What Does the Devil Want?
From the Scriptures we know that the devil has a plan. He is up to something. He is very active. He is very persistent. He is very thoughtful and he invests in the future as well as the present. He has a team and they work together against the Lord and those who love Jesus. The devil is real, and if you ever doubted that in the past, when you look at the condition the world is in right now, I bet your doubts have subsided. So what, exactly, does the devil want? Let me share a few things that he is interested in doing in your life.
1) The devil wants you distracted. It doesn't matter what he has you distracted on as long as you aren't focused on God first. Maybe he will even distract you with good things at first. He is fine with good things as long as they aren't as good as the things you should be focused on. He doesn't mind a slow erosion of your focus. The political season, the news cycle, a never ending supply of streaming entertainment, kids sports, the pursuit of a degree... whatever it takes to consume enough of your time to keep you from praying, to keep you from worshipping, to keep you away from your Bible. The devil wants to distract you from your Lord.
2) The devil wants your family. Not only does he want families destroyed, but he wants to stop them before they even start. He wants to prevent the marriage by encouraging living together and degrading marriage to, "just a piece of paper." He wants children aborted before they are born. He wants us to view kids as a burden instead of a blessing (Psalm 127:3). But if the devil isn't able to keep us from marriage and bearing children, he wants to destroy our marriages and hijack the minds and hearts of our children. He will use subtleties like unmet and unspoken expectations, selfishness, or budgets to put pressures on your marriage. He will slip perversions into your kids entertainment that you feel aren't quite bad enough to take it away, but begin to mold their hearts and minds away from the Lord.
3) The devil wants you to profess your faith in Christ with your mouth, but for your actions to contradict Christianity. Nothing is more powerful than a hypocrite. Even a lost and dying world despises hypocrisy. If the devil get you confident enough of in your faith to profess it, but weak enough in your faith to not follow it, he has created a powerful weapon for his plan.
4) The devil wants you to be afraid. The devil loves fear. Riots in the streets and economic uncertainty are breeding grounds for fear, anxiety, depression, and all other forms of human suffering and he delights in them all. Put the news on for 5 minutes and you will be convinced the world is falling apart, and you know what, you wouldn’t be wrong. When we are afraid we just want to drown out the thing that is causing the fear. We want to numb the pain. Fear can be crippling. And when you focus on fear, he is winning.
5) The devil wants it all. He is greedy. He is selfish. Being a powerful angel in the Lord's presence wasn't enough for him. He wanted to be God. He will stop at nothing to take every good thing and destroy it. He is relentless and will go until he drains us of all good!
So what should we do? James 4:7 tells us, "Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you." We need to submit and resist. Submit to God. No more trying to control our own lives and make our own decisions and write our own story. If He is Lord, submit to His authority. He will do a better job than you anyways. Then we need to resist the devil. For too long we have tried to compromise with him, hoping that he would leave us alone. But in the end all we have done is feed the beast, let him grow, and now he wants more. His greed can never be satisfied and you cannot appease him by giving in. Resist him in the power and strength of the Lord, with the armor of God (Eph. 6) and in unceasing prayer (1 Thess. 5:17.)