“For we are familiar with his evil schemes.” 2 Corinthians 2:11b (NLT)
Let me say from the beginning of this post that the only reason I give the devil any print is that we are told to know his evil schemes. I think too many people make him so much bigger, more powerful and more in control than he actually is.
Satan is not creative, at all. He is a cheat, a counterfeiter, a copycat, a predictable foe! In fact, he is quite stupid (defined as someone with a low IQ or lack of common sense) in thinking that he, a created being, could ever win over the Most High God!
His strategies and ways are not new. That is why Paul wrote that we should not be unaware of his schemes. The only way that Satan can outsmart us is if we don’t understand how he works, and he has worked the same way since the beginning. This is one of the reasons why he so desperately wants to erase or rewrite history. Then we won’t be able to see how he worked in the past. After all, he is doing it all the same way he has done before.
He is violently jealous of Man, and can never take our place as the most precious thing to God. He used to be the most highly decorated cherub who dwelt in God’s presence and led angelic beings in a heavenly worship ministry. But he lost all that (Isaiah 14). He lost his high status, in fact he lost his brilliant mind. When he was cast out of heaven by a lightning bolt of God, his mind must have been fried and twisted.
As a spiritual being, he does not have blood, but requires the blood of babies as a form of empowerment. Satan is weak and cannot directly hurt us, otherwise he would have had us killed before we surrendered to Christ. In fact, he would wipe out all of mankind if he could, but he can’t so he must get men to do his evil bidding.
He is a liar and a murderer, though as I have already mentioned, he cannot kill unless he is given permission to by humans. He uses manipulation and intimidation, which is witchcraft, to get his way. Nevertheless, he has been defanged, and now he requires people to do his work. Jesus was successful in destroying the works of the devil, though he continues with smoke and mirrors. Through deception, delusion and promises that he will never keep, he lures power hungry people to surrender to him. He doesn’t nor can he fulfill the promises he makes to those who will follow him. He even tries to get believers to doubt God’s goodness, saying “Did God really say…?” He spoke that to Eve and to Jesus, and undoubtedly to everyone on earth through his cohort of demons.
He requires puppets. Ultimately, he will have an anti-Christ, a human in whom he will indwell. That day is coming. But right now, all he can do is work through an anti-Christ spirit that is operating in the world.
The primary battle field is the mind of humans. That is why we must take captive every thought and make it obedient to the Lord (2 Corinthians 10:5). We are told that the transformation process into Christ-likeness comes from the renewing of our mind (Romans 12:1). We must draw near to God and resist the devil (James 4:7-8), which means reject his lies, accusations and deception. We are to put on truth (Ephesians 6:14), meaning when we receive a bad, evil or false report, we must not accept it. It is truth that sets us free from the tyranny of the evil one. Everything must be filtered through the truth of God’s word. We must put on the mind of Christ, the helmet of salvation (Ephesians 6:17). We must keep our eyes and hearts fixed on Jesus. The devil’s temptations are real, and they entice our fleshly desires. When the enemy puts a thought in your head, that is, something that is contrary to the word of the Lord and/or entices you to disbelieve or disobey God, reject it and put on truth from the word.
I know this has been a long exposé, but in this hour, the battle may get hot and those who are staying close to Jesus have nothing to fear. But understand this, there are many followers of Christ who have been deceived and lead away from their pure and simple devotion to Him. If you are afraid of the devil, repent of that, putting him back where he belongs, a twisted nothing, a nobody who is merely deceived and goes on deceiving. The power and authority that you carry as a born-again, Spirit-filled, lover of Jesus, completely outguns the devil.
Ask the Lord to show you any place where you have put the devil in a higher position than he deserves. Repent if you have. Proclaim that you have authority and power over all the power of the enemy, and do it daily! Ask God for the grace to step into that authority and to operate without fear any more. If you still have fear of the devil or demons, simply confess it and acknowledge that He who is in you is greater, stronger and more powerful than he who is in the world (1 John 4:4). Pray for your pastor to not be afraid of the devil, but to stir up the zeal of the Lord among your congregation. That your church and the church across our city would see just how nothing the devil is, and how great our God is!