Satan is a crafty enemy, but I don’t want to give him too much credit.
He is my enemy because he is an eternal against my God. I cannot tolerate him, bear the thought of him or even stand typing his name. I loathe his existence.
Sadly, too often we act as if Satan is just some evil version of Casper the Friendly Ghost. We don’t hate him; we talk about him too lightly, and we have an “ah shucks, he got me again” attitude too much of the time.
If we understand his hate for us, we will be more inclined to want to destroy his every move. It is with that kind of attitude that I write this article. I will always do what I can do unwind his calculated efforts.
I was recently reading Genesis, the part where Satan enters the earthly scene, and I noticed some things I hadn’t seen so clearly before. His game of deception, doubt, denial, and discouragement is clearly seen in the Garden of Eden account. I was able to deduct five main plays of Satan, used often throughout Scripture and in our lives. They are as follows:
- Doubt: Satan tries to cause us to doubt God, His love, His promises and His forgiveness. Doubt left alone for Satan to fertilize will grow into a division between us and God. Doubt dispelled can become a building block for our faith.
- Discourage: This is the bazooka in Satan’s arsenal of attack weapons. If he can get us focused on our problem rather than God, he can weaken our faith and pick us off. Sadly, Satan doesn’t always have much effort to exert here. We have a way of finding discouragement on our own if we want to find it.
- Divert: This is a classic move – he make us love something more than God. We start believing things like, “This can’t be so wrong if it feels so right” and “No one will know and certainly God won’t do anything.” Satan loves to get us headed down the wrong path of affection and action only to allow the snowball effect to take over from there.
- Defeat: Remember, Satan hates you, so shooting you when you are down is no big thing for him. If he can get you with one of the first three plays and then make sure you are defeated, he will do just that. Defeat is easy for him as the father of lies, but hard for us to stand against. Our antidote is the truth of God that we can be forgiven, reconciled and made righteous through the Gospel of Jesus.
- Delay: A stalled out saint is sweetness to Satan. When Satan can get us to stop moving toward God and His purpose, he considers that a small victory. We are to put on our new self and take off the old, anything that delays us in doing this is one of Satan’s mainstays.
So then, how do we live?
Keep these five tactics in mind: Examine our hearts to see if and where we have allowed them to happen in our life. Then we ask for the Holy Spirit to give us the power to escape this pattern and return to righteousness. Though Satan has some power, God’s power is greater than any of his most venomous attacks.
Eliminate repeated attacks: If I were to find that one of these tactics was being used against me more than the others, I would want to get help, accountability and discipline to guard against it. I don’t ever want to let Satan take cheap shots. He is a jerk and will try to play dirty, so I must stand strong against his manipulation.
Remember, the fight is not against flesh and blood: A true defense against these tactics is not mere behavior modification. I must employ the powers of the one and only mighty God as I stand against his archenemy of darkness.