In spiritual warfare the Christian faces a cunning opposing commander. Satan thinks up schemes or traps to try to defeat those who follow Jesus. The word for schemes could be translated as “strategies”. He is drawing up battle plans to be used against us (2 Corinthians 2:11). All these schemes are saturated with deceit and lies, because they come from the father of lies (John 8:44). Consider 2 Corinthians 11:3-4, 13-15; 1 Timothy 4:1. This kind of deceptive activity will only increase as we move closer to the coming of the Lord (2 Thessalonians 2:7-12; Matthew 24:10-14, 21-25). How then can you know what is truth or error? You can know by the Scriptures (John 17:17).
Here are eight types of schemes that the devil uses against us to draw us into sin.
- Satan presents the bait and hides the hook (Genesis 3:4-5; Matthew 4:8-9).
- Satan paints sin with the colors of religion (1 Samuel 15:15, 22-23).
- Satan lessens the sin or makes it seem less by mentioning all kinds of extenuating circumstances (Joshua 7:20-21; 2 Samuel 6:6-7).
- Satan talks up the sin of the saints, while hiding their troubles from their sin, the sorrow of their repentance, and their true heart for God: David (2 Samuel 11:4; Psalm 51:1ff), Hezekiah (2 Chronicles 32:24-26), and Peter (Mark 14:71-72).
- Satan misrepresents sin and its consequences, claiming that sinful people enjoy blessings while the godly suffer (Jeremiah 44:15-18), conveniently omitting eternal consequences (Psalm 73).
- Satan encourages us to compare ourselves with people less religious and moral and in this way builds up our pride (Luke 18:11).
- Satan pollutes minds with dangerous errors that make sin seem less dangerous (Jude 1:4).
- Satan prompts us to choose wicked friends. 2 Chronicles 18:1ff; 19:1-3).
This is a small selection of the schemes that the evil one uses against us! Since we have a powerful enemy that seeks our destruction in many ways, what should we do? We must trust and obey the Lord. Rely on the Lord’s almighty power and put on the armor that he has given for your protection.
Grace and peace, David