Have you ever wondered why the devil attacks you after doing a good work or after experiencing a victory? What is it that so upsets the devil that he rises up to resist you? If you are doing God’s will, why are you experiencing hassles and difficulties along the way? This is what we want to talk about. Paul said, “Do not give the devil an opportunity” (Ephesians 4:27, NASB).
2 Timothy 1:11-12… “Whereunto I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles. For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day” (KJV). Notice Paul’s calling as preacher, apostle, and teacher. Your calling may be different, whether it’s as worship leader, usher, businessman, doctor, etc. Notice the phrase, “for the which cause I also suffer these things.” The word “suffer” here means “to suffer as the result of outside forces,” or circumstances outside of you. It could refer to persecution, it could refer to anguish due to extra pressures, or it could refer to a car accident or a job loss. It could be family problems or financial problems too.
When Paul wrote this book, he was experiencing demonic attacks. Paul was in prison awaiting his execution. He was accused of crimes that he did not commit. When the devil couldn’t find a way to destroy Paul, he manipulated outside forces against him and his ministry. Because Paul was a preacher, apostle, teacher, and a threat to the devil’s kingdom, the devil orchestrated outside pressures. In your case, maybe the furnace went out, maybe the engine light came on in your car, perhaps the flu hit your household. The devil was terrified of Paul’s calling. He is terrified of your calling too. The devil didn’t want the gospel to progress any further. He didn’t want people helped by the power of the Holy Spirit. He was scared stiff of the enormous things that would happen if Paul had no opposition. In like manner, if your call came from God and you are fulfilling that call, the devil is scared of what you can do. The devil loves to slow people down and to discredit their testimony. The devil does not like the call of God on your life.
Paul learned to commit his life to Jesus. He was never defeated by Satanic attacks (these attacks were his “thorn in the flesh”; see 2 Corinthians 12:1-10). He made a decision not to stop what he was doing. He had the attitude that, if God gave it to him to do, he would finish it (Philippians 3:12). Likewise, the only way that you will be able to resist the devil is to keep serving God with determination that you will endure until the very end. Never stop doing what God has called you to do! When you endure to the end, you will receive your reward (Matthew 24:13). Of course, no one can successfully resist the devil without the power of the Holy Spirit. That power works in people who have resolve. The Holy Spirit works with people who are determined to finish what God has called them to do. The Holy Spirit delights to work with God’s people. There are many things the devil can try to do to elbow us out of the race, but you are the only one who can decide to quit or to go on. Some of you are discouraged and tired, because the demonic attacks never seem to end. Keep doing the work of God. Hard economic times are upon us all–the nation is hurting, families are hurting, and crime is rampant. Remember this from Romans 8:35-39, that there is no problem that can stop God from loving you when you hurt. There is nothing that the devil can create to stop your call. God can handle anything that the devil throws up at Him… and so can you.
You are a conqueror. The Bible says so.
Pastor George Belobaba
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