Our thoughts, and the emotions they produce, drive our lives forward for good or evil. Satan knows this. More to the heart of the issue, our emotions powerfully influence our perceptions of reality, and those perceptions ultimately drive our behaviors. Satan knows this too.
The Bible not only tells us that emotions fuel our lives, but it also makes clear that Satan is plotting to exploit them for his purposes if we don’t manage them the right way.
Satan knows that men are vulnerable and frustrated over their inability to control the people and events that impact their lives. More specifically, he knows that our inability to control events can precipitate a greater inability to keep control of our emotions. Sadly, without intentional security measures, we’re all easy to hijack.
A lack of emotional control makes us vulnerable. “Like a city that is broken into and without walls is a man who has no control over his spirit” (Proverbs 25:28, NASB). An ancient city without walls was pretty much indefensible. In the same way, your life is either protected or made vulnerable by a wall of self-control over your reactions to relational events in your life. The man with “no control over his spirit” gets hijacked.
Unconfessed resentment gives Satan power in your life. “‘In your anger do not sin’: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.” (Ephesians 4:26-27). See the picture? There’s an elephant in the room, and it gets larger by the hour when it’s not acknowledged, dealt with, and eliminated from your relationships. Unresolved anger in any form puts a neon Welcome sign up for evil. Like me, you might be tempted to say, “I don’t have a problem with anger.” Fair enough. The problem, however, is that anger is simply the baseline emotion behind the expressions of irritation, aggravation, agitation, annoyance, exasperation, frustration, rage, hostility, bitterness, resentment, scorn, vengefulness, contempt, envy, jealousy, and coveting. Any form of anger not dealt with openly, honestly, and productively is, by default, given to Satan to use as a base of operation.
Out-of-control emotions blind you to Satan’s presence.
“Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” (1 Peter 5:6-8)
In his epistle, Peter is talking to a group of people going through an emotionally turbulent time, and he does not want them to get hijacked in the midst of their suffering. The encouragements are straightforward and effective: “Put yourself under God’s authority, relieve the pressures inside by talking to God, and raise your threat level to Red.” Like anger, anxiety has a bunch of cousins, so if you’re tempted to say, “I don’t struggle with anxiety,” think about how worry and fear manifest themselves in various behaviors: overeating, workaholism, isolation, stress, edginess, apprehension, overcontrol, overplanning, and avoidance.
Satan aggressively waits for men to give in to their emotions because he knows they will be as unreliable and inconsistent as those emotions and as easy to control. When you are low, he wants you to attach to the perception created by your emotions that all is lost, all is fatal and final. God, on the other hand, says, “I am with you in the valley of the shadow of death, no need to fear, I will walk you through this.”
Kenny Luck is an ECPA Platinum Award Winning and Best Selling Author of 24 books. His latest book, OVERFLOW: Setting the Holy Spirit Loose in the World You Live In (NavPress) was released in March 2023. As a thought leader and expert on men and culture, Kenny is called by God to revolutionize men’s ministry, free men spiritually, and empower men’s movement worldwide. God is using Kenny to reach over a hundred thousand men each week through the Every Man radio show in Los Angeles and the worldwide LIVESTREAM of his weekly men’s meeting via Every Man Ministries on Facebook. Kenny and his wife Chrissy have been married more than 30 years, are parents to three awesome millennials, and live in Trabuco Canyon, California.