A Priest Explains the Most Powerful Tool of the Devil – And How to Defeat It

herby_fr, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

I believe the most powerful tool the devil has at his disposal is fear.

When I say “fear,” I do not mean “fear of the Lord,” which is a spiritual gift that helps us to respect God.

No, I mean the fear which tells us that God does not want what is good for us. I mean the fear that ultimately leads to rebellion. For if I do not trust a person in authority because I do not believe that they are interested in my good, I will rebel against them. It is human nature to rebel against that kind of abusive authority.

Indeed, the devil himself is driven by fear. He feared our creation as somehow diminishing his own. He didn’t trust God and His will. His fear led to rebellion and hate; not just of God, but of us as well. His main tool is what drives him.

In the garden, his temptation is based in fear, a fear the devil himself is motivated by: “God does not want what is good for you. Don’t trust Him.” It is why the first emotion Adam and Eve feel after the fall is fear (they notice they are naked) and that fear leads them to try and hide from God.

Fear is the biggest reason why Catholics do not evangelize. We are afraid of rejection, of having our lack of knowledge of the faith exposed, of persecution, of having to step out from society. Indeed, to evangelize is to say what the world offers is insufficient. That might well expose us to ridicule, persecution , or rejection. It might well expose our own lack of knowledge.

Fear is what destroys vocations. A young man or woman will fear rejection, accusation, loss of independence, and various other things. They will be shown the absolute worst examples: unfaithful priests, unhappy married people, bitter religious..criminal behavior. They will be told this is the norm and who they will become should they follow such a road. Fear will be cultivated until even the thought of seeking God’s will is yanked up by its roots.

Fear is what destroys our liturgies. Fear? Absolutely! Fear that I won’t get anything out of it, fear that people will leave, fear that I will be seen as irrelevant, fear that I will be seen as dated, etc.

Fear causes us to put the focus on ourselves. It insulates us. If my modus operendi is self-protection/self-pleasure/self-satisfaction, they all scream to God, “I do not trust you! I have to look out for my own good!” Because proper worship is focused away from ourselves and towards God, if I do not trust God then Mass either becomes placating a unfair God, or a completely disposable event…why worship something that is not looking out for our good?

We are told 365 times in the Bible to not be afraid. God knows what fear does to us. Since He actually does love us and wants what is good for us, he tells us to trust Him – to have courage and strength. He knows fear will stall us and eventually and eternally destroy us.

Not to sound like Yoda, but fear leads to anger. It leads us to darkness. Fear leads us to rebellion and despair. It leads us to an emptiness and dissatisfaction with life. It leads us to strike out against those not bound by fear.

The devil knows this. He is the penultimate example of “misery loves company.”

Fear is overcome with faith one decision at a time. Fortitude, a cardinal virtue, when driven by the theological virtues of Faith, Hope, and Love spurs us to reject fear. It gives us the courage to endure with joy whatever those still in fear will throw at us.

Live in fortitude infused with faith, hope, and love and evangelization and vocation will not only be something no longer run from, they will be something desired. Live in fortitude infused with faith, hope , and love then the worship of God, and not the entertainment of man, will become the focus of our liturgies again. Prayer will not be seen as a burden to appease God, but as a longing for growth in our relationship with God and the Body of Christ.

The virtues, though, are disciplines by which we consciously decide what we want to be. We must decide to trust God choice by choice, surrendering our will to His providence. The coldness of fear gets replaced with the fire of love.

It is your choice. God has one plan for you. The devil also has a plan for you.

Which plan you follow will be taken step by step by whether you give into or rise above fear.

Originally posted on Facebook

[See also: A Priest’s Warning Against the Devil’s 10 Deadliest Tricks]

[See also: 13 Warnings from Pope Francis on Man’s Oldest Foe, the Devil]



Fr. Bill Peckman

Fr. Bill Peckman is the pastor of Ss. Peter and Paul Parish in Boonville, MO and St. Joseph Parish in Fayette, MO.


  1. I do believe all of the ideas you’ve introduced in your post. They are very convincing and will definitely work. Nonetheless, the posts are very quick for starters. May just you please prolong them a little from subsequent time? Thanks for the post.|

  2. What’s Happening i’m new to this, I stumbled upon this I’ve found It absolutely helpful and it has aided me out loads. I’m hoping to contribute & assist other users like its helped me. Good job.|

  3. excellent publish, very informative. I ponder why the opposite experts of this sector do not realize this. You must continue your writing. I’m confident, you have a huge readers’ base already!

  4. Hello there, just became aware of your blog through Google, and found that it’s really informative. I’m going to watch out for brussels. I’ll appreciate if you continue this in future. Lots of people will be benefited from your writing. Cheers!

  5. Just desire to say your article is as amazing. The clarity on your submit is simply cool and that i could assume you are an expert on this subject. Fine together with your permission allow me to clutch your feed to stay updated with coming near near post. Thanks 1,000,000 and please keep up the gratifying work.

  6. I don’t even know how I finished up right here, however I believed this submit was once great. I do not know who you might be however definitely you’re going to a well-known blogger when you are not already ;) Cheers!

  7. Great post. I was checking continuously this weblog and I am inspired! Very useful info specifically the final phase :) I deal with such information a lot. I used to be seeking this certain information for a long time. Thank you and good luck.

  8. Great submit, very informative. I’m wondering why the opposite specialists of this sector don’t realize this. You must proceed your writing. I am sure, you have a great readers’ base already!|What’s Happening i am new to this, I stumbled upon this I’ve found It absolutely helpful and it has helped me out loads. I hope to contribute & aid different users like its helped me. Great job.

  9. I will immediately seize your rss as I can’t in finding your e-mail subscription link or e-newsletter service. Do you’ve any? Kindly allow me realize so that I could subscribe. Thanks.

  10. Hello very cool website!! Man .. Excellent .. Superb .. I’ll bookmark your blog and take the feeds also?I am happy to find so many helpful information here within the post, we’d like work out extra strategies on this regard, thank you for sharing. . . . . .

  11. I was conversing with a friend of my own around this info and about new upvc windows too. I feel you made a lot of very good points here, we’re excited to keep reading stuff from you.

  12. I’m still learning from you, but I’m trying to reach my goals. I certainly love reading everything that is posted on your blog.Keep the tips coming. I loved it!

  13. Hey there! This is my first visit to your blog! We are a collection of volunteers and starting a new project in a community in the same niche. Your blog provided us useful information to work on. You have done a outstanding job!

  14. An attention-grabbing discussion is value comment. I feel that you should write more on this matter, it may not be a taboo topic however generally individuals are not enough to talk on such topics. To the next. Cheers

  15. Today, I went to the beach front with my kids. I found a sea shell and gave it to my 4 year old daughter and said “You can hear the ocean if you put this to your ear.” She put the shell to her ear and screamed. There was a hermit crab inside and it pinched her ear. She never wants to go back! LoL I know this is totally off topic but I had to tell someone!

  16. Fantastic goods from you, man. I have keep in mind your stuff prior to and you’re simply extremely fantastic. I actually like what you have received here, certainly like what you’re saying and the best way wherein you are saying it. You make it enjoyable and you still take care of to stay it sensible. I can not wait to read much more from you. That is really a tremendous site.

  17. Admiring the persistence you put into this blog and comprehensive material you display. It’s wonderful to come across a website now and then which is just not the similar out of date rehashed content. Excellent read! I’ve saved your blog and I am including your RSS feeds to our kik messenger download website.

  18. NO cash big SPINS . You will be able to discover instant free Spins in the same way as No bump required straight from signing up. The further terms of each review will specify how to affirmation yours. Enjoy all the latest casino free Spins No cash deals here

  19. Our LGV (Large Goods Vehicle) HGV training is based in East London, and our LGV/ HGV courses are taught by qualified DVSA LGV & HGV trainers. LGV was formerly known as HGV, where it used to be referred to as HGV Class 2 (now called LGV Category C) and HGV class 1 (Now called LGV Category C+E).

  20. I love what you guys are up to. This kind of cool effort and reporting! Continue the awesome effort guys, I’ve included you to our pokemon go version website.

  21. Once I initially commented I clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and now each time a remark is added I get four emails with the identical comment. Is there any way you possibly can remove me from that service? Thanks!

  22. Thanks a lot for the excellent post! I genuinely enjoyed reading it.I will ensure that I save your website and definitely will return later on. I wish to suggest you to ultimately keep on with your good posts, maybe try to think of canon drivers too, have a wonderful afternoon!

Leave a Reply