In 2 Corinthians 2:11 Paul says that believers should not be ignorant of Satan’s devices. The word Satan means adversary. His other name the Devil means a liar. To put the two together (adversary and liar), it is axiomatic that our enemy opposes us through deception. This is also evident from scripture.
Revelation 12:9 ”So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.“ (NKJV)
Thomas Brooks wrote a book in the 1600s titled “Precious Remedies Against Satan’s Devices.” In his book, he addresses the various devices of deception that Satan uses against believers. As you start this year, stay vigilant and see which ones the enemy is using against you. Here are just a few of them from the book:
DEVICE 1: SHOW THE BAIT AND HIDE THE HOOK.
In this scheme, Satan gets you to look at the short-term pleasure of sin and hides the long-term miseries.
DEVICE 2: PAINTING SIN WITH VIRTUE’S COLOURS.
I’m not nosy; I’m concerned.
I’m not an alcoholic; I am sociable
I’m not lusting; I’m admiring beauty.
DEVICE 3: LESSEN THE GRAVITY OF SIN.
Satan whispers: It’s just a small lie.
Satan whispers: It’s not like it’s the end of the world
Satan whispers: It’s not that serious; live a little
DEVICE 4: HIDING GOD’S HOLINESS.
Satan whispers: Just sin, God is merciful. You will just repent and God will forgive you; that’s His job.
DEVICE 5: MAKING THE SOUL BOLD TO VENTURE TOWARD SIN
Satan whispers: You can go to the harlot’s door without going to the harlot’s bed. You can sit with the drunkard without getting intoxicated. You may gaze upon Delilah without toying with her.
DEVICE 6: MAKING CHRISTIANS BITTER OVER SUFFERING.
Satan whispers: God doesn’t care about your pain, otherwise, He would have taken it away.
DEVICE 7: SHOWING CHRISTIANS HOW MANY BAD PEOPLE SEEM TO BE HAVING GREAT LIVES.
Satan whispers: See how sinners are enjoying themselves!
DEVICE 8: COMPARE ONE PART OF YOUR LIFE TO ANOTHER.
Satan whispers: You may be proud and envious but at least you are generous.
DEVICE 9: CAUSING US TO LOOK MORE AT OUR SIN THAN AT OUR SAVIOUR
For every one look at our sin, we must take five looks at the cross of Jesus. Our sins are many, but his mercy is more.
DEVICE 10: CAUSING CHRISTIANS TO OBSESS OVER PAST SINS THAT HAVE DONE DAMAGE THAT CANNOT BE UNDONE.
We must remember that the past cannot be changed, but the present and the future can.
DEVICE 11: BY MAKING CHRISTIANS THINK THAT THE TROUBLES THEY ARE GOING THROUGH ARE PUNISHMENTS FROM GOD.
Satan whispers: God is punishing you for what you did in 2011.
DEVICE 12: BY MAKING CHRISTIANS THINK THAT THE INNER STRUGGLES AND FEELINGS THEY HAVE COULD NEVER BE IN THE LIVES OF OTHER CHRISTIANS.
Satan whispers: How can a Christian struggle with this? You’re the only one.
Thomas Brooks lists many more devices by Satan in his book, Precious Remedies Against Satan’s Devices.