“Back come they at nightfall, like yelping dogs, and prowl about the city; far and wide they will roam in search of their prey, and snarl with rage when they go unfed at last.” (Psa 59:15 Knox)
One of the most eerie things a person can hear when alone in the woods at night is a pack of howling, screaming coyotes. There have been a number of times over the years that I have heard one of these packs yelping nearby when on one of my pre-dawn prayer walks in the woods. In Kentucky, these roaming canine gangs are actually a mixture of coyotes and wild dogs. They overwhelm their victims with a relentless, swarming assault. The very confusion they bring makes their lethal attacks all the more effective.
Such dog packs serve as an apt metaphor for the demonic realm. The activity of unclean spirits can be summed up in three basic categories: allurements, accusations and assaults. Whichever approach they choose, their attacks can be overwhelming and unnerving.
Satan is called “the tempter.” (Matthew 4:3) Enemy agents work in close connection with our flesh to lure us into sin. (Matthew 26:41; James 1:14) Temptations abound in the world around us; every one of them attempting to entice us off the Narrow Path and away from God. The enemy can defeat believers with devastating sins like illicit sexual activity or a number of less consequential sins like unmerciful attitudes. They know their victims’ propensities well and fashion their enticements accordingly.
Once a person has caved in to some temptation (whether it involves a major transgression or a minor sin), the enemy is right there to accuse the person of being a false Christian. Satan is called the “accuser of the brethren” for a reason. (Revelation 12:10) Demons point the finger of condemnation at struggling believers to discourage them in the midst of battle. They know all too well that if they can bury a Christian in despair, they can get him to give up. “What’s the use!” some faltering believers lament. “I can’t live up to these high standards. I might as well throw in the towel!”
The final method these demonic hordes use to defeat believers is to attack them through other people. Throughout the history of the Church there have been periods when the devil has managed to get someone who is fully under his sway into a position of absolute power. Whenever this occurs, the persecution of God’s people is sure to follow. However, this sort of thing happens on a smaller scale in the lives of Christian individuals all the time. Some believers dread going to their jobs because of taunting co-workers or bosses who are hostile to them because of their faith.
And how about you? What kind of plots does the enemy hatch against your faith? How does he tempt you? How does he accuse you? How does he attack you? Ask God to grant you the protection you need against all of his assaults.