His ways are very subtle. But then, if his tactics were obvious, we wouldn’t fall for them. He’s the father of lies. The master of deception. He weaves in just enough truth to make his lies believable. Of course, I’m referring to Satan and his scheme to draw us away from God.
His most affective methods are not those which blatantly try to convince us to leave our faith or deny God. Instead, he chooses to subtly feed us mistruths and slowly but surely steal our devotion away from God. He pokes and prods for ways to infiltrate our lives utilizing these four weapons:
Doubt. Satan likes to put doubts in our minds about God. If He really cares about you, why doesn’t He cure you of your disease? Why doesn’t He take away your painful circumstances? Why won’t He provide a job, get you that promotion, or heal your broken marriage?
It would be great to live a life free of hardship, but Jesus made us this promise, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (Jn 16:33). Don’t let Satan fool you into doubting God. Keep His Word sealed on your heart and know for certain He is with you, no matter what you walk through.
Deception. Often Satan likes to disguise evil and make it seem appealing. A tidbit of shared gossip, a small tweak on your tax form, a casual luncheon with your attractive boss may appear innocent, yet turn out devastating.
Satan likes to put us in compromising situations and feed us thoughts that say, Go for it. One time won’t hurt. When all along, the Holy Spirit is urging us not to give in, to hold fast to what we know is right. I Thessalonians 5:22 tells us not to even give off the appearance of evil. Refuse to let your principles be compromised. Stay the course and don’t give the devil a foothold in your life.
Distractions. Sometimes Satan simply likes to distract us. If we’re constantly busy and on the go, our time and commitments to God can be squeezed out and our lives become unproductive. Instead, remember to “Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and He will establish your plans.” (Proverbs 16:3)
We can’t afford to let ourselves become sidetracked from the calling God places on our lives. Our time on earth is short, and we must choose wisely how to spend it. By keeping focused on Christ and what’s truly important, we can make each day count for Him.
Discouragement. It’s so easy to compare our lives with others and feel we come up short. Or have our hopes and dreams fall through and feel like we’ve failed. Satan is great at getting us to grovel in self-pity, sink into depression, and lose our will to try.
Discouragement is one of Satan’s favorite ways to bring us down. Yet, Scripture plainly states the best antidote for discouragement is thanksgiving and praise. “I will extol the Lord at all times; His praise will always be on my lips.” (Psalm 34:1)
Next time you’re discouraged, call out to the God of the Universe, praise Him for what He’s done and what He’s yet to do. You’ll soon find your heart lighter and Satan blown away!
The best way to safeguard our lives against Satan’s tactics is to know God’s Word, pray, convey the Fruit of the Spirit, and lead a praise-filled life. May we consider each new day a chance to know Christ and to make Him known.