I Peter 5:8… “Be sober, be vigilant – for your adversary the devil – walketh about, seeking whom he may devour!”…. And we can take note here that the very name of what he is (the devil – which means “false accuser, slanderer”).. tells us what he does so well .. Indeed – in John 8:44 – Jesus identified the devil as “a liar.. and the father of lies.”…
Okay.. the devil (aka Satan) is a deceiver… and realizing that – shouldn’t we then always be able to recognize him “at work”? We could…. except that the problem with deception is.. that it is so “DECEPTIVE”!! And since Satan is a being from the spirit realm, that makes it easier for him to carry out his deceptions generally undetected…. And that is even greater reason for us to identify and learn to understand the tactics he uses to get in to our thinking.
I have often heard it said that “Satan’s ONLY weapon against us is deception” – but did God give us any info in His Word to shed some light on “HOW” to recognize when we are being deceived? Yes, He did… Because He wants us to LEARN how to recognize deception.. and to understand the tactics that Satan uses to get into our lives with this deception.
The first piece of information that I would like to share about this is in Romans 8:14-16 & I John 2:27.. which tell us about the “witness of the truth” that God gave us in our born again spirit… And.. how the Spirit of God (aka the Spirit of Truth/The Holy Spirit ) has been sent to lead and guide us into all truth..(John 14:16,17 & John 16:13,14) ….He is the One who bares witness in our born again spirit.. He bares witness of truth.. and of error…. This “witness” in our spirit – along with the information which we are given about “our adversary the devil” in the Word of God – is our greatest ally as we.. LEARN.. to recognize that witness in our spirit – and these “tactics”which Satan uses to gain entrance into our thinking.
We can find a lot of information concerning those tactics in the Parable of the Sower – which Jesus used to teach the multitudes the “mysteries of the Kingdom of God.” In that parable in Mark 4, Jesus informs us of several very important things we need to know IF we are to truly understand how the Kingdom of God operates…
( FYI – A parable is.. a short simple story of comparing one thing that we are familiar with.. with another thing which we are trying to understand…. In the case of the Parable of the Sower..in Mark 4.. we see the operation of the Kingdom of God.. compared to the familiar subject of the planting of a seed to produce a harvest…. In other words.. the Kingdom of God operates like the planting of seeds works in the natural..to grow and produce a harvest!)
- The “seed” that the sower in this parable sows – is the Word of God – v. 14
- People receive (or not) in different ways (verses 15-20)…. but one thing is the same for all of them – which is this – “Satan/aka the devil – comes immediately to snatch away the Word which had been sown in their heart”/spirit… v. 15
- He comes to take away the seed (aka the Word of God) BEFORE we understand the value of that Word – i.e. – That, as we RECEIVE and KEEP that word.. it imparts into us the very “life” that is in every word which God speaks (Hebrews 4:12)… The life that is in that spoken word produces “fruit” – fruit according to the thing which God spoke to us about in that Word. (v. 20.)…. It is helpful to recall…that God spoke, and the worlds were created by His Word (Hebrews 11:3 and John 1:1-3)…. No word that He speaks is without power to come to pass – including the words that He speaks to us – which come to us as “a seed”…We don’t have to understand altogether “HOW” this works…. only that it does (v. 26-28!!)
- Satan comes immediately to snatch away the Word we hear…and these are the 5 tactics that he uses to get into our life to do that…..:
- Persecution (v.17) – to pursue to harass or injure
- Afflictions (v.17)…i.e. pressures, anguish, trouble
- Cares of this world (v.18,19) ..Cares produce in us one or more of these things: anxiety and disquieting of the mind by worry & fear, grief, weighed down by responsibilities (which can be either “genuine” – or false ones we’ve taken on)
- Deceitfulness of Riches (v. 19)…is woven around the line of thinking that having wealth will solve all things
- Lusts of other things (v. 19)….revolves around an excessive desire to gratify the senses or bodily appetites
Those are the tactics which the devil uses to bring deception and thus some form of defeat in an area of our lives….The ultimate goal of the devil being what we see in John 10:10… which is that the devil/aka our adversary – only comes to kill, steal, or destroy…Everything he does is aimed at accomplishing something from one of those three categories….
BUT.. The good news is that we have been redeemed out of the hand of this our enemy.. .Psalm 107:2 and Colossians 1:12-14 express that very well…. And being AWARE of that – and of the tactics that the devil endeavors to use to get into our thinking and thus into our lives…is our best guard against living in some form of deception….So would it not be good to take some time to thoughtfully and honestly …Go over the list of those 5 tactics that he uses – to see if any of those tactics are things that he regularly uses to get into your life.. to bring in deception… Because as it is often said.. “Forewarned is forearmed.”… We are not to be ignorant of the devil’s tactics!