God’s Kingdom is a realm of peace. His children are not by nature warriors. If the Enemy did not raise himself up against God, following Jesus would be a far simpler matter.

There is an Enemy, however. He aggressively seeks to destroy God’s Kingdom. He will stop at nothing to ruin an effective witness. As a result, you must be always on your guard. You must be sensitive to the ways he seeks to attack you. Eternal destinies are at stake.

The Enemy challenges us in five areas.

Heart and mind – Satan’s most subtle approach is made to the heart and mind. He asks questions designed to confuse us. He persuades us to accept ideas that undermine God’s reign in our lives. He plants thoughts and desires that, if embraced, will separate us from God. He nurtures attitudes and persuades us to accept values that lead to ungodly behavior.

Flesh – If Satan can tempt you or trap you into ungodly behavior, he wins a double victory. First, he has driven a wedge between you and God. Second, he has damaged your witness with the unbelievers God has placed around you. He knows your greatest weakness is in your body. Two organs will get you into trouble. The first is your tongue. You know what the second is.

Circumstances – Appearances can be deceiving. Satan will try to convince you that life’s difficulties prove God has forgotten you. He will use severe trials in an effort to shake your faith in God. He will try to get you focused on your own comfort and prosperity, instead of the Kingdom. He uses urgent problems to divert your attention.

Friends and family – When you make a radical commitment to the Kingdom, you may have intense opposition from those nearest you. Satan can use even Christian family and friends to discourage you. People whose loyalties are divided will warn you about being a fanatic. People with a stake in the status quo fear change. Insecure people fear the unknown.

Society – This is the most difficult conflict of all. We are used to the physical world around us. It is more difficult to identify and understand the spiritual issues that face a nation or the whole world. But Satan confuses and tempts nations just as he does individuals. Do not be so absorbed with winning the battles near you that you fail to join in bigger ones farther away.

Read it for yourself!
Matthew 5.27-28; Matthew 6.24; Matthew 10.34-39; John 15.18-20; Romans 6.16; Romans 7.21-25; Romans 12.1-2; 1 Corinthians 6.18-20; 1 Corinthians 10.13; 2 Corinthians 10.3-5; Galatians 5.16-17; Philippians 4.8; James 3.2-12; James 4.1-4; 1 Peter 2.11

Think about it!
List some ways Satan attacks Christians in each of the five areas.

How can Christians help each other defeat his schemes?

Next installment
13 – Our weapons

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