God’s Church undergoing attacks from powers of Hell
“For to this end also did I write, that I might know the proof of you, whether ye be obedient in all things. To whom ye forgive any thing, I forgive also: for if I forgave any thing, to whom I forgave it, for your sakes forgave I it in the person of Christ; Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.
(2 Cor. 2:9-11)
In the text, Paul alludes to the fact that Satan uses not just one, but multiple devices in his attacks against us. The work of Satan against the people of God is fact not fiction. Technology, nor financial and numerical growth can advance the church beyond the scope of spiritual opposition. The most intense battles being fought today are not on foreign battlefields remote and removed from the here and now.
The warfare of which I speak is not with bombs and bullets. This battle is not country against country or nation against nation. The battle of which I speak is the powers of Hell being launched against God’s Church and every blood-bought believer. The outcome of this spiritual warfare is of eternal significance. Consider with me at least three of Satan’s devices that he uses against us on a daily basis:
— Distraction. In Matthew 14:30, Peter became distracted by the winds and the waves; he took his eyes off Jesus and began to sink. The storms of life can distract us from the only one who has authority over storms. Family storms, financial storms, church storms, health storms. Storms come to all of us. It is not the fierceness of the storm but, the focus of our attention that determines the outcome.
— Distortion. In the book of Numbers, the spies that returned from the Promised Land came back with a distorted perception of what they had seen. They said, “we were like grasshoppers in our own sight”. Satan delights in distorting truth. Distortion causes us to see the possible as impossible. Wrong viewed as right and good viewed as bad. Many professing Christians live with distorted values and misdirected morals.
— Discouragement. Distraction and distortion easily leads to discouragement. In 1 Kings Chapter 19, Elijah got his eyes off God. Elijah’s circumstances became distorted and faith gave way to fear. In a pit of discouragement, the man of God wanted to quit and asked God to take his life. Elijah experienced two things that rolled back the darkness of discouragement: the Presence of God and a Word from God. If you are under a dark cloud of discouragement, the Presence of God and a Word from God will break the chains of discouragement!
Overcoming these satanic devices requires a resolve that comes from intense prayer and prolonged time in God’s Word. Perhaps you are experiencing distraction, distortion or discouragement right now. Paul said that the weapons of our warfare are not carnal.....but mighty, through God, to the pulling down of strongholds! The Name of Jesus spoken in faith immediately begins to drive back the enemy. Rebuking Satan is not an outdated, fanatical practice….it still works! Consider God’s precious promise:
“Fear thou not, for I am with thee, be not dismayed, for I am thy God. I will strengthen thee, yea, I will help thee, yea, I will uphold thee with the right and of my righteousness.”