Busyness and Procrastination Could Be Satan’s Designs

As our local church has flourished, I’ve noticed a particular area of ministry having problems. Those who are involved in leadership in this area don’t go long before busyness and other issues make them ineffective.

It’s not because of the ministry responsibilities or the church staff. Most would say it has nothing to do with church at all – just the cares of life that have swallowed up their time and energy.

But I believe it’s spiritual attack.

And I believe part of the reason this attack has been so successful is that the leaders have not suspected it. To them, it’s just life. It’s just crazy at work. It’s just busy at home.

Satan Plans

2 Corinthians 2:10-11
10Anyone whom you forgive, I also forgive. Indeed, what I have forgiven, if I have forgiven anything, has been for your sake in the presence of Christ, 11so that we would not be outwitted by Satan; for we are not ignorant of his designs.

Paul makes it clear here that Satan has his designs. Satan is not some impersonal force that is oblivious to the lives of humans. No, he is actively plotting and planning. He’s a crafty genius that will utilize any avenue in our lives – any foothold he can get – to damage our relationship with God and to keep us ineffective for the kingdom.

Satan Outwits

And Paul implies it’s possible for us to be outwitted by Satan. Think about that. Paul isn’t speaking about Satan overpowering us. Most often, Satan doesn’t work in our lives by out-muscling us, twisting our arms, or beating us into submission.

He outwits us.

In our modern culture, I think some of Satan’s primary tools are busyness and a general “cooling off” towards spiritual matters.

Satan won’t convince you that reading your bible is bad – just that you don’t have time for it today. He won’t tell you prayer is ineffective – just that you’ll have more time to get around to it tomorrow.

Perhaps it’s serving in the church. Maybe it’s being involved in your family. It could be taking care of your health.

Satan doesn’t need to kill you to take you out of the battle. He just needs to keep you going through the motions.

Not Ignorant of His Designs

So how can we resist Satan’s snares and plans? To be sure, it’s important to be obedient and do the right thing (such as Paul’s admonition to forgive in this passage). But there’s a step that comes even before that: not being ignorant of Satan’s designs.

The first step to being victorious in spiritual attack is realizing that you’re under attack.

And don’t think for a minute that Satan doesn’t know that. Disguising his own handprints on your life is part of his deception – part of how he outwits us.

Take a moment to think about your life and about your struggles. Think about your busyness. Think about your dreams and goals. Think about your failures.

Are you being outwitted?

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  • http://www.arnyslight.wordpress.com Arny

    Sooo Good Loren!…

    He is like a lion ready to devour his prey…

    He waits in the wings and lets you fall in the outwits he’s come up with and finaly…takes you down…

    I stuggle with time managment too…not often…but i do…i would have never thought that could be a weapon of the enemy…

    now, thanks for bringing it to my attention!

    • http://www.lifeofasteward.com Loren Pinilis

      It’s kinda like they used to say in those old GI Joe cartoons: knowing is half the battle.

  • http://www.christianfaithatwork.com Chris Patton

    Loren, you are dead on here. Many choose to scoff at this idea and feel people that talk like this are only making excuses and blaming Satan for their sins.

    That is not the case at all. I do not like to hear it said, “Satan mad me do it,” but I do know that he is an active and destructive force that is very good at his job! Can you imagine how good you could be at your job if you had millennia to perfect it?

    The truth is we are in a spiritual battle whether we realize it or not. We are even at a greater risk of attack when we get proactive about our faith. When we step out onto the battlefield and clearly choose sides with Jesus, Satan puts the bullseye on us. (Psalm 91 is a great encouragement in this area!)

    Anyway, I agree with your first step – realize the attack. Next I think is to seek out accountability partners that will sound the alarm when busyness creeps in!

    • http://www.lifeofasteward.com Loren Pinilis

      Some people can definitely use the reality of spiritual warfare as an excuse to wimp out or as a justification for their sins. But everywhere in scripture, we’re told to fight and to flee from attack – never, ever to give up and back down.
      You’re right about Satan putting a bulls-eye on us when we’re stepping out. The more effective we are for the kingdom, the more we’re a target.

  • http://www.bigb94.wordpress.com Brandon

    So true! Thanks for sharing this today!

    • http://www.lifeofasteward.com Loren Pinilis

      Glad you found it helpful.

  • http://danblackonleadership.info/ Dan Black

    Great points. I have had time when I was dragged down by being busy. When this does happen I take time to pause and step back and see if the things I’m doing are truly things God wants me to do. Then re prioritize my life so it’s focused on the path God wants me to go down. I also think the enemy uses this as a tool to keep God’s people distracted.

    • http://www.lifeofasteward.com Loren Pinilis

      Absolutely. He’ll use anything he can. He’ll keep us running around in circles instead of moving forward.

  • http://www.thedeterminedchristian.com Susan

    Thank you! God bless you! One of the worst ways Satan draws us away from routine is to make us thing that we are the only ones going through the spiritual crisis. It is reassuring to know that others struggle, too. Strength in numbers through prayer will get all of us back on the right track. Thank you, Loren, for convicting me today – I needed it.

    • http://www.lifeofasteward.com Loren Pinilis

      Glad you found it helpful and convicting. And believe me, you’re not alone in being attacked.
      You’ve hit on a wonderful point – the power of prayer. I think I may write about that a little more soon.

  • http://entreprelife.com Alex Humphrey

    Others have said it, but I will too. I totally agree with this. He is a distractor and accuser and he’ll do whatever it takes to get us away from God’s mission.

    Powerful stuff, Loren.

    • http://www.lifeofasteward.com Loren Pinilis

      Glad you enjoyed it, Alex. We need to be wary of his methods.

  • http://www.michaelgholmes.com Michael Holmes

    Do you think he uses our goals as a trap as well? I am curious.

    • http://www.lifeofasteward.com Loren Pinilis

      I might not use the word “trap,” but I think anything done out of selfish desire is wrong and evil. That could be true for goals, plans, visions – or taking it easy and procrastinating.

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