Pastor's Corner: How Satan influences youBy DANIEL AUSBUN
First Baptist Church, Moreland
The United States is a remarkable country with an unbelievable satanic grip upon it.
Wednesday is Halloween – which is the evening prior to All Saint’s Day on Nov. 1. Roughly 60 percent of Americans believe in the Devil. Ephesians 2:2 states that Satan exercises his authority here on earth. David in I Chronicles 21:1 was incited by Satan to sin. Jesus was tempted by Satan in the wilderness (Matthew 4:1). Revelation 20:10 states the Devil will be thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur to be tormented day and night forever and ever.
When you’re being attacked, welcome to the club. It’s proof that you’re a believer. The fact is, the more you make an impact for God, the more the Devil is going to fight you. You never outgrow it. It just gets more intense. If there were no Devil, why would God send His Son to fight what does not exist?
The influence of Satan is also real. Spiritual warfare is something to be expected.
Paige Patterson, president of Southwestern Baptist Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas, was asked by a young pastor why the Devil was attacking the church he pastored. The young man pastored a growing church, many people coming to faith in Christ, new faces visiting each week.
A small group in the church became unhappy with the pastor because of the recent growth and changes and started speaking negatively about him to other church members. The young pastor asked Patterson why this was occurring.
Patterson answered, “If you were the Devil and you wanted to stop the spread of the Gospel, you’d find the fastest growing church and create a dissention to kill the growth.”
Here are three ways Satan influences you:
First, Satan sends counterfeits to oppose the work of God. In Acts 19:11-19 Paul is in Ephesus and met Jewish exorcists, trying to cast out evil spirits. The exorcists were powerless because they did not have a personal relationship with the Savior.
Satan imitates whatever God’s people are doing. Demons observe what Christians do. Christians will be attacked or distracted by Satan because they’re doing the will of God. Satan watches for vulnerable areas in Christians’ lives and then attacks.
Second, Satan will tempt you to sin. Many Christians fail to remember that demons are around them and seek to destroy them. James 4:7 promises believers if they fight temptation, they will win. All that is necessary is resistance.
When you resist temptation, the Holy Spirit handles the rest. I Corinthians 10:13 says God will always provide a way out of temptation. The battlefield for spiritual warfare is primarily in the thought life, in your mind (II Corinthians 10:4-5). This verse says you should take every thought captive to obey Christ.
A married man cannot sit around thinking about other women and expect to have a happy marriage. Recovering addict cannot come clean if they’re reminiscing about their last high.
Third, Satan will distract you. Ephesians 3:8 says that Paul’s focus was to proclaim the Gospel to the Gentiles. If you’re a Christian you belong doubly to God – He made you and He bought you (I Corinthians 6:20).
What if you got saved only a few days before you passed away? What if you were saved as a teenager and lived 50 more years and reflected back on your spiritual life and accomplished very little for the Lord. Sadly, this is how Satan has influenced many Christians – distracted with the meaningless – a wasted life.
If you’ve been following a counterfeit Christianity, struggling with ongoing temptation in your mind, or distracted from the work of God – you’ll need to recognize the possible Satanic influence over you.
Don’t allow Satan an opportunity in your life (Ephesians 4:27). This Halloween evaluate any secret or habitual sin patterns – repent and turn them over to God.
Jesus sets people free, and you will be free indeed!