Enemies of Faith

Eight Enemies That Seek to Keep You From Believing God

Luke 22:24-62

April 27, 2014 AM

Pastor Craig Ledbetter

Bible Baptist Church, Ballincollig, Cork, Ireland



I.       Introduction (Luke 22:31,32)


A.    Some facts about faith


1.      It is the determination of a person to believe God instead of circumstances (Jer 32:27)

2.      Faith naturally grows, when protected, and nurtured and fed – you don’t need to force it to grow, it just does!

3.      Biblical Faith not only saves your soul (Eph 2:8), it provides such rest, and also incredible strength to the believer

4.      Faith does not come from a Church, or religion, or an experience – it comes only by believing the words in THIS BOOK (Rom 10:17)!


B.     But faith has some serious enemies!


1.      The devil cannot fight against God! He doesn’t waste his time!

2.      But he CAN fight against us and against our faith in God - weaken it, and destroy it


a.       He radically fights against our confidence in God

b.      Against Our dependence upon God

c.       Against Our rest in His care and provision

d.      He basically wants our FAITH to fail! To crumble, be thrown away


3.      His goal is to get us to quit on God


C.    Isn’t that funny?


1.      God cannot quit on us

2.      God cannot fail us

3.      God will not ever stop loving us

4.      So, in order to bring us to ruin, Satan works as an enemy of our faith, to get us to pull away from God, and to think we don’t need Him, and that He really isn’t there for us


D.    Let’s take a look at 8 enemies of faith that are ever present, every time you try and believe God


II.    What are Some Powerful Things That Satan Uses Against Faith?


A.    Power Struggles Among Ourselves (Luke 22:24-27)


1.      Look at these guys! Arguing!


a.       Strife – constantly arguing over who is the greatest


1)      Over who was the best qualified to lead the coming kingdom

2)      Fighting over who had done the most miracles (Lk 10:19)


b.      Arguing, fighting , cribbing, complaining, debating

c.       Even finding fault with the other


2.      You think that is funny? Take a good look in your home!


a.       Anarchy – a teen or a child telling their parents off, and not doing what they are told

b.      Wives constantly arguing with their husband

c.       Husbands, fighting for control of a sinking ship


3.      Take a look at many churches


a.       Fighting amongst themselves

b.      Arguing over the stupidest things

c.       Finding faults with the pastor, with the Sunday School, with the old fashioned hymns – trying to force Christians to “UPGRADE!” What a joke!


4.      The greatest Christian is the servant of all!


a.       Man’s standard of greatness is, to be served

b.      God’s standard is to serve

c.       Man’s standard of greatness is to receive… honour, praise, money

d.      God’s standard is to give

e.       Man’s standard of greatness is to humble others, show yourself the greater one

f.       God’s standard is to humble yourself, and to esteem others BETTER than yourself


5.      If there is one thing that stops faith DEAD, it is a proud fight (Gal 5:13-16)


a.       It ruined Lucifer

b.      It ruined Diotrephes  3Jn 1:9  I wrote unto the church: but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence among them, receiveth us not.

c.       It nearly Rehoboam (1Kings 12)


6.      Look at how strife, and arguing in your home is linked to a whole load of very wicked sins (Gal 5:19-21)

7.      So, when the enemy of STRIFE hits your home, just serve! As Jesus did!


a.       It is your attitude about others that is an enemy of your ability to believe God!

b.      Serving, ministering is how you defeat that enemy of faith

c.       And your faith will grow again!


B.     Quitting (Luke 22:28-30) – a HUGE enemy of believing God!


1.      Jesus started with nobody following Him


a.       at 30 years old, He just came forward and got baptised by John the Baptist

b.      After that, He met specific men, and asked them to follow Him – and they did

c.       He taught them, and took care of them – teaching them how to live by faith


2.      Over time, multitudes (10’s of thousands) would gather every day to sit and listen to Him teach His disciples!

3.      And then they would leave - And the numbers would dwindle

4.      And now it is just before Jesus’ crucifixion, and there are only 12 men gathered around Him, and their allegiance to Jesus was kind of thin!


a.       They were more interested in THEIR place around the throne instead of helping put Jesus on the throne

b.      One of them was secretly planning to  betray Him to the Jewish authorities for a few ‘bob’


5.      And Jesus thanks them anyway – because, at least they were there with Him!

6.      But it shows that Faith needs a walk with Jesus - a consistent walk

7.      A huge enemy of a growing, vibrant faith is constant quitting – sputtering, starting, and then stopping, never staying the course!

8.      OUR faithfulness is so important to our faith



b.      Faithfulness is NOT a feeling, or a desire – it is a CHOICE (Lk 18:28)


9.      So, Stay in God’s will – stay doing what God has asked you to do – keep trusting Him

10.  Faithfulness allows our faith to be rewarded – as Christ would reward His apostles!

11.  Quitting causes us to lose everything we were gaining! What a lame way to live and die!

12.  Stay faithful, consistent, on course – don’t let this enemy win!


C.    Sifting (Luke 22:31,32) – Troubles in your life!


1.      Satan wanted Peter back. So wanted to ruin him and all that God was doing in his life!

2.      He hated Peter, and he hates you – everything about you


a.       Because you were made by God – no accident

b.      Because you were SAVED by His grace

c.       Because your faith reminds him of his fall!



3.      So he seeks to sift you – examine you – see if you are for real

4.      That sifting process is an enemy of faith – Satan means for it to destroy your faith

5.      Most people’s faith is built upon the foundations of


a.       Success

b.      Feeling better

c.       Lesser problems

d.      More money


6.      Job would like to talk to you! You see, Satan ‘sifted’ Job and found out he was the real deal. Don’t you think for a minute that you will escape such examination and testing

7.      Sifting is the troubles, pressures, attacks that you experience

8.      It is during those times that faith should show itself

9.      If it doesn’t, then it is not real

10.  How do you fight this enemy? This demonic attack?


a.       You don’t! Jesus is doing all the fighting it for you! In intercessory prayer in heaven right now! Like a courtroom, you don’t say anything, your Advocate does all the talking!

b.      You just have to make sure you don’t start arguing and getting angry like Job’s wife did

c.       And you just need to resist the urge to quit

d.      And allow your Lord to protect you and get you through!

e.       That’s when you will find the strength to start resisting Satan and remaining steadfast (1Peter 5:8,9)


D.    Self-Reliance (Luke 22:33-38)


1.      Listen to Peter’s confidence…


a.       I am ready! I am determined! I am strong! I am committed! AMEN!


2.      But Jesus says, You have no idea what you are facing Peter! YOU, IN YOUR OWN STRENGTH  WILL NEVER BE ABLE to face what you are about to face

3.      Two thoughts here:

4.      These apostles were taught how to completely rely on Jesus Christ – for absolutely everything – they never lacked for anything!


a.       Not to ever rely on their own strength, their own wisdom, their own understanding, their own abilities

b.      But to simply and confidently trust Jesus to be all they need!

c.       God doesn’t need your abilities – or your money even

d.      It is YOU that absolutely and utterly need Him! (John 15:5, without Me ye can do nothing)


5.      That does not mean that you don’t do anything!


a.       Work hard, trusting Him for the outcome of everything you do – sometimes good, sometimes bad

b.      Take responsibility for caring for those under you


1)      Make money – spend wisely, save as much as possible – don’t live off of others

2)      Have a scrip – a suitcase, backpack – several changes of clothes

3)      Learn self-defence so you can defend yourself and others


6.      These two things don’t contradict!


a.       You do everything by faith, believing God will always make up for your lack

b.      You do everything unto Him, and for Him

c.       And you constantly beg God for His strength, and His wisdom, and His help


7.      In everything you do, do it by faith, not by the power of your own flesh


a.       Prov 21:31 The horse is readied for the battle, but ultimate safety is of the Lord

b.      Psa 20:7 Some trust in chariots… but we will remember the name of the Lord

c.       In the power of your flesh…


1)      You will develop PRIDE if you can do things – doesn’t need faith!

2)      Or you will develop depression if you can’t – won’t allow faith to act!


d.      But in the power of the spirit, by faith…


1)      You will see God do amazing things – and will believe God for more

2)      And sometimes, you will see nothing happen

3)      But you will KNOW everything is working together for good!


E.     Fear (Luke 22:39,40)


1.      This is another HUGE enemy of faith

2.      For most people, FEAR is always bigger than their faith!

3.      People are afraid of so many things – some are for good reason


a.       Afraid of poverty

b.      Afraid of the dark

c.       Afraid of being laughed at

d.      Afraid of rejection

e.       Afraid of being alone

f.       Afraid of dying

g.      Modern psychiatrists and secular counsellors make a ton of money off of people who are obsessed with FEARS!


4.      Jesus was warning them of becoming focused on Satan’s diversions - traps


a.       Some people in this room are so afraid of the temptation to drink, or do drugs that all they think about is trying to NOT do something

b.      But THAT FEAR is Satan’s trick, to get you AFRAID and not trusting God


5.      Jesus is saying, Don’t go in that door! Keep looking at Me, keep following Me!

6.      Temptation here is a trap – like a slope into a deep pit. Once you are on the slope, it is almost impossible to get back out!

7.      Fear will NOT allow faith to exist at the same time

8.      But thankfully, the opposite is true as well, FAITH will not allow fear to exists in you at the same time!

9.      Prov 29:25  The fear of man… snare

10.  In just a few hours after entering the Garden, they ALL would end up completely overwhelmed by fear, and would forsake Jesus, and abandon faith (Mark 14:48-50)

11.  Fears have to be replaced, one by one! With something greater!


a.       Jesus gave us some things GREATER than all fear  1Jn 4:18  There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.

b.      Fear of death? John 11:25,26 Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this? I THINK JESUS IS GREATER!

c.       Fear of falling back into sin? Greater is HE that is in you…

d.      Fear of Satan? James 4:7  Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you! I THINK GOD IS GREATER! FEAR ONLY HIM!

e.       Fear of being alone? Heb_13:5  Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.


F.     Lack of Prayer (Luke 22:40-46)


1.      What an effective enemy of faith – neglecting prayer!


a.       If prayer really IS such a great mountain moving power…

b.      Wouldn’t it make sense that Satan would convince God’s people NOT to pray – to think it is a waste of time – to believe it doesn’t work?

c.       There is a real battle here, in just getting us to spend time in prayer


2.      People want prayer to be a McDonalds Drive Thru! Get what you want in 2 minutes or less, and then get back on the road!!!

3.      There is a time to sleep and rest, and not worry – like when Jesus slept on the sinking ship

4.      And there is a time to rise and get on your knees and battle your enemies in prayer!

5.      Prayer is a battle field! Notice Christ’s great sweat drops of blood! The stress and pressure of His time in prayer!


a.       Take time out to pray – before making decisions, before work, before arguing…

b.      Be alone – do it because it is right, not because everyone else is doing it and is popular

c.       Conquer your own will, bring IT in subjection to God’s will – the first battle

d.      Ask what you want, but let God make the final decision!

e.       Real Prayer will never be an easy thing to do


6.      If the devil has discouraged you from taking time out, and spending time alone just you and God, or even you and your family and God, then he has won! And your faith will FAIL!


G.    Ignorance of What to Believe (Luke 22:47-51) – Believing a lot of wrong things


1.      The disciples believed a lot of wrong things


a.       That Jesus would be made King of Jerusalem that week

b.      That God’s millennial kingdom was just around the corner

c.       That Jesus would never let them do wrong or believe wrong

d.      That the Jews were all that God was interested in saving

e.       That the Bible (the Old Testament) was finished

f.       That life would ALWAYS be great like it had been for the past 3 ½ years with Jesus

g.      That Jesus would NEVER let Himself be beaten and whipped and mocked and spit upon and the crucified and murdered

h.      That Jesus would not rise again if He did die

i.        That God had a bigger plan in view than just miracles and free food and healing lepers and walking on water!


2.      The disciples stopped learning – they stopped growing their faith

3.      Faith ONLY comes by knowing, studying, and believing EVERYTHING in this Book called the Bible (Rom 10:17; Luke 24:18-21, 25)

4.      If Satan can keep you ignorant of this Book, he has won!


a.       Believing your church’s teaching

b.      Believing even that it doesn’t matter what you believe

c.       A wrong belief can damn your soul! People worry about some sin sending them to hell

d.      But believing in a wrong Jesus will damn you for sure!


5.      Your job is to keep…


a.       Reading from cover to cover, over and over – listening like you are sitting right there

b.      Keep studying – not just hearing but thinking and testing what you understand

c.       Doing what you learn – be ye doers of the word!


6.      That is how your faith defeats the enemy of IGNORANCE!


H.    Failure (Luke 22:42-62) – Probably the WORST ENEMY


1.      Giving into fears, and sins, is Satan’s way of unplugging you!


a.       Every time sin wins, Satan dances and rejoices and pats you on the back

b.      And all you get is sorrow and sadness for being a failure AGAIN!

c.       Satan knows that when you fail to live up to being what you know Christ is asking of you, you will get to the point where you will throw away every last bit of faith you ever had in anger and frustration!


2.      Don’t you EVER let failure be your enemy! Micah 7:8  Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy: when I fall, I shall arise; when I sit in darkness, the LORD shall be a light unto me.

3.      Next time you give in to temptation, or find yourself arguing, or struggling with quitting, of running from the trials you are in, or overwhelmed by fears, or having gone weeks without prayer… Get back up, and be thankful for another chance to go again, and then get going again!

4.      Christianity today is FULL of failures, instead of FAITH!

5.      Faith doesn’t make successes out of all of us – it just keeps us from STAYING failures


III. Conclusion


A.    Take a good look at all the enemies Satan has amassed against our faith in God…


1.      Power Struggles Among Ourselves

2.      Quitting – a HUGE enemy of believing God!

3.      Sifting– Troubles in your life!

4.      Self-Reliance

5.      Fear

6.      Lack of Prayer

7.      Ignorance of What to Believe – Believing a lot of wrong things

8.      Failure  – Probably the WORST ENEMY


B.     Respond to every enemy right and your faith will grow, and Satan’s device will fail… instead of your faith failing!