Satan’s whaaaat? Yes, I just dropped the name Satan like a church lady… while tying it to the concept of HOPE. Did I get your attention? I HOPE so. Yes, Satan has HOPE and his HOPE has everything to do with God… he desires the exact opposite that God desires for you.
God’s ultimate goal for our lives is to have an intimate relationship with Him. He loves us so much that He wants us to come to Him will all our HOPES, dreams, cares, concerns, worries, fears… you get the idea. Our God is a jealous God. I struggled with that concept for a while. Jealousy doesn’t seem to be an appropriate character trait associated with our God… a God who is so loving and caring. However, our God loves us so much that He wants us to keep our focus on Him, gazing on Him while glancing at our trials. God knows that if we keep our focus on Him, we will keep our eyes on His eternal HOPE.
Satan wants the exact opposite for us. For those who don’t believe in Jesus, he wants to keep non-believers from knowing God and His love. Satan knows if he can keep non-believers from learning about Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross, they will not ask Jesus to be their savior and will join him in hell upon death. While Satan can’t take away the salvation of believers, he can undermine their intimacy with God, along with their ability to spread the news of Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross. The last thing Satan wants is for us believers to develop an intimate relationship with God where we depend on Him for our every need.
Satan does not want us to pray, read God’s Word, or listen to God’s will for our lives. Instead, Satan wants to keep us busy, stressed, anxious, and distracted. If he can keep our minds busy focusing on the ways of the world, we will stay off our knees and separated from God. He knows God will never leave us, so he manufactures circumstances that keep us distracted and depressed, discouraged and dismayed, depleted and defamed… while experiencing discord and even danger. Whatever “d” word he uses, our focus can shift from God’s eternal goals to our earthly issues… exactly where Satan wants us.
It is important to understand that we are in a spiritual battle with Satan. He wants to undermine our ability to listen to and obey the promptings of God’s Spirit, keeping us from an intimate relationship with God. Satan is the universal tempter and the ultimate accuser. While God will test our faith to strengthen it, Satan will tempt us to limit our relationship with our Father. Some call this spiritual warfare. While warfare sounds intense, it is best for us, as believers, to understand that we are in the battle of our lives to save the eternal lives of others. The closer we get to personal and spiritual victories, the harder Satan will work to discourage, deter, and distract us. Yes, this war is real, it’s a war we face every day, and it’s a war we must win.
Winning this war is the only option. We will be victorious by keeping God in our heart and mind. The Bible is the heart and mind of God. We must immerse ourselves in His Word to armor ourselves against all the devices Satan will use to undermine our intimacy with God. By keeping our heart and mind on Him, we will ward off Satanic attacks of every shape and size. While consistently praying and listening to His Spirit, we will remain on God’s path for our lives.
While the Bible empowers us with God’s heart and mind, warfare prayer is another powerful weapon against Satan. We must pray powerfully enough to bring down the strongholds Satan has in our lives and in the lives of others. Satan will try to attack our faith any way he can… with distractions and doubts to deter our faith. Praying with authority will break down those strongholds while strengthening our faith. Warfare prayer is a weapon we must sharpen and refine daily.
As an elementary teacher, I studied the importance of lap time… the intimate time a parent has with a child while reading a book, sharing a story, and spending quality time with each other. As God’s children, lap time is just as important for adult believers. We need time to be quiet with God… to pray, read His Word, and listen to Him as He responds to our prayers, requests, and concerns. Satan would like nothing more than to keep us so busy that we don’t have time for lap time with God. He would rather we run ourselves ragged; becoming tired, stressed, and overwhelmed by our day-to-day responsibilities. Sound familiar? We will diminish his HOPE by prioritizing lap time into our daily routine. Waking up just 15 minutes earlier is a good start to a great relationship with God. Satan will hate you for it… got to love that!
The Bible, warfare prayer, time with God… these are all powerful weapons that will diminish Satan’s HOPE. However, there is one ultimate weapon that will destroy Satan’s HOPE… and that is Jesus. Satan fears the blood of Jesus because he knows Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross saves believers from his evil grasp for eternity. When you feel his HOPE undermining your intimacy with God, put Satan on the run with Jesus’ name. There is sheer power and love behind Jesus’ name… power and love that will ultimately obliterate Satan’s HOPE. Put the devil on the run with Jesus. He will flee bringing his HOPE with him. Turn Satan’s HOPE into Jesus’ HOPE with The Bible, warfare prayer, and lap time with God. There is no time like the present to be present with God.