Our Spiritual Soldier Series, battlefield trainings for spiritual warfare, continues to cover our enemies and their strategies. Because Jesus has already won for us we don’t need to belabor our study of our enemies. We need to be aware of them and be prepared for their attacks.
We had taken a closer look at Satan and who he is, we want to talk about five strategies Satan and his demons employee against us and those around us. Satan is not always the enemy after us. His demons can stand in his place and just as much damage if we do not see their strategies.
So we will look at these strategies and see them coming. I think the book The Screwtape Letters by C. S. Lewis can be helpful in helping us to understand possible ways demons think and how they can attack Christians. But rest assured, these evil forces are not only against you as a Christian. They are also after unbelievers.
- Lies and Deception
When we looked at Satan and who he is, we saw that Jesus called him the father of lies (John 8:44). One of his chief tactics against us and unbelievers is to lie to us and deceive us. In Job 1-2 Satan tries to make it look like God is the one attacking Job.
One of his servants comes to him and says the “fire of God” burned up his sheep and servants (Job 1:26). As far as Job knows only God dwells in heaven. He would’ve also understood the great wind that blew down the house of his children to be from God (Job 1:28-29). It wouldn’t be far-fetched for him to understand God giving his disease to him in Job 2.
Job is unaware of the heavenly conversation between God and Satan, and doesn’t appear to know that God has any opposition. So he believes that God is the one deciding whether he is blessed or cursed.
In this training we are not discussing how much God’s sovereignty affects many of our situations but I bring this up to explain that we don’t always know how much God permits in our lives. Needless to say, if you hear lies or someone deceives you, it is definitely not God.
God does not lie (Numbers 23:19). And He doesn’t use deception. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of truth (John 14:17). Satan and his demons will try to deceive you. They will tell you lies about your progress in being conformed to the image of Jesus (Romans 8:29).
They will tell you that no one has ever been in the situations you find yourself involved in. They will use every tried and tested trick they have learned over the centuries. We must watch what voices we listen to in this world.
Satan and his demons may use your inner voice against you. When you hear yourself condemning your actions you know this is not from God’s Spirit. He speaks life, builds you up, and encourages you. Even in his conviction there is no condemnation (Romans 8:1). You can’t listen to the voices in this world because he is behind them.
How do you defend against these lies and deceptions? You know the Spirit of truth. You walk in the light and truth of God’s Word. Always trust what God has said about you and this world above any other voice.
God also gives Christians discernment as we walk behind enemy lines. To sum he gives the spiritual gift of discerning of spirits (1 Corinthians 12:10). Discernment and wisdom light our path as we rely on the Holy Spirit to show us the truth behind the lies and deceptions.
- Darkness and Depression
We walk in a cold, dark world. Satan masquerades as an angel of light, but he is the master of darkness (2 Corinthians 11:14). Pitch black darkness is one thing but we live in a spiritually dark world. Satan doesn’t allow God’s light to shine through easily.
The darkness is not only in Satan’s world (Colossians 1:13) but in the hearts and minds of the unsaved around us. They are used to the darkness and even love it (John 3:19). Darkness in Scripture is often an image for evil and wickedness.
Paul talks about the dark deeds of unbelievers and how Christians must not partner with them (Ephesians 5:7-8). He calls Christians to take no part in the darkness but instead expose them with the light of the gospel (Ephesians 5:11-14).
You are not part of the darkness in this world. Jesus has made you a light in the world (Matthew 5: 14-16). You walk as a child of light (1 Thessalonians 5:5). You are full of the joy of the Lord instead of the depression darkness can bring (Nehemiah 8:10).
You must bring the light of God’s revelation to this world and the people captive to the enemies of their souls. Darkness cannot overcome the Light (John 1:5). As we expose the darkness and evil deeds of people under Satan’s influence God’s light of revelation floods through us.
Your testimony is a powerful offensive weapon against the darkness of this world. Do not fear the darkness because your are Jesus’ light wherever you go. You also have the Spirit who is greater in you than in this world (1 John 4:4). Nothing can harm you because God is on your side.
- Suppressing the Truth
The truth about God is plain and easy to find (Romans 1:19-20). From creation to reasonable arguments we can make a great case for God’s existence and how He created the world to operate. Satan and his demons have suppressed the truth about God (Romans 1:18).
Satan has blinded people to the truth about God. Without knowing who God is people choose other ways to fill the void in their hearts. Suppression happens because people know that God exists (Romans 1:21). Even atheists speak about him as if he exists.
But they do not want to acknowledge or honor God for who He is. They refuse to worship Him as He deserves. They’ve allowed their minds to degrade into futile thinking. They become foolish in their thinking. When the Bible talks about this type of foolishness it is not referring to stupid choices but to ignoring the fact of who God is and His existence (Psalm 14:1).
The Bible distinguishes between worldly wisdom and godly wisdom (Romans 1:23; 1 Corinthians 1:18-25). But those around you who don’t know Christ have chosen to suppress the truth of who He is and have exchanged His glory for mere idols (Romans 1:23).
But you know Jesus. You know the truth about Him and you walk in truth. You are not deceived by the lies of this world. You are an ambassador for Christ (2 Corinthians 5:20). Like Paul, you must never be ashamed of the gospel because it is God’s power for salvation to everyone who believes (Romans 1:16-17). And this is your mission behind enemy lines. Introduce people to the Way, Truth, and Life (John 14:6).
- Persecution and Tribulation
Satan and his demons have no intention of making your mission easy. Even today throughout this world Christians are beginning persecuted and going through strong trials because of their faith in Christ.
He will put the pressure on you however he can. In America, we usually endure the kind of persecution that involves our speech and our testimony. We have not resisted to the point of martyrdom. But don’t get too comfortable.
Jesus said that we would endure persecution (Matthew 5:10-12; 24:9-14). Tribulations will be part of the end times as they come upon us. Jesus also said we will have tribulation in this world (John 16:33).
How can you prepare yourself for this strategy of the enemies around you? In the same verse Jesus said we would have tribulation he also said that He has overcome the world (John 16:33). Jesus is with you in every trial you face.
James prepared us to face trials throughout his letter. But he especially gives us great counsel in James 1:2-4. We can even walk through our trials with joy because we know Jesus is working His perfect and holy character in us. Satan cannot keep that from happening.
Paul says that all the sufferings we face are light and momentary compared to the weight of glory beyond all comparison we will have in heaven (2 Corinthians 4:17). Jesus gives you the strength and grace to face persecution and tribulation. Stand in His grace and your vibrant relationship with Him.
- Ruling the World
Satan rules the world right now (Ephesians 2:2). He has put every world system against you. If everything in the world seems backwards, contrary to God’s principles and commands, it is by design. There will be times you must stand for Christ against what you’re being told to do.
Satan must think he has the high ground because he rules the world in which you live. But you spread God’s Kingdom right under his nose one person at a time. Your witness and lifestyle are powerful evidence for God’s work in your life.
Satan’s rule will only last for a limited time. And Jesus will come for you through the catching up, the rapture before Satan will bring the Great Tribulation through his antichrist (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18).
You must work for the Lord in the world without being influenced by the world. You must be the influencer. He has left you here for this time of grace to win the world for Him. By fulfilling your mission for Jesus you are also winning victories in the spiritual realm for Him.
Satan has many strategies to disrupt you in this world. But you stand for Christ, the Conqueror of all of the evil things in this world from evil spiritual powers like Satan and his demons to reversing the curse and corruption of this world.
Trust in the Lord as you advance His good news and stand against the wickedness of this world for Him. Use the information you have about the enemy to strike a blow to the gates of Hell for the Kingdom of God. What other tactics and strategies do you see the devil employing until Jesus returns?
We have discussed how Satan and his demons use the strategy of lying and deception. Next we will turn to some of the specific lies he tells Christians to keep you off your game. So join me next time as we continue to gear up for battle with our battlefield trainings.