SATAN’S STRATEGY EXPOSED
The adversary is constantly using his tactics to assail all true Christians in his effort to render them ineffective in being the light of the world. He is a lair, a thief, a murderer and a destroyer.
John 10:10 – The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
Every believer is under assault of the enemy, especially those who are called to teach and preach the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. This is also why we are told to defend ourselves and fight back.
Ephesians 6:10-13 – Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
2 Corinthians 10:3-5 – For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh:
(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;
In warfare it is important to recognize your enemy, to know how he operates and be familiar with his strategies. The following is a brief summary of how the enemy tries to hinder all Christians from being effective witnesses and carriers of the Light of the knowledge of Jesus Christ into the world. Satan’s attacks are carried out in four stages:
* LOSS OF VISION
The enemy, by persistent attack on Christians, especially against those in leadership or ministry, uses various means to produce a feeling of discouragement. Everything is going wrong; nothing seems to work; no help or cooperation; doors seem to close or won’t open; constant opposition; rejection or lack of acceptance; there are so many difficulties that we can’t go on, etc……; all work together to produce DISCOURAGEMENT.
Out of the discouragement comes the next line of attack aimed at generating a sense of CONFUSION; confusion as to what to do next; where to do it; how to do it or who to work with. Confusion then surfaces as to goals, objectives, intention and activities. What does God really want? Perhaps we have been wrong about what we thought God wanted us to do. Maybe God didn’t call me to do anything in the first place. CONFUSION!
The next step in Satan’s strategy is to destroy the vision or sense of purpose. Once we are discouraged by constant attack and opposition; once we have become confused about the purpose of God in our life, then comes the loss of VISION and purpose for our life. We lose sight of what God has called us to be and to do in the present situation. The vision becomes blurred, fuzzy, indistinct, ill-defined or just simply vanishes. LOSS OF VISION!
The final outcome, if the strategy is successful, results in WITHDRAWAL. We just give up, pull out or go back to where we were before we had a purpose, sometimes even denying we were ever on the right tract or even called of God in the first place. Having lost our vision through confusion based on discouragement, we have no heart left to go on. The enemy has won! He has stopped a servant of God in his tracks and turned him aside, making him a victim instead of MORE THAN A CONQUEROR.
How do we defend ourselves when such attacks occur? The answer, as listed above, is in God’s Word. When a Christian or minister is not continually in God’s Word and in His presence through prayer, then his protective armor is off and he is vulnerable to the enemy’s devices. Too many believers, ministers included, seem to take things for granted just because they are God’s children, and neglect to keep themselves wrapped in God’s provision through prayer and the Word.
Perhaps a minister or leader has become a casualty in the battle, causing him to stop his work in the ministry, or crippled it and brought it to a standstill; perhaps even disbanding the work altogether. This is the enemy’s strategy for gaining victory over the people and servants of God. But we are NOT to be ignorant of Satan’s devices:
2 Corinthians 2:10-11 – To whom ye forgive any thing, I forgive also: for if I forgave any thing, to whom I forgave it, for your sakes forgave I it in the person of Christ; Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices. (Note the need for forgiving others and not holding grudges, resentment or bitterness).
James 4:7 – Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
We need to be constantly armed with God’s Word and maintain communion with our Lord in prayer and alert to recognize the attack for the enemy. If we see a fellow believer or minister being hit by the enemy in any of these areas, God’s love compels us to intervene, to intercede, to go and encourage, inspire, motivate and appreciate that person and his efforts.
To recognize these strategies of the enemy being employed against a brother in the Lord and fail to give aid, comfort or encouragement, is in effect to side with the enemy to destroy a work of God and a fellow laborer. Let us be on the alert, especially in these last days, because our enemy has but little time left and is fighting hard to prevent what God has declared to be his end. Satan is trying his best to steal, kill and destroy what God is doing in and through His people.
1 Peter 5:8 – Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
Let’s be joined with others in the fight rather than fighting each other. God gives us the victory, but we must stand united in the work of the ministry and the spreading of the gospel; divided we are open prey to the enemy and cannot stand. Scripture says that, in the strength of God, one can put a thousand to flight, and two can put ten thousand to flight – (Deuteronomy 32:30).
1 John 4:4 – Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.
Eternal souls are at stake, not just ministries and the well being of individual Christians. Are you willing to be the aid and rescuer in the life or ministry of another? Do you recall the words of a popular Christian song in the 1990’s: “Don’t let another wounded soldier die”.
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A word of caution: Please be led of the Holy Spirit in rendering aid to the fallen minister. Some ministries are drying up because they are not true ministries or are not rightly presenting the Word and testimony of our Lord. There are false prophets, teachers and preachers out there also, and they need to be stopped, but the enemy encourages them on as they spread lies. Learn to judge between the true servants of God and the false ones, even though they preach from the Bible and use the name of Jesus. We are warned by Jesus about the deception of the last days and how to determine the true from the false:
Matthew 24:4-5 & 24 – And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ (anointed); and shall deceive many. … For there shall arise false Christs (false anointed ones), and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.
Matthew 7:15-16 & 20-23 – Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. ..... Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity, (which is self will or doing their own thing which is rebellion).
The fruit to look for is not THEIR works but His character and nature in them:
John 15:4-5 – Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing
The fruit we are to recognize is the Fruit of the Spirit which is the character and nature of God as fully manifested in Jesus Christ, the life of the vine flowing in and through every true believer that produces His righteous fruit.
Galatians 5:22-24 – But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh (self) with the affections and lusts.