Does the Devil Attack Christians?
"Put on the whole armor of God that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil…. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with Truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit."1
A Daily Encounter reader writes: "Please help me. I am being attacked by the devil. Everything that can go wrong is going wrong. I don't know what to do. I am praying to the Lord daily but something is truly cursing me."
Obviously I don't know if this person is being attacked by the devil or not, because I don't know enough about him/her or the circumstances he/she is facing. Yes, I believe strongly in the devil and yes he does attack Christians. I also believe in his demonic emissaries, but there isn't a demon behind every tree, nor is there one under every stone.
There are several reasons besides the devil why so many things can go wrong all at once. First, we happen to live in a broken world and things go wrong for all of us at times. That's par for the course. Learning to cope with, resolve, or live with these situations is all part of helping us to grow in maturity.
Second, certainly the devil is the originator of all evil and sin, but often things go wrong because of our poor choices. For instance, the title of a talk I have given is: "The Devil Didn't Make Me Do It—I Can Foul Things Up All by Myself." And I certainly can. Blaming the devil for my bad choices can be a handy excuse to hang on to if I don't want to grow up and accept responsibility for my actions.
Third, when we have unresolved personal problems—such as unresolved anger, hurt, guilt, etc.—we can give the enemy a foothold. Once we bring these problems to the light and seek God's help and wise counsel to resolve them, the devil loses his foothold.
Fourth, to defend against the enemy, as today's Scripture advises, we need to put on the whole armor of God. Also, without being compulsive or over-dramatic when tempted, we can quietly repeat: "Jesus Christ is Lord and Lord of my life." That is one statement that Satan hates!
Finally, and not the least unimportant is that we need to ask God to reveal to us the reality of what is happening to us, remembering that often we don't want to face reality because deep down we are afraid to face the real cause/s behind our problems.
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, when the enemy assails and things go wrong, please show me what is of the devil and what is of myself—and give me the wisdom to know the difference. If from the enemy, help me to put on the whole armor of God, and if from myself, give me the courage to face the cause of my problems and get the help I need to overcome. Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus's name, amen."
1. Ephesians 6:11, 14-18 (NKJV).