It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize the devil is everywhere in this world. And he is trying his hardest to creep into the Lord’s Church – the one place that should be a haven from his handiwork.
We are reminded to watch out for him:
Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. (1 Pet. 5:8)
Satan specializes in wreaking havoc on the Church. And he’s got his sights on your congregation.
Notice some of the things he loves:
Apathy. Satan loves taking away our passion for pleasing God. One of his favorite lines is, “What’s the big deal?” Just look at all the indifference in your congregation right now. It’s spiritual cancer.
Scandal. Satan loves a gossipy story about an affair, a conflict of interest, greed, or woeful mismanagement. If it could make one or two families leave, or even split the church, even better.
Busybodies. Satan loves piling on for Christians activities which produce very little for the Kingdom. And he also loves encouraging members who always have to be doing ‘something’ (regardless of whether it is actually needed) and those who always have to be ‘in the know.’
Conflict. Satan loves disagreements between members, and he loves leadership meetings that get out of hand. The more trivial the subject, the better the show is for him to watch.
Burnout. Satan loves to dishearten or exhaust a busy church member or leader. He tries to make them feel like they are no longer needed, appreciated, or capable.
Rumors. Satan loves dividing people and disrupting relationships. He looks for opportunities to plant juicy little stories – true or not – about other members and sometimes even entire congregations. Once a rumor is started, he sits back and watches it spread and grow larger in the process.
Marriage & family destruction. Satan loves family problems, especially if it is a key leader’s family. He offers opportunities for an affair. He encourages prodigal children. He festers hurt feelings. He knows if he can destroy the home, he can destroy the congregation.
Error. Satan loves false doctrine (and even making the word ‘doctrine’ seem out-of-style). And a belief or teaching doesn’t have to be entirely false for it to be wrong – it can be partially, or even mostly, true. Truth that may only be imbalanced, or truth that has been watered down just a little bit, is still error. Whatever it takes to disguise a wolf and lead sheep away from their Shepherd.
Ignorance of God’s Word. Satan loves encouraging the pulpit to preach fluffy sermons, void of any real spiritual meat. He knows Scripture illuminates sin & error (cf. Psa. 119:105), and wants to keep things as dark as possible.
Egos. Satan loves pride and arrogance. He whispers things like, “You’re too good to confess your sin,” or, “You’re too important to admit you were wrong.”
While we need to be aware of Satan’s schemes, the real danger is that we won’t recognize his attacks. We accept these things as being “normal” for every church, and thus we lower our guard and drift away unknowingly. We need to see the spiritual war for our souls and for our congregations for what it is (cf. Eph. 6:12) and snap back to reality.
Fight the good fight of faith (1 Tim. 6:12) against the Evil One. Be encouraged, because Jesus has “overcome the world” (John 16:33).
Never forget the most encouraging news of all during this fight:
Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. (1 John 4:4)
Question: What are some other ways Satan attacks the Lord’s Church?