I think many of us think that, because God is sovereign and because God is love, He will shield His children from the fiery darts of the wicked. We see in Psalm 18:2, that we can run to God and He will be a strong tower for protection for us. God is our rock, tower, and protector. There is no question about this. But that is not the same thing as being in the spiritual battle we are in. Whether we like it or not, we are involved in the battle. We are either passive, and will let the darts of the Enemy of our souls destroy us, or, we will take the shield of faith and use it against him.
Are we aware of the fact that we are in a battle, and this battle is raging all around us, even at this moment? Are we wearing the spiritual armor that God tells us to put on in Ephesians 6? Or are we just assuming that God will protect us from the fiery darts of the Enemy, and just do nothing about this battle?
One of the tricks of the Enemy of our souls, is to lay our weapons down. An example of this is what I experience on many days. I know I need to pray, not because it is my duty or obligation to pray, but because I need God's help in my life in every area. Yet, so many things get in the way of my praying. Some are unintentional, others are more directly intentional.
Why would the Enemy even care about my prayers? Because I am going to battle for the souls of lost people when I pray. I am going to battle for the souls of people who are trapped in darkness. Did you know that there are parents who live right here in America, even in our neighborhoods, who practice Satanic Ritual Abuse on their children? Do you know why they rarely are ever found? I believe it is because we are too relaxed when it comes to praying.
There are people in other countries who have never heard the Gospel message. Some of them are demon possessed. Some are tormented by demons, much like the man in Mark 5 who lived among the tombstones. What if Jesus never went to the cemetery to find that man? He would have lived out the rest of his life being tortured by the demons who were dwelling inside him. How would you like to be praying for people who are being tormented like that, and watch them be set free? Put yourself in their place. Wouldn't you hope that someone would come and deliver you from the demons?
The devil wants us to lay down our weapons. He wants us to do nothing when it comes to suffering. He wants us to believe that God is causing our suffering and that God will bring us through. Now, I know that Paul was going through a difficult trial, and he prayed three times for God to take it away, but God didn't. It could really be that God will bring us through a tough time. But it also could be an attack of the devil, and we should be in prayer about it.
Praying and fasting breaks the bonds that people are in.
What about preaching the Gospel? The power of God unto salvation is in the Gospel. The Gospel is the good news that Jesus died to pay for our sins, and to disarm the Enemy of our souls. "They overcame him (the devil) by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony" Revelation 12:11 When we acknowledge the blood of Jesus Christ, we acknowledge the weapon the will defeat Satan and the powers of darkness.
Faith is a weapon that increases in us as we feed on God's word, the Scriptures. Faith will ward away the Enemy of our souls. Faith is a powerful weapon against the devil and his lies.
Just before Jesus went to the Cross, He was preparing the Disciples to be ready for this. He knew they would all desert Him, but Peter assured Jesus that he would always stay with Him, no matter what. Even if he had to die. Jesus responded by telling Peter that Satan asked to destroy Peter. What God allowed was for Peter to be sifted as wheat. After his being sifted, his faith would be restored. Not too long after that, Peter denied knowing Jesus for fear of being harmed. He forsook his best friend at the most needed time. Notice though, God did not put Peter in a safety bubble. The devil was allowed to attack him with a strong temptation to sin, and Peter fell.
I believe the devil asks God for permission to destroy each one of us who know Him. God will put limits on the devil, but we need to be aware of what is going on. We need to know God's word, and we NEED TO USE IT. We need to let faith develop, and we need to expose the works of darkness as they become revealed to us. No wonder the Bible tells us to pray without ceasing!
No, God does not put us in a protective battle when we come to Christ and are converted. Rather, He gives us instructions on how to fight in this battle. Are you ready to fight today? Or will just just passively sit back and let the Enemy bowl you over? Keep in mind that the devil is relentless in trying to discourage us and in fighting against us. It is time for us to put on the spiritual armor and fight in this battle, starting this moment.