Pastor Dominic Cardamone
In our last article (you can read it here), we discussed how the Devil wants to neutralize us and render us ineffective for the cause of Christ. He does this by doing his dead-level best to isolate us from the Word of God and also from the people of God. It is via the Word of God we have direction, and via the people of God we have encouragement. Both are necessary for our spiritual wellbeing and should be cherished. This week we will look at another tactic the Devil tries to use in order to discourage us in our journey of faith.
The Devil Instigates Us
The word instigate means to bring about or to initiate. The Devil and his forces often wield trickery, lies, hardship, and discouragement against us to bring about pain, grief, and sin. 1 Peter 5:8 gives us a glimpse into the process he uses in his instigations. He starts by seeking for opportunities to wreak havoc on unsuspecting souls.
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.
We must heed the instruction of this verse if we hope to guard ourselves from his lionlike prowl. We must have our mental facilities about us (sober) and be circumspect (vigilant). This verse, along with other portions of Scripture, gives us the spiritual perception to be able to see the Devil’s attack before he can catch us off guard. The word may that's used here is a permissive term. Will we allow the Devil to find us off guard by our lack of sobriety and vigilance and succumb to his devouring ways?
Another technique the Devil uses in his instigation is accusing. In fact, one of his names is the Accuser (Revelation 12:10). He accuses the brethren before God day and night. We see this take place in Job’s account. In Job 1:8-10, God questioned Satan on his seeking of Job and said, “hast thou considered my servant Job?” The word considered means to set one’s heart upon. God knew Satan had put his sights on Job and was seeking after him to bring him down. Satan reveals his seeking activities when he said in verse 10, “Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side.” Wow! The Devil was being very thorough in his seeking of Job. He was looking for a breach in the hedge and could find none. But, he didn’t stop there. He accuses Job of serving God only because God blessed him, and challenges God to take away the blessings to demonstrate that Job would end up cursing God to his face (Job 1:9-11). In other words, the Devil accused Job of serving God only for the benefits, not out of love for the Benefactor. This is the nature of the Devil. He’s an accuser. We must be careful of the accusations that can ruminate in our hearts and minds. The Devil will throw accusations at us, remind us of past failures, and incite us to be bound by guilt. But don’t listen to that voice. Heed the voice of truth and claim the forgiveness of God.
Lastly, Satan will instigate by tempting us. He is called “tempter” by name (1 Thessalonians 3:5). This he did in Job’s life by destroying his wealth and family to entice him to curse God. Jesus too was subject to the Devil’s temptation (Matthew 4:1-11). Satan came to Jesus in a time of loneliness and vulnerability (hungry and physically week after fasting for 40 days) and attempted to lure Jesus into bowing down and worshipping him. Make no mistake, Satan and his demons have and will do the same to us, especially in our times of vulnerability. We must be on guard. And as Jesus gave us example, we must fast, pray, and live by every Word of God in order to be victorious over the Devil’s temptations.