Ordinarily, I don’t give Satan any credit for anything that happens, but I have become convinced that there are some times when he rears his ugly head in particularly oppressive fashion. I believe Satan gets specifically active whenever a person is walking through a process of making a new decision for Christ.
This became vivid to me just this past week. My church is celebrating our Annual Commitment Sunday next Sunday and as part of it, we will be having a service of baptism where 9 people (or more) will be getting baptized to declare their commitment to Jesus. We met on Sunday evening at my house for me to go through some of the details of baptism and to help them make the decision about getting baptized or not. It was an amazing evening, and some people made first time commitments to Jesus that night.
Since I’m a pastor, I have had that same opportunity on a number of occasions, and on more than one of those occasions, a person who makes a commitment to be baptized will face doubt and uncertainty during the week before baptism and drop out before the actual day. The doubts and the uncertainty are never about issues of faith. Instead, they always seem to be thoughts that the person isn’t worthy enough to get baptized or isn’t “ready” for baptism.
Because grace and truth have come to us through Jesus (John 1:17), I’m sure that those kinds of doubts come from Satan, so on Sunday I warned the people in my living room to beware of those kinds of thoughts. I shared that Satan seems to get a little more active in people’s lives right when they are getting ready to make big decisions for Jesus.
Well, this last week was a crazy one in many respects, but I saw some incredible victories in it too.
Don’t let Satan get you down!
I just want to share one story. There’s one fellow I know who went through a rough and stressful week surrounded by other people who were stressed out and down on their luck, but this fellow took the opportunity to talk to each of them, share with them what God was doing in his life, and point them back to Jesus.
He could have gotten down and depressed at all the frustration around him, but he didn’t. He could have started to doubt his faith considering that people around him were doubting theirs. Instead of doing either, he stepped up and spoke words of encouragement.
The point is that we often face additional levels of hardship and frustration especially when we are ready to face additional levels of commitment to Jesus, but that isn’t the time to step back, step down or step out. That’s the time to step up, move in, and claim the situation for Jesus. Nothing will make us stronger to face the devil’s schemes than when we are actively claiming the situation for Jesus (Ephesians 6:11).