Recently Karen and I were with some friends at Disneyland where we watched a country western dinner show. During the show one member of the band played the part of the devil for a few minutes. To make sure we all knew what role he was playing, he put on a hat with two red horns. Everyone immediately knew who he was pretending to be.
Unfortunately for all of us, the real devil does not wear such a hat. In fact he works overtime to disguise himself so that only those who have studied his strategies and character can point him out. That is why so many people are deceived, defrauded and destroyed by him. Even Christians are tricked by him.
That is why this text in Ephesians 6:10-18 is so important for us. It gives us some very valuable insights as to Satan’s goals, strategies and character. I invite you to read that portion asking yourself how Satan has tried to deceive you over the years.
- Our Struggle
- “Struggle” – commonly used in the field of athletics to describe wrestling competitions; most often translated “to wrestle” 1 Peter 5:8-9
- The term “devour” is used to describe: 1 John 3:8
- the whale swallowing Jonah (Jonah 1:17)
- the sinking of Pharaoh’s army in the sea (Exodus 15:4)
- someone being overwhelmed with extreme sorrow (2 Corinthians 2:7)
- Satan's Schemes
- “Schemes” – meaning methods; refers to the deceits, craftiness, and trickery of the devil. 2 Corinthians 11:13-15
- Satan blinds. 2 Corinthians 4:3-4
- Satan deceives. Revelation 12:9; 2 Thessalonians 2:9-10; Psalm106:34-39
- Satan’s deception started in the garden. Genesis 3:1
- Satan deceives by attacking the mind. 2 Corinthians 11:3-4; Acts 5:3
- He attacks our confidence in the Word of God. 1 Timothy 4:1-2
- He instills doubt about Christ. 1 John 4:1-3
- He accuses us, reminding us of our sin and failures. Revelation 12:10; Colossians 2:8
- Our best counterattack is truth. Matthew 4; John 8:44
- Satan deceives through sin-based oppression.
- Satan can oppress us through pre-conversion sin. Acts 19
- Satan can oppress us through post-conversion sin. Ephesians 4:26-27
- “Foothold” means “place.”
- Sins linked to demonic influence:
- Immorality: 1 Corinthians 7:2-5
- False doctrine: 1 Timothy 4:1-3
- Lack of forgiveness: 2 Corinthians 2:10-11
- Satan strikes physical blows. 2 Corinthians 12; Revelation 2:10
- Satan’s leash – Job 1-2
- Question: Can a Christian be Demon Possessed?
- The words “demon possessed” -- implying ownership -- are never used in the Bible.
- The word is best translated “demonized.” It describes the condition of a person who in various degrees is under the control of demons with various effects. Mark 1:32, 34; 1 Peter 5:8; Acts 5:3
- Our Stance
- We receive our strength from Christ. Ephesians 3:16-17
- We fight with God’s armor.
- Our goal is to stand against Satan. James 4:7