Some Christians feel like they are the prime target of Satan's attacks. But Scripture does not teach this. Here are some important things to keep in mind about him and how he works:
First, Satan isn't omnipresent like God, who is everywhere. Like us, the devil can only be at one place at a time. So he's most likely never laid eyes on us, although he has minions who know us quite well and who serve his purposes.
Second, he's not omniscient like God, who knows all things. He has limited knowledge. It's inconceivable to think that Satan even knows our individual names.
Third, Satan isn't omnipotent like God, who can do anything. The devil's true enemy is our heavenly Father. Satan was at war with our Daddy for thousands of years before we came along.
Now, read carefully. This next section could change the way you've understood your Christian life. I've discovered only three things Satan can do to hurt his enemy--God.
First, Satan keeps people separated from God. He knows that God is a father who wants a house full of kids. Because God created everyone to live with Him forever, the enemy blinds them from seeing the truth of the gospel. (2 Corinthians 4:3-4.) His goal? His goal is to rob God of His children. (Isaiah 10:14)
Second, Satan hurts us. He hurts God by hurting us. When we hurt, God hurts. Alice and I have four precious children. When one of them hurts, we hurt. And if you hurt one of our children or grandchildren, you've hurt us.
Third, Satan tempts us into doing things that hurt God. If you're a parent, you know this is true. No one can hurt parents more than their children can. And no one can make them prouder. Why? Perhaps it's because children are extensions of their parents.
God's ways are above our ways. As we begin to realize this, we'll discover that we've wasted a lot of words instructing God and praying for things that He won't do because they conflict with His ultimate plan.
Rather than create our lists of requests determined by our needs, we ought to focus on God, and what He's doing on the earth. God has a purpose and a plan. Our job is to find out what they are and pray accordingly.
What's God Doing in This City?
I was teaching at a spiritual warfare conference in the northeast. At one point I asked, "Can anyone tell me what the devil's doing in this city?"
Hands flew into the air; many exuberantly jumped to their feet and cried, "I can, I can."
"Please be seated," I encouraged as I tried to regain some semblance of order.
"I'm really not concerned with what the devil is doing. Can any of you tell me what God is doing in this city?" I asked.
Suddenly the room grew silent. They cocked their heads to one side and looked at me quizzically with their brows furrowed, as if I were speaking Mandarin Chinese!
"Isn't it interesting?" I continued. "All of you can tell me ten things the devil's doing in your city, but you can't…
Don't miss the audio interview with Alice (below)
about her recent Indonesian trip!
…tell me what God is doing?" No one could.
As the bride of Christ, we are His "helpmeets" or helpmates. We are here to help Him do what He's doing. Jesus said that He only did what He saw the Father doing (John 5:19). He also said, "As the Father has sent me, I am sending you" (John 20:21). We are to serve on the same basis.
==> If we haven't bothered to identify what God is doing, how can we help Him do it?
==> How would we know the first thing to do?
==> Can we conclude, then, that what the devil is doing is most often directing our prayer lives?
Sadly, in many (if not most) cases, it is. We are engaged in the ritual of finding problems Satan has caused and praying for God to solve them. Indeed, we seem to view ourselves as "God's troubleshooters." We've lost all sight of God, His activity, His glory, and His kingdom!
Alice and I are increasingly concerned with the level of prayer in the American church that is based more on superstition than truth. To some of us, prayer has been reduced to little more than spiritual damage control rather than being used to extend God's kingdom, accomplish His purposes, establish His lordship, and unleash damage to the prince of darkness. It's reactive prayer rather than proactive prayer.
God has two overriding purposes:
First, the glory of His name. (Exodus 3:15; 9:16; Malachi 1:11)
Second, the establishment and extension of His kingdom. (Psalm 145:11-13; Habakkuk 2:14; Matthew 6:10)
Rest assured that anything God does for you, in answer to your prayer, will be done in accordance with these two primary goals. Let’s formulate our prayers accordingly and move from need-driven to purpose-centered praying!
This article is an excerpt from Eddie’s book, How To Be Heard In Heaven.
Print Version: http://bit.ly/To-Be-Heard-Book
Kindle Version: http://bit.ly/To-Be-Heard
A personal word.
Alice and I loved the years we served in local pastorates. To spend at least part of every day with those you love and who love you is priceless. My father was a pastor. When he retired I asked him one day what he missed most.
He said, “I miss being with my deacons.” <smile>
We understand all too well. And there many other blessings we miss as well, having now traveled and taught around the world for 20 years. Our blessings today are different, of course. But at the end of each engagement we must sadly say “goodbye.” Of course are always grateful for return visits to renew those relationships.
Another aspect of local VS trans-local ministry is the issue of support. Although our ministry today is as demanding, and often much more than it was in the local church; for 20 years we have had no congregation. It's been the generosity of friends like you who share our values that enable us to continue to serve as we do today. We are always praying for additional “underwriters.”
If our ministry has blessed you, would you please help us today. How?
You will notice to the left a QR (quick response) code. You can scan the code with the app on your smartphone and make an income tax-deductible contribution to the U.S. Prayer Center and ministries of Eddie and Alice. If you don't find a QR code scanner on your smart phone, open your "App Store" and download our free app. In it, you'll find a QR scanner. Search for: Eddie And Alice.
If you'd prefer to contribute by credit card over the phone, our office number is: 713-466-4009
Or by mail: U.S. Prayer Center, 7550-T Cherry Park Dr, Suite 224, Houston, Texas 77095
An Audio Interview With Alice I believe you’ll be blessed by this interview I did with Alice upon her return from Indonesia last week. Listen now, via streaming audio. Goto: http://bit.ly/Indo-Report Or, download the interview and listen later. Even save to CD, iPod, iPad, iPhone, etc. Goto: http://bit.ly/Indo-Report-Download
THANK YOU, our 2013 partner!
Eddie and Alice