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 few of the ways that he attempts to gain influence:
False Teachings, Philosophies, and Religions
One of the tactics that the enemy has used from the beginning is to directly contradict the word of God. He used this tactic to deceive Eve to eat from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.
God said that if they ate of the tree they would die. The devil said they would not. The serpent pointed out that if they ate the fruit, they would be like God, knowing good and evil.
Today Satan is operating the same way by spreading false teachings, philosophies, and religions. One mantra of our time is “You have your truth. I have my truth. If it works for you that’s great.”
Relativism is the idea that whatever a person believes to be true is true, even if it directly opposes someone else’s truth. Take for example the idea of God. Hindus believe that there are 30 million gods and Christians believe there is one. Muslims believe that Allah is one god and has no son. Christians believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. Both cannot be right.
Another mantra of our time is “tolerance.” We must be tolerant of other people’s beliefs. We cannot say that something is wrong or we will be labeled as intolerant, narrow-minded bigots filled with hate speech.
The enemy is seeking to silence the truth of the word of God and elevate his message. He is doing so by increasing societal pressure against anything that contradicts his message.
These false teachings and resistance should come as no surprise. Jesus warned us about them over two thousand years ago. He said, “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves” (Matthew 7:15).
These false prophets are speaking in the name of God, but are saying things that contradict the word of God. Jesus said, “And many false prophets will arise, and will mislead many” (Matthew 24:11).
Satan’s goal is to spread his lies and contradict the truth of God’s word. Just as Jesus called and sent the apostles to preach the Gospel, Satan calls and sends his apostles to spread his lies. Paul speaks about these false apostles. He says:
“For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. Therefore it is not surprising if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness . . .” (2 Corinthians 11:13-15).
The devil also works outside of the church through various philosophies and religions. The Apostle Paul warns the Colossians:
See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ (Colossians 2:8).
Paul talks about the traditions of men that oppose the teachings of God, but it goes beyond this. He lets Timothy know that behind many of these things philosophies and religions are demonic spirits. 1 Timothy 4:1 says, “But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons.”
Our world is filled with so many voices crying out for our attention. Each one claiming their view is the truth. But with so many views how can we know the truth?
God’s Answer is His Word
God has an answer for us. He has given us the word of God to lead us into all truth. He has sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to show us the truth. Jesus told Pilate, “For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice” (John 18:37).
Jesus not only came to bear witness to the truth; He is the truth. He said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me” (John 14:6). This statement flies in the face of relativism. Jesus is saying there is only one way to God and that is through Him.
His statement forces you to make a choice. Will you believe Him? Will you reject all other ways to God and accept only Him? The crux of the issue is whether or not you will believe the word of God or someone else’s word.
The Psalmist wrote, “Thy word is lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path” (Psalm 119:105). God has revealed Himself and His truth through the word of God. The Bible is the way that God chose to reveal Himself, His will, and His purpose to you.
Jesus said, “If you abide in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:31-32). God’s word is your anchor of truth in a relativistic world. You can go to His word to find truth and direction.
The Apostle John says, “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see if they are from God; because many false prophets have gone into the world” (1 John 4:1). Refuse to trust everything you hear. Do what John suggests and test the words to see if they are true.
I like how Paul describes what we are to do. He says, “We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5).
Paul’s tests the words that are spoken by how they line up with the person of Christ. Does whatever a person say line up with the word of God? Are the thoughts you are thinking in line with the Bible? Do they agree with who Jesus is and what Jesus says? If not, they must be taken captive and destroyed.
Your thinking must be aligned with what God says in His word. Test everything that comes your way. Does it line up with God’s word? Start monitoring your thoughts. Do they agree with what God says? If not reject them and stand strong in the word of God.
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