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What does the Bible tell us about Satan?

by Julia M. Bruce, MSPC, Mental Health Coach,
CEO, Wellspring Christian Ministries

In Monday’s post, we discovered that ministry is dangerous because there are pressures and trouble. We also saw in yesterday’s post that we have an adversary who works through wiles and schemes to trip us up and make us ineffective in the ministry or even to get us to quit. Now that we understand the “wiles of the devil,” let’s turn our attention to Satan himself and see what the Bible tells us about our adversary.

Be watchful! Satan is looking for someone to devour!

The Bible tells us much about this enemy and his cohorts. 1 Peter 5:8 tells us that Satan is an adversary and that we should be watchful because he prowls around like a roaring lion just looking for someone he can devour. When we are not anchored in the Word, spending time in prayer, exhausted, overwhelmed, ill, or too busy to pay attention to his trickery, we make it easy for him to devour us.

Yes, he prowls, and he often disguises himself. 2 Corinthians 11:14 says he describes himself as an angel of light. It isn’t very hard to figure out that it is much less scary to encounter an angel of light than a dark, terrifying demon. But if he can disguise himself to Christians and confuse them, he has a chance to win another round on the spiritual battlefield.

John 8:44 calls him a murderer. This same verse calls him the father of lies, saying there is no truth in him.

Hebrews 2:14 says he holds the power of death.

1 John 5:19 says that the whole world lies in his power.

Ezekiel 28:17 says that his heart was proud because of his beauty and that he corrupted wisdom.

In the book of Job, we find that he roams the earth from one end to the other and comes before God looking for permission to test and try us.

Revelation 12:10 calls him our accuser and in Ephesians 6:16 we learn that he has fiery darts. And when he steps up for a game of darts, we (Christians) become his bullseye.[1]

Satan uses us for target practice

For those of us who serve in any type of ministry capacity, we are even bigger targets. Because we are recruiting more soldiers for the Lord’s army, Satan’s biggest desire is to trip us up. He wants nothing more than to see us stumble because we help Christians grow and mature who then find their calling and begin to serve in some compacity. If he can use his wiles to make us think that what we do for the kingdom of God doesn’t make a difference, we just might decide to get out of the game or sit on the sidelines – or to at least sit out the next round in the +

Whether your ministry position is a pastor, paid staff, CEO or board member of a ministry organization, volunteer, nursery worker, small group leader, greeter, parking attendant, or janitor, if you are serving the Lord in what you do, you are a target. And every single day, Satan is using you as target practice for his fiery darts.

Dear Servant of Christ, Satan wants nothing more than for you to burn out and quit serving God because then your God-influence on the world ends the moment you walk away from your calling. Or if he can keep you under pressure and trouble so that your effectiveness in the ministry is hindered, then he still sees that as a win for him. If you give in to compassion fatigue or allow stress to give way to anxiety you lose your full impact to the Kingdom. You are a Christian soldier, fighting for the King of kings and the battle needs you.

What is Satan’s goal?

While every Christian will experience attacks from Satan, the moment you answered God’s call with that obedient “yes” to serve in your ministry position, Satan became much more interested in you and his goal is to make you less effective in the work God has called you to do or to get you to quit. He will place doubts in your mind, making you think you are not qualified, or you don’t have the resources needed for the task to which God has called you. Satan will even work through the lives of those to whom you minister to bring about stress, burnout, and compassion fatigue. He will use the people who should be your biggest supporters to make you feel unworthy of the call. Whatever it might look like in your life, Satan’s goal is the same: to get you off the battlefield.

Pressured in every way

Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 4:8, “We are pressured in every way…” (HCSB). Every. That means not just the pressures we experience in the ministry. There are pressures in finances, marriage, raising children, home and auto repairs, friendships, health, and every single part of life. Satan won’t settle for attacking just your ministry. He won’t settle for attacking us where we are most able to defend. He will attack in every way, and you can bet he will choose our most vulnerable areas. [2]

When we say “yes” to God’s call for any type of ministry, we do indeed have an invisible target that we wear 24/7. A target at which Satan is constantly throwing those flaming arrows (Ephesians 6:16) at us with the sole purpose of either destroying the ministry to which we have surrendered, or to tarnish it, or whatever it takes to get us to walk away, defeated.

Why does Satan fight so hard?

If Satan had his way, we would be waving the white flag of surrender in this spiritual battle we fight rather than being a surrendered, living sacrifice to God. When Satan gets his way, we are defeated, discouraged, less effective or even ineffective. Why does Satan fight so hard? Because a soul that is a surrendered, living sacrifice to God is very dangerous to the kingdom of darkness – but very powerful for the Kingdom of Heaven.

So, at the very least, he wants us discouraged, floundering in our faith, limping along from the wounds, exhausted, with nothing left to give. Sometimes, moment by moment we struggle just to put one foot in front of the other one more time.  Other times, we feel like we are on our hands and knees just struggling to crawl along, but those pesky minions have a firm grasp on one of our ankles and keeps pulling us backwards.  At that point, we either give up and walk away from the calling God gave us, or we might keep on serving in the ministry, but we do so while operating on empty tanks and therefore become less effective – or even ineffective. We lose sight of the passion, the purpose, and the call that God gave us.

Take a moment and answer this question: “What is your why?” In other words, why did you feel called to the ministry in which you serve? What compelled you? What need did you see that God wanted you to meet? And what Scripture verse spoke to you? Write out your “why” and keep it in a place where you will see if often.

Recalling our “why” can often help us rekindle the passion and purpose of our calling. Don’t lose sight of your “why.”

Called does not mean excluded from Satan’s attacks

Just because we tie it up with a pretty bow of “a calling from God,” does not mean we are excluded from the dangers that come with helping others. People in ministry empathize with the hurting. Sometimes they experience secondary trauma as they listen to and counsel the people to whom they are ministering. There are overwhelming demands on their time, emotions, and energy. It takes a toll on their physical and mental well-being, relationships, and ministry. The dangers that people in ministry face are daily and they come at us from all directions and from all kinds of sources, just as Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 4:8. 

Satan sometimes uses people as His weapon of choice

One of the biggest dangers Satan hurls our way is often manifested through the very people to whom we are ministering. It comes through the people who are never happy no matter what we do. It comes through those who make accusations (truth or lies). He uses people to form attacks on your emotional well-being. It comes through attacks on our faith when Satan uses people to get us to doubt the call we receive from God.[3]

Not only does Satan use the people to whom we are ministering, but he also uses the people who are on his side of the battle. The unbelievers. The lost. Satan will stir these people up against the faith of Christ and make the pressure and trouble of ministry seem unrelenting.

Whether through verbal attacks, emotional attacks, or physical attacks, those serving in Satan’s army try to stop us from sharing the gospel. They do not want to be confronted with their sin. Nor do they do not want to hear about the consequences of their sin. Rather, they want to continue living the way they want to rather than submitting to God. So, they try to stamp out God and curse His name. They remove the Ten Commandments from government buildings. They change the laws to “redefine marriage.” Or they protest in favor of abortion. We’ve also seen these people walk into a church service and begin shooting.

Knowing the adversary is vital to overcoming him

God does not want us to be ignorant about Satan. He wants us to be able to recognize his lies, wiles, and schemes. So, He told us everything we need to know about him so that we can have victory and overcome his temptations. If we do not take the time to know what God told us about Satan, then we will be easily duped and find ourselves defeated time and time again. Just as we come to know God more through His word and as we experience Him at work in our lives, so do we come to know and understand how the devil operates. Do not go into battle without first knowing who your adversary is and what his battles plans are.

[1] And with thousands of years of practice, he has very good aim!

[2] Incidentally, gold, in its natural state, is ugly and full of impurities. It is only when it goes through the pressure of being refined that’s its impurities are removed, and its beauty is revealed. God can use the pressures in our lives to refine us so that His image is reflected within us.

[3] You know you the name of a dear saint just popped in your mind. Stop and pray for him or her.

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Here in Florida, it does not feel like fall yet, but September is here and that means we are growing our fall line of t-shirt designs. Check out these two new designs:

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When we ask Jesus to forgive us and save us from our sin, He takes our old, sinful self and makes us new in Him. This beautiful canvas is a great reminder of what Jesus has done for us.

See our Canvase prints in the Teespring Store: All Things New

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We’ve added a new canvas print to the Teespring Store. These prints make great gifts or for decor in your home.

When we ask Jesus to forgive us and save us from our sin, He takes our old, sinful self and makes us new in Him. This beautiful canvas is a great reminder of what Jesus has done for us.

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7 FREE Downloadable Resources

Now you can enhance your Bible Reading with the Verse Mapping Template

Our Verse Mapping download is FREE and includes 6 pages: 3 pages of instructions for using the template and the 2 page template, plus the cover page. If you’re looking to go deeper into God’s Word, learn more about God and develop a stronger spiritual life, Verse Mapping will help you dig into the scriptures. As you apply God’s Word to your life, you will develop a more intimate knowledge and relationship with God.

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What Satan Does Not Want You To know

This trifold document includes Scripture verses that Satan does not want you to know about. As you hide these verses in your heart, you’ll be able to defeat the lies of Satan when he tries his wiles and schemes on you.

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Stress Journal

We all face stress. How we handle stress, however, has many variables. Learning how to recognize stress, coping with stress, and creating a self-care plan during times of stress can begin by journaling. Taken from our series on Biblical self-care for people in ministry, we’ve created this free download to help you through the things that cause you stress.

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2021 Bible Memory Verse Plan

We’ve put together 52 memory verses for you to hide God’s Word in your heart! You can download the full document for free and then print a new verse each week and as many copies as you’d like. Each verse prints four times on a page so that you can then cut them into index size cards and place them in prominent places where you will see them frequently throughout the day to help you remember to memorize them. Just because you visited our site, they’re yours for free! Download today.

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The Path to Sin

Satan is constantly trying to trip us up and he doesn’t even play fair because he uses our own desires as bait to get us to sin. James tells us the five steps that lead us down the path to sin in James 1:14-15, “But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.” This download helps you identify your desires so that you can better recognize when Satan is baiting you and you can avoid falling into sin. When used along with prayer, asking the Holy Spirit to identify the desires that Satan baits you with, you can then ask the Holy Spirit to help you not become a victim to the bait of your desires. Download the worksheet today.

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One Year Bible Reading Plan

With just 30-40 minutes per day, you can read the entire Bible in one year. The One-Year Bible Reading Plan consists of both Old Testament and New Testament readings for each day of the year. The Bible is God’s personal Word to you. What is He saying to you today? Open your Bible and find out!

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Self-Care Wheel

The Self-Care Wheel provides ideas for practicing self-care in six dimensions of yourself: Spiritual, Physical, Emotional, Intellectual, Sensory, and Social. NOTE: You will need 11X14 paper to print the wheel.

Want to know more about self-care? Our Self-Care blog series targets people who serve in any ministry position (paid staff or volunteer) and takes a Biblical approach to self-care.

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God, Love and Marshmallow Wars by Julia M. Bruce

What’s Inside God, Love and Marshmallow Wars?

God, Love and Marshmallow Wars is a book that includes 365 daily activities and takes you on a guided journey through Biblical principles about Godly marriage that you can then apply to your marriage, as well as helping you talk through concepts that can help you develop a solid relationship. Inside you will find simple, quick activities that include:

  • Scripture to memorize and meditate on.
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  • Date ideas.
  • Group date ideas for you and other Christian couples.

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Romans 7:25 Law of God vs. Law of Sin

Aug 06 Romans 7 25Have you ever found yourself in the middle of some act of sin and mentally you facepalm your head and say “Why did I do this?” You really didn’t intend to sin, but before you knew it you’d gone and done it anyway. Maybe its a certain area of weakness in your life and every time you promise yourself you’ll not do it again – but then you do. Think for a moment about a certain sin you battle with constantly. Maybe it’s overeating or over spending or bad language or whatever it might be. Why is it so hard to overcome these sins? Paul says in Romans 7:25 that in his mind he serves the law of God, but in his flesh, he serves the law of sin. As Christians we want to obey God and keep his commandments, but our flesh is weak. Jesus told the disciples in the garden of Gethsemane, “Stay awake and pray, so that you won’t enter into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” (Matthew 26:41)

The reason overcoming sin is such a battle is because it is exactly that — a battle. Every day we fight a battle between our old sinful nature and the new creation we became when we became saved. (Click to tweet) We can recognize in our mind that we want to keep God’s law because it is holy, just, good, and spiritual. However, at the same time, our sinful nature that was in league and service to Satan tries over and over again to resurface because our sinful nature makes us rebellious against God. Each one of us has a natural inclination to sin and if we are given the choice to do God’s will our own, our natural tendency is to choose to do our own thing.

When we become a Christian, our sinful nature doesn’t just disappear. As long as we live on earth, sin remains in us and we will constantly struggle with the old sinful nature. However, as believers, we do have help. At the time we became a Christian, the Holy Spirit took up resident within us and gives us the power we need to overcome and be victorious over the sin nature within us.

So then how do we battle that old sinful nature…and be victorious?

First, we need to understand that our sinful nature is our enemy. Paul wrote in RomansAug 06 click to tweet 8:13 that if we “live according to the flesh, you are going to die. But if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.” In warfare, soldiers kill their enemies – not their friends. When you think about your sin, think about what your sin cost Jesus. It was your sin that killed Him. We need to recognize that our enemy, Sin, seeks to devour and destroy us. As a Christian, we cannot be unsaved, but Sin wants to cause us to dishonor Christ and the price He paid so that we could win our freedom from Sin. Because sin is our enemy, we need to develop a strong hatred for sin because of what it cost Jesus and because what it wants to steal from us – the joy of our salvation.

Sin is a big bully that worms it way in through deceit and manipulation. Satan’s number tactic in temptation is to use half-truths and half-lies. It’s easy to catch a straight out lie, but if you mix a little truth into it, it doesn’t quite sound like a lie any more. He used this tactic with Eve in the Garden of Eden and he’s been using it ever since – because he knows it works on us. (Click to tweet) Romans 6:12 tells us, “Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions.” The best way to combat the bully, Sin, is through God’s Word. Jesus did this when he was tempted in the wilderness. Satan used his old half-truth/half lie technique and Jesus returned with a complete truth of God’s Word. Psalm 119:105 says, “Your word is a lamp for my feet and a light on my path.” So shed some light on that bully’s half truth/half lie temptations.

If we are going to defeat the enemy, we need to have a radical allegiance to the other side, God’s side. We have to make a conscious effort go all in for Jesus by surrendering our mind, heart, and body. (Click to tweet) Romans 6:13 says, “Present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness.” As we surrender ourselves to God, we are presenting ourselves as a living sacrifice to him. Romans 12 :1 says, “Therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, I urge you to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and please to God.” The only problem with living sacrifices is that they tend to wiggle off the altar. So presenting ourselves God is a continual activity. It doesn’t mean that every time we fail we lose our salvation, but that we have to keep coming back to the altar and surrender our will to our Savior and give Him control of our lives. We must be yielded to Him if we are to be instruments of righteousness.

To be victorious over our sinful nature, we need to make sure we don’t open the door to sin – even just a little bit to peek out at it. (Click to tweet)  Romans 13:14 says, “Make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.” This means that if you struggle with alcohol, you don’t go to the bar telling yourself, your just visiting friends. In fact, it might mean you need to drive an extra 15 miles to and from work everyday so that you do not drive by a bar and be tempted to stop in.  It means if you struggle with pornography, you don’t leave your computer is a room that only you have access to. If you struggle with being faithful to your spouse, you don’t ask your coworker that’s been flirting with you to stay late and work on a project where it’s just the two of you. Whatever sin you struggle with, don’t willingly put yourself in the position to be tempted by that sin. If you need to, find some accountability partners to help stay the course godliness. James 4:6 says, “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”

Aug 06 click to tweet 2Defeating our sinful nature means we don’t go with the status quo. Romans 12:2 says, “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”  Just because the world says it’s okay, doesn’t change what God says about it. Sin is still sin and in the end only God’s Word will matter.  Laws can attempt to redefine marriage, but God will still any marriage or relationship contrary to His word and sin. Morality in our world is at an all time low and what once was seen by society as taboo is now the everyday norms and we think nothing about it. D.L. Moody once said, “The ship belongs in the water of the world, but if the water gets in the ship, it sinks.” The world is full of sinking sand, but Christ is our Solid Rock on which we can stand. As we stand on that Rock the light of Jesus should be shinning out on a lost world and inviting them to come to Him.

The battle against our sinful nature starts in the mind. We need to continually be renewing our mind and keep our focus centered on Christ. (Click to tweet) Romans 8:5 and Colossians 3:2 tell us to fix our minds on the things of the Spirit and things that are above. Philippians 4:8 says we need our minds to dwell on whatever is true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, gracious, excellent, and worthy of praise. It can be very difficult to do when there are so many stories in the news about mass shootings and other evils. It’s also difficult when Satan is throwing temptation our way. He always makes the sin look good and inviting. When our thoughts begin to stray from where they belong, its a good time to listen to some praise and worship music, or to spend time praying or reading the Bible. We can begin praising God for His work in our lives. We can get together with Christian friends and talk about God’s goodness over a hot and cheesy pizza. Its important for Christians to belong to a body of believers. So be sure you are actively attending a godly church where the truth of the Bible is being preached. The more we surround ourselves with other believers, the more we can help each other in the battle against sin and the more we can work together to be continually renewing our minds so we focus on the things of God.

In every battle there are wins and losses. When sin does win the battle, we need to be quick to admit our defeat and confess our sin. Part of the work of the Holy Spirit within us is to convict us of sin so that we can repent and find forgiveness. (Click to tweet) 1 John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” Don’t ignore the promptings of the Holy Spirit. As soon as you recognize sin as won a round, confess your sins and ask God to forgive you. Then ask the Holy Spirit for His help in defeating sin. Ezekiel 36:27 says, “And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and you shall keep my judgments, and do them.” Then listen to Him the next time your getting ready to fall in sin’s trap and He will help you avoid the trap and win the battle.

With the power of the Holy Spirit living within us, we have the power to overcome and defeat sin. But the battle is life long and we are not able to do it on our own. If we are to be victorious in the battle of sin, we have to be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. (Click to tweet) No soldier goes into battle without battle gear. Ephesians 6:11-18 tells us about our battle gear:

“Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of the world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye  may be able to withstand the evil day, and have done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace. Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:”

So suit up Christian! You’re on a battlefield. You’re a soldier with the power of the Holy Spirit inside of you. Fight on His strength and not your own. In the end, we win because Jesus won the war at Calvary.(Click to tweet)

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We have a new product line of Christian apparel and gifts available in our Teespring Store and our new Spreadshop Store. You’ll find tee shirts, hoodies, tanks, socks, leggings, tote bags, mugs, iphone cases and more. All proceeds go to the advancement of Wellspring Christian Ministries. Thank you for helping us grow!

Click here to view the Teespring store. 

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Cover_m God, Love and Marshmallow Wars: This book contains 365 daily challenges for couples to strengthen their relationships to each other and with God. Couples will complete activities such as Scripture memory, conversation starters, relationship builders, learning about Biblical marriage, romance builders, personal reflections, and date ideas. Click here to purchase your copy. (This link will open a new widow and take you to Westbow Press’ bookstore.) It is also available at Christian Book Distributors, Amazon, and Barnes & Nobel


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Looking for a speaker for your next ministry event? Julia is now booking for 2019 and 2020 Christian events for women’s and couples’ ministries for both small and large events.
Book with us now.

Julia is CEO of Wellspring Christian Ministries, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping people and couples develop a passionate relationship with God. A public speaker, conference trainer, event planner, and blog writer, Julia is a two-time graduate from Grand Canyon University with a bachelor in Psychology and a masters in Professional Counseling. Saved as a child and raised in church and in a Christian home and private Christian School as a Pastor’s kid, Julia has taught Sunday school, led music, played the piano, served as Children’s Director, and engaged her gifts in many other areas of church life. Previously employed with the Florida Baptist Convention, Julia organized events and led conferences for church ministry assistants.

Julia enjoys sharing her journey as a growing Christian with others looking for a deeper connection with God. Through Bible study and her own life experiences, God has given Julia a passion to help couples understand God’s design for marriage while they learn to place God first in their marriage, cultivate meaningful relationships, build intimacy, and address the tougher issues that come in every marriage so that they can experience a marriage that honors and glorifies God. Julia also loves mentoring, teaching, and working with women to help them learn to live as Godly women.

With her history and experience growing up in both small and large churches, Julia enjoys bringing top level quality events to churches of all sizes. Her father largely pastored small churches and therefore she understands that these vital parts of the believing community need to be good stewards of the resources God provides them with. This knowledge inspires her passion for being available with a fresh perspective for those who want to provide their congregations with meaningful spiritual growth opportunities.

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The quote above is from Part 4 of a blog series on Self-Care for people in ministry.
Read the blogs here: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4.


Looking for a speaker for your next ministry event? Book with us now.


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1 Peter 5:7

1 Peter 5 8

In the Bible, Satan is compared to a serpent, a thief, the accuser, angel of light, the deceiver, murder, liar, dragon and a roaring lion. No wonder Peter tells us to be sober-minded and watchful. It isn’t like Satan will appear as himself and say, “Hey, let’s go sin together.” No…he comes slithering in like a snake, stealing our joy like a thief, whispering accusations in our ear making use feel like we are worthy of nothing. He comes disguising himself as an angel of light bringing confusion and deceit. He comes lying, saying “there is no God so that we die in our sins and spend eternity in hell. He comes as a dragon bring terror and calamity. His very name, “Satan” means adversary and he wants nothing more than to devour someone…keeping them from accepting Christ as Savior or causing the Christian to stumble. However, 1 John 4:4 says, “the One who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. Satan’s time is limited. His days are numbered. His destiny awaits him. He already knows the end of the story. Revelation 20:10 tells us, “And the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur where the beast and the false prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.” The only question for us, is will we allow Satan to devour us, taking us with him? Will we believe his lies and be thrown into the lake of fire too? John 8:32 says, “And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6) 1 Timothy 2:4,  says that God “desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” Satan wants to deceive, steal, kill, and destroy. But God says, “I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.” (Ezekiel 36:26)

Be sober. Be watchful. Stay on guard. Suit up.

armor of GodPut on the full armor of God so that you can stand against the tactics of the Devil. For our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the world powers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavens. This is why you must take up the full armor of God, so that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having prepared everything, to take your stand.  Stand, therefore, with truth like a belt around your waist, righteousness like armor on your chest, and your feet sandaled with readiness for the gospel of peace. In every situation take the shield of faith, and with it you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is God’s word. Pray at all times in the Spirit with every prayer and request, and stay alert in this with all perseverance and intercession for all the saints. (Ephesians 6:11-18)