Satan wants nothing more than to enter certain areas of your life so he can gain a stronghold. He’ll try anything to throw you off center, distract you from your focus, and render you ineffective for the Kingdom of God.
And I believe, after more than 25 years of ministering to women, that there are common areas he attacks – not just in women, but in any of us. As long as we’re aware of his strategies, we can be on guard to keep him out of his targeted entry points.
These are the five areas of your life Satan wants to enter:
1. Your heart – so it’s not God’s alone.
There’s a reason God’s Word tells us: “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it” (Proverbs 4:23). Satan knows he has an entry point into your life if God is not first in our hearts. God’s first commandment, set forth under the Old Covenant, was: “You shall have no other gods before me” (Exodus 20:3). And Jesus restated that under the New Covenant when He was asked what is the greatest commandment and responded by saying “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’…” (Luke 10:27).
Satan’s greatest desire is to prevent you from giving God all of your heart so he will constantly dangle people, things, and desires in front of you – anything to distract you so he can erect a false god in front of you that you don’t even realize you have. He will try to lure you with a false god like your career, a spouse or love interest, a dream or goal, a hobby or lifestyle. I know many women whose first love is their bodies, so they spend more time in the gym working out than letting God work within. It’s a subtle way of starting to love other things more than God. Some of us love food, money, recreation, our children, a substance, or a “feeling” (like being in love, or feeling energetic) more than God, Himself. Guard your heart by keeping Christ on the throne of your life so Satan doesn’t try to sneak anything else in there.
2. Your worries – to make you doubt God’s love and provision.
Satan wants you stressing, because then you’re not resting in God’s ability to care for you. Women tend to stress over the temporal – bills that must be paid, whether or not a man will come into our lives, if we’ll be able to have a child, what someone is saying about us, how our body looks, and so on. Men tend to stress about their jobs, providing for their families, and whether or not they are “making the cut” in several areas of life. Then there’s health concerns, fears about our aging parents, and other situations that can crowd out God’s peace in our lives and even cause us to begin to blame God for our circumstances.
Don’t let Satan in this door through his tantalizing “what if?” questions and the doubts he weaves through your mind. God instructs us in Philippians 4:6-7 to “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (NASB). Keep praying about your concerns and keep thanking God ahead of time for what He’s about to do, so Satan doesn’t get a stronghold in your mind through your worries and fears.
3. Your everyday thinking – so you’re just like the world.
It’s amazing how many people profess to know God and follow Him, yet their thinking patterns are just like those of anyone else in the world. Satan loves that. He wants you to be so absorbed with the ways of the world that you are clueless about what God’s Word says. He will do this through subtle messages in music lyrics, statements from your favorite celebrity, and words of advice from friends (even friends of yours who are believers, but are quoting “verses” that are not in the Bible). Scripture commands us: “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will know what God wants you to do, and you will know how good and pleasing and perfect his will really is” (Romans 12:2, NLT).
Furthermore, God’s Word instructs: “fix your thoughts on what is true and honorable and right. Think about things that are pure and lovely and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise… and the God of peace will be with you” (Philippians 4:8-9, NLT). But Satan would rather have us in mental anguish by listening to the world, rather than the word of God. Guard your everyday thinking by soaking it in Scripture. It’s the only way to keep Satan and his worldly philosophies from entering in.
4. Your speech – so you tear others apart.
God wants us to be holy mouthpieces for Him – people who heal and help with our words. But Satan would rather have you and me blowing it big time with our mouths. A few critical words here, a few complaints there, some profanity mixed in with a little gossip on the side and we have given him permission to make us people who tear others apart and sound no different (and sometimes worse) than unbelievers. Satan knows we can cause much damage with our mouths if we do not bring them under God’s control. Whether it is gossip, criticism or unkind remarks, our mouths can be instruments of righteousness or unrighteousness.
Close that door to Satan, altogether, by applying God’s instructions in Ephesians 4:29: “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen” (NIV). And 1 Thessalonians 5:18 tells us “in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (NASB). Be a verbally thankful person who speaks only to lift others up, not tear them down. That will diminish and destroy a critical and complaining spirit that gives Satan a stronghold in our lives.
5. Our Bodies — so they no longer glorify God.
Why is it that when people get depressed they overeat or drink excessively or turn to substances? Why is it that young girls will cut their bodies or starve themselves when they are dealing with emotional pain? I believe it’s because Satan will turn us against our bodies if he can, as a way of “getting back at God.” Our bodies are precious to God. Scripture commands us to “Give your bodies to God. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice – the kind he will accept. When you think of what he has done for you, is this too much to ask?” (Romans 12:1, NLT).
Satan knows that God considers our bodies His temple and therefore God wants us to keep our bodies holy, healthy and honoring to Him (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). Scripture says keeping our bodies holy is our “spiritual act of worship” (Romans 12:1, NIV). So because our bodies are holy to God, Satan would love to have us harm them, mutilate them, starve them, and destroy them with substances. Don’t let him in. Not in how you dress. Not in how you see yourself. Not in how you treat yourself. Ask God for a healthy body image and a desire to protect your body so you can serve Him on this earth in it for as long as possible.
So what’s your strategy now that you know the areas where Satan wants to enter your life? God gives us a great defense through Paul’s instructions to the saints in Ephesians 6:11-18: “Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes…” I find it interesting that every piece of “armor” described in that passage refers to the character of Christ. In other words, put on Christ-likeness. Abide in Christ, be clothed in His character and righteousness, and you will fend off the attacks of the enemy.