Satan is bent on dragging our children to the place of eternal destruction. As such, he uses all arsenals at his disposal to make sure that he captures them early in life, so that when they are grown up they would have been enslaved and imprisoned by him (Satan). Our children are God’s heritage. They belong to God but can be accessed by the “thief” if they are not given or introduced to God as their Father through Jesus Christ. We must never assume that they have been given to God if they have never consciously believed and accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour. In John 10:10, Jesus Christ called the Devil the “thief” whose plan is always to steal, kill and destroy, obviously what is not his.
The devil, who is very cunning, is also known as the deceiver. He comes subtly to kill and destroy. The best way to defeat an enemy is to know their strategy, schemes and tricks. The devil uses so many strategies to destroy our children if we let him. One of the potent weapons he uses is temptation. The book of James 1:14 defines temptation as ‘the pull of man’s own evil thought and wishes’ … when one is drawn away of his own lust and is enticed. The key word for me is lust. Satan usually shows us temporal, unreal fantasies every day in order to distract and disarm us like he did to Eve in the Garden of Eden. Satan is known as the Tempter according to Matthew 4:3. Satan’s temptations come in three forms: the lust of the eyes (covetousness/greed, worldliness or worldly passion), the lust of the flesh (thirst, hunger or cravings for worldly things) and the pride of life (quest for power, fame, and vain glory). Whenever we fall into temptation, we sin against God and fall short of his glory. The devil uses our lust against us in several ways. Below are some strategies of the devil against our children.
- Love for worldly things: “Stop loving this evil world and all that it offers you, for when you love these things you show that you do not really love God; for all these worldly things, these evil desires – the craze for sex, the ambition to buy everything that appeals to you, and the pride that comes from the wealth and importance – these are not from God. They are from this evil world itself. And this world is fading away, and these evil, forbidden things will go with it, but whoever keep doing the will of God will live forever.” – 1 John 2:15 – 17, LB.
The devil often makes our children hate God and the things of God while he crowds their hearts with the love for other things like gambling, partying, pleasure, money, friends, drunkenness, cultism, fashion, etc. The devil subtly introduces these to our children in order to hinder them from pursuing God who is the rightful owner of their lives. Satan comes to possess, obsess and manipulate our children, making them have strong love for darkness and this world rather than for God.
The Books of Deuteronomy 6:5 and Matthew 22:37 – 40 describe the greatest commandment of God as loving the Lord with all our heart, soul and mind as well as our neighbour as ourselves. This will aid us to keep every other commandment. But the reverse is the case today because most of our children now focus on loving themselves alone. The internet for instance is one thing that many childrenare devoted to. Instead of using it to advance the kingdom of God, they use it to promote worldliness, fashion, immorality, deceit, jokes or comedy. Many have been caught in the web of pornography, clubbing/partying, drunkenness and other addictions because of this.
- Lies and Deceit: The devil, also known as the father of all liars usually deceives our children to believe that they still have time to make adjustments and serve God. He (Satan) has succeeded in turning the hearts of many to believe that being born again ought to be for the elderly and aged people or people who want to suffer all their lives and be poor. You will hear some say “I don’t want to follow Jesus too much, because I have my plans”, “I want to enjoy life”, “I don’t want to suffer”. They believe that following Jesus will delay or hinder their lives from being fulfilled. The Bible says what shall it profit a man if he gains the whole world but loses his soul? (Matt. 16:26, Mark 8:36). God has enriched us with Heavenly treasures that are eternal. This world is passing away, fashion, worldly lifestyle and trends are changing everyday (1Cor. 7:31, 1John. 2:17).
- Rebellion/Disobedience: Some of our children lack the Word of God; they have little or no knowledge of the Word of God, so they are prone to disobey God. Psalm 119:11 says “Your word have I hidden in my heart that I may not sin against thee.” Psalm 119:101 says “I have refrained my feet from evil ways that I might keep your word” (LB). Some of them actually hear the Word of God, but do not believe it and so it does not profit them. If we believe, we will obey. Others are not yoked to Christ in discipleship – a commitment to following the Lord Jesus and his Word, therefore, they are swept away by peer pressure and worldliness.
- Fear and Shame: Our children usually want to know all that belongs to them. Since possessing Jesus Christ doesn’t immediately bring a tangible physical crown that appears on the head, the fear of not possessing anything and losing everything exists. Also, the shame of name calling by the world, such as “Holy Mary” “SU” etc. and identifying and remaining with the things that are ‘foolish’, uncommon, trending or in vogue according to the world. This is part of Satan’s strategy to deceive our children to hell. The things that are real and eternal are invisible (2 Corinthians 4:18). Humans are naturally attracted to and can easily worship things that they can see. God is a Spirit and He is real. He is the same yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8). He is still trending.
- Thoughts: The devil uses our evil imagination, worries, anxieties and unbelief as strategies against us and our children (Mark 7:20, Matthew 6:25-34). The devil makes us to believe that God will be slow to act to provide our needs, so we begin to worry about how we will provide and fend for ourselves through dubious and deceitful ways. God is our father and we are his responsibility.
Other strategies of the devil against our children include; lukewarmness, prayerlessness, a casual (“I don’t care”) attitude, self-sufficiency and dependence on the arm of flesh, poor self-image and identity in Christ, lack of fellowship and union with the Holy Spirit, wrong use of time, peer pressure amongst others.
How do we snatch our Children back from the hands of the devil?
Here are some Biblical solutions to defeat the strategies of hell against our children:
- Introduce them to Jesus Christ Early: In Mark 10:14 Jesus said “Let the little children come to me for such is the Kingdom of Heaven”. Don’t say they are too young to know Jesus. They must know Jesus as their personal Lord and Saviour and seek to follow Him. Never think that they are too small to understand Spiritual things, because they are not innocent in committing evil against God. During the days of Noah, when God destroyed the whole world with flood He didn’t spare any child, only the children of Noah who was a just man; in the days of Sodom and Gomorrah all the children of Sodom were burnt by fire except the children of Lot. God expects that if we are upright in following Him, our children should follow suit or they will be condemned and rejected on the last day. Let our children recognize that possessing Jesus Christ is worth more than anything in the world. Our children belong to God and they must know it (Psalm 127:3, 8:2 Matthew 21:15:16).
- Teach them to study, believe and obey the Word of God: John 8:31 KJV “If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed.” – John 8:31.
- Encourage them to be yoked with Christ in Discipleship: In following Jesus, there is no turning back. No one who has put his hand on the plough and looks back is fit for the Kingdom (Luke 9:62, Matthew 11:28-30).
- Teach them to Endure Hardship: Our children must never be like Esau who traded his birthright for food. They must learn to endure hunger, persecution and shame. Jesus Christ endured pain and despised shame. They called Him names too, but for the joy set before him in Heaven, he endured (2Timothy 4:5, 2Timothy 2:3-5).
- Let them know their Enemy: Our enemy is the “Thief” and the “World” (James 4:4). The battle line has been drawn from Genesis. We must encourage our children to always be on the Lord’s side, against the devil, bruising the head of the serpent. Never open the door of your heart to the thief, don’t befriend the enemy like Samson!
- Teach your Children never to copy the World’s Standards: Be a good example to your children in words and deeds (Romans 12:1-2).
- Teach them to rely on the Holy Spirit: It is not by power, nor by might but by God’s Spirit and Grace. Always walk in the spirit and you will not gratify the lust of the flesh.
- Teach them to be devoted to God and His word
- Encourage them to guard their Heart with all Diligence and submit it to God: We must renew our minds daily with the word of God. Think on whatever things are pure, lovely, honorable and of good report.
May God help us and give us the grace to frustrate the strategies of hell against our Children in Jesus’ name.