Years ago I read a little article by Dr. James Dobson about the three things children need to have a healthy, balanced development. He said these are: a sense of belonging, a sense of worth, and a sense of competence.
As I thought about that, the Spirit brought to mind the prayer of Paul in Ephesians 1:18-20. Here Paul prays that the believers will have each of these same three items.
“I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened [why?] in order that you may know
1) the hope to which he has called you, ‘ [the certainty of being His for eternity: this the ultimate in belonging!]
2) “the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints,” [being included as an eternal part of his rich inheritance: this is ultimate in worth!]
3) “and his incomparably great power for us who believe.” [being filled with divine power to walk in obedience to Him: this is the ultimate in being competent!]
Satan knows how important these three items are, so he works constantly in two main ways to foil God’s desires to have us live in the reality of His gifts.
First, Satan deflects our attention from what God has provided and tempts us to fulfill these desires for belonging, worth and competence in human relationships and activities. These are woefully inadequate sources for these divine-sized needs.
Second, he tells us over and over: you are worthless, nobody really loves you, you can’t do anything right, you can never do enough to measure up! He uses culture, advertising and the insecurity of our old nature, among other things, to snare us in this trap.
The way to avoid Satan’s wiles is to know the truth. Look at the second entry on this subject to learn more.