We know from Scripture that storms and great trials come to all who have truly given everything to Christ: “Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all” (Psalm 34:19). Moreover, as you hunger after the Lord — if you are determined to seek him with your whole heart, setting your mind and soul to obey his Word — you will continually be a target of the devil’s envy.

The most trying of all spiritual battles takes place in the mind of the believer. Many Christians battle thoughts that are oppressive, fearful, unlike Christ. They battle memories of past failures and end up feeling unworthy of fellowship or God’s blessings. There aren’t always answers for all the reasons believers suffer, but one thing is certain. Satan is always behind it.

The devil wants to rob God’s saints of their rest, their intimacy, their hope of paradise with the Lord — in short, all the things he lost when he was cast out of heaven. The moment you made a decision to be totally devoted to Jesus, and God’s concerns became your concerns, you became a target of Satan’s wrath.

Even though your faith might be weak right now, Satan will not let up on you. He is determined not to allow any chance for the Holy Spirit to rekindle that flame in you. For this reason, Paul warns us not to be ignorant of the devil’s wiles: “Lest Satan should take advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices” (2 Corinthians 2:11). If we ignore the enemy’s tactics, we may allow him to gain a foothold, or advantage, over us.

Paul writes, “Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness” (11:14-15). Paul’s warning here is crystal clear: Satan uses ungodly people as messengers of his wrath and envy. And, according to the apostle, these people have infiltrated the church. Have you ever met such people?

The fact is, we’re all going to be in a fight until we die or Jesus comes back to earth. We may be given seasons of calm, but as long as we’re on earth, we are engaged in spiritual warfare. But we have been given weapons that are mighty to the pulling down of strongholds (see 2 Corinthians 10:3-5). We have been equipped with weapons that Satan cannot withstand: prayer, fasting and faith. Hallelujah!