“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come so that they may have life, and may have it abundantly.” —John 10:10
One thing we can be sure of … Satan is our vicious adversary whose goal is to seek and to destroy. If he cannot keep us from being saved, he will strive to keep us from being used. He is ever seeking opportunities for his attacks. However, we are not to fear, but rather be on our guard! Satan desires to destroy us … but Jesus desires to give each one of us life! Peter tells us quite plainly:
“Be sober and alert. Your enemy the devil, like a roaring lion, is on the prowl looking for someone to devour. Resist him, strong in your faith, because you know that your brothers and sisters throughout the world are enduring the same kinds of suffering.” —1 Peter 5:8–9
Just as God has a wonderful plan for our lives, the Bible tells us Satan also has a plan for us, although his plan is for our destruction and death. We can be sure that whatever God does for our good, Satan tries to counter for our harm. God comes to bless and give life to the full while Satan comes to ravage and steal.
Peter tells us to “resist” Satan which is a term of defense rather than attack. Christians are able to stand firm against Satan when they depend totally upon the power of the Holy Spirit. We are even told to put on the full armor of God so that we can stand against Satan’s assaults. Paul writes in Ephesians:
“Finally, be strengthened in the Lord and in the strength of his power. Clothe yourselves with the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world rulers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavens. For this reason, take up the full armor of God so that you may be able to stand your ground on the evil day, and having done everything, to stand.” —Ephesians 6:10–13
The word translated “scheme” in verse ten is from the Greek word methodeia meaning “method, the following or pursuing of an orderly and technical procedure in the handling of a subject” (Hebrew-Greek Key Word Study Bible New Testament Lexical Aids).
In other words, Satan is not random in his attempts to deceive man, he has a plan. And while he certainly is not omniscient, he does have the ability to do a careful study of our weaknesses. He seems to target his arrows at our most vulnerable areas or tries to breach our walls of self-defense.
Thankfully, we are sealed with the precious power of the Holy Spirit. It is important for us to strengthen our weakest areas. And there are times we must run away rather than remain lingering with our temptations. We are foolish indeed to give Satan any kind of foothold.
Proverbs 25:18 tells us: “Like a city that is broken down and without a wall, so is a person who cannot control his temper.”
In ancient times the power of the city rested in the strength of its walls. In like manner, the wall surrounding us is our self-control, and when it is breached, we will collapse. We are to be on our constant guard against our weaknesses and avoid putting ourselves in tempting situations.
Jesus tells us that He has not only come in order for us to have life but that we might have it abundantly. No half measures will do—He has come to overflow our lives!
“Now to him who by the power that is working within us is able to do far beyond all that we ask or think, to him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” —Ephesians 3:20–21
“Christ came to give life and something more, something better, life with advantage. Life in abundance is eternal life, life and much more.” —Matthew Henry
“You prepare a feast before me in plain sight of my enemies. You refresh my head with oil; my cup is completely full. Surely your goodness and faithfulness will pursue me all my days, and I will live in the Lord’s house for the rest of my life.”—Psalm 23:5–6
“Be thoroughly acquainted with your temptations and the things that may corrupt you.” —Richard Baxter