Ask anyone who has been called by God to step out into some new work of the Kingdom and that person will tell you that Satan has come at him in a rage, hurling one affliction after another.
So it was in the life of Christ. As soon as Jesus had been baptized, with the dove appearing and the voice from heaven declaring Him the Lamb of God, Satan went to work. He knew he had only forty days and nights to try to devour Jesus and stop His ministry (see Matthew 4).
No sooner did Jesus declare Peter a rock of faith than Satan moved in to sift the disciple, driving him to unbelief and betrayal (see Luke 22:21). Satan knew he had to act quickly in Peter’s life, before Jesus’ words about the disciple could come to pass—but the temptation ultimately failed!
I know what this kind of hellish attack is all about because it happened to me when God gave me a fresh call to ministry! After spending much time in prayer, I sensed God’s call to expand my ministry by speaking to pastors around the world. (I was not leaving the ministry of Times Square Church, or the ministry of these written messages. I was only adding this occasional aspect of ministry, by the direction of the Holy Spirit.)
I was planning to speak to gatherings of pastors in France, Romania, Poland and the Balkans. No sooner had I scheduled this trip than Satan moved in. Up to that point I had been at the peak of health but suddenly I was struck down physically. Within a matter of hours I became so weak I could hardly walk. I felt sharp, agonizing internal pains and soon blotches appeared on my stomach.
A doctor friend told me I had shingles, a disease that comes from the remains of childhood chickenpox. The devil seemed to be laughing, saying, “So you’re taking on this new ministry, are you? You won’t if I can help it!”
Yet, within weeks of my trip, all the sores disappeared. The Lord raised me up and gave me new strength. It all was warfare from hell! It has always been this way throughout my years in ministry. Every new acceptance of a call from the Lord has been followed by demonic attacks.