Satan’s tactics are only secret until you choose to become aware of them.
While Satan strives to keep people ignorant of his tactics, there is a book that has been available for some time, that completely blows the lid off of those tactics. It’s called the Bible! Satan’s tactics are only secret until you choose to become aware of them. So what are his tactics, and has he developed anything new since the Bible was written? We will reveal some of his tactics in this study, and as to whether he’s come up with anything new – well, no! He is still using the same old tricks that he’s always used! 2 Corinthians 2:11 says, “Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices“. Paul, the writer of 2 Corinthians, expects his readers to be well aware of Satan’s tactics – therefore if we really are ignorant of them, its about time we learned something!
If it seems to be talking literally, then we should take it literally.
We’ll start at the beginning – the book of Genesis. In Genesis 3:1, Satan makes his approach to Eve and says, “Did God actually say……?” (English Standard Version). This has been one of Satan’s primary tactics throughout the ages, to question exactly what God said and whether He really meant it – in order to fill our minds with doubt and confusion. This tactic is the reason that so many Christians read their Bibles, see what it says, but still think that, for whatever reason, it doesn’t apply to them, or it doesn’t exactly mean what it says. For example “By His stripes you were healed” 1 Peter 2:24 – “Well, yes, but……..“. This should be the first of Satan’s tactics that we learn to recognise and overcome. The Bible does contain some pictorial passages, but if it seems to be talking literally, then we should take it literally. In the example I gave above, if God says that by Jesus stripes you were healed – then that is what He meant. There are no clauses added to that verse – there are no hidden meanings.
When you are double minded, you will not receive anything of the Lord.
Let’s look at what else the Bible has to say about doubt – which should be seen as the enemy of faith. Doubt takes faith and turns it into something with no power at all (well no power to produce good results anyway).
- “O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?” Matthew 14:31
- “If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done.” Matthew 21:21
- “Seek not ye what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink, neither be ye of doubtful mind.” Luke 12:29
Another tactic, which is similar to doubt and questioning what God has said, is to attempt to cause us to be double minded, constantly changing our minds about what we believe. James talks about this in James 1:6-8: “But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. A double minded man is unstable in all his ways“. When you are double minded, “Yes I’m believing God to help me in this…..but what if He doesn’t? What if it’s not His will? I need to make contingency plans….“, you will not receive anything of the Lord. So yes, you’d better make your contingency plans!
Unbelief stubbornly refuses to believe.
These two tactics that we have looked at, have another benefit for Satan. Namely, after he has caused our faith to become ineffective, he can then point to the scriptures in question and say, “Well, that didn’t work for you did it?” – which perpetuates the doubt and in time turns it into outright unbelief (which you will likely spread to others). What’s the difference between doubt & unbelief? With doubt, there is always the possibility that it could swing back into faith; however unbelief stubbornly refuses to believe. Unbelief says, “I know the Bible says that, but I heard about this person / I heard about that person / this is my experience“. Jesus refers to people like this in Matthew 13:15, “For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed“. Although the devil is behind this and has been pushing the person towards unbelief, it is ultimately their decision. They are the ones who have closed their own eyes, Satan has not forced them closed. Thomas displayed this stubborn refusal to believe in John 20:25, when he said, “Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe“. Determine today to put doubt and unbelief out of your mind, “For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen“ (2 Corinthians 1:20). If God has said it, then He meant it like He said it. You do not need to look for hidden meanings as to what God really meant, God does not talk in riddles – the Bible is not meant to be a mystery to us.
We need to recognise fear as our enemy.
Another of Satan’s favourite tactics is fear – which is not far removed from his other tactics that we’ve looked at. Faith is the direct opposite of fear. If you are in faith, you cannot be in fear; and if you are in fear, faith stops operating. As someone wise once said, “Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering“. We need to recognise fear as our enemy. The antidote to fear is found in 1 John 4:18, “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear“. When you analyse it, fear is simply a lack of faith in God’s willingness to protect and look after you. Fear says, “I know what God has said in His Word, but I can’t risk relying on that – what if it doesn’t happen?“. Take God at His Word – believe what He has already said and you will have absolutely no reason to fear.
Satan uses a number of different ways to discourage people from reading the Bible.
The final tactic that I want us to look at today (and this is not an exhaustive list), has the same purpose as the other ones we’ve looked at – to stop faith having any real power. However, whilst the other tactics have focused on deceiving & confusing the believer who has read God’s Word, this tactic is focused on stopping a person from reading the Bible at all. Or at least to make sure they hardly ever read it. Satan is well aware that “faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17). So Satan uses a number of different ways to discourage people from reading the Bible, including:
- Convincing them that the Bible is boring and that reading it is a chore
- Convincing them they don’t have time to read the Bible
- Filling their time with distractions, so they don’t have time, even if they intend to read
- Telling them the Bible is irrelevant today
The only way that we can become fully aware of Satan’s tactics, is by daily reading the Bible. So unless you want to be an easy target for him, I would suggest you start learning about his tactics, so that you can defend yourself against them. Satan is already a defeated foe, but unless you know that, he will be the one that keeps you downtrodden.
For more about how Satan tries to discourage us from reading the Bible see my post, The Bible – What Is It Good For? Absolutely Nothing or Absolutely Everything.
If you have any further questions or thoughts, please feel free to leave a comment.
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