“Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail.” (Lk. 22:31-32, NIV)
Jesus believed in a personal devil. He recognized the enemy’s scheme to take out Simon Peter so that he would not become the man God intended him to become. But Jesus also believed in the power of God, through prayer, to defeat the enemy’s purposes.
It’s not very comforting to think that Satan is real and that he has terrible plans for our lives. But Jesus lets us know that, whether we like it or not, it’s true. We can act as if we don’t believe in the devil, or that he can’t do anything to us, but that doesn’t change the unpleasant facts.
So what can we do? Well, thankfully, we’re not left helpless to stand against these attacks on our own. Jesus models for us what we can do. We can recognize the enemy’s attempts to deter us from God’s plans for us. And we can pray that in spite of these attacks, our faith will not fail. In this way we side with God against the enemy so that God gets the final say.
Spend some time with Jesus to ask Him how the enemy might be trying to sideline you from God’s good purposes for your life. Are you experiencing feelings of fear, discouragement, or defeat that tempt you to give up on something you know God means for you to have, do, or be? Talk to Jesus about whatever He reveals. Tell Him you want God’s plans for your life, not the evil one’s schemes. Then ask Jesus to defeat the enemy and to keep your faith from failing so that like Peter, you will be able to come through the trial with your trust in God still intact.