What the Enemy Wants in Your Life

Let me get right to the point: the devil wants to hinder your worship of God this weekend, so he will work to distract and deceive you. The Apostle Paul, though, reminded us that we are not ignorant of the devil’s devices (2 Cor. 2:11); in fact, we wrestle against Satan and his forces (Eph. 6:12). Peter also told us that the enemy seeks to devour us (1 Pet. 5:8). 

Below is a simple way to remember what the enemy does – and to evaluate where he might be working in your life. Review this list, confess your weak areas, and turn again to Christ as you prepare for worship this weekend.  

He wants us to: 

  1. Mess up in sin.  If he can deceive us and then lead us to hide like Adam and Eve did (Gen. 3:8), he’s at least temporarily won. Sin harms our relationship with God, blocks our prayer, and robs us of joy.  The enemy delights in the sinful secrets of our lives.
  2. Give up the fight. Perhaps you hear his voice today: “Why should you keep following a God who’s letting these things happen to you? Why not just give up?”  Job heard similar words from his own grieving wife when their world fell apart (Job 2:9), but still he worshiped God (Job 1:20, 2:10).
  3. Get puffed up with pride. This problem is at the core of the rest of these problems (Prov. 16:18). We make ourselves our own God, set our own rules, and walk our own path. Then, we also think we can handle our spiritual battles. All of these are nothing less than idolatry of the self. 
  4. Muck up the gospel.  The gospel is the power of God unto salvation (Rom. 1:16), so the enemy plants false teachers in the church (2 Cor. 11:13-15).  He often does so slyly, subtly invading the church rather than blatantly elevating his own teachers. They may look and sound good, but they are “deceitful workers” among the people of God.
  5. Split up our relationships. This strategy is hardly new. The enemy enticed Adam to turn on Eve in the Garden of Eden (blaming her for their sin in Gen. 3:12), and he then turned brother against brother in Genesis 4:1-16. It’s no wonder Jesus prayed so many times that His followers would be one (John 17).
  6. Shut up rather than tell the gospel.  God has given us one plan to reach our neighbors and the nations: believers are to tell the gospel and make disciples (Matt. 28:18-20, Rom. 10:9-17).  If we never get around to proclaiming the good news, a lost world remains in the enemy’s kingdom.

Where is the enemy winning in your life? In the life of your church? Let us know in the comments section how we might pray for you and your church family as you prepare for worship this weekend.  


  • Finally…

    an article calling out what the real problem is…self-love, the ultimate idolatry, the one that is most like Satan himself. Just like Paul warned Timothy would be the “perilous times” case for the last days church, the first thing Paul mentioned was, “men will be lovers of self” (2 Tim. 3:2). If we would notice, everything Paul lists after that is a direct result or outflow (a symptom) of self-love.

    May our pastors repent of muting the message out of fear of man, trusting in psychology, their own love of self, their lust for nickels numbers and noses, all of which is a slap in the face of Christ and an utter departure from the all-sufficiency of God’s Word. May self-professing believers repent of seeking to apply band-aids to the outward symptoms and get busy dealing with the root of self-idolatry.

    Good job Chuck. Keep up the pure unadulterated teaching.

    David Frazier
    President ARKASE Bible Institute 
    Biblical Counselor AABC
    BA Christian Studies
    MA Biblical Counseling

  • Tonya Mays says:

    True words, Chuck! Lovers of self, focus on self-healing, creating margin in our lives, self-worth and esteem all can be sly ways the devil gets our focus off of Christ, His power and His glory.

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