The Devil is Playing the Long Game With You

April 2, 2022

5 Minutes

The Apostle Paul didn’t think it was wise to be unaware of Satan’s schemes (see 2 Corinthians 2:11), and we shouldn’t be either.

It’s always an advantage to consider the tactics of the enemy, and one often overlooked device is his commitment to WEAR YOU DOWN.

Wherever you’re fighting from, you can count on the fact that Satan is trying to:

1. Wear Down Your Zeal

The last thing the enemy wants is for you to be on fire, stirred up and in love with Jesus Christ.

Unfortunately, we’re often so FULL of a love for the world that there is not much room left in our hearts for a white-hot passion for Jesus.

As long as the forces of darkness can keep you luke-warm and self-focused, slurping down EXCESS, distraction, and compromise through your sippy-cup like a good little drone, you won’t pose any threat whatsoever to the kingdom of darkness.

Since Satan wants to wear down your zeal, you’ve got to stay stirred up and fiery about your walk with God.

How do we do it?

Loss of zeal usually means our focus has been diffused (I.e., We’re wrapped up in TOO MANY things instead of just the few necessary ones – see Luke 10:41-42).

“Deal as sparingly as possible with the things the world thrusts on you. This world as you see it is on its way out.” (1 Corinthians 7:31, The Message)

It gets worse. Satan is also trying to:

2. Wear Down Your Resistance to Evil

Temptation CAN pounce on us all of a sudden, but if that doesn’t work, Satan will try to get us used to little compromises OVER TIME.

Like the infamous frog who didn’t notice that the pot had been heating up SLOWLY, the enemy coaxes us into minor compromises with evil.

    •    A little gossip here

    •    Some MINOR self-loathing there (yep – that’s hating on a thing God loves)

    •    One MORE reason your anger is justified IN THIS CASE

I don’t know who said it first, but I learned it from my grandmother:

    •    First, you will REJECT evil.

    •    Then you will TOLERATE evil.

    •    Finally, you will EMBRACE evil.

Want to frustrate the enemy’s long-term plan for your life?

Push back hard on the little compromises you used to quickly feel convicted over.

I’m not saying you need to become legalistic; it’s just that most of us would benefit from recognizing the DRAINING effect worldliness has on us.

“Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you.” (1 John 2:15, NLT)

Finally, Satan is trying to:

3. Wear Down Your Commitment to Being an Impact

It’s a sad old story.

In one season of life, a young person is serving Jesus Christ with passion, genuinely desiring to use their gifts to build up the body of Christ.

But life happens.

College, kids, and careers begin to crowd out margin.

Time with God gets slimmer, and eventually, it all just becomes too much.

What REALLY happened is that we didn’t cultivate and GROW our capacity to draw strength from God in more difficult and weightier seasons.

We were saved to serve, not to take our rest NOW.

But the enemy reminds us that we shouldn’t be “too serious” about serving Christ.  Better to retire to the sidelines. Let someone else work the fields!

People convince themselves that a personal study time or reading 1000 Christian books are the same thing as serving God.  We need BOTH!

Oh for a generation that again believes that Holy SWEAT is as critical as Holy STILLNESS!

Since the devil will try to convince you to slow down, aim at a SUSTAINABLE life of FAITHFULNESS that doesn’t give itself the option of early retirement from the army of the Lord (see 1 Corinthians 15:58).

How else have you seen the kingdom of darkness attempt to play the long-game with your soul?

God Who overcame the world, 

Teach me to discern where the enemy is plotting to catch me off guard or wear me down.  I thank You that You have delivered me from the kingdom of darkness (Colossians 1:13) and called me into Your glorious light (Ephesians 5:8).  Grant me zeal, resistance to evil and a ferocious pursuit of impact for the Name of Jesus Christ!  I receive your fresh power now! Amen.

Put the passion back in your weekend.

Saved people serve people.

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