Satan’s First Attack
“Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil” (Matt.4:1)
Because we have broken ranks with sin and the world and enlisted in the army of Jesus Christ is by no means a sign that Satan will never annoy us again. Every newly converted soul may well be on the lookout for a rude attack from the subtle foe the first few days after he is converted. It is true, however, that Satan may defer this attack longer with some than others; this, of course, depends largely upon the length of the “joy period” and also the convert’s knowledge of the Holy Scriptures.
In the following lines will be found some of the ways in which Satan rudely attacks newly converted souls with the sincere hope of getting them back into sin.
After they have come home from the meeting and the tide of their new-found joy has subsided Satan will set in to make them doubt away their conversion by whispering the following suggestions in their ears: You did not get the true religion, for it did not come on the same order as when your parents were converted or the minister or some old acquaintance. Hence, at this point, many give ear to his deceptive lies and commence comparing their blessing with that of the preacher or some other well-established Christian, and, on finding it somewhat different, they yield to doubt and get into darkness. Oftentimes, after souls have received a wonderful blessing at the altar, Satan will try to make them believe it was only excitement.
If he falls in overthrowing the convert here he will frankly admit that he did get the true religion but, in the meantime, will try to make him believe that it should keep him overflowing with joy and praise every day of his life.
Therefore, after he has succeeded in getting him to accept this false idea, he will then bring upon him a storm of pressure and heaviness. This, of course, being such a new and strange experience and so vastly different from that which Satan had caused him to accept, might well upset his faith and force him to the conclusion that he has lost his religion which, of course, was not true but one of Satan’s lies.
If Satan fails in this attempt his next effort will be to the convert by saying that he will not be able to hold out. He, in the meantime, will point out several people who once professed Christianity but soon turned from the way. He will also argue that it is not strictly necessary to bother with Christianity anyway until near the close of one’s life.
If he fails to accomplish his purpose here his next advice is not to become too religious. He argues that there is no need of praying, reading the Bible and going to church so much; neither is it strictly necessary for one to renounce the cards, the dance, the theater and old associates, to be a Christian.
He is like Pharaoh who insisted that if Moses and the Israelites must go out of Egypt to serve God, they were not to go very far away.