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Does Satan ever prompt us to pray or evangelize?

It took me a while to recognize that the enemy was prompting me to pray, or talk about God, at inappropriate times. I thought it’s always good to pray more, right? But if I prayed for the leaders of every country, every day. I wouldn’t have time to do anything else, not to mention I have other things to pray for. It’s the same thing with evangelism, there are over 7 billion people in the world, and some people need hours of time to tell them about Jesus. If I tried to talk to everyone, I would have no time to pray, or read the bible… Even if I did manage to find time to pray for all the leaders of every country every day, and evangelize to 7 billion people, I shouldn’t expect God to bless my efforts. God promised that his word would never return void, but the scripture is the living word of God, it only divides bone and marrow, if God is involved. We can’t force anyone to believe in God, because everything we tell them is spiritually discerned,¹ it won’t have any effect unless it’s God’s will. It’s the same with prayer. God promised to do whatever we ask in his name, but he said many of our prayers aren’t answered because we aren’t praying according to his will.² Apart from God we can do nothing. God said he prepared good works in advance for us to do.³ But if we don’t do his works, we shouldn’t expect any results. If God is prompting us to evangelize more the enemy might prompt us to stay home, or in my case to over-evangelize.

I first recognized this when I was evangelizing 3 nights a week. On my way home from a long night of evangelizing, I would see people smoking or walking on a sidewalk, and I felt guilty if I didn’t stop to tell them about Jesus. I knew the scripture said, if we know the good we ought to do, but don’t do it, we sin. I reasoned that this guilty nagging can’t be the enemy, because he would never chance a spiritual seed being planted, and I sure didn’t want to disobey God. I didn’t realize that the enemy was trying to wear me out and exasperate me. God only equips us to do his will. The enemy was safe to prompt me to evangelize, for several reasons. The whole world is in the power of the enemy, and unless God calls someone, they can’t come to him and God doesn’t call someone until it’s his timing. Even Jesus didn’t start his public ministry until he was about 30 years old.⁴These truths were like spiritual glasses. Now I could see that it wasn’t the Holy Spirit convicting me, but the enemy in a Holy Spirit costume. Since this lesson I’m much more cautious, at what I commit my time and energy to.

① 1 Corinthians 2:14    ② James 4:3    ③ Ephesians 2:10    ④ Luke 3:23

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