Last night we studied “Blessed are the persecuted…” We noted that conflict between Christians and the world is inevitable because there has always been conflict between God and satan.
With that, someone said, “Well, a lot of people don’t believe in the devil.”
While it’s true that many people deny the devil’s existence. He’s real. He’s alive. He’s active. And He desires you.
Jesus warned the apostles, and specifically Peter about the reality of Satan’s schemes. “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat” (Lk. 22:31).
Indeed, the devil is real. Jesus said so. Peter called him a “roaring lion seeking whom he may devour” (I Pet. 5:8). And Paul warned
“Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.” (2 Cor. 2:11)
The ESV translates “devices” as “design.” Here are six of the devil’s devious designs devised to entrap, ensnare and enslave you.
The Bible calls the devil a deceiver (Rev. 20:10). He calls evil good and good evil. He replaces darkness for light and light for darkness. He substitutes bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter (Isa. 5:20).
“You deserve to be happy.”
“If it feels good, do it.”
“There is no absolute truth.”
“A God of love is not going to send you to Hell.”
The devil is wrong. He’s a liar. And a deceiver.
If the devil can’t deceive you, he’ll distract you with “the cares of this world,” (Mk. 4:19). With material possession. With business and busyness that consumes our attention. With many things that are good and right, but diminish our focus on God, righteousness, and His kingdom.
Ancient Israel became discontent with God’s leaders, God’s provisions, and God’s guidance (Num. 21:5-6). They serve as a negative example to warn us not to become grumblers, gripers, and complainers (1 Cor. 10:10).
We may become discontent about what we have or don’t have. About the preacher or the pastors. About the church in general. About “our lot in life.” Regardless, discontentment is a device of the devil to forget God’s blessings and abandon our faith.
Dissension, disharmony, and division are designed by the devil to fracture God’s people. To muddle our message. To disrupt our ministry. To divert our mission. And to destroy our God-ordained purpose.
God hates discord among brethren (Prov. 5:16-19), so, of course, the devil loves it. Don’t fall prey to his divisive design.
The devil employs this device to decrease your attendance at worship services. To lessen your interest in Bible classes. To weaken your fellowship with other Christians.
The devil knows there’s strength in divine association with fellow believers. He’ll get you to rationalize Hebrews 10:25 that you haven’t really forsaken the assembly.
If none of the above works, the devil has one more device to utilize. Discouragement has diminished enthusiasm, retarded growth, and limited the involvement of many Christians. That’s why we’re urged “not to be weary in well-doing “(Gal. 6:9).
My favorite author, anonymous, once opined, “Discouragement is dissatisfaction with the past, distaste for the present, and distrust of the future. It is ingratitude for the blessings of yesterday, indifference to the opportunities of today, and insecurity regarding strength for tomorrow. It is unawareness of the presence of beauty, unconcern for the needs of our fellow man, and unbelief in the promises of old. It is impatience with time, immaturity of thought, and impoliteness to God.”
Charles Spurgeon was right when he wrote, “Consider how precious a soul must be when both God and the devil are after it.”
Make no mistake about it. The devil desires you.
Do not be ignorant of the devil’s devices.
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman