Satan works on the human heart in order to keep us away from salvation.
Second Corinthians 4 demonstrates the intentional and active involvement of spiritual forces, “The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.”
Satan works in two main ways. First, he does all to keep people from salvation, joining forces with the world, which he energizes, and the flesh, which he tempts, to keep eyes off the excellences of knowing Jesus Christ.
But if he cannot keep a soul in bondage away from grace, he then tries to keep a person away from enjoying the grace of Christ.
And a main way he does that is to disturb a person’s spiritual joy by perplexing the heart with doubts about salvation. If he cannot keep a person from salvation, he’ll do all to keep them from thinking they have it.
Now, there is a real and holy fear that must be welcomed. It is the kind of turmoil that comes when God first convicts a person’s conscience about his or her sinfulness. A healthy despair comes when one feels the reality of God’s wrath and displeasure, especially when mixed with a sense of one’s own inability to do anything to satisfy and appease God.
The Bible is full of examples of people caught up in anguish over their sin. Peter grieved after realizing his betrayal of Jesus when asked about their relationship. Paul was struck to the heart when he faced the reality of his sin. And the Philippian jailor cried out for deliverance.
Such fear is good and often comes in order to humble the heart and cause a person to seek salvation in Jesus Christ.
In God’s order of working, He sends first the spirit of bondage to fear, before he sends the spirit of adoption to enable a man to cry, Abba, Father.
This fear, and trouble of conscience that arises from it, is good and leads the way to true peace.
Next time, we’ll talk about another type of healthy fear. But before we do, let me ask this:
Do you see the awfulness of your condition without Jesus Christ? Do you think a holy God will blink at your behavior and let that pass without calling you to account for your neglect of Him and disobedience?
I urge you to give your full attention to this. Don’t rest until your heart comes to fear judgment, and then comes to rest in the freedom of forgiveness through the judgment Jesus Christ bore on the cross.
In order to assist you with understanding these things better, read this short article: