There is no question that Satan has his favorite tactics and has areas where he commonly attacks God’s servants and God’s church. Paul was cautious so as not to be outwitted by the enemy of his soul. He knew the devil’s schemes and was aware when Satan was planting seeds of destruction or was attacking outright to bring great injury to a person or a church.
As servants, we can experience our God ordained place, our unique calling, our assignment(s), and our destiny. We are fathers, mothers, employers, employees, pastors, private citizens, etc. These various roles require different things from us, and we can operate in God’s will as we serve in these areas.
In the same way, God has other unique spiritual assignments and servant leadership roles for us. He is constantly preparing us and giving us experiences and spiritual gifts in order that we may be ready to serve in His kingdom. Knowing who we are in Christ and understanding where God has placed us is part of knowing the will of God. I’m often asked how to practically determine God’s will – what should be our priorities when walking in His will? My thinking goes this way . . . I try to understand my role as a pastor, Christian leader, husband, father, grandfather, employer or employee. Along with this I prepare myself for the unseen battle from the enemy to attack and endeavor to deceive me.
In his instruction on how to wear the armor of God, Paul reminds us, “stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm . . .” (Ephesians 6:13b-14a). Peter tells us to, “Resist him [the devil] standing firm in the faith” (1 Peter 5:9). James instructs us to, “Submit yourselves therefore to God, Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:7) (emphasis mine).
- Stand – hold our ground; understand our role and stick to it. Knowing who we are and knowing God’s assignment for us is critical as we fight the enemy who is constantly watching.
- Resist – not budging on the truth; relying on Jesus and trusting God who has called you to a unique role in His kingdom.
This includes our understanding of the particular place where God has assigned us. For instance: the pastor understands the importance of the Bible study leaders; Bible study leaders understand that they are not the pastor of the church. Along with our understanding, we have duties. Working outside of the area God has for us, opens us up to the enemy’s tactics.
Pastors (and others) can suffer because of unjust criticism, antagonistic “Christians,” and divisive people who attack them in any number of ways. These attackers often think they know more than the pastor or that they could do the pastor’s job better than him or her. Pastors have a unique calling and sacred trust to be servant leaders to their congregations. The Bible is full of verses that tell us how the Lord protects His leaders, such as, “Now I know that the Lord saves His anointed; He will answer him from His holy heaven with the saving strength of His right hand” (Psalm 20:6), “The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still” (Exodus 14:14), “The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; He delivers them from all their troubles” (Psalm 34:17), “Now this I know: The Lord gives victory to his anointed. He answers him from his heavenly sanctuary with the victorious power of his right hand” (Psalm 20:6).
It is dangerous, however, when Christian leaders get “puffed up” and see themselves as kings and queens over a kingdom
In a moment of time, Saul realized he was not Samuel and had no right trying to do what God had called only Samuel to do. Saul’s rebellion to do what Samuel had asked him to do caused a downward spiral in Saul’s life.
Many ignore and neglect their own walk as God has revealed it to them and focus instead on another person’s mission. In doing this, they often distract, confuse, and even injure the unique calling of others. Our primary focus and loyalty should be to fulfill our personal calling. Are we a reliable husband, father, wife, mother, pastor, citizen, etc.? We are responsible to God for how we fulfill the role He assigns us. Others are responsible to God for themselves.
Satan’s clever tactics
The enemy loves to distract and divide us through the methods of judging others and fault finding. When we become involved in meddling or gossip and have a critical spirit toward someone with another assignment from Heaven, we are opening ourselves to an attack from the enemy. Our spirit has become critical, judgmental, and arrogant. The enemy loves to divide and to bring pride into our lives. The person spreading strife gets a rush of excitement, but that thrill is not from the Lord.
Solomon was considered wise because he sought God for wisdom to fulfill his specific calling (2 Chronicles 1:10). Peter was rebuked because he wanted to know what John would be doing (see John 21:21).
When we get out of our role (the assignment God has given us) we let danger into our lives and our spirit. We must walk in the path that our call prescribes to us.
It’s a tremendous advantage when we live our lives in order, and in our calling (our assignment) whether it is Pastor or layperson, husband or wife, private citizen, etc. Paul equates this discipline to our faith; “For though I be absent in the flesh, yet am I with you in the spirit, rejoicing and beholding your order, and the steadfastness of your faith in Christ” (Col.2:5) (emphasis mine). In other words . . . I’m happy for you because you are living in order (your role) and you are steady in your faith.Goodall, W. (2005);The Battle: Defeating the Enemies of Your SoulLake Mary, Fl.: Creation House.
Protect the calling that God has given you. You are a unique, gifted, and capable leader.