God uses storms to achieve HIS purposes.

At the SAME TIME, it is also important to understand what Satan hopes to accomplish as we go through storms in our lives.

Here are 5 ways Satan seeks to defeat you:

AYour heart – so it’s not God’s alone.

Satan knows storms can be an entry point into your life … if God is not first in our hearts. Many believers … many Christians’ … first reaction to a storm in life is to doubt God’s Divine purposes for our storms.

We blame God. We say He doesn’t love us. We say He is unfair to us. We don’t wait upon the Lord … we start looking around for our own solution to the problems causing the storm.

God’s first commandment, set forth under the Old Testament, was: “You shall have no other gods before me” (Exodus 20:3).

Jesus restated that Commandment 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 and he watches you pass through the storms of life looking for an opportunity to gain access to your heart.

BYour worries – to make you doubt God’s love and provision.

Satan senses and seeks to manipulate your “stresses.” Sadly, it is true that the Christian often starts to “worry” at the first sign of a “storm.” The human “what-ifs” are the weaknesses Satan looks for as his point of access into your heart and life.

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.

CYour 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 – sometimes 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. Your speech – so you tear others apart.

DIn your language and everyday speech.

God wants us to be “Witnesses” (holy mouthpieces for Him) – people who heal and help with both our words and His.

But Satan would much rather have us getting angry and blowing it big time with our mouths. We speak a few critical words here, and a few complaints there … a little profanity mixed in with a little gossip on the side and we have opened the door for Satan! He hears our words too.

Satan knows we can cause a lot of 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 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 access in our lives.

EOur Bodies – so they no longer glorify God.

Creation was God’s BEGINNING for your life … He didn’t just create you and leave you to wander through life fending for yourself. He created you in “His likeness” and for His glory.

How you treat your body says a lot about your relationship to God … visibly to others … including Satan

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 for as long as possible.

The storms of life are totally effective in fulfilling God’s purposes. God desires that we should withstand and be victorious over the storms brought on by Satan or Ourselves.

Over the next few lessons, let’s think more about the 3 types of Storms we experience in life.

I’m giving you a copy of my notes today so you can look at the reasons for storms in your life … and see both God’s Will and purposes as well as your Good.

Let us also remind ourselves how Satan tempts us … and may we stay vigilant in how we live.

And how we can and stay close to God … read His Word daily … pray often … and pray for each other … that our lives will be a shining example of the Christian’s life in a very sick world.