My pastor made a general statement (or whole sermon;) and said something to the effect that the more the enemy knows you are in alignment with God the more he tries to knock us off course.

So, more specifically: does Christianity make any distinction, observation, mention, intention or concept that some people (anyone - believer, non-believer) may be pursued by the enemy more than others - and if so what are the conditions, in what way and how?

Thank You .

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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it is an open-ended, hypothetical question and invites opinion. – Dick Harfield Jul 30 '15 at 4:58

Much, nearly all, of the inner workings of the angelic and demonic beings are not disclosed in scripture. However, on this subject there are some things that indicate each individual is not always 'pursued' to the same degree, which by inference must make us conclude each person compared is not 'pursued' equally. The attacks seem proportionate to our faith but weak faith incurs the greater failure under our attacks, so the result of the battle is no indication of its intensity.

I prefer to use the word 'tempted' over 'pursued' as the second could imply running away (but I know that's not what you meant). There are many examples in scripture to prove we are not 'tempted' by the Devil equally every day, but their is an 'evil day' which we must be on guard for in order to 'resist' the Devil, so he will 'flee'.

Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. (Ephesians 6:13, NIV)

Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. (James 4:7, NIV)

On these evil days it is not unreasonable to assume more powerful temptations, more powerful demons, will be used in the attack. Naturally the stronger faith of the believer the greater the temptation that is required to establish an assault not so easily shrugged off. We can see this in the life of Christ. The Devil did not send just some weaker demon to tempt him, the Devil personally tempted Christ and took great interest in his every move. He was also interested in the twelve, wanting personally to 'sift' Peter (Luke 22:21) and 'posses' Judas. (John 13:27)

However in this conclusion we must not think, 'those poor strong Christians have a bigger fight' and therefore can engage in excuses for their failures and have a self-pity party as though others are not equally struggling. For since each God is infinite in power the Devil can't lift a finger against anyone without a kind of permission so that God ensures:

No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it. (1 Corinthians 10:13, NIV)

Also since we are only drawn into sin because of our own lusts under any given temptation, if we fall the failures is ours and ours alone.

Since God determines what measure of temptation is best for the refining of our faith and increasing of our strength (Col 1:11, Rom 5:4), in some ways the Devil's depth of 'temptation' becomes irrelevant and we may not notice his attacks have gained in strength because God is making us stronger from our previous vexing and struggles.


This idea is actually grounded in Scripture. Luke records an interesting incident in Acts 19, wherein the "sons of Sceva" attempted to cast out demons in the Jesus' name. The sons of Sceva, however, really didn't know what they were doing, and it goes horribly wrong. As the demons are about to pounce on them, they say:

15 But the evil spirit answered them, “Jesus I know, and Paul I recognize, but who are you?” 16 And the man in whom was the evil spirit leaped on them, mastered all of them and overpowered them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded.

The implication here is that the demons knew of Paul, and at least respected him. (It's like the classic Jewish response to being the "Chosen people," saying "God, why do you have to keep picking on us!")

Several incidents in Paul's life reflected this special attention he received - In 1 Thessalonians 2:18, Paul expresses a desire to go Thessalonki, but was prevented. He writes:

For we wanted to come to you--certainly I, Paul, did, again and again--but Satan stopped us.

The point is, that yes, effective ministers of the Gospel do receive undue attention from "the enemy," but that is nothing to be feared. After all, we know that Jesus has already won the battle - anything Satan throws is just a delaying tactic.

  • and what about the relativity of "attack" in the context of all unbelievers - i.e. one unbeliever has more "attacks" from the enemy than another unbeliever? – Greg McNulty Jan 25 '13 at 23:28

Satan has been condemned! He wants to take as many with him as possible just out of spite. He is a great example of beautiful on the outside but not inwardly. Although, we get the idea that the outside has caught up wiuth the inner quality. That free will gets you at times. Too bad for Satan. Let us hope we all fair out better.

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