Satan is an enemy who seeks to attack your church at every opportunity you give him. As you gather this weekend, be aware of these strategies—and keep your focus on God and His Word!
1. He wants to infiltrate your church with false teaching. The enemy invades the church through false teachers who appear on the outside as “servants of righteousness” (2 Cor. 11:13-15). It’s almost easy to do, actually, if we have little accountability for those who teach and lead.
2. He wants to divide your church. From the time that Adam turned on Eve in the Garden and blamed her for their sin (Gen. 3:12), Satan has sought to create division. And congregational division seldom begins corporately—it begins when one believer blames another believer for something.
3. He wants your church to ignore sin. He knows that the church that tolerates sin fails to portray the holiness of God and the transforming power of the gospel. In fact, even our prayers are nullified by our sin (Isa. 59:1-2).
4. He wants your church to “do church” with little or no prayer. The disciples did that once, when they tried to cast out a demon without praying (Mark 9:14-29). Our churches are no less foolish, though, when our prayer is more about filling a spot in the order of service than about expressing dependence on God.
5. He will try to snatch the Word from nonbelievers who hear it. That strategy shouldn’t surprise us, of course. Jesus told us that would happen (Matt. 13:18). What we need to realize is the intensity of the battle in somebody’s heart when the gospel is preached.
6. He wants your church to expect God to bless them always. The blessing of prosperity is a popular assumption among believers today, but the Bible doesn’t bear out that teaching. Job walked with God, and he lost everything he had at first (Job 1-2). Paul was God’s apostle extraordinaire, and still God refused to free him from a thorn in the flesh (2 Cor. 12:7-10). Our responsibility is to trust Him when the blessings are hard to find.
7. He wants your church members to remain unchanged after this weekend. He doesn’t mind if we gather as long as we don’t really listen to the gospel. He doesn’t even mind our preaching against sin as long as it’s somebody else’s sin. He’s not alarmed if we have great fellowship as long as that fellowship is self-centered and inwardly focused. And he doesn’t get stressed if we have a “powerful worship service” as long as our life on Monday is unchanged.
Where are you most susceptible to the enemy’s attack? Pray now that he will not win in your life this weekend.