he said ’the wife thou gavest to me, she gave to me and I did eat.’ As far as you do not want to face the truth about yourself, you will give your enemies a hiding place in your life. The person then becomes a student in the dangerous school of self-deception, then you will be fighting against yourself.

A person cannot succeed in christian life when he or she is lazy. A spiritual sluggard cannot pray and cannot read the Bible. A lazy christian would listen to music for three hours, watch television for four hours and pray for fifteen minutes. A lazy Christian would come to the house of God only to collect blessings, and not to really do according to God’s words. So a lot of people are battling against themselves, while they think they are battling against the enemy.

Apart from the devil, a man has only one other enemy; that enemy is his own self. When self is at work, God’s work will cease, and man’s work will continue. The enemy or the devil knows that you are doing your own will and not God’s will. The devil will then move in and contaminate you. God’s work has ceased in many people’s lives. Anything you do for God that is not energised by His spirit is of little value. So the subject with the highest mark in God’s school, is deliverance from self.

A lot of people are in bondage to themselves. They are spoiling themselves and pampering their own lives. The subject with the highest mark in the devil’s school is self exaltation. Pride is exaltation of self. Every postponement of repentance is pride and is tantamount to wrestling against God. The senior prefect in the school of self-exaltation will rather die than to ask for forgiveness or to apologise. Such people are fighting actively against themselves. Failure to carry our self analysis, or coming to terms with yourself is dangerous. It may lead to fighting against yourself. The bible says ’examine yourself, whether you be in the faith or not.

You need to turn the searchlight of the Holy Spirit on yourself now. You need to ask yourself questions like, ’am I not proud?’ Do I not tell lies? Am I not impatient? Do I really like fasting and praying or am I doing it because other are doing it? Do I not love Jesus for the bread and butter that he supplies? Do I really love Jesus? Can I die for him? Supposing ten people are asked to go for evangelism in a village that is demonic, how many will be willing to go? Am I serious with God when I am rich? Is it not when I am broke that I am serious with praying? Am I not lazy in prayers? Do I not keep malice? Do I have love? Do I like being told the truth about life, or do I avoid those who tell me the truth about my life? Do I enjoy being criticised or do I hate criticism in any form? Do I have faults?

Am I fully obedient to God? Am I the kind of person who likes to be noticed? Do I really have the baptism of the Holy Spirit or I’m still relying on one funny dream I had a long time ago? Do I tell lies against God? Do I say God said when He didn’t say anything? Do I think or meditate on immorality? What do you think when you are on your bed alone at night, as a bachelor or as a spinster? Do I like committing secret sins?

Face the truth, beloved, if not, you are fighting yourself. Except you do this, you will be making a mistake fighting against all the forces of darkness. It is like that boy who was preaching a message on putting on the whole armour of God. In order to make people understand the message, he brought physical helmet, shield to church and was wearing them one after the other. He put on the helmet, shield, and everything he brought to the people. Then he asked the members of his congregation where the devil can attack from now after wearing all that. Then one old man of God who was sitting there told the young man, that the devil could come from inside!

If you are wearing the armour of God, and the devil is already inside , you are just using the armour to cover him inside. What have you done about the one inside of you? It is that one that constitutes your greatest problem. The bible says, touch not my anointed, if you are being touched, then carry out self analysis. The enemy will use your weak point and the unconfessed sin in your life to attack you. Those who don’t want to carry out self analysis are running away from themselves, they are fighting themselves, and God likes sincere people.

How can God invest so much in a person and the person is not yeilding any fruit? What type of fruit is your life bearing? Or have you forgotten that Jesus does not put value on fruitless Christians. He however does not want you to be cut down. Remember that God is continuously crying that He saved many people, filled them with the Holy Ghost, brought them to His sanctuary, yet, they are not bringing any fruit. It is useless for you to be fighting witches, wizards and herbalists when you are not bearing fruits for God.

Things cannot move for you until you allow God to possess you and your fruits. Do you want God to replace you? My prayer is that you will not be replaced in Jesus’ name. I also pray that you will bring forth fruits, such that God’s heart will be filled with joy.

Many Christians will get into trouble because of their families. The bible says pour your anger on the family that calls not on the name of the Lord. If your own family does not come together every morning and every night to worship God and to pray to Him, then you can be convinced that you are on your own. May God have mercy on you. What fruits are you producing for the Lord with all your intelligence, academic success, good job, financial position, influential personality, capacity to communicate, and your natural leadership ability. Of what use are you putting it to further the course of the Kingdom? A fruitless Christian is fighting against himself. Many keep saying, "I will fully participate when the Lord solves my problem." What a pity, you cannot blackmail God.

Do not allow God to push you into where there is utter darkness, weeping and gnashing of teeth. God can do it if you refuse to use the talents He gave to you. If you keep on burying your talents, you are giving your enemies opportunities to destroy you. Think about it. If you engage in strife, then you are giving enemies a chance to plant a stronghold in your life. You will also be hindering your own blessings. If you are keeping demonic invasions.

You cannot attack demons successfully when you have their properties in your body or house. All the amulets and the waistband will only strengthen the battle against you. If you obtained partial deliverance and you are attacking the enemies, you are only attacking yourself because part of the enemy is still in you.

All those engaging in sexual immoralities cannot win any war against the enemy. It does not matter whether or not the person is your fiancee. You may think you are enjoying yourself now, but you are actually waging a serious war against your own life. The bible says that children that are disobedient to their parents are only inviting short life and they are fighting themselves. Those who are seeking worldly pleasure are killing themselves because they are strengthening their enemies. Why should you be strengthening your enemies? Why should you be fighting against yourself? Why should you not face the truth about yourself?

Why not say "Lord here am I". I want to be free from sins. Not all problems are caused by the enemies. Many play serious roles in their own problems. Before you bind a problem, examine it carefully so as to be sure that you are not binding your own self. I want you to face the truth because one thing is certain, if you are blameless and you pray fire prayer, no witch from the bottom of hell fire can stand against you. If you then notice that something is hindering you, self analysis must be carried out. Ask yourself questions, and make confessional prayers. Now if you know that after reading this message, you have an adjustment to make with God, just put your hand on your chest and speak to the Lord yourself about that particular area.

Face the truth, do it now and don’t allow the enemy to be using your weakness against you, so that when you spit fire in your prayers the fire will function. Make sure you do it very well. What you are doing now is tantamount to taking legal action against the devil, by removing his stronghold. By so doing, the devil would not be able to operate successfully in you.

Pray the following prayers points for the week with fire in your spirit.

Prayer Points

1. Let every evil desire and expectation of the enemy concerning my life collapse now in the name of Jesus.
2. I challenge every department of my body with the fire of God (Lay your right hand on the head and the other one on the stomach) in the name of Jesus.
3. Let every stolen organ from my body be restored now in the name of Jesus.
4. I reject every counterfeit blessing, I claim the correct blessings in the name of Jesus.
5. O Lord, reveal to me who I am (a lot of people are masquerades to themselves, they don’t know themselves. Yet they want to be attacking their enemies).
6. O Lord, I repent from everything that I have done to aid the enemy.
7. O Lord, deliver me from every accusation of the evil one against me in the name of Jesus.
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In these early days of a new year, you have likely already experienced some level of spiritual discouragement or defeat.  Any fresh resolve by a Christian to follow the Savior, walk more closely with the Lord, or make a difference for His mission is met with spiritual counterattack.  The devil is intolerant of our spiritual progress.

We all know we are in a spiritual battle against an unseen foe and his army of minions.  As Christians we have the assurance that “greater is He that is in us than he that is in the world” (1 John 4:4).  We are challenged to “be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might” and to “put on the whole armor of God” in order to live in victory (Ephesians 6:10-11).  A vital part of that victory is that we pray always, with all kinds of prayer, with all perseverance, for all the saints (Ephesians 6:18).

Knowing the Enemy’s Tactics

The Bible says that “we are not unaware of his devices.”  The Bible and practical experience reveal the nature of Satan’s character and strategies.  We know, for instance, that a primary tactic is to attack believers at the relational level, doing all he can to engender unforgiveness, misunderstanding, and discord.  When we fall prey to his efforts we “give place to the devil” (1 Corinthians 2:10-11; Ephesians 4:27).

As we seek to understand and overcome his tactics we must remember Jesus’ words, “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly” (John 10:10).  In this new year, we want to fully experience and walk in that abundant life Jesus promises.  Satan seeks to counterattack through his efforts to “steal, kill, and destroy.”  Let me suggest three practical ways this happens in our lives.  I have seen that it is not uncommon that our enemy will seek to steal our time, kill our desire, and destroy our spiritual potential. 

He Steals Our Time

Paul writes, “See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil” (Ephesians 5:15-16).  We are to live wisely in evaluating and maximizing our time and opportunities because we are in a context of spiritual battle with the forces of evil.  If we allow the enemy to steal the moments of life, he has neutralized our primary commodity for living and doing well.

For me, this seems so subtle but incessant.  I typically am up no later than 5:30 each morning.  My first endeavor is to spend time with the Lord.  Yet, a barrage of distractions of every variety comes against my mind in those early morning hours.  I am learning that when the devil steals these moments, my entire day lacks spiritual vitality and focus.

If he cannot distract us from the time we try to dedicate to spiritual renewal, he will keep us so busy that we do not find the time in the first place.  Whether through distraction or busyness, our time for spiritual renewal is lost – and the devil’s strategies prevail, sadly, with our cooperation.  Of course, this happens slowly and incrementally, not all at once.  Sometimes the loss is so gradual we hardly miss it, but when his pilfering is complete, we stay busy for God with no quality time with God.

He Kills our Desire

We all know the joy of a heart that cries, “As the deer pants for the water brooks, so pants my soul for You, O God.  My soul thirsts for God, for the living God” (Psalm 42:1-2).  The object of our spiritual enemy’s thievery is to neutralize these longings.  The demons delight when the summary of our spiritual temperature has been reduced to “lukewarm” or a lost “first love.” With powerful moments of spiritual focus and renewal gone, our spiritual desire suffocates.  For lack of cultivation and nurture, we lose interest in spiritual intimacy.

He Destroys our Potential

The “Destroyer” ultimately seeks to wipe out our potential for Christ.  When our time has been stolen and desire has been killed, we stand on the precipice of losing our spiritual integrity and impact for Christ.  We may attend church, serve, and appear to be spiritually vibrant – but it has become the shell of an empty life, no longer abiding and without the evidence of supernatural spiritual fruit.  The enemy has systematically, gradually, but effectively accomplished his mission.

Rising Above

If this assessment of the nature of the spiritual battle is accurate, then we must go back to that first front in which the attack comes – our time.  Certainly we are reminded that daily time with the Lord is essential as the inner man is being renewed day-by-day (1 Corinthians 4:16).  We also need to find that vital “Sabbath” pattern where we can cherish substantive time in the rhythm of the weekly journey to give the Lord our undivided attention.  Then, there should be those seasons of extended prayer (perhaps fasting) when we lock ourselves away to experience an extraordinary encounter with the living Christ.  For me, this amounts to an extended personal retreat or a Prayer Summit for several days with other believers. 

By His grace, we can rise above the cunning counterattacks of the enemy and declare from the reality of our daily experience, “But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:57).

P.S. – I have also observed that this same kind of attack comes against church leaders and congregations.  Satan steals our times of corporate communion with Christ through distraction and busyness.  He kills the passion of the church to seek God’s face.  Instead, we become content with a treadmill of religious activity.  Eventually, the church loses all supernatural impact and instead becomes a frenetic collection of superficial programming; the battle is lost and the mission suffers at a corporate level.  May the Lord give us eyes to see this temptation and grace to repent and return to the heart of spiritually authentic ministry.

Copyright © 2011 Daniel Henderson. All rights reserved

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