From Time immemorial, the devil has deceived mankind, and was mightily successful in smoothly implementing his crooked strategies. Right from derailing the peaceful life of Adam and Eve, by convincing Eve to disbelieve God’s words, to tempting Jesus to worship him, Satan has been using the same game-plan over and over again to dismantle mankind, and manoeuvre countless souls straight to his abode- The Hell.
How did Satan create such a simple and effective layout to subtly mess with our minds, and lead us astray?
Shouldn’t we be even more careful and devise tactics of our own to repel his scheming ways? Peter warns us to keep alert and discipline ourselves, as the devil-our adversary is prowling around like a roaring lion- eyeing for the weak souls to devour.
The four most effective schemes of the Satan that we need to be aware of:
1. Satan- The master of deception
Now, to feign ignorance about Satan’s ways would be an understatement, considering that we’ve been privy to the scripture, warning us right from the Book of Genesis about Satan’s silky smooth discourse and Eve falling prey to his delusive tactics. In 2 Corinthians, we see Paul getting concerned about the believers being led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ, by the schemes of Satan.
Deception is the first tactic that the devil will deploy to confuse believers. James 1:15 warns us, “Do not be deceived, my beloved.” The devil will try to prove every single word of God to be false. He will distort, misinterpret, mislead, blur the lines between what is true and what is false, and create doubts in our minds. These doubts will cause us to fall into sin and give us a false sense of security, only to be disillusioned at the end.
Don’t you now see the importance of having the gift of the Holy Spirit in our lives? The Spirit helps us to discern the word of God, and provide wisdom to combat the ploys of the evil one.
2. Satan strives to divide
Satan revels in his sweet victory of deception, and now moves on to create a wedge between us and God. He is also constantly looking for opportunities to divide, by spreading conflict and contention. Therefore, when conflict arises out of the blue, no matter who initiated it, stop immediately, and strive to make amends! You must instantly realise that this is the work of Satan, to divide and scatter; to deceive and destroy.
Satan’s work of division involves each and every one of us. He divides us through misunderstandings, doubts, sinful tendencies, destruction, anger, resentments, impatience, and past hurt feelings. Satan takes great interest and pleasure in dividing families. Where there is love, he seeks to create hatred and disintegration, and where there is resentment and discord, he seeks to multiply the effects into hatred and division.
Wonder why countless marriages head to the path of doom? We are made to believe in that enchanting dream of meeting someone better, or deserving someone more perfect and charming, that we run behind these wild dreams, and fall for his tactics. Satan will bring before you the most beautiful; the most accomplished; wild, and vivacious beings, to break families, to break trusts, and to break hearts…Will you be on guard against such things, now that you are warned?
Remember that at His last supper, Jesus’ final prayer for us was for our oneness. (John 17:22)
3. Satan creates convincing diversions
A diversion is always very tricky, and a huge menace. If we are not being careful and wise, we might lose track, take a long winded, much more troublesome and rocky pathway, instead of our normal and comforting routes. Satan tries to divert us from our primary goals in life. He creates distractions so that we shift focus from our ultimate goal- “The road to heaven.”
He lures us into enticing situations so that we are tempted to skip that much needed church visit, our prayer time, and our family commitments. He works on our addictions, and challenges us to go after lesser and more tantalising pursuits of pleasure and power. Diversions can lead to anxieties in the long run, and we lose trust in the power of God in dealing with our problems. We lose direction, and the will to lead a moralistic and truthful life. One must always remember that the road to heaven is a rocky terrain, laid with obstacles all along the way. Stick to the road, and you will reach your destination!
4.Satan is the embodiment of discouragement
I am not good enough! I am not worthy! I can’t do this! – Words of discouragement that might have crossed our minds at least once in our lifetime. Satan can discourage our spirits and make us question our faith. He makes us believe that in the end, we are all corpses that merge into nothingness. The spirit of discouragement can crush our confidence, and make us doubt our capability, and God’s power to help us in any situation.
Jesus promised us, “I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
At times, we are easily deterred by our failures, setbacks, and life situations. We start believing that there is no escape from the constant trail of problems, that life seems worthless and empty. Trust in God under such circumstances.
God the sovereign power
Remember that Satan does not have a free reign in this world. He can torment only if God wills, and can progress only as far as God wills. God sometimes decides that we must be tempted and tested in this world in order to be deemed worthy of begetting Heaven. His own son Jesus Christ too was not spared from being tempted by the devil. Jesus resisted the devil by commanding, “Away with you, Satan! We all have this power to resist the devil when faced with challenging temptations. Do we exercise this power?
Only the sovereign God can throw Satan into the lake of fire, where he will be tormented forever and ever. But, before that, He uses Satan to test the purity of our faith.
Are we all up for the devil’s game plan? Let us be on guard and believe in the power of our faith, and the strength of our will, in resisting the devil from our lives.