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Be sober, be vigilant, because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith.
1 Peter 5:8
Are you on fire for God? If the answer is yes, chances are you’re in the crosshairs of the devil’s devious tactics. Satan’s goal is to devour and destroy Christians just like a roaring lion seeks out its prey. He is constantly setting traps for us to fall into. He knows our weaknesses and how to exploit them. And he will use every weapon in his arsenal to bring us down.
We are under attack, not just from an unbelieving world, but from our greatest foe the devil himself. Satan knows that he cannot have us because we already belong to Jesus. There is nothing he can do that will ever take us away from our Savior. (John 10:29) But Satan can turn us into ineffective Christians so that we won’t share our faith with other people who may also believe.
So, how can we resist the devil and live the life of steadfast faith God has for us? Like any military operation, if we want to successfully combat our enemy we need to understand and recognize the tactics that will be used against us. Here are just a few of the devil’s tricks…
Lying is what Satan does best. He is the father of lies, so deception is the first tactic he tries. His lies are cruel, and he knows exactly which lie will stop us in our tracks. He will tell us that we’re not good enough, that we don’t deserve it, that we can’t do it, and so many other hurtful things.
Satan wants us to fail and he will tell us whatever it takes to stop us from being effective Christians. But we don’t have to listen to Satan’s lies and we certainly don’t have to believe them.
He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.
1 John 4:4
While Satan delights in deception, Jesus delights in salvation! We can resist Satan’s lies and fight back by knowing the truth. Jesus has already defeated the forces of evil! Our Savior is greater than any enemy we face! And we are already victorious because of Him!
Temptation is everywhere. Some temptation is just from being human, like eating that extra piece of cake. But some temptation is more sinister and comes from our enemy, the devil.
Thankfully, we have this promise from our faithful and loving God…
No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, that you may be able to endure it.
1 Corinthians 10:13
Temptation will always be around us. But God promises us a way out and the strength to bear up under it.
Satan wants us to be discouraged and he does that by reminding us of our past sins. He will make us feel defeated and like we are already a failure before we’ve even begun. Whether we are sharing our faith, getting ready to go on a mission trip or just going about our day, Satan will try to discourage us from doing what God has asked of us.
For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.
Satan may remind us of our sin, but God doesn’t. God not only forgives our sins, He forgets them. He doesn’t bring them up again and He doesn’t use them against us. So, when discouragement from Satan threatens to take hold of us, we can turn to God and find His love, mercy, and forgiveness.
“If Satan can’t make you bad, he’ll make you busy.” Adrian Rogers
Distraction is one of Satan’s most effective tactics because it doesn’t look like an attack on the surface. Instead of telling us to do bad things, he’ll create a long list of distractions for us to deal with. These distractions come in many forms. But they are all meant to steal away our time from furthering God’s kingdom, even if it is only for a little while.
Satan is very good at keeping us running around in circles simply for the sake of busyness. He knows that if we’re too busy cleaning up the mess he made, we won’t have time for what God has for us. Sometimes, he will even use good things to distract us from God’s plan. If we say yes to a project that a coworker or friend wants us to do, then we might find ourselves too busy to spend time connecting with God and making His plan a priority in our lives. These distractions are harder to deal with because we don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings. Satan knows that too and uses our kindness against us.
No matter what distraction the devil throws at us, we have a weapon to defeat it, the stillness of knowing God.
Be still and know that I am God.
Busyness and stillness are opposites just like Satan and God. If Satan can cause us to be busy, then we can’t experience the peaceful stillness that comes from time with God.
But if we see that our time is being stolen by the enemy, we can stop him by saying no to his distractions. We can choose still instead of frantic.
Therefore submit yourself to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.
These are some of the many tactics that Satan uses against us. We can successfully learn how to resist the devil by recognizing his devious tricks. And by knowing God’s truth and submitting ourselves to Him. Then Satan will have no choice but to flee from us.
Stay steadfast in the faith, my friend!