The devil is not someone that should be feared or taken lightly. He roams around seeking those he “may” devour.
This means that he cannot devour anyone who does not give him access, permission, or substance to devour.
In the Garden God sent the serpent on his belly to feed his belly with dust. Dust can be a metaphor for our carnal, non Christlike behavior. If we do not provide him food he cannot feast on us. Remember, God formed man from the dust of the ground!
In the Garden man, who had been given responsibility by God to guard and tend it, lost focus on who and why they were. When they took their eyes off who God said they were and what God told them to do they sucked the serpent into their Paradise instead of confronting him outside the Garden.
What have you lost sight of that invited the serpent into your world?
There will always be “good reasons” to disengage, even for a moment, from what you are trying to accomplish in life. Look at what Paul says,
2 Corinthians 2:11
“. . . so that no advantage would be taken of us by Satan, for we are not ignorant of his schemes.”
- The context of this verse is love, forgiveness and restoration!
- But we should always be aware of the strategies our enemy will employ to distract and detour us with the ultimate goal of destroying us, or what God has called us to do for Him.
- ‘Schemes’ speaks to a language that I understand well. That language is the language of sports. Schemes can speak of a certain strategy and or plans that are used by a competitor to exploit any weakness that has been discovered through the various scouting procedures used.
- The Greek word used means: The processing power of the mind that develops perceptions that are foundational in decision making. It has to do with the way we think, not just what we are thinking about.
“Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.”
Notice that once we put this armor on we are never to take it off!
- The armor of God is God Himself
- Truth – “I am the truth”
- “Your word is truth”
- “The word became flesh”
- Rightousness – “Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness”
- Gospel of peace – “For He Himself is our peace”
- Shield of faith – “Author and Perfector of faith”
- Helmet of salvation – “He put on . . . a helmet of salvation on His head.”
- Sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God – “and the word became flesh”
- Stand firm – Established, remain in place, remain in the place God places you, unwavering and not hesitant
- Schemes – Deceptive tricks [using what looks like truth but isn’t, using what looks good but is really not good or beneficial], using circumstances to manipulate [maneuver] us off of our path to our purpose
- The Greek word used in this verse is different than the one used in 2 Corinthians 2:11. This word means: The methods used in manipulation, the path travelled to accomplish an agenda that is at variance with what is considered correct, or right[eous], that which includes that which is false, absurd, or a distorted representation of someone or something
- Devil – To slander, falsely accuse, mislead with untruths
The devil himself, “appears as an angel of light” to create chaos and confusion within the community of Light. He is the master at manipulating people and events to impugn God so that people will disconnect from, or never connect to, God.
Two ways the devil maneuvers people is through weariness and busyness [business]. Once he knows your weakness [where you will cave] he begins maneuvering to make and keep you tired and busy with business that is not productive to who you are and what you are called to do.
This can be in relation to your ultimate purpose in life or just a part of your life you are pursuing because God is breathing on it in this season.
I am too tired! I am too busy! I can’t! It won’t!
Where do you think these come from?
This must be one of our core values: “I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me [who gives me His strength and ability].”
Paul, the apostle, is my hero on several levels. One very important level is the way he did not allow all of the adversity and opposition to his identity and mission mess with his staying on message in his ministry.
2 Corinthians 4
“17 For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, 18 while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.”
Paul is saying he stays on course because he keeps his focus on what is eternal, not temporal. Once the devil knows he can trick us into taking our eyes off the eternal he continually offers that which is temporary.
I know way too many people who got sidetracked when they got stuck in something that was momentary believing it was an ongoing issue. Even a season of sin can be manipulated to convince you that is who you are. This lie can convince you there is no need for you to repent and return to the Lord.
Let’s take a look at some of the momentary and light afflictions that he pressed through.
2 Corinthians 4
“8 we are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing; 9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; 10 always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. 11 For we who live are constantly being delivered over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh.”
2 Corinthians 6
“3 giving no cause for offense in anything, so that the ministry will not be discredited, 4 but in everything commending ourselves as servants of God, in much endurance, in afflictions, in hardships, in distresses, 5 in beatings, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labors, in sleeplessness, in hunger, 6 in purity, in knowledge, in patience, in kindness, in the Holy Spirit, in genuine love, 7 in the word of truth, in the power of God; by the weapons of righteousness for the right hand and the left, 8 by glory and dishonor, by evil report and good report; regarded as deceivers and yet true; 9 as unknown yet well-known, as dying yet behold, we live; as punished yet not put to death, 10 as sorrowful yet always rejoicing, as poor yet making many rich, as having nothing yet possessing all things.”
2 Corinthians 11
“23 Are they servants of Christ?—I speak as if insane—I more so; in far more labors, in far more imprisonments, beaten times without number, often in danger of death. 24 Five times I received from the Jews thirty-nine lashes. 25 Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, a night and a day I have spent in the deep. 26 I have been on frequent journeys, in dangers from rivers, dangers from robbers, dangers from my countrymen, dangers from the Gentiles, dangers in the city, dangers in the wilderness, dangers on the sea, dangers among false brethren; 27 I have been in labor and hardship, through many sleepless nights, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure. 28 Apart from such external things, there is the daily pressure on me of concern for all the churches. 29 Who is weak without my being weak? Who is led into sin without my intense concern?”
All of these Paul called, “light and momentary afflictions.”
What excuses are you allowing the devil to feed you so that he can feed on you and eventually feed off of you?
What distractions have commandeered your call and or your career?
What weakness is the devil exploiting because you tipped your hand when you compromised out of what you believed to be convenient?
What inconvenience did you not press through and now you are finding it more difficult to overcome circumstances that you used to not even realize were there?
I tell couples who come to me for pre-marriage counseling who have been engaging in pre-marital sinful sex, “If you cannot say no to sex with each other now, knowing it is sinful, what guarantee do you have that when the opportunity to have sex with someone other than you spouse comes, you will be able to say no?” You should see some of the expressions I see!
If you cannot say no today you have nothing stable to stand on to say no tomorrow!
If you compromise today you have given place for the one who compromised in heaven to control you and your decisions today and in the future.
My advice to them and to you is this – Make a decision right now to stop doing what you know is wrong, and a compromise to Godly core values, so that you will have confidence that when confronted with options to compromise in the future, you won’t give it one thought because you have already decided how you are going to live.
Jesus said this, “I will not speak much more with you, for the ruler of the world is coming, and he has nothing in Me;”
The devil is always “coming” to see where he can exploit us. Jesus said, “he has NOTHING in Me.” He has nothing in Me or on Me that he can use to manipulate Me to compromise who and why I AM!
Can you say, “He [the devil] has nothing in me?”
If you can’t then maybe you should evaluate the level of commitment to Christ you claim to have.
Stop providing the devil food to feed on you or to you!
Dr. Kevin M. Drury, DMin