He uses lies. He distorts the truth. He manipulates our emotions. He hides in secrets, in the dark. He plants seeds of discord. His purpose is to divide and conquer the church of Jesus Christ.
“Satan, who is the god of this world, has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe. They are unable to see the glorious light of the Good News. They don’t understand this message about the glory of Christ, who is the exact likeness of God.” 2 Cor. 4:4
“The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is?” Jer. 17:9
The devil is so good at scheming. He sets the most cunning traps and devises the most personal attacks. He sends the best messengers with the just the right words to sway and persuade. He is artfully diabolic.
Where does that leave me? How do I know when its the devil? How do I know if he’s behind the words I hear in my ears or the thoughts in my heart?
Check the fruit.
“Beware of false prophets who come disguised as harmless sheep but are really vicious wolves. You can identify them by their fruit, that is, by the way they act. Can you pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? A good tree produces good fruit, and a bad tree produces bad fruit. A good tree can’t produce bad fruit, and a bad tree can’t produce good fruit. So every tree that does not produce good fruit is chopped down and thrown into the fire.” Mt. 7:15-19
Now the works of the flesh are evident:
- sexual immorality
- fits of anger
and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. Gal. 5:19-21
If you are questioning whether or not something is a spiritual attack, check the fruit. If it producing any of those things from that list, it is fueled by the powers of darkness. If there is strife, jealousy, anger or division in your home, your marriage or your church, satan is behind it all.
If God is behind it, it will bear fruit of His Spirit. Gal. 5:22 says, But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives:
Turn on the lights.
“No secret is a good secret.” As I study the enemy I have found over and over he needs our compliance. He needs us to keep our mouths shut and our eyes closed. He thrives in the dark. He flourishes in the secrets we keep, the truth we avoid and the conversations we refuse to have.
Carefully determine what pleases the Lord. Take no part in the worthless deeds of evil and darkness; instead, expose them. It is shameful even to talk about the things that ungodly people do in secret. But their evil intentions will be exposed when the light shines on them, for the light makes everything visible. This is why it is said, “Awake, O sleeper, rise up from the dead, and Christ will give you light.” Eph. 5:10-14
Recognize where your victory comes from.
Sometimes I think we get caught up thinking we have to defeat the devil ourselves- one on one. If we try that we will lose every time. No… Jesus planned something much different. He purposed to stand before us and take the blows himself.
Just drink in this rich passage of the holy word. Don’t read it too quickly. Really. It is amazing.
See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ.
For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and in Christ you have been brought to fullness. He is the head over every power and authority. In him you were also circumcised with a circumcision not performed by human hands. Your whole self ruled by the flesh was put off when you were circumcised by Christ, having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through your faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead.
When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross. And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross. Col. 2:9-15
That is so huge I can barely wrap my mind around it.
I am in a spiritual fight. You are in spiritual fight. We have to stop ignoring that. We have to check the fruit that people and situations are bearing. We have to expose darkness when we see it. And we have to give our lives over in baptism to the Christ who disarmed those powers and authorities with his death on the cross. Now, let’s do it!
Check out: What Is The Devil Saying To You?