I am concerned that various influences have affected many believers so that they are approaching their lives with dangerously wrong thinking. Here are two key false notions of which you should beware.
1. I am an ordinary person, so Satan is not going to bother with me. He only targets important people.
Apostolic instruction to all believers warning them about Satan shows that this is a very dangerous false view (Eph. 4:27; James 4:7; 1 Peter 5:8-9). Satan wants to devour every believer—you are one of his targets regardless of who you are!
2. I am a Christian and I have the Spirit in me. Satan cannot influence me to do wrong without my knowing that he is attacking me.
David was a believer who had the Holy Spirit upon him for the rest of his life after Samuel anointed him (“And the Spirit of the Lord came upon David from that day forward” [1 Sam. 16:13]). Yet Satan “provoked David to number Israel” (1 Chron. 21:1).
Neither 1 Chronicles 21 nor the parallel passage in 2 Samuel 24 provides any indication that David ever had any idea that Satan had influenced him to do so. In fact, it is unthinkable that David would have done what he did had he known that Satan was moving him to do so.
Something similar also happened to Ananias. He conceived a wicked thing in his heart (Acts 5:4), and his wife conspired with him to do so (Acts 5:2, 9). Luke reveals key information about what else happened to Ananias: “Satan filled [his] heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land” (Acts 5:3).
As with David, we have no indication in Scripture that Ananias knew anything about Satan’s filling his heart to sin against God. Being a Christian and having the Spirit in you does not mean that Satan cannot influence you without your knowing it!
Beware dangerously wrong thinking about your life as a Christian along either of these lines!
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