Our Enemy’s Purpose and Strategies

Hey Bible students, we’re taking our last look at Spiritual Lessons from Israel’s Six Day War, so let’s finish up strong!  So far, we have examined:

Israel knew who their enemy was, including their personality, position and power.  Israeli intelligence also gathered information revealing the enemy’s purpose and strategies, enabling them to draw up battle plans and win the Six Day War. 

Do we know our enemy well enough to win the battle?  Have we learned the spiritual lessons from Israel’s Six Day War?  In our final “intelligence gathering,” we will consider very specific purposes and strategies employed by the enemy of our soul. 

We know our enemy masquerades as an angel of light, but is, instead, a deceiver, longing to lead us down a path of unrighteousness, and Scripture tells us his purpose is to:

It is clear Satan comes only to steal, kill and destroy (John 10:10), and his most effective strategies include deception, division and destruction.  Let’s consider each of them.

Satan is the Great Deceiver
John 8:44 and Revelation 12:9 clearly describe Satan as a deceiver. He is a master counterfeiter who mimics God.  In fact, he wants to be like God!  Everything Jesus is, Satan wants to be; and his strategy is to deceive us into believing it is he, not Jesus, who is to be glorified and emulated.  Check out these examples:

Satan’s deception started in the Garden of Eden when he spoke through a serpent to deceive Eve.  He continues today, providing mixed messages and lies through false teachers and cults.  He will twist Scripture, as he did when tempting Jesus in the wilderness (Matthew 4:1-11). Scripture out of context deceives many.

Satan is the Great Divider
When Satan fell from heaven (Isaiah 14:12-14), he divided heavenly hosts of angels, as some fell with him.  Do you think he will not do the same to churches?  Acts 5:1-6 provides an example of how fellow followers of Jesus were deceived by Satan, resulting in separation.  Surely, he injects poisons of suspicion, hatred, jealousy and criticism.  When the poison seeks an outlet, it finds the human tongue!  Many churches, fellowships, Christian friends, small groups and church staffs have been divided by the Satanic power of the tongue.

Satan is the Great Destroyer
In Revelation 9:11, John calls him Abaddon (Hebrew) and Apollyon (Greek), meaning “destroyer.”  Often, he uses adversity , as he described in 1 Thessalonians 2:18, when Paul was hindered by the evil one from visiting his beloved Thessalonians.

At times, Satan’s attacks are direct.  Ephesians 6 is the familiar passage describing the spiritual armor we are to wear in fending off the enemy.  Verse 16 warns of flaming arrows Satan fires our way.  Arrows of discouragement and doubt seem to open opportunity for other vices while devouring our Christian witness.

We must not minimize Satan’s activity, but rather stand strong against him.  In standing, we must arm ourselves as Ephesians 6 instructs, but notice our defense does not include talking to Satan!  Rather, talk to the One who masters him!  Use the Word of God.  We are powerless to “put Satan under authority,” but the power of Jesus inside of us is powerful and strong!

Finally, I recently heard Dr David Jeremiah describe Satan’s strategy against mankind this way.  See if you recognize any of these strategies!

  • Keep them busy with non-essentials.
  • Tempt them to over-spend and go into debt.
  • Make them work long hours to maintain empty lifestyles.
  • Discourage them from quality family time and provide them no refuge from work.
  • Overstimulate their minds with TV and computers so they can’t hear God speaking to them.
  • Fill their coffee tables and nightstands with newspapers and magazines so they have no time to read the Bible.
  • Flood their mailboxes with sweepstakes promotions and get rich quick schemes to keep them chasing material things.
  • Put glamorous models on TV and magazine covers to keep them focused on outward appearances and keep them dissatisfied with themselves and their mates.
  • Make sure married couples are too exhausted for physical intimacy so they are tempted to look elsewhere.
  • Emphasize Santa and the Easter Bunny to divert them from the real meaning of those days.
  • Involve them in good causes so they won’t have time for eternal ones.
  • Make them self-sufficient and keep them busy working in their own strength so they will never know the joy of God’s power working through them.

If you are like me, this acronym hits way to close to home: BUSY = “Being Under Satan’s Yoke!”  I’ve got chinks in the armor, how about you!?! 

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