When we are working on serving God and developing an effective ministry for Him, Satan often attacks – that much is common knowledge for Christians in ministry. But when Satan attacks us like this, sometimes he only attacks us as long as we are going to be less productive with the attack than without it – or when our faith in God will be harmed by the attack.
However, there comes a point when the servant of God must learn of his Father’s character, and must learn to emulate it. If God is able to take the greatest tragedy that has ever happened on earth and turn it for the redemption of mankind, then why should the servant not turn the attacks of Satan into opportunities for serving God, gaining a deeper, experiential insight into God’s heart and mind, and learning obedience to God?
I don’t think that Satan can always attack forever – not personally, not directly. Because the truest servant of God, who most fully mirrors his Maker’s nature, who most fully embraces the Imago Dei – this servant must turn evil to good, and must make use of every attack of the enemy, and must do this so effectively as to take the sting out of even death itself. What can Satan gain from attacking such a person directly? The enemy will, in the end, leave and seek a more “opportune time.”
And that is why it is written, “resist the devil and he will flee.” Submission and drawing near to God doesn’t always protect us from the attacks of Satan, but in a sense it does something better: God draws near to us and we are empowered to use even the worst attacks Satan sends our way to glorify God. It is consequently not only glorifying to God but essential to us that we work extra hard in the times when we are most under attack or disappointed to use the character and wisdom of Jesus, who is the Author and Perfecter of our faith.
Are you using the attacks of Satan as fuel for glorifying God? Or are you letting them weaken your faith in Him? Remember: “This test of your faith will last as long as it takes to pass.” (That was Petra, not scripture, by the way.) Maybe God is allowing you to undergo trials until you learn to defend against them by turning them for good and for His glory.