Could be Satan. “And they brought him (Jesus) all the sick, those afflicted with various diseases and pains, those oppressed by demons…and he healed them” (Matthew 4:24). Satan has four devious ways to come against us. Has he been using some of them with you lately?
TEMPTATION (luring us to sin)
He tempted Jesus–and failed. Satan tries to defeat us by speaking to us. If we listen to his bad ideas, we come under his rule. He often comes when we are weak. He gave Jesus three ideas to start his ministry with a bang, but Jesus refused him. Sometimes we give in.
ACCUSATION (to bring guilt and shame)
Satan was bold to accuse Job right to God’s face. He is called “the accuser of the brethren,” because he accuses the Lord’s people day and night (Rev. 12:10), like a prosecuting attorney going after a defendant. The high priest Joshua knew firsthand of Satan’s accusations. Satan knows that some Christians will either try to defend themselves or give in and feel condemned. Often Satan’s accusation has a tad of truth to make it stick. God has provided us with a defense attorney (I John 2:1), so we don’t “fall into the condemnation of the devil” (I Tim. 3:6). Staying close to him gives us confidence that “there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1).
INTIMIDATION (to create fear and doubt)
“Do not be afraid” is a common exhortation in the Bible, because we easily give in to fear. Satan knows it and uses scare tactics. We are not dealing with raw power but with schemes. Peter was intimidated by a servant-girl and denied Christ. We are told to “resist him, firm in our faith” (I Peter 5:9). “Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might…deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery” (Heb. 2:14,15). Fear brings bondage. Is Satan doing that with you?
DECEPTION (to pull us from truth to lies)
Jesus says that “there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies” (John 8:44). He is so deceptive that he will present to the world the most beastly character ever, and this tyrant will be followed: “Men worshiped the dragon (Satan), for he had given his authority to the beast (the antichrist), and they worshiped the beast, saying, ‘Who is like the beast, and who can fight against it?’” (Rev. 13:4). Jesus said that in the end times Satan “will lead many astray” (Matt. 24:5). Because the heart of humanity is “deceitful above all things” (Jer. 16:9), and because sin is deceitful (Heb. 3:13), we are in the habit of being deceived and deceiving ourselves (I John 1:8). Judas was deceived, then destroyed by the devil. Satan “deceived Eve by his cunning” (2 Cor. 11:3), and the fallout of that sin is universal. Demons have power to perform miracles that deceive people (Rev. 18:2). My suggestion–resist him, strong in your faith. We are in a war, not on a picnic!