I remember a visiting prophet once came to a church I was attending. He spoke at length about how God was releasing something new in the Church and taking us to another level. For statements like this, in a church I’m visiting, I keep my mouth quiet.In the midst of these declarations, he shared a testimony about a car crash that he was involved in that was quite serious. I was relieved that he got out of it without a scratch. But then he made a statement that is very common in the Church today, “The devil is attacking him because He is moving to another level.” That subtle message takes many forms. Another way to say it is, “The devil only attacks you because you are dangerous to him.” Or “It’s a reflection of the anointing upon your life, how much the devil troubles you.”
The thinking always follows the same lines linking the devil’s attacks somehow to how spiritual we are. Now, I’ve been guilty of saying this same thing in the past, so I understand the reasoning. But in the light of scripture, this is purely a man’s tradition, and actually a very dangerous way of thinking. If someone wants to measure the level of their spirit life, it is not measured by how much tragedy and mishaps occur in your life. On the contrary, the Bible tells us the measure of a person’s spiritual maturity is the fruit of the life. (Matthew 7:16) If a person is doing the will of God by destroying the works of the enemy, praying for the sick, casting out devils or preaching the Gospel, those are very good measures of spiritual maturity.
Now, I am not talking about genuine persecution for your faith. When you speak the truth, you will have religious spirits coming after you to speak against you and possibly kill you. That kind of persecution is a very good sign that you are walking in the truth. Instead, I’m talking about attributing all the other manner of tragedy to the devil as a sign of your maturity; everything from a stubbed toe to sickness and death. Those are NOT signs of your spiritual maturity by any biblical measure.
This kind of teaching gets people to put faith into expecting bad things to happen in their lives. I once heard a lady say she was afraid to pray for her son because she knew the devil would trouble him and her for it. This is all the side effect of a tradition that has gone totally out of control. If you believe this line of reasoning, let me be the first to tell you, your devil is too big, and your God is too small.
I believe that the Bible actually teaches the complete opposite; that we are to walk untouched by the devil through this life. Even under the old Covenant this was a reality.
Psalms 23:4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
Psalms 91:7 A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee.
Luke 10:19 Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.
These are great promises that existed under the Old Covenant. How much greater should the protection be under the New Covenant?
Ephesians 6:16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
ALL the fiery darts of the wicked one means ALL. If fiery darts are hitting you, that’s not a sign of spiritual growth, it’s a sign of your lack of faith.
1 John 5:18 We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not.
These are great promises under the New Covenant, but we don’t see the fullness of these truths in our life, because we hold the traditions of men above scripture, making the word of no effect. (Matthew 15:6)
On the Cross, Jesus Christ defeated the devil, stripped him of his dominion and made a spoiled show of principalities and powers (Colossians 2:15). The devil has no authority or power over the life of a believer, but we subtly teach believers to invite the devil in with the thinking it’s a show of our spirituality.
Even Paul, due to the abundance of revelation, had a messenger of Satan to persecute him (2 Corinthians 12:7). The devil could not touch Paul. The devil had to stir the people against him. If someone wants to claim they are suffering like Paul, they have to at least be able to show they have the same abundance of revelation to warrant that statement. I don’t think that applies to most of us.
I remember a friend of mine talking about his deliverance session. The team asked him if he had anything in his house that may be the cause of these demonic attacks. He didn’t think so, but he mentioned a gift that an ex-girlfriend had given him for his birthday. It was an innocuous item with nothing inherently evil or demonic about it. The counsellor’s advice was to get rid of the gift. What that counsellor was in fact saying was “Greater is He that is in Him, except for the devil that is in that gift.” This is the subtle way we have made God impotent to protect his children by our traditions. Instead of teaching that young man to take dominion and command whatever demon may be attached to the gift, they are teaching him to run from the devil by getting rid of the gift.
1 Peter 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
If we learn anything from this verse, it’s that the devil cannot devour anyone he wants. He’s looking for someone. The reason he is “looking” is because he can’t find you.
Colossians 3:3 For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.
1 Corinthians 6:17 But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit.
You are hidden in Christ. The devil can’t find you, unless you stick your head out by the traditions of men. Further, you are joined to the Lord, as one. The devil doesn’t know where you end and the Holy Spirit begins. It’s real simple, stay hidden!
If you are spiritual and walking under the power of God, then demons fear you and run from you (Luke 4:34). Because, when you show up, they think it’s Jesus. If you are weak in faith and caught up in the traditions of men, you have now made yourself known to the enemy, and he will try to devour you while he can before you really become a threat.
When we read the stories of the men of faith, they were fearless. John G Lake used to hold his healing services in a Masonic Temple, because it was the only place big enough to house the crowd. If we tried that today most Christians would not show up, because we have taught them to fear. We have taught them to run from evil, rather than to stand and be light in darkness.
We can read about men like Stonewall Jackson, who sat mounted on his horse in the Battle of Bull Run, unafraid of the bullets and cannon fire zipping past him. After dismounting his horse to sign a document brought by a messenger, a cannon ball struck the tree near him, exploding wood chips all over him. Jackson didn’t miss a beat, dusted off the papers and continued reading as if nothing had happened. Once signed, he remounted his horse and remained calm and composed through the entire ordeal.
I’ll close with what Jackson said was the reason for his composure when he was questioned about his actions on the battlefield.
“My religious belief teaches me that I’m just as safe on the battlefield as I am in my bed. The Lord has already appointed the day of my death so I need not worry about that. I live my life and prepare myself so I will always be ready to meet my Lord, when death does overtake me.”