Spiritually, Satan attacks the heart (and the mind). The heart is the core of our being; the seat of our affections. Satan attacks here in an attempt to distort our view of God. For Christians in particular he attempts to obscure and rob us of the knowledge of who we are in Jesus Christ.
The apostle James says, “…Resist [stand firm against; withstand] the devil and he will flee from you.” (James 4:7) You see, we’re not to fear the devil nor are we to go looking for him (he knows where we live!). James simply says we’re to “resist” him; we’re to stand firm when he comes around. He is a creation of God, subject to us through Jesus Christ. The question is “How do we take a stand against this formidable foe?” In Ephesians 6:10-18, the Apostle Paul tells us how! Paul says we are strong in Jesus as we don the full spiritual armor of God. Paul then presents this armor, piece by piece, in verses 14-18.
Sometimes we suffer and fail needlessly as believers in Jesus Christ. It’s stunning to me how often we go down in defeat — only to see, after the fact, our defeat could have been avoided! True, we often fail because we are imperfect people living in an imperfect world. But a major caution in Scripture, an avoidable pitfall, is spiritual deception; believers being duped by the devil.
The disciplines of prayer, Bible study, etc. are necessary for growth -- but have nothing to do with grace. He already loves us perfectly and permanently.
Indeed, the LORD promises in Isaiah 41:10: “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
As believers in Christ, Paul says to “…offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God — this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is — His good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:1-2
The Bible is God’s letter to us; it tells us how to know God and how to live for God. As we learn to do this, we’ll get along just fine in this life!
Should we choose a path other than the one the Lord has for us the result will be “an unsatisfied life” — a life that lacks the confidence that we are safely abiding in the will of God; that we are in the center of His will, directed and protected by His very Presence.
Hebrews 7:25 says of Jesus, “…He lives forever.” Commenting on this verse Scottish pastor Alexander Maclaren (1826-1910) made this poignant observation: “Men come and go. Leaders, teachers, thinkers, speak and work for a season, and then fall silent and impotent. He abides. They die, but He lives. They are lights kindled, and therefore, sooner or later quenched, but He is the true Light from which they draw all their brightness, and He shines forevermore.”