Why This Spiritual Attack Is Not Against Your Finances, Your Health, or Your Car

Why This Spiritual Attack Is Not Against Your Finances, Your Health, or Your Car

 

The year I started writing words for the world to read, things started falling to pieces all around us. We encountered three bouts with the stomach bug in four months.  The kids were constantly rundown with various viruses.  There were financial strains, serious health scares, and much more.

We were about ten months into a sequence of unfortunate events when I heard a single statement through a static-blurred radio station while driving to the grocery store. I don’t remember who spoke the words or exactly how he phrased them, but the man’s message was this: “Satan’s not out to break your car, wreck your finances, or steal your good health.  What he really wants to do is cause you to doubt God’s goodness.”

I was three weeks into a very trying month – a month filled with personal grief and loss – and I’d been hashing out the words of 1 Peter 5:8 often: “Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.”

Peter’s speaking truth here, and so was the man on the radio. Satan’s not out to wreck transmissions in our cars just for sheer fun.  His hope is that the adversity he creates in our lives will harden our hearts toward God.  His hope is that we’ll grow offended, tell God we’re done trying if this is how he’s going to treat us, and turn away.

Peter knew all about trials. Knowing that Peter was about to head into a long stretch of spiritual struggle, on the night of the last supper, Jesus spoke these words to him, “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has demanded permission to sift you like wheat;  but I have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail; and you, when once you have turned again, strengthen your brothers” (Luke 22:31-32).

This passage spoke into my trying season in two transformative ways:

1.) Satan asks permission to test us. Just as Satan requested permission to afflict Job, he approaches the Lord to demand permission to sift us like wheat.  Satan isn’t sneaking behind God’s back to inflict my body with illness or attack my relationships.  God is sovereign over Satan’s schemes.

2.) Jesus prays for us.  If this doesn’t offer hope, what else will?  Just as Jesus prayed for Peter’s faith to remain firm in the midst of Satan’s testing, he prays for us.  He lives to intercede for us, and he prays that our faith will not fail in the midst of the fire.

When the trials of our lives lead us to despondency, apathy, or bitterness toward God, Satan wins.

However, when our trials lead us closer to the heart of our Father in utter dependence, trust, and devotion, we thwart the attacks of the roaring lion.

The roaring lion isn’t looking to destroy our possessions or make us sick solely for the sake of suffering. He hopes our suffering will harden our hearts.  So the next time the car gets a flat on the way to work, the printer won’t print the week’s lesson, or sickness leaves you sidelined, don’t lose heart.  Losing heart is losing the battle.  This is a battle for your mind.

In discussing her battle with thyroid cancer, well-known speaker and writer Christine Caine said this: “My fight is not against cancer. It’s against fear.”

When fear wins, Satan wins. When we claim the truth of the victory we already have in Christ, the Lord is glorified.  Christine went on to explain that there were three possible outcomes to the cancer diagnosis, and she immediately decided that in all three scenarios, she won:

God might heal the cancer on his own. He might use medical intervention to heal the cancer.  Or the cancer might spread and send her to heaven, in which case she still emerged victorious.  Embracing this three-fold possibility, there was simply no room for fear, and Satan lost.

Where do you sense opposition in your life right now? How might God want to use this trial to strengthen your faith and defeat the enemy’s plans?

 

 

About Stacey Pardoe

Stacey Pardoe is a wife, mother of two young children, writer, Bible teacher, and mentor. She is most passionate about walking closely with Christ and sharing his love with a broken world. Find out more about her at her website.

Comments

  1. Bettilu Davies says:

    Lesson appreciated!

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  2. Thanks for this reminder. My kids have both had multiple unfortunate car problems (among other challenges) this past year and sometimes I wonder why. Today I will choose faith, not fear.

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  3. Thanks, Bettilu!

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  4. Thanks, Lisa! Car troubles seem to get the best of me far too often! Yes, let’s be women who choose to believe that God uses these trials to conform us the image of Christ, and let’s refuse to be offended!

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  5. I needed this today. 🙂

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  6. I love your last paragraph before the question. We’re in a win-win-win situation–God moves supernaturally on our behalf, God uses people to say yes to our prayers, God takes us home. And Satan loses.

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  7. I’m glad, Jennifer. May God bless you as you put your trust in him and draw close to his heart.

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  8. Amen, Linda! In Christ, we prevail, and he uses these hardships to conform us to his image!

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  9. This was SUCH an encouraging post!! I wish I had read it when walking through a similar trial a few yrs back…. but I’ll keep it in my back pocket for the next one! Thank you!

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  10. I’m so glad it spoke to you, Danielle. I’m sure I’ll need to remind myself of the truth of these words again in the future as well!

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  11. Thanks for the reminder that our real fight is against fear. We have a precious friend who has just received news that her cancer is back, and with a fury. The word is ‘incurable’. Lots of fear for everyone. This is an encouragement to remember that Satan wants to use this to destroy the faith of all those around her. Appreciate this post!

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  12. Karen, my heart aches for your precious friend. I tend to give into fear and worry at the first word of difficult news, and I can only imagine the many layers of thoughts you are all facing. Today I pray that the Lord will fill your hearts with faith instead of fear. May you find peace in knowing that he is faithful: faithful to stay with you throughout each step of what lies ahead. Surely Satan would like to use this to harden hearts and tear down faith. May you stand firm in the strength of the Lord in this time of weakness, and may he prove himself to be more than enough.

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  13. Excellent. Perfect. Thank you so much for the encouragement. God is good.

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