Monday, July 27, 2015

How Satan Influences Our Faith and Steals Our Blessings

But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ (2 Corinthians 11:3).

You would recall in our article, How This Ministry Started, how the Lord Jesus Christ supernaturally spoke to us through Charis in establishing this ministry. From Scripture, we learn that Satan is able to counterfeit supernatural experiences from the Lord (Exodus 7:8-22), and in order to challenge our faith, He establishes schemes to cause us to doubt the truth about God (Genesis 3:1; Ephesians 6:11; 1 Kings 13:11-24). Sadly though, I have noticed that many brethren reading on this website avoid reading articles that relate to the devil. Brethren, you must remember that the Bible is our source of information about the devil; we merely compare our experiences with Scriptural evidence. Therefore, it is not advisable to avoid a teaching from the Lord about the works of Satan. The enemy's quest to destroy your faith and ultimately your lives could result in disobedience and ultimately cause you to lose your souls.

In today’s secular society, experiences of faith and the supernatural are often disregarded and completely ignored. We hear unsaved people calling our experiences "unscientific", "hallucinations", or "superstitions". These are the opinions of those who have never experienced what we have, and yet they claim to have an answer and an explanation for our experiences. It is not prudent to question the experiences of others if we are not trained or have a relationship with matters relating to the spiritual realm and understanding things hidden to the natural (1 Corinthians 2:14). I would like to point out that it is equally foolish to reject truth relating to God if we have not, or have never, experienced a relationship with Him. On the other hand, and in my observation, Satan has trapped and deceived the unbelieving world, telling them: "Don’t believe the things you don’t see. They don’t matter to you!" (Genesis 3:4-5). Since faith is a spiritual experience, the only feedback on the reality of the spiritual realm is accepting the existence of the spiritual realm and its influence in our lives (2 Corinthians 4:13; Galatians 5:17).

Faith: The Only Link in Experiencing the Spiritual Realm

Briefly, before I came to the knowledge of truth, I was not aware of the existence of both God and the devil. My reality of their existence was not based on faith but on stories people told me about their existence. I had an option to accept or simply just ignore things relating to God or Satan. However, my ignorance and denying the existence of these beings was not a reason for me to assume they don’t exist. Naturally, it is impossible to imagine the existence of the supernatural unless there is a natural experience to link it to. In other words, in theory it is not something we can reconcile with or factually point to but our inability to prove it is simply not sufficient grounds to deny the existence of God and Satan (Romans 1:20; Job 1:7). Like I alluded above, the reality of experiencing the existence of God comes through faith and the result of faith adds the experience of God’s existence (Hebrews 11:6; John 14:21). Therefore, God reveals Himself to us only on the basis of our faith in Him.

Furthermore, God only revealed Himself to me after I searched (Jeremiah 29:13; Acts 17:27) for Him (please read my brief testimony in Deliverance Through Jesus Christ - Part 1). Through Bible reading, I became aware of God, and as I gained more He started revealing more about Himself (1 Samuel 3:21). My previous reality of simply ignoring God’s existence was swallowed by the light of truth He lit in my soul (Psalm 119:105; 130; John 1:9). As much as the Apostle Paul was sobered and blinded by the bright light from Heaven resulting in a change of faith and attitude, I was similarly affected (Acts 26:13). Again, like Paul, the output of my faith is this work of sharing my experiences about Christ with you. I'm not sharing that so that you may consider my experiences with the Lord as evidence of His existence, but that you may examine my claims by faith and Scripturally (Acts 17:11). As it is, faith always comes by a voluntary choice, and that through the Word of God (Romans 10:17). As much as knowledge of salvation and of Christ came through the Word of God, we equally learn about Satan and demonic activity through the Scriptures (Genesis 3:1; Matthew 8:10). So ignoring a teaching about them and their activity in the lives of people is foolish and preposterous.

How Satan Attacks Our Faith

It is not always easy to understand how the devil influences our thoughts and thereby affects our faith in the Lord. Like an enemy, he operates undercover, exploiting our ignorance of his opposing plans (Genesis 3:4-5). In the preceding verse, Satan portrayed God as being against human well-being and withholding good things from us. People often blame their suffering on God, even after Satan has crippled our faith (Ruth 1:20; Mark 4:3-16). The Bible warns us that it is the devil who comes to "steal, kill and destroy"; but the Lord gives us eternal life (John 10:10).

From Scripture, we learn that Satan attacks our faith, and once he has succeeded in weakening us that way, we are denied the blessings from God (Jeremiah 42:7-12; 43:2-7). Often, in attacking us, we are made to doubt the good intentions and promises of God, much in the same way that the snake tricked Eve into believing a lie (Genesis 3:1; 5). Once that confidence of assurance in God is shaken, the consequences are irreversible (Numbers 14:26-35).

As I attempted to explain in our introduction, any supernatural experience involving God will inevitably invite the presence of Satan too (Job 1:6; Matthew 4:1-4; 2 Corinthians 12:7). Satan's work is to confuse the good counsel of God; thereby troubling our faith (Acts 13:8-10). Therefore, where the gospel of peace which bears testimony to the salvation of our souls is preached, Satan also works there in a bid to obstruct and confuse God’s counsel (Matthew 16:22-23).

In the light of the above Scriptural experiences, as a family we were also the subject of attacks by Satan. After every good promise and message from the Lord through Charis or myself, the devil would give a false message of fear and doubt regarding the same blessing through another person in our family. This would be completely opposite to what the Lord said, and we discerned Satan's attack through the content of the message. Satan's messages are always filled with fear (2 Timothy 1:7), doubt and the encouragement of some evil practice (Ephesians 6:13-17; Matthew 4:3). In the year 2010, just after the Lord gave me a promise of a job, the devil gave a counter-message to someone, inducing fear in my family that I would be dead soon. I cried out to the Lord and said, "Lord, you have just promised me a job, and now I hear that I would die soon?" The Lord did not answer, and having discerned that this was the work of Satan to attack my faith in God’s promise, I encouraged my family that this was an attack of the devil to destroy my faith; the message was not from the Lord. In reality, it turned out to be a lie and by my persistent faith, I inherited the promise from the Lord (you may read the testimony of how I got the job in the article, Please Evangelize).

In another false vision in 2013 to a member of my family, the enemy showed that I would become blind. This again was to weaken my faith through fear. Being human, these things got me worried momentarily, but the Lord comforted me saying that He doesn't just pronounce judgment on us without giving us an option to pray and repent if we have done wrong (Ezekiel 18:30). As it is, in this and many other similar attacks to us, I knew that these attacks were against our faith. Remarkably, not long after these attacks on our faith, we would actual receive answers to our prayers! I have since learned that the devil's attacks on our faith, especially when we have trusted the Lord for a breakthrough in something, would precede the delivering of a blessing or prayer request. In a message to me, the Lord said that Satan is extremely envious of our relationship with Him and his jealously overflows in anger and hatred for us and for the Lord Jesus (Isaiah 14:12-17). This is the reason why he works tirelessly to destroy our relationship with God; he knows that his time short (Revelation 12:12).

Finally, brethren, let us discern truth. There is no greater way of conquering the schemes of Satan in attacking our faith but through our knowledge of the Word of God and persistent prayer (Joshua 1:8; 1 Thessalonians 5:17). In a message to me, the Lord told me that backslidden Christians have lost interest in Bible reading and prayer, which was the foundation of their faith. They allowed the arrows of doubt and appetite for sin and worldly things to pierce them, leading them astray (James 1:14).

Has the devil been causing you fear, doubt, and ebbing away at your faith through his attacks? Be encouraged in prayer, faithful obedience to Christ and He will expose the enemy's attempt to destroy your faith and ultimately your soul (2 Corinthians 2:11; 1 Peter 5:8). Remember, the Lord Jesus is victorious, powerful, and mighty to deliver and save His children (Isaiah 63:1; Genesis 45:7; Isaiah 59:1). He is able to rescue you from every evil attack and bring you safely to His heavenly kingdom (2 Timothy 4:18). To accept Him as your Lord and Saviour, please begin by praying this Prayer of Sincere Repentance. For any questions or comments on this article or our ministry, please contact us.

Grace in discerning truth,

Brother Glenn.