Troublesome Topic: Satan Is Threatened by You!

First, a Couple True Stories

At first glance the stories I am about to share may seem out of place, so I ask you to hang on with me for just a moment, then I will pull it all together.

While I was playing soccer in High School I remember one time, just one, when I learned that one of the opposing players had been sent into the game with instructions to take me out, i.e. to injure me so that I could not continue playing. In soccer, injuring someone that severely usually draws a red card from the referee, which means the player committing the flagrant foul is ejected from the game and his coach cannot replace him; the team plays the rest of the game one man short. When an opposing player is a serious threat, some coaches consider it worth it to play one man short in order to have that player “removed” from the field.

The player that was sent in to take me out was not well trained in the sadistic art of injuring people, and he did not succeed. But I noticed he kept kicking at my knees instead of the ball. My coach yelled at the refs numerous times even though I had never heard him yell at the refs before, and I avoided that guy as much as I could.

Upon hearing confirmation that the opposing player had been told to take me out of the game, my first response was, “I don’t like that; I hope that never happens to me again.” But my second response was, “Wow! You mean I was really that much of a threat? Cool!” (The pain itself is not cool but the realization is cool.) I knew I was not the most talented player on that field that day, but I must have been doing a good enough job of playing defense that the other coach wanted me removed from the game even if it cost them a red card.

Here is my second story.

My son used to milk cows with a young man who talked hatefully against basketball player Lebron James. He would say things like, “LeBron stinks; he’s no good,” etc. One night Benjamin’s co-worker said, “I wish someone would break Lebron’s legs.” Benjamin challenged him right away on his faulty logic. He said, “If LeBron James is no good then he is no threat to your favorite team, so why do you wish someone would break his legs? By wishing someone would break his legs you are admitting he is good and is indeed a threat.”

Put my story about soccer and the conversation about LeBron James on hold for a moment. I will come back to them shortly.

Satan Is Threatened by You!

Satan beats you down because he is afraid of what you might become if you get up!

You may never have thought about the possibility that Satan is afraid of you, or at least afraid of what you might become. But I am convinced that Satan keeps beating you down precisely because he is very much afraid of what you might become.

The intensity with which Satan attacks you demonstrates how dangerous you can be against him! The more Satan attacks you and beats on you, the more afraid of you he is.

Satan tears you down, God builds you up. In Jeremiah 24:6 God said, “I will build them up, not tear them down.” If Satan is the one tearing you down, why are you helping him? If God is working to build you up, why are you opposing Him by cutting yourself down?

Is there any Scriptural support for the idea that Satan is threatened by us? There are a few hints of support.

Consider the conversation Jesus had with Peter as recorded in Lk 22:31-34.

Luke 22:31


SIMON, SIMON, Watch out! SATAN demanded to sift all of you like wheat.


“YOU WHO HEAR, Yes, YOU WHO PAY ATTENTION, Watch out! GOD’S ADVERSARY has requested, no, has demanded to shake all of you roughly to prove that you are nothing but trash, because that’s what he thinks you are (but I know you are a valuable commodity).

Luke 22:32


But I have prayed for you, that your faith will not cease, and when you have returned, strengthen your brothers.”


But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith will not die out, but rather, when you have come back to where you belong, strengthen the faith of your brothers and sisters.”

Luke 22:33


And he said to Him, “LORD, I am ready either to go to prison or to death with you.”


In response Simon Peter said to Jesus, “O SUPREME RULER, I am prepared to suffer for you, I am even prepared to die for you.”

Luke 22:34


Then He said, “I tell you, PETER,

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I tell you, the rooster will not crow today

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until you have denied knowing me three times.”

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Then Jesus replied, “YOU WHO ARE SOLID AS A ROCK, let me tell you something. I assure you that the rooster will not crow even once as this next morning comes before you have denied knowing me three times.”

I want you to notice some things from this passage.

1. When Jesus was giving Simon Peter a warning, he used the name Simon, which means “the one who hears or listens.” In the Jewish mind, to listen implied obeying what was said.

2. The words of Jesus indicate that Satan wanted to shake up all the disciples, but especially Peter, and prove he was nothing but trash. That is how Satan sees us; but God sees our value and our potential because He placed them within us.

3. Satan wanted to get at Peter when he was still the old Peter, before he was transformed on the day of Pentecost. When this incident happened Peter was still overconfident, self-centered, and sometimes explosive; he was driven by his overblown personality, not by the Spirit of God. But Satan saw something in Peter that scared him. He was not looking at the present, but at the possibilities for the future. He knew that if Peter ever became a spiritually sound leader, he could do Satan some serious damage. That’s why he wanted to get at Peter when he was spiritually weak; he did not want to wait until Peter was spiritually strong.

4. Peter did not realize how weak he was. He was shocked when Jesus said that he would deny Jesus three times. He thought it was impossible. But only hours later he did just that. We could say that Satan did get at Peter and Satan won that battle. But Peter did not let Satan win the entire war, and after Pentecost Peter looked like a totally different person.

5. Even as Jesus was predicting that Peter would fall for the temptation of the Devil and deny that he knew Jesus, Jesus was calling him a “rock.” He was calling Peter to live up to his name, and He was telling Peter, “Whatever happens, I believe in you. I know you can live up to your name and be as solid as a rock.”

Satan may not be afraid of who and what you are right now, but he knows that if you get on fire for God you could become a mighty warrior for God, and Satan does not want that to happen. He would rather keep you weak, discouraged, bruised and lacking confidence, than deal with you when you become strong.

Satan beats on you because he is trying to take you out of the game. Like my story about soccer mentioned above, or the conversation about LeBron James, Satan kicks you in the knees or tries to break your leg in order to get you out of the game. It is therefore logical that if Satan is trying to take you out of the game, he sees you as a threat.

Yes, Satan hates anything connected to God, but if hate were the only motivation, his attacks on humans would be evenly distributed. The fact that Satan seems to attack some people more often and with more ferocity than others implies that he is not only motivated by hate, but also by fear. He is afraid of what that person might become. He sees something in that person that scares him just like he saw something in Peter that scared him, even when Peter looked like an oaf to the humans around him.

For people going through the motions of what I call “churchianity,” Satan is happy to leave them in their apathy. He does not want to wake them from their spiritual slumber. But if you are honestly trying, although imperfectly, to get closer to God, Satan will try to take you out by whatever means he can. Consider it a backhanded compliment that Satan fears you that much. You don’t have to like it, but understand that it is because of your great potential that Satan beats on you. Satan’s repeated beating on you does not prove your weakness, it proves your potential!

When I see people that Satan seems to be hitting from every side and at every turn, it occurs to me that Satan must really be afraid of that person. The person being pounded on does not see it that way; he is only trying to keep his head above water and survive another day. So he may need someone else to articulate this truth to him: The reason Satan tries to knock you down, kick you around, pound you to a pulp, chew you up and spit you out is that he is afraid of what you might become!

From God or from Satan?

It does not matter whether our difficulties come directly from God, or from life, or if God allows Satan to attack us; our response should be the same. When things have been especially tough and you have heard the negative messages of the enemy coming non-stop and at full volume, do the following:

  1. Keep in mind that God wants to use each difficulty for your strengthening, but Satan will try to use it as a megaphone for his negative messages. Satan can turn anything into a negative message; God can turn anything into an invitation.
  2. Remind yourself that this difficulty might be because Satan is afraid of what you might become.
  3. Do not let this truth become a source of pride, but allow it to encourage you.
  4. Then determine to get closer to God and live 100% for God. In this way you can make Satan’s worst fears about you come true

Picking a Fight with Satan

In order to be honest I need to address a question you probably already know the answer to.

When we get on fire for God, will Satan leave us alone, or ramp up his attacks? Ya, he’s gonna increase his attacks.

So, some of you are thinking, “I don’t think I want to pick a fight with Satan. That doesn’t sound like a good idea.”

While I understand your sentiment, I need to remind you of a few things.

1. You will be miserable in any condition other than fully committed to God.

2. Satan will beat on you no matter what.

3. I Jn 4:4 says: “Greater is the one that is in you than the one that is in the world”

Yes, you can avoid intensified attacks from the Devil by not seeking all that God has to offer you, but you’re going to be miserable.

So why not go all out? Go for it! Seek God with all your being because “Greater is the one that is in you than the one that is in the world.” We know who wins! We don’t need to live in fear of Satan! So don’t worry about making him mad, our bodyguard is way bigger than he is.

So I repeat, Satan is threatened by you; he is afraid of what you might become if you really got on fire for God.

I say, let’s make Satan’s worst nightmare about us come true!

The next lesson is Satan Uses Our Conscience against Us



Notice that Jesus calls him Peter, which means “the rock”, rather by his more common name, Simon, which means “heard by God.” Sometimes both names were used together. However, here it is only the name that points to strength. Even while Jesus was telling Peter that he would fail miserably, Jesus was telling him that he had strength; he would not be known for his failures but for his strength. Therefore he should not let guilt overcome him, but move on to live in strength.


Their day started at sundown and went till the next Sundown. Since this was already after sunset, it was the same day as the morning would be, thus “today” in this case is the same as “tomorrow morning” would be for us.


I include this verse to show the context for the following verses. Luke is the only one of the Gospel writers to mention Jesus’ comments about the sword on this occasion. I want you to see that Jesus brings up the issue of whether or not to take a sword with them; it is not a direct response to something that the disciples said or asked. It may be an indirect reference to their arguing earlier, but Jesus decided to bring it up in order to emphasize something.