Does Satan Go To Church? (ATP)
This week’s question is: You both say that the Holy Spirit is among us at church. Is satan there too, trying to distract people from hearing the Word or does he wait until we are out of service? We know 1 Peter 5:8 says he prowls around like a lion, but I guess I’m curious if he will actually enter a place of Worship for God?
We know according to the Bible that the enemy will try to take the word from us in order to destroy our lives. John 10:10, “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” The scripture referred to in the question also reiterates this truth. 1 Peter 5:8, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.”
Notice the imagery in this scripture, the enemy is likened to a lion. A lion is lurking, watching, waiting for the right time to strike and devour. If you knew you were in a place where a lion was watching you, ready to eat, would you ever put your guard down? I’d say not! This is important and the Word describes Satan this way for a reason. We’re also not to put our guards down when it comes to the enemy.
Let me ask this, does the Word tell us the time and place to be sober and vigilant against the tactics of the devil? No, it says to be sober. This is a constant state that we are to be in. We must live in a place or sobriety and vigilance when it comes to deception from the enemy. Does the scripture say when the devil will try to steal the Word? No! The Word says the devil comes to steal, kill and destroy, at the same time that Jesus comes to give life more abundantly! Where is Jesus’s more abundant life found? It’s found in the pages of His Word.
Now let’s look at Mark 4:14-15. “The sower sows the word. And these are the ones by the wayside where the word is sown. When they hear, Satan comes immediately and takes away the word that was sown in their hearts.” When does Satan come? Immediately! You what another meaning of that word immediately is? At once. According to these scriptures, as soon as the Word of God is preached, the devil comes immediately to try to steal it! If we were to continue reading this passage of scriptures we’d see that many Christians actually fall for his tactics and give up the truth for his deception. In other words, that we believe Satan hook, line, and sinker.
Ask yourself, have I ever been at church and all I can think about is the argument I just got in with my spouse or my kids or my parents? Have I ever heard the Word preached and become instantly offended by it? Have I ever been hearing the sermon but instead it feels like everything is being muffled in my mind and I can’t focus? These are things we all go through and they are meant to distract us from the truth and from hearing and holding on to the Word. These are the types of sneaky mind games the enemy likes to play on us. We consider them so normal we don’t even know it’s deception.
Now let’s look at 2 Corinthians 11:3-4, “But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he who comes preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or if you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted—you may well put up with it!” Where will there be a different gospel preached? Well, it’s often times in the place people come to hear the truth, that they will be fed deception instead. Deception is always ultimately of the devil and we know that in the case of Eve in the Garden of Eden and Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane, the devil tried to twist the Words of God in order to deceive them. We must especially be sober when hearing the Word of God.
This is why it is so important to build your faith in the Word. This is why we encourage you to not only bring your Bible to church and follow along, but to get back into the scriptures when you’re at home, reminding yourselves of the truth you learned. If the devil knows more scripture than you do, that’s a problem. The devil could deceive Adam and Eve really easily because they weren’t spiritually mature. But the devil couldn’t deceive Jesus, not because He was the son of God but because Jesus had built His faith in the Word by spending time learning the truth, developing spiritual maturity.
We must preserve the truth in our lives. We must live soberly in order to do so. We don’t put our guard down at church, or anywhere else, when it comes to deception. We hold fast to the Word of God!