Counseling One Another

Helping you grow in God's all-sufficient grace and truth

Counseling One Another

20 Ways Satan May Seek to Destroy You

He is the serpent, the Great Dragon, Beelzebul, the ruler of this world, the prince of the power of the air, the evil one, and the adversary. He is Satan. And—if you are a follower of Jesus Christ—he hates your guts with a passion. Like a roaring lion he is prowling about seeking to destroy you. How can you stand firm and resist the devil so that he will flee from you? First, do not be naive; you must consider his ways.

  1. He may slander God to you in order to cast doubt on God’s goodness and shipwreck your faith (Gen 3:4-5).
  2. He may tempt you to deceive others in order to create, or maintain, the impression of being more spiritual (Acts 5:3; Jn 8:44).
  3. He may corrupt your mind and steer you away from the simplicity of Christ and His gospel (2 Cor 11:3).
  4. He may hinder [cut in on, as in a race] your gospel witness and steal it from unsuspecting hearts (1 Thess 2:18; Matt 13:19).
  5. He may wrestle against you, fighting against your progress in Christ (Eph 6:12).
  6. He may tempt you to commit sexual immorality against your spouse as a result of neglecting the intimacy of the marriage bed (1 Cor 7:5).
  7. He may harass you with some form of fleshly affliction (2 Cor 12:7).
  8. He may blind the spiritual eyes of your unsaved family, friends, and neighbors so that they may not see the glory of Jesus in the gospel (2 Cor 4:4).
  9. He may keep your unsaved acquaintances in bondage to sins that hinder them from coming to God (Gal 4:8).
  10. He may smite you with physical disease (Luke 13:16; Job 2:7).
  11. He may murder you (Ps 106:37; Jn 8:44).
  12. He may sow tares [counterfeit Christians, sons of the evil one] within your assembly of believers in order to deceive and create disunity (Mt 13:38-39; 2 Cor 11:13-15).
  13. He may lead you toward theological compromise by causing you to be friendly to false doctrine and its teachers (1 Tim 4:1-3).
  14. He may persecute you for your godliness (Rev 2:10).
  15. He may tempt you to do evil (Matt 4:1; 1 Thess 3:5).
  16. He is—at this moment—prowling about seeking to capture and destroy you, chiefly through pride (1 Pet 5:6-8).
  17. He will most assuredly slander you before God in heaven (Rev 12:10).
  18. He may ask God for permission to sift you out for concentrated attack and temptation (Luke 22:31).
  19. He may use the power of suggestion to move you away from the will of God (Matt 16:21-23).
  20. He may try to cripple your effectiveness through confusion, discouragement, and despair (2 Cor 4:8-9).

How can you stand firm and resist the devil so that he will flee? The Bible exhorts believers to war against the enemy of faith by not remaining ignorant of his schemes (2 Cor 2:11); by submitting to God (Jas 4:7), being sober and alert and resistant to him (Eph 4:27; Jas 4:7; 1 Pet 5:8), and by not speaking lightly of him (Jude 8; 2 Pet 2:10).

5 Defensive Pieces of Armor and 2 Offensive Weapons: We must put on the armor of God, which includes the defensive weapons of truth, righteousness, gospel proclamation, faith, and salvation. We must also employ the offensive weapons of the sword of Scripture and prayer (Eph 6:11-18). These are the only means by which we may firmly stand against the devil. “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might” (Eph 6:12).

[The above list makes a great personal Bible study or the basis for small group discussion.]

Grow in your understanding of Bible-based discipleship: Counseling One Another: A Theology of Interpersonal Discipleship

Other recommended resources:

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  1. He doesn’t actually murder you though does he ? If he could murder you, I’d guess that a lot more Christians would be being killed.

    • Oh, yes, Dave. He surely may murder believers, through a human instrument and, I believe, is often behind the martyrdom of believers all over the world.

  2. Hey Dave,

    Christians today around the world are being persecuted more than ever. This is not reported through the news we watch on TV each night. This is a good resource if you are interested –

    I think we all should be in prayer for our persecuted brothers and sisters around the globe and support them financially if we can.


  3. you’r righth on the button bro…. keep it going….. this is the need of the hour!


    • Thanks, Jose, for your comment. God is almighty. He is sovereign. But in the mystery of the outworking of His sovereign plan, He has granted to Satan, a fallen creature, certain delegated power to do his evil work. Unknown to us, this evil one’s work, though destructive, is used by the Almighty to work out His good plan. Therefore, though aggressively working in opposition to God’s plan–specifically the redemption in Jesus Christ–Satan’s work ends up serving God’s purposes. I offer just two examples for your pondering: Genesis 3:15, the enemy’s work against Jesus, but the Savior’s ultimate triumph; and Job 1,2, the enemy’s attempt to defeat and discredit Job; but God’s ultimate triumph. Until a sinner reaches the point of no return, like Pharaoh or Judas Iscariot, there is a window open to turning back. God’s command to sinners has always been the same: repent and believe.

    • satan has no power unless you allow it. he is a liar and the father of all lies….he will attempt to magnify problems and persuade one to believe it is the truth of the matter–you know many times a simple shadow appears very much bigger than what is the size of the object casting the shadow TRULY IS,right ? imagine a fly on the wall casting a humongous shadow and believing this IS REAL–that’s what i’m trying to explain to you–you would simply smash that fly or chase it away—the same with the demon–GodAlmighty has given YOU the knowledge and direct instructions on what to do-give no place to it,resist the devil and he must flee,call on Jesus etc.
      you don’t play with it or entertainment as we also say give him a ride and soon he drives.

    • Hello Jose,
      Remember that Satan is a fallen angel and as such, he is more intelligent and much stronger than we are. He is also a pure spirit who rebeled against God and is full of pride. All these things make it possible for him to attack us and hurt us. But, just as others have said, his power is limited by God, the good angels, and by each of us who choose to follow God. Though his power should be respected – in the sense that we are wise to aware of his tricks – we have ultimate power over him when we claim Christ as our Lord. The reason God allows all of this is because God offers his love freely and invites us into a relationship with him. He gave us – and the angels before they fell – a chance to choose him and accept his love. Satan offers us a choice to choose good over evil. I hope this helps. +

  5. Thanks Paul for the comprehensive list of scriptures about the devil. Intellectually I often struggle with the topic, with questions similar to Jose.

    But there are 3 main things that keep me firmly believing and resisting the devil:

    1. Jesus clearly believed in the devil,
    2. In my personal life I’ve seen the division the devil tries to bring in my marriage, or the numerous negative, condemning thoughts I face daily – or even looking face to face at the evil I’m capable of committing.
    3. In the wider world, we see decent human beings brutally killing others and doing horrible things, like the Holocaust, or in a more hidden way, the abortion Holocaust (53 million babies and counting terminated since ’73).

    #2 + 3 just cries out that something is seriously wrong. If there is no devil, we either need to blame God or ourselves.

    Again, intellectually I can struggle with coming up with a theo-logical worldview with the devil involved – but maybe my mind is part of the battleground?

  6. Thank you for this message. Many of the things listed I often take for granted as just things that happen. I think in my case I often expect satan’s work to be big and obvious. But his work can be small and subtle, slowly chipping away at our faith. My complacency allows this to happen when I just thing that “that’s the way things are”. But I need prayer.

    God bless you and your ministry!

  7. Hey guys. I just wanted to comment. I have seen what I believe may be some misunderstanding of how powerful Satan is. Be clear Satan is far more powerfull than we are. We cannot take him on ourselves. Only God can defeat Satan. Why does God allow Satan to have this power over us. God wants our faith as a gift, not by force. God wants us to cry out for him and not just ask him for help but instead to lead us and for us to follow in complete faith. I often hear people say God will never give me more than I can handle. I think we all have experienced this falsehood. God will most certianly let us have more than we can handle. What is true however is that God will never give you more than He can handle in you. Dont ask God for “a little help” Give it ALL to him.

  8. Satan may take your life through his people however it is always up to God whether you live or die. Especially if you are a believer, your life is in God’s hands not satan’s. Jesus took the keys of death and hell out of satan’s hands.

    Jesus Christ made a public spectacle over principalities and powers, triumphing over them on the cross.

    satan is a powerful enemy that we are NO match for, but with Christ in us we are more than conquerors.