"Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light." (2 Corinthians 11:14)
"If you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such "wisdom" does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, of the devil. For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice." (James 3:14-16)
He is crafty/cunning. He tempts (since Genesis). He lies (he is the Father of lies) and deceives. He knows the Scriptures but he twists God's Word for his own agenda. He takes advantages when we are weak and empty (physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually). He makes sins look good and sweet. He likes to make a deal (offering something attractive such as money, fame, power, sensual gratification, etc. if you'll only compromise your commitment/ obedience to God). He stirs up/seduces our fleshly desires/self-centered nature. He wants us to worship him, instead of God. He has temporary power to influence the world (but all things are ultimately under God's control). He dares us to test God or makes us doubt God/His Word. He wants us (the Body of Christ, family, marriage) to be divided, instead of being united/in unity.
Fear not! Our victory is in Jesus! Satan tried to tempt Jesus and failed miserably. We can learn much from Jesus's example in Matthew 4:1-11, Luke 4:1-13.
Defensive and Counter-Attack Strategies:- Live your life under the authority of God's Word. Be very familiar with God's truth so that you can detect the lies immediately (even when they come sugarcoated with a misuse of Scripture). Fill yourself up with God's Word, our spiritual food, daily. "Jesus answered, 'It is written: 'Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.'" (Matthew 4: 4) "Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path." (Psalm 119:105)
- Worship, serve, and obey God only...no matter what. With no compromise (Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were great examples). Recognize that any deal from Satan is a bad deal. "Jesus said to him, 'Away from me, Satan! For it is written: 'Worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only.'" (Matthew 4:10)
- Trust God totally and don't demand God to prove Who He is. "Jesus answered him, 'It is also written: Do not put the Lord your God to the test.'" (Matthew 4:7) "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil." (Proverbs 3:5-7)
- Be self-controlled and alert (watchful). "Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith." 1 Peter 5:8-9a
- Put on the full armor of God. "Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God." (Ephesians 6:11-17)
- Pray. Be in constant communion with God. "And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests." (Ephesians 6:18a) Spend plenty of time with God.
- Live by faith...by the Spirit. "We live by faith, not by sight." (2 Corinthians 5:7) "So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other. so that you do not do what you want." (Galatians 5:16-17)
"The devil is willing for a person to profess Christianity as long as he does not practice Christianity." (Unknown)
"He who delays his repentance pawns his soul with the devil." (Unknown)
"God put the Church in the world. Satan seeks to put the world in the Church." (Unknown)
"One of the devil's snares is to occupy us with the past and future so as to take away our peace for the present." (Unknown)