Many years ago I read a book by C.S. Lewis called “The Screwtape Letters“. It’s a book about the Christian life. It is unique though because it evaluates the Christian life from the perspective of 2 demons in their attempt to fight against a particular man.
I want to consider with you 4 of the most well-worn tools that the devil uses to fight a spiritual war against Christians. These four are: Deception, Doubt, Discouragement, and Distraction
You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies. – John 8:44
The devil can only lie. When he opens his mouth he always speaks in lies. He will lie about anything and everything, particularly about the necessity of salvation.
Jesus tells us that we should have faith as a child. Have you ever noticed how pure and perfect a child’s belief is? It’s beautiful. And then what happens when we become adults? We become skeptics: skeptics about God, skeptics about people, skeptics about life.
Doubt is deadly. Check out Hebrews 3:7-19. Verse 12 says, “Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God.”
Deception and doubt general work in tandem. Look at Genesis 3:1-4…
Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” 2 And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, 3 but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’” 4 But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die.
In the fall of humanity into sin, the devil used both doubt and deception. These are his primary tools. Doubt and deception are almost always attacks on the character of God and the Word of God. You can trust God and you can trust God’s Word.
Discouragement usually comes from 2 sources: circumstances & people. We can’t do anything about the circumstances in other people’s lives, but we can do something about the person we are around others and when speaking to others. I want to ask you to commit to something right here, right now. I want you to commit to the Lord that you will not be a discouragement to anyone.
What about the circumstances? Check out these Scriptures…
Take heart! Be encouraged!
If he can’t deceive us or cause us to doubt God and he can’t discourage us in this life, then he will gladly settle for distracting us…even with good things.
Here’s what a focused life looks like…
But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God. – Apostle Paul, Acts 20:24
Be aware of the devil’s tactics. And may we all echo with the Apostle Paul, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” – 2 Timothy 4:7