Whereunto I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles. For the which cause I also suffer these things….
— 2 Timothy 1:11,12
What triggers demonic attacks against you, your dream, your vision, your calling, your business, your family, your church, or your ministry? What makes the devil so upset that he rises up to resist you and your efforts? If God chose you, why are you experiencing so many hassles and difficulties along the way to your goal of fulfilling all He has called you to do?
In Second Timothy 1:11 and 12, Paul gives us incredible insight into what triggers a demonic attack. He says, “Whereunto I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles. For the which cause I also suffer these things.…” In this verse, Paul writes about his specific calling in the Body of Christ. He affirms to us that he is called and appointed to be a preacher, an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles. Then notice that he immediately follows by saying, “For the which cause I also suffer these things…” (2 Timothy 1:12).
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The word “suffer” is the Greek word pascho, and first and foremost it means to suffer as a result of outside forces or outside circumstances. It could include physical suffering due to persecution; mental suffering due to outside pressures; financial suffering due to monetary hardships; or any inconvenience that stems from something outside of oneself or outside of one’s control. Thus, the word pascho would depict any suffering or inconvenience due to forces beyond oneself.
When Paul wrote this verse, he used a tense in the Greek that lets us know he was experiencing these inconveniences at the very moment he was writing this epistle. At that time, Paul was in Rome, sitting in a prison cell, awaiting his own execution, and being accused of crimes that he had not committed. Because Satan couldn’t find a way to personally destroy Paul, the enemy was manipulating outside forces against Paul and his ministry. The apostle’s situation had been created by outside pressures that had nothing to do with himself but that the devil had orchestrated to use against him.
Satan was terrified of Paul’s calling! The reason Paul was recurrently attacked is that the devil was fearful of the enormous progress Paul would make if he didn’t face opposition. Paul let us know that his anointing, his calling, and his potential were the factors that triggered these demonic attacks. It’s almost as though Paul was saying, “Do you want to know why I’ve suffered so many crazy things during the course of my ministry? Because I am appointed a preacher, an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles.”
You see, Satan was scared stiff of what would happen if Paul operated 100 percent in his call. How much would he be able to accomplish if he had no resistance? If Paul was able to do the incredible things he did for God’s Kingdom in the face of such opposition, what kind of Gospel advancements would he make if there was no opposition? This thought was so chilling to the devil that he threw every possible obstacle in Paul’s path to slow him down, to discredit him, to destroy his friendships, and, if possible, to even kill him. Satan hated the call on Paul’s life.
The reason Paul was never defeated by these attacks is that he had made a decision. He decided he would not stop or give up until he had apprehended that for which Christ Jesus had apprehended him (Philippians 3:12). Likewise, the only way you’ll be able to resist the devil’s attacks and successfully achieve all God has called you to do is by determining never to stop until you have accomplished your divine assignment. Jesus taught that those who “endure to the end” are the ones who will receive the prize (Matthew 24:13).
If you want to overcome all the attacks the devil tries to wage against you through outside forces, you will have to be determined to outlast every attack! Determination is a key factor in finishing one’s race of faith.
Of course, no one can successfully resist the devil’s attacks without the power of the Holy Spirit, but neither is the power of the Holy Spirit enough by itself. For that power to be effective, it must work in a committed person. God’s power works in people who have resolve. It works proficiently through people who have decided they will never turn back until the assignment is finished. God delights in using people who are steadfast and unmoving in their conviction, tenacious and diehard in their commitment. He takes pleasure in those who have stamina, spunk, and a dogged determination to hold on to the vision He put in their hearts.
The most common reason people don’t make it all the way to the end is that they weren’t totally committed to completing the task assigned to them. Maybe they tried it or gave it a shot, but their commitment wasn’t strong enough, and that’s why they didn’t make it.
There are many things Satan can do to try to elbow us out of the race, but the only one who can decide to quit is you or me. Satan can’t make us quit. That choice lies in our hands alone.
If you make the decision to stay in faith and “slug it out” with the power of God at your side, you can do exactly what God called you to do. But you must begin with a rock-solid, hard-core decision to do it, do it, and keep doing it until it’s done. Make any lesser choice, and you will never fulfill your God-given purpose.
My Prayer for Today
Lord, help me stay focused on my calling and remain determined to do what You’ve told me to do, even if I am assaulted by outside forces that seem to be beyond my control. I know the devil hopes to slow me down or even to stop me by orchestrating outside pressures to come against me. But I also know that Your Spirit works mightily in me, giving me all the power I need to resist every assault the devil tries to bring against me. Help me to be completely determined and committed to keep pushing ahead and to never let go until I’ve accomplished my God-given mission!
I pray this in Jesus’ name!
My Confession for Today
I boldly confess that I will not stop or give up until I have apprehended that for which Christ Jesus apprehended me! I will resist the devil’s attacks and successfully achieve all God has called me to do, for I have determined that I will never stop until I have finished the task. I have the stamina, spunk, and doggedness it takes to get the job done. I have made the decision to stay in faith and slug it out with the power of God at my side. I can and will do exactly what God called me to do!
I declare this by faith in Jesus’ name!
Questions to Answer
1. What are the outside forces that Satan has tried to use to hinder you? Has it been your health, your job, your children, your family, your finances? What is the one thing Satan seems to use repeatedly as he tries to resist you?
2. When you are aware that the devil is trying to use events, circumstances, or people to slow you down or to distract you from your calling, how do you respond to these attacks? What steps do you take to overcome them and to stay on track?
3. Do you seek the strength and counsel of other believers when these attacks occur, or do you usually slug it out silently on your own? Judging by the outcome when you go through these difficult times alone, do you think you need to seek the strength and counsel of others more often?