Can you identify Satan’s schemes and tactics in your life?
“..so that Satan will not outsmart us. For we are familiar with his evil schemes.”
2 Corinthians 2:11 NLT
Judging from the Scripture above, the apostle Paul assumes that Christians are familiar with Satan’s schemes. The trouble is, nowadays many of us are not familiar with how the enemy operates.
If the church was more familiar with the schemes of the enemy, I think we’d see less division and comprise of the Word of God.
“But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ.”
2 Cor. 11:3
We live in a world filled with liars, con artists, and thieves who seek to defraud us. However, the Bible warns us of the greatest deceiver of all—in actuality, the one behind the scenes, orchestrating deception: Satan. The Bible also assures us we can have victory over Satan, but only by salvation through Jesus Christ and by utilizing the heavenly weapons available to all believers (Eph. 6:10-18; 2 Cor. 10:4-5).
Don’t think for a moment because you’re a Christian, you’re somehow immune to falling prey to the Enemy’s tactics and deception. On the contrary, when a person professes faith in Jesus Christ, they become the enemy’s enemy.
Of course, Satan hates all human beings because God created us all in His image. But Satan has a special hatred for Christ followers because they have His Holy Spirit living in them. The Holy Spirit is powerful. According to Ephesians 1:19, Christians have the same power available that rose Jesus from the dead thereby seating Him at the right hand of God!
Satan does not have that kind of power, so he resorts to other methods to wage war against humanity. He knows that Christians have a sin nature living within them along with the Holy Spirit. So, he preys upon our propensity to sin. Take a look at Romans 7:23. “But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me.”
Are you prepared to stay alert to, and when necessary, fight the devil’s schemes?
Today we’re going to cover one of the devil’s most popular calling cards: DECEPTION
SATAN’S ULTIMATE GOAL FOR A CHRISTIAN: Break the fellowship between the Christian and God. He does this in many ways. Today, we will discuss deception.
SATAN’S ULTIMATE GOAL FOR THE NON-CHRISTIAN: Prevent fellowship between the person and God.
The Bible is the manual that teaches us about our enemy and how to fight him. Suffice it to say, we should study our manual regularly. Did you know that according to James 2:19, the devil and his demons are very familiar with our manual? We should be too!
We first read about Satan’s most popular tactic, deception in Genesis when the serpent deceives Eve by saying, “Did God really say you must not eat the fruit from any of the trees in the garden?” (Genesis 3:1)
You see, Satan does not come dressed up in a devil suit the way cartoons portray, pointy ears and pitchfork in hand! Most often he comes to us as an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:15). According to Jesus in John 8:44, deception is his name and his game.
Paul uses the image of a trap when writing to Timothy:
“Gently instruct those who oppose the truth. Perhaps God will change those people’s hearts, and they will learn the truth. Then they will come to their senses and escape from the devil’s trap. For they have been held captive by him to do whatever he wants.” 2 Timothy 2:25-26
Traps are used to deceive animals into thinking something good (the bait) is waiting for them without recognizing that it’s attached to a trigger that will set off the trap. And that, dear friends, is what Satan does to us.
I’m sure you’ve heard the term, “bait and switch.” Here’s an example of how Satan may use bait and switch:
A young married woman becomes attracted to a co-worker who’s been quite helpful on a current project and pays her compliments regularly (bait). Subsequently, he invites her to lunch—just the two of them. She thinks to herself, “it’s only lunch” (switch). One lunch leads to two, two leads to texts, texts leads to calls, calls lead to a secret lunch on a Saturday, the Saturday lunch leads to a hotel room.
The woman now says to herself, “It’s only a fling.”
Is that what it really is? The Bible calls it adultery. Do you notice how much softer the word, fling is, as compared to adultery? Isn’t that how Satan deceived Eve in the garden? He twisted God’s words and baited Eve by luring her with ‘being like God.’
We’re good at relabeling sin to soften it. Maybe if we soften it, it won’t seem so bad. Maybe it isn’t really sinning after all.
Look at a few popular “relables” we’ve give to sin:
A FLING versus ADULTERY or FORNICATION
OVEREATING versus GLUTTONY
HATE versus MURDERER
EXAGGERATING versus LYING
Take a look once again at 2 Timothy 2:25-26.
“Gently instruct those who oppose the truth. Perhaps God will change those people’s hearts, and they will learn the truth. Then they will come to their senses and escape from the devil’s trap. For they have been held captive by him to do whatever he wants.”
Notice that the way out of the trap is by TRUTH.
Also notice the first piece of our heavenly armor from Ephesians 6:14.
“Stand your ground, putting on the belt of TRUTH and the body armor of God’s righteousness.” (emphasis mine)
Here’s the thing, we must know the truth in order to recognize the lie or the “bait.” Jesus tells us that only through the truth are we truly set free. Free from Satan’s traps that lead us into the bondage of sin. And free to have fellowship with and be part of God’s family forever! (John 8:32-36)
Let me tell you something about bait. It’s always something that appears good, otherwise, it wouldn’t be bait. Satan has learned which type bait is enticing and in which situation. He knows this because he has studied our basic and natural human needs and uses them against us. Join me next Monday, when we look more closely at how Satan attempts to accomplish this and how we can combat him.
Until then, may the Lord bless you as you, “Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.” (Ephesians 6:18)
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this subject. Please be sure and comment below.