I have a hunch that most believers think that the devil’s primary task is to cause us to fall into sin.
But I’m convinced that the Devil’s chief aim for every believer is to remove the fight from us. If he can discourage, defeat or hinder us in such a way then we decide that it is easier to give up and quit, than to continue to fight for what is good and right, and then he has won a major victory.
I have to be honest, it’s sometimes much easier and less trouble to give up praying and just admit defeat. It is just one less hassle to deal with.
Near the end of Paul’s life his advice to young Timothy was to “fight the good fight, keeping the faith and a good conscience, which some have rejected and suffered shipwreck in regard to their faith.”( 1 Timothy 1:19)
Where do we get the strength to carry on and not quit when things get tough or difficult? We get that strength from our past trials and battles. James says it best; “Count is all joy/grace when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have it perfect result, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” (James 1)
Have you ever said, “I remember when I went through this particular trouble and it looked impossible but God miraculously saw me through and answered my prayer”? It is through those times that the Lord is building our spiritual resume. If you think about it, an honest and accurate resume always includes credible and verifiable experience. So it is with God. It is those experiences with God that allows us to have the strength to carry on in the future – even when it is much easier to quit.
There is a passage of Scripture that I have preached from numerous times in 2 Corinthians 4:
“But we have this treasure (Christ in us) in earthen vessels, that the surpassing greatness of the power may be of God and not from ourselves….but we who live are constantly being delivered over to death for Jesus sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body.”
Every struggle you encounter is allowed by your loving Heavenly Father in order that Christ’s life in you may be manifested in and through your life. In other words, instead of quitting, trust God that the present trial is eventually for your good and His glory. God wants to demonstrate to you, and to those you influence, and to the devil that our sovereign God is in control and has a purpose higher and greater than we can ever imagine.
So what’s my point? I urge you to take hold of your trial by faith, and believe that God has allowed it and He will eventually make known His divine purpose. Ask God to see you through the trial so that He will make your stronger and will give you a clear, decisive victory over the devil. Hey, don’t you just love it when the devil gets slammed dunked by God?