I would agree with Robert Morey who describes the objectives of satanic warfare is twofold. He writes, “First, Satan wants to keep sinners from hearing the gospel. Or, if they hear it, to keep them from responding to it in faith. Second, once someone has become a child of God, Satan will try to make that Christian discouraged, bitter, sad, defeated, and depressed. He knows he cannot snatch that person’s soul back, so he will do his best to make a believer’s life ineffective.” I would add that he not only makes the believer ineffective, he also makes him miserable! I’ve known way too many “sourpuss” believers, who live bitter lives and spread their bitterness around to others.

The second objective of making the believer ineffective and miserable in their Christian life is a major step in advancing his first objective of preventing others from coming to faith. When non-believers see the unhappy, bitter, angry, forlorn Christian he sees only reasons for not wanting any part of that kind of faith. I’ve shared the Gospel with people who have refused the offer of God’s free gift of life because, as they put it, “I’ve known too many Christians.” All some Christians focus on is “don’t do this, don’t do that.” They are miserable and want everyone else to be miserable also. When Satan accomplishes his objective of reducing believers to a depressed, discouraged, and despairing state, he has caught us in his web of lies and deceit. When we fall prey to the deceitful ways of Satan, we lose the joy of our Christian experience. We are susceptible to all kinds of miserable attitudes and impulses. But if we understand these for what they are; attacks in the Spiritual battle against forces of evil in dark places, we are aided in turning the tide in the battles of life.

Unforgiveness is one of the most effective weapons of Satan. We are instructed to forgive others as God has forgiven us. Jack Hayford writes, “The human capacity to forget God’s gracious gift of forgiveness and allow smallness of soul to breed unforgiveness is soberingly warned against.” He goes on to discuss how unforgiveness restricts what God can do through believers in the lives of others. He also discusses how the spirit of unforgiveness exacts “its toll on our bodies, minds, and emotions.” You might remember that when Paul wrote to the Corinthians he instructed them to forgive a sinning brother. He had repented of his sin and had mended his ways, yet there was this wall that still existed between the members of the little fellowship and this sinner. Paul instructs them to forgive him and bring him back into the fellowship. They were to drop their bitterness and anger toward him and open their arms again. The reason that forgiveness is such an important aspect in a believer’s life, Paul explains in 2 Corinthians 2:11, is “so that we would not be outwitted by Satan; for we are not ignorant of his designs.”