Satan’s Tactics and God’s Answer
The devil and his demons are looking for opportunities to enter into our lives and take advantage of us. Paul warns the Ephesians to "give no opportunity to the devil" (Ephesians 4:27). Below are a couple of the ways that he attempts to gain influence.
Fear and Intimidation
Satan is a master of using fear and intimidation to shut down and silence believers. He knows the true authority that believers have to resist him in the Lord, but he also knows that many believers do not understand that authority.
As mentioned earlier he comes in like a roaring lion seeking whom he can devour. I think there are three truths we can learn from the wording of this verse.
Satan is seeking to intimidate you
First, the devil comes in like a roaring lion. He wants to paralyze you with fear. He wants to see if he can intimidate you and stop you from moving forward in the call of God in your life.
Many times the devil operates behind the scenes and tries to trip you up with subtlety. Other times he comes at you full force and out in the open to see if you will back down out of fear,
The problem with fear is that there seems to be a million different kinds of fear the devil can use against you. It is like a major smorgasbord. He has so many choices before him. Here is a small list of fears that the enemy uses to manipulate us:
- Fear of failure
- Fear of rejection
- Fear of being wrong
- Fear of poverty
- Fear of leadership
- Fear of intimacy
- Fear of being alone
- Fear of abandonment
- Fear of sickness
- Fear of people (men/women)
- Fear of death
There are many more that he could use, but you get the point.
Just take a moment and think about how fear has impacted your life. What things are you not doing because of fear?
Satan is searching for a weakness in you
Second, the devil is seeking. That means that he going around looking for those who will give into fear. The devil cannot read your mind, but he can see your responses.
So often people believe that the devil is the opposite of God. God knows everything and so His enemy the devil must know our thoughts and be able to read our minds. No way!
The devil is a created being and in no way compares to God. He is an angelic being who has rebelled against God. The bible says he is seeking. He does not know your thoughts, therefore he comes seeking those he can rule by fear.
He uses fear to see how we will respond to it. Haven’t you’ve seen a fearful person? You can’t read their mind, but you can tell they are afraid. You can see it in their face and reactions. That is the same with the devil. If he sees that fear works in an area of your life he will continue to press into that fear until it becomes a stronghold in you life.
Satan wants to devour your life
Third, the devil is seeking whom he may devour. The idea behind that word is the complete and sudden destruction of a person. Jesus wants to give you abundant life. The devil wants to destroy your life and he will do it anyway he can.
His ultimate goal is to rob you of everything God promises you. He uses fear to rip you off and rob you of the blessing and calling of the Lord. That is why Jesus talks about the thief coming to steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10).
God’s Answer is Faith
When the devil attempts to intimidate us with fear, God wants us to resist him with faith. He wants us to stand in the authority he has given us and resist the devil. James tells us, “Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you” (James 4:7).
It is your faith in God and who He says you are that gives gives you the ability to stand up against the devil, resist him, and win. James says that if we stand up against the devil, he will flee.
We have to be aware of this tactic of the devil and use God’s answer for fear and intimidation: the Shield of Faith. Peter tells us how to do that in 1 Peter 5:9. “But resist him [the devil], firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren in the world.”
To see how Jesus encourages His people against the fear of suffering and death, we can look to the book of Revelation. The church in Smyrna is facing severe persecution that may even lead death.
The devil wants believers in Smyrna to back down and turn away from the faith. Jesus wants them to stand firm: He says:
Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold the devil is about to cast some of you into prison that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.
Jesus tells them that even if they face death, they will receive a crown of life. Jesus has an answer for every fear the enemy seeks to use against us. His solution is faith. Faith in what God has spoken. We only have to stand firm in our faith and resist the devil in God’s strength.
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