Knowing Our Enemy-His Strategy

The adversary has a highly effective strategy. Paul admonished the church at Corinth to properly restore one who has been disciplined, but who is now repentant. He instructs them to forgive: “lest Satan should get an advantage of us.” (From II Corinthians 2:11). Then, he adds, in this verse: “….for we are not ignorant of his devices.” They evidently were not; are we? They had Paul’s teaching for a year and a half, we are told. How much teaching have we received about Satan’s devices? We want to address three of them in this article. 1. Deceit. The enemy deceives us using false teaching. He deceives us by stimulating, in our minds, strong desires for things that are sinful. We are warned about this: “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world” (I John 2:15-16). 2. Satan may use different means. If one doesn’t work, he may use several tricks together. This second method is distraction. In simple terms, he gets us so busy that we fail to focus on the most important responsibility and privilege that God has given us: namely, quality time in His Word and prayer. We cannot escape defeat without these! 3. Whenever we fall for either or both of these strategies, our enemy brings the third one into play. It is discouragement! Our adversary whispers: “You blew it again! You call yourself a Christian; look what you did or said (or failed to do). You hypocrite! Give up; you can’t do it. You failed!” We get discouraged and fall prey to his strategy. If we do, he succeeds. Point given! Instead of giving up, avail yourself of I John 1:9 and heed the charge found in George Heath’s hymn, “My Soul, Be on Thy Guard.” This is the challenge he gives: “My soul, be on your guard,  ten thousand foes arise; the hosts of sin are pressing hard to draw you from the skies. O watch and fight and pray, the battle ne’er give o’er; renew it boldly every day, and help divine implore. Ne’er think the vict’ry won, nor lay your armor down; the work of faith will not be done till you obtain the crown. Fight on, my soul, till death shall bring you to your God; He’ll take you at your parting breath, to His divine abode.” Selah! God never wants you to give in or give up! Who, then, does? It should be obvious.   Ron

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