From time to time, our preacher tells us we ought to be on guard against the devil, and I'm sure he's right. But how can I be on guard when I don't know when or how he's going to attack me? Or should I even worry about this? — Z.M.
Yes, you should be concerned about this because Satan is real, and his primary goal is to block God's work in our lives. The Bible says, "Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour" (1 Peter 5:8).
I don't know exactly how he might try to attack you; the devil can be very clever and he works in all sorts of ways. But as a general principle, the devil always tries to find out where we are weak, and then he will focus his attack on that particular area of our lives. If, for example, you have a problem with laziness or a lack of discipline, you can be certain that the devil will try to take advantage of that weakness.
How can you remain strong, even when Satan tries to turn you away from Christ? The first step is to stay close to God. The Bible says, "Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you" (James 4:7-8). Fill your mind with the truth of God's Word, and meet every temptation with prayer.
Once you understand your weaknesses, then commit them to God and ask Him to help you overcome them. The Bible says, "Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes" (Ephesians 6:11). We can't overcome the devil on our own—but with God's help we can.