When the Devil Interferes

“The governor invited Barnabas and Saul to visit him, for he wanted to hear the word of God. But Elymas, the sorcerer, interfered and urged the governor to pay no attention to what Barnabas and Saul said. He was trying to keep the governor from believing.”

Acts 13:7-8

Satan is not only an opportunist (cf. Luke 4:13), he is fiercely territorial.

That said, when we, as Christians, move in on “his territory,” he typically won’t start an all-out brawl.  He’s too smart for that.  If he threw a punch at us we would immediately see him.

The Greek word for “interfered” and “urged” means “to plot against.”  If we’re not staying close to Jesus, the devil’s plans are not readily noticeable.  They are subtle, insidious, designed to keep him hidden as he devises his plans.

A counselor once warned me,

“We can’t fight an enemy we don’t know exists.”  This is precisely why the devil “prowls” rather than “stomps.” (cf. 1 Peter 5:8)


“The devil’s boots don’t creak,” the old Scottish proverb goes.

The serpent hasn’t changed since Eden.  He still prefers to slither into our lives, unnoticed. 

We see the same strategy in Tolkien’s “Wormtongue” casting his spell upon the king of Rohan, Théoden.  Théoden didn’t become a semblance of a zombie overnight.  He was lulled to sleep by a serpent who was good at hiding in the shadows.

Has the devil been “interfering” with your devotion to Christ, and your desire to serve him?  Have you felt “off” in your walk with Jesus?  Perhaps, the serpent slithered in sometime ago and, at least up until this point, has successfully remain unnoticed.

He has no dominion, no power, no authority over a child of Almighty God.

“Resist him, firm in your faith,” wrote James, “and he will flee.”  In short, Satan is impotent when faced with the power of Christ that fills us.  Indeed, the “demons tremble.” (James 2:19; 4:7)

Be like Jesus. 

In the wilderness while the devil tried to interfere with Jesus’ mission to die for all mankind, Jesus simply, and boldly, quoted the Word of God.

The devil had no defense.  

He still doesn’t