Many times we credit Satan with the bad things that are happening in our lives when most times we are our own worst enemy. We blame demonic activity rather than taking responsibility for the consequences of our own actions. These actions can be conscious and unconscious. Either way, there are consequences for every action we take in life. Many times we don’t realize that our action creates an open door that gives Satan legal authority over us. Legal access because our decision has taken us from under God’s authority, by failing to trust Him or to obey Him.
It is human nature to want to find someone else to blame when things are going wrong. Unfortunately, Christians, particularly charismatics, are very quick to ascribe demonic activity when negative things take place and nothing seems to be going right. Many times they are correct but fail to recognize that their own actions, attitudes, and words actually invited the demonic onslaught that they are now facing.
Without faith it is impossible to please God (Heb. 11:6). Fear and anxiety is one of the most common doors through which Satan gains access. Stress is many times the manifestation we see. Fear can actually become a self-fulfilling prophecy. The thing we fear is going to happen usually does because fear opens the door and the enemy acts in accordance with our fear (Job 3:25). Three other common doors of access for Satan are hatred (unforgiveness), occult practices and sexual sin. Yes, the enemy will come to tempt but we are the ones who choose whether we yield or not. “The enemy made me do it” is a lie from the pit of hell. Satan cannot make you do anything. You decide whether you are going to partner with him or with God. The Lord says He has given his followers power over ALL the power of the enemy and nothing shall by any means harm us (Lk. 10:19). Therefore, when we choose to renege on the authority we have been given by God and allow the enemy to take over we have no one to blame but ourselves.
In addition, to the things I have already mentioned as common door openers, there are also some spiritual laws that if not obeyed will result in us not receiving the blessings that we all want. Failure to pay tithes (Mal. 3:10-11), not meditating in God’s Word (Josh. 1:8), being ungrateful (1 Tim. 6:6), making our own decisions (Prov. 14:12, 16:25), not seeking God’s kingdom and righteousness first and foremost (Mt. 6:33), sowing the wrong seeds (Gal. 6:7,8), being ungenerous (2 Cor. 9:6), being prideful and arrogant (Prov. 16:18), just to name a few. There are also physical laws, which if not followed will have dire consequences on our health – poor diet, insufficient sleep, lack of exercise, overwork, inadequate water. We traumatize our bodies and then rebuke the devil when we become sick. We call on the elders to lay hands on us and then we go right back to our undisciplined behaviour and blame our continued sickness on the devil. Yes, there are several autoimmune and chronic diseases that have a spiritual component to them, but again it is because of open doors either through our forefathers or ourselves that we have again given access to the enemy to bring these diseases upon us.
I must mention here a pet peeve of mine. I am tired of us bringing up Satan’s name in the midst of our praise and worship on a Sunday morning. This is God’s time. He is the one we need to be focusing on. Instead, we are singing about “treading down the enemy” and “commanding Satan to take his weapons and flee”. We give him too much attention. That’s what he loves. Remember it was pride that caused Satan to be cast out of heaven. He wants to gain our attention like a spoilt child and when we call his name in the midst of our praise and worship we have played right into his hands. The worst thing you can do to Satan is ignore him. He thrives on attention so don’t give it to him. Having gotten that off my chest let’s get back on track.
For those who may be saying, “but aren’t there times when we have done nothing to deserve Satan’s attack but he still comes after us?” My answer is “yes”. There are times when we will be tested and God allows Satan access to us for a season as seen in the story of Job. The point is, even during a time of testing we cannot afford to play the victim. The aim is to pass the test with flying colours; in other words, to be victorious. The ‘woe is me’ mentality is not going to get you through the test. Many of us go through the test with the wrong attitude because we have somehow come to believe that we are entitled not to go through suffering of any kind. Recognize that it is God’s purpose that is being accomplished by the test and not Satan’s. He thinks he is getting the victory but God is working on your character so you will come into the image of Jesus Christ. See it for what it is and don’t give the devil any credit. Take power and authority over him and move on. Don’t allow him to keep you distracted by keeping your attention on him. That’s where he wants you to be. Understand his tricks and don’t get pulled into his game (2 Cor. 2:11). You may miss the purpose of God while the enemy has you distracted. In my next blog, I will tell you how to tell the difference between a test and a consequence of your own actions. That’s a whole lesson in itself.
Many times we do not meet God’s conditions but expect God’s blessings. When we don’t get them we find someone else to blame, usually Satan and his demons. Many times we act unwisely and then cry out to God to deliver us from the enemy, when WE are the enemy. Today, let’s look into ourselves and take responsibility when we are at fault. We need to honestly and without reserve ask God, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me, and know my anxieties; And see if there is any wicked way in me, And lead in the way everlasting” (Ps. 139:23-24, NKJV).
Ultimately, whether our adversity is because of generational iniquity, wrong decisions, or testing from God we have the final say in whether we will be victorious or remain a victim. God’s divine power has given us everything that pertains to life and to godliness, therefore we are without excuse (2 Pet. 1:3). He is able to do exceedingly abundantly above what we could ever ask or think according to the POWER THAT WORKS IN US (Eph. 3:20). It always comes back to our decisions. Stop blaming Satan. Take responsibility. Stand in authority.