Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil … above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. Ephesians 6:11, 16
The “wiles of the devil” and the “fiery darts of the wicked one” cover a broad range of activity but no doubt include Satan’s attack upon our mind and emotions. Experiences such as condemnation, doubt, fear, evil thoughts, and depression emanate from his attacks. Now, I do not claim to understand how it is that Satan can access our mind and emotions, but that he can is clear both from Scripture and from the testimony of many of God’s servants throughout the long history of the church.
In Matthew 16, Jesus asks the disciples, “Who do you say that I am?” and Simon Peter answers, saying, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Jesus commends him for his response, “Blessed are you Simon, Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.”
Then as Jesus proceeds to tell them about His coming rejection by the leaders at Jerusalem and His subsequent death on the cross, Peter, well-meaning but misguided, takes Jesus aside and begins to rebuke Him, saying, “Far be it from You, Lord; this shall not happen to You!”
Jesus turns and says to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.” Jesus’ response to Peter illustrates my point. In the first instance, the Lord influenced Peter’s mind. Yet, just a few minutes later, Satan influenced Peter’s mind and his thoughts were satanically inspired!
As you walk with the Lord this week, take heart but also be aware. Know that as you seek to develop your relationship with Jesus and serve Him, the enemy will attack, as he did with Peter.
Next week, we will consider an example from church history.