Sunday, 29 November -0001 19:00

Resisting Spiritual Assaults

Written by Rev. G. Procee
The devil assaults GodÕs children in many different ways, but the Lord calls His people to resist the devil. The way of resistance depends on which kind of attack the devil launches.
The Devil Attacks Faith
The evil one knows that GodÕs children live by faith and therefore he assaults faith. He instils doubts and tries to debate with us. When you have run out of answers, he catches you in his net.

The best way to resist SatanÕs assaults is to make use of God's Word. GodÕs Word is the antidote against doubts. Meditate on God's Word and think of His promises.

For instance, the devil may question you whether you are in Christ by faith. He asks: "Are you really a child of God?" He will point to the conversion of others or he will point to the godly and say that you are not like them. He then concludes that you are without faith and outside of Christ.

What you should do is to continue to go to the Lord in faith. Flee to the Lord, call upon His Name; seek Him by prayer and supplication.

The Devil Attacks GodÕs Dealings With You
The devil can also question your trust in GodÕs providential leadings in your life so that your faith in the Lord as your Shepherd waivers. The devil does this by magnifying your afflictions and minimizing GodÕs grace. He tells you that your cross is much heavier than it in reality is and that there is no deliverance. This may easily lead you to think, "The Lord hath forgotten me and the Lord hath forsaken me."

Remember that the devil is the great liar from the beginning. What is needed is to humbly flee to the Lord. Take your cross upon you and follow the Lord Jesus. Realize and believe that He will lift you up with your burden. Remember Isaiah 63:9: ÒIn all their affliction He was afflicted, and the Angel of His presence saved them: in His love and in His pity He redeemed them; and He bare them, and carried them all the days of old.Ó The Lord will also carry you. He will never forsake or forget His people. He will also continue to lead you. Your way will never be too heavy for you.

The Devil Attacks Personal Life Of Prayer
The devil often attacks prayer because it is the secret weapon of a Christian. In the spiritual warfare that we are in the apostle Paul exhorts: ÒPraying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saintsÓ (Eph.6:18).

Prayer is essential. The devil is afraid of nothing as much as prayer. Therefore he will assault your prayer life. How does he do that? First, he tells you that you have many other necessary things to do. The result is that you forsake or neglect prayer or make your prayers very short. The devil wants to make you run to and fro, doing this and that and all kinds of things, as long as you do not pray.

Sometimes he suggests that prayer is a difficult work and is too difficult for you. It is too much for you to strive and persevere in prayers. He causes you to look against prayer instead of looking forward to prayer. At another occasion he may tell you that prayer is useless. It is a fruitless activity and doesn't help anyway. Your prayers are all crooked and wrong; they don't meet the mark and you had better stop or try to pray differently (which we cannot). Then we are led to despair and confusion. The result is that prayer is neglected altogether.

Prayer is a struggle. You must pray and in GodÕs strength. It is the calling of a Christian to persevere in prayer.

Assaults Against The Preaching Of GodÕs Word
The devil will attack the preaching of God's Word. He goes to church and when the minister says something, the devil tries to inject a contrary thought into your mind. You start looking at the peculiarities of the minister and that draws your attention away from the Word. Other people the devil puts to sleep. They slump down in the church pew. They have the terrible habit of getting into the most comfortable position and then go to sleep. God's Word does not penetrate them and they are kept outside of grace.

The devil devises all kinds of methods to make God's Word useless and of none effect. He leads your attention astray and makes your thoughts wander. The result is that especially in church, you can think of the most crazy things. Be on guard. Prepare for a worship service with prayer and supplication. Meditate in advance upon God's Word. Beg God for grace to listen and open His Word to you and open your heart for His Word. The Lord can control your thoughts and minds.

Assaults In The Form Of Feeling Useless
There are also other attacks the devil lets loose upon GodÕs children. At times they can be assaulted with a depressing sense of loneliness caused by the boredom of a daily study or work routine. This may happen when you are alone at home doing every-day routines of work or alone studying, day after day doing the same work. These things can be used by Satan as a subtle inroad for apathy and lethargy.

What we should do then is to be faithful in the calling God gives us. Try to be very faithful, even in the most simple and trivial tasks at hand. Hudson Taylor said: ÒA little thing is a little thing. But faithfulness in a little thing is a great thing.Ó

The devil is fond of letting us put off work and service and telling us that later there will be a better opportunity. But Scripture never teaches us to wait for better opportunities, whether it is in faithful work or service. We are to serve in the things that are before us now. The Lord tells us to work, watch and pray, but Satan suggests that we wait until a good opportunity arises for working, watching and praying. Needless to say, this opportunity always is in the future.

The fact is that God calls us to be faithful in everything that He calls us to do, for that is what He has called us to do. We may think that one kind of work is more important than another, but who can really judge whether one kind of work is more important and sacred than another? We are to be faithful in whatever God calls us to do. At one time it may be washing the dishes in the kitchen and at another time it may be witnessing to someone about the love of Christ.

Both are GodÕs calling and we are to be faithful in both. We are not to believe the lie of the devil that one work is more important than another so that we will neglect one kind of work. We are to be faithful in every calling, whatever it may be. We must resist depression because of a feeling that our God-given calling in life is useless. It is nothing else but a temptation from the evil one to destroy your work and your soul.

Resistance Is Necessary
We must resist the devil. Either you wrestle with the enemy or you will be taken captive by him. He must become your enemy because by nature we do the works of the evil one. We must learn to fight this battle. It is a spiritual battle and GodÕs Spirit teaches us how to fight. The Puritan, Isaac Ambrose, wrote:

To all the warriors in this battle against the devil, comes the word of comfort: Christ conquered the devil for you, and He will conquer him by you when you fight in His Name. God is your Refuge and your strength. Realize the reality of these assaults and resist them. Be brave, be courageous. Be convinced in your own heart and soul of the necessity to fight this good fight. Be prepared to fight and resist even until blood.

The Lord is willing to give strength and grace. His Word is as a shield. His salvation is a protection for you as a helmet. His truth will gird you up and the surrender to Him will be as shoes on your feet that carry you swiftly into battle.

The battle will never be too much for you. He is on your side, Immanuel. He Who loved you from everlasting, He will undertake for you. Remember that all your conflicts are weighed in the balance and God says to the devil: Hitherto shalt thou go and no further. God restrains the attacks of the devil. The Lord Jesus is and shall always be in full control. The Lord can say: Touch not his life.

The victory is sure for all those who are clad in the spiritual armour of the Lord. They shall be more than conquerors through Christ who loved them. God's children are guarded by a defence that cannot be demolished. The armour of Christ is most durable and most strong. God's children have even a wall of fire around them as Elisha had around Dothan. Remember the Lord Jesus is your captain and He is stronger than all your enemies.

Let it be very clear that the evil one will assault GodÕs children. He will try to lead us to sin. He will cast doubts on the goodness of God. He will seek to instil evil thoughts into our mind. GodÕs people may benefit from considering the following guidelines in seeking to resist the devil.

1.Flee to the Lord Jesus and remember His intercessory prayer of Luke 22:32, "But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not."

2.Be much in prayer. Meditate upon the Lord and His blessed work. Meditate on Scripture. Use appropriate texts from Scripture. Relief will be found by repeating out loud appropriate verses of Scripture.

3.Lay out for yourself clearly the consequences of certain sins. Sin brings misery and death, unhappiness and sorrow. Choose life and confess this over against sinful thoughts. Claim the victory in faith through the Lord Jesus Christ. Rejoice in the Lord. Sing of His glory.

4.After you have stated your position and your desire, ignore sinful thoughts and make no response to them. Carry on with your duty or calling. Consider these thoughts to be equal to someone standing outside your window and shouting all kinds of evil things.

5.Have patience and endurance. View these assaults as afflictions, just as you would suffer bodily pain as an affliction. Remain quiet and possess your soul in patience. Remember that the Lord will determine how far this affliction will go. He is in control. The Lord allows these thoughts to enter your mind to make you humble, to keep you alert and to cause you to cleave to Him.

6.Remember that the Lord Jesus has conquered the devil and has crushed his head. Be of good courage and realize that the devil is a conquered enemy. He will eventually lose the battle and he knows this. He may now be bluffing and pretending that he has won, but all those who are in the Lord Jesus Christ are more than conquerors through Him, Who loved them and Who continually prays for them.

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