Satan’s Devices

June 16, 2015

                                          Satan’s Devices

We have a terrible enemy.  II Corinthians 2:11 says, “Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.” Satan is subtle.  Many of his devices are hidden.  Our text says we are not ignorant of his devices, but unfortunately, many times we are.  We would like to think that we are smarter than Satan and that he can’t get an advantage over us.  He is an intelligent being and is capable of deceiving us and taking advantage of our weaknesses.

The name Satan means “adversary.”  He works to defeat us, especially when we try to do that which is pleasing to God.  In Matthew 6:24 Jesus said, “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.” If we aren’t serving God, it is possible that we are unwittingly serving Satan.  We don’t think we are, but if Satan can intervene between us and God he has gained a victory.  He just wants to keep us from doing the will of God.  Even though we aren’t deliberately or knowingly serving Satan, in reality we are.

To win over Satan, we need to take the initiative.  We need to stand up to him and show that, with God’s help, we can be victorious.  James 4:7 says, “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”  I Peter 5:8-9 also says, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:   Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.”

One day the prophet Elijah stood before 450 prophets of Baal and 400 prophets of the groves.  All around him were gathered the people of Israel.  Elijah set out to prove that God was more powerful than the god or gods of the850 false prophets that stood before him.  They were all servants of Satan.  God gave him the victory and fire fell and consumed his offering in spite of the fact that numerous pails of water had been poured on it.

Joshua did something similar.  In Joshua 24:15 we read that he said, “And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.”  We need to purpose in our hearts to serve God.  In his day Satan often worked through pagan gods.  In our day he uses other devices.

Jesus said, “No man can serve two masters,” but many keep trying to do it.  They aren’t conscious of what they are doing.  Satan prefers that it be that way.  If they realized they were serving Satan they might resist.  Even many believers are what James calls “double minded.” James 1:8 says, “A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.” Some think they are saved when they really aren’t.  Others are saved, but they aren’t willing to surrender to the will of God. The Apostle Paul was speaking to believers in Romans 12:1 when he said, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.”  It isn’t that they purpose to give a part of their lives to Satan.  They just keep back part of their lives for themselves.    In that area  Satan can often do his deceptive work.

The following are some areas of our lives that we often hesitate to yield to God:

Our pride

We often hesitate if God asks us to do something that would require that we humble ourselves.  There is no way that we can serve God with pride, but Satan can readily use it to motivate us to do his bidding.  It is very likely that we will get some criticism if we do God’s will.  Some relatives may criticize us for spending too much time in church.  If we teach a Sunday school class, we will inevitably make some mistakes.  Some may graciously try to help us by pointing out something we could do better.  Instead of accepting it, we may take it as a criticism.

Our thought life

II Corinthians 10:5 says, “Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.”  Many try to interpret the Bible in the light of what they have been taught or what their church teaches, but we must accept what it says.  Many are unwilling to give up their opinion and accept what the Bible says.

A fleshly lifestyle

We all have a life style.  It is the way we live.  There are things in our life style that are individual choices, but there are often things that are on the border of sin or that cross over into that which is sinful.  Those are things Satan uses to tarnish our testimony.  If God says that something is wrong, there is no reason for trying to justify it.  If we are willing to put away doubtful things God will give us the power to do it.  Ephesians 6:10-11 says, “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.   Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.”

Satan works hard to keep people from putting their faith in Christ for salvation.  If he doesn’t succeed in that, his next effort is to keep them as babes in Christ.  He is freer to work in the life of an immature believer.  For that reason, we need to grow in grace and knowledge.  II Peter 3:17-18 says, “Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness.

But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever. Amen.”    Growth in grace comes by reading the Bible and faithful church attendance.

Satan wants to use us to do his will.  Few there are who consciously serve Satan, but many unwittingly are doing so.  It is much better to be used of God than to be used of Satan.  Be not ignorant of his devices.

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