Today, I thought to share with you something I consider very important that you must keep a close watch of in order not to play into the will of the devil, thinking that you are playing out the will of the Lord – thereby leaving you captive of his schemes, unwillingly running his errands.
Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.
2 Corinthians 2:11 KJV
Paul, the Apostle, made a very profound statement in the above scripture that we are not ignorant of the devices of the devil. How true is this statement today in the lives of believers? Why does it seem like believers are oblivious of the ruses of the devil?
The woman was convinced. She saw that the tree was beautiful and its fruit looked delicious, and she wanted the wisdom it would give her. So she took some of the fruit and ate it. Then she gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it, too.
Genesis 3:6 NLT
Satan, in his craftiness knew that Adam wouldn’t succumb to his plans. So, he thought to himself, “Who is close to him? His wife!” He thought again, “Which of the animals is subtle enough to penetrate the woman?” The serpent was his perfect choice (Genesis 3:1).
The devil always has a way to pass his messages across to target points. He needed to pass his instructions through a subtle nature in order to penetrate the woman. The devil took advantage of the nature of the serpent to enact his plans.
When he got through to the woman, being her husband’s joy, she could get through to the man. This isn’t different from what happens today, when husbands agree with their wives for peace to reign and eventually reap pieces.
Listen, this is something very profound that you mustn’t forget in a hurry; whoever’s word you listen to controls your world.
If Adam was wise, he’d have seen the devil in the words of the serpent that Eve was under its manipulation; he didn’t look deep enough. Jesus knew better not to fall prey to this trick. When Peter spoke of the Father, Jesus knew and when he spoke of Satan, Jesus rebuked Satan (Matthew 16). We must be smart to test all spirits, not looks (1 John 4:1).
It is in the operation of the devil to suggest wrong to you. What do I mean by wrong? Wrong isn’t just bad things (as you have been programmed to believe) but could even be positive words and scriptures as well. I’ll explain.
Satan told Jesus to turn stone to bread. That was a positive statement to a very hungry man. But Jesus refused his offer even though he was in a state of extreme hunger, having fasted for forty days and forty nights. When that didn’t work, Satan spoke scriptures (even though out of context) and we all know how that ended (Matthew 4).
The temptation of Jesus happened in His mind. That you found wrong thoughts in your mind is not as dangerous as yielding to them. God did not have as much problem with the fact that the serpent came to Eve as much as He did the fact that she yielded to his counsel and fell (with her husband) for his subtleness.
Satan hasn’t given up on using his schemes to get God’s children to yield to his will – he will do it to you, too. So, you must be careful not to agree to his wicked and carnal actions, or his seemingly good ideas with evil intentions. Not every good thing is a God thing; beware to guide your heart.
Just as Satan told Eve that she’d be as wise as God if she eats of the tree, he still introduces crafty ideas to you. Here are a few examples;
1. In trying to dish out a meal, he could say that you should increase the quantity to be served, so that you could be given the left over. Instead of doing that, why not simply do the right thing by saying that you’re hungry so that they give you yours? That’s perfect, even if they end up not dancing to your tune.
2. He could suggest you use your facial expressions to manipulate a situation for your personal gains, instead of being honest and trusting that who you tell how you feel will do the right thing.
Vying for self-gain is a trick the devil plays to instill the seed of craftiness in you. This is the reason why as believers, we must be dead to materialism so that we can be alive unto God and His will. Being honest and standing for truth is a quality virtue that must not be sidelined in our dealings as Christians.
3. He suggests to you that you are sick and so you should miss Church meetings. Have you not read that sick people were taken through the roof to see Jesus, and they were healed of the Word in faith? What about the scripture that says that the Word of God is medicine to our flesh? (Luke 5:18-20, Proverbs 4:22)
4. Even Satan inspires people to write so-called Christian literatures. Just as the devil quoted scriptures to Jesus, when in point fact, it was sponsored by him. The fact that you find the name, “Jesus” in a book doesn’t guarantee it is from God.
Satan is well read and aware of scriptures. In Genesis 3:1, When he came to Eve, he said, “…hath God said…” When he approached Jesus, he said, “It is written…” (Luke 4:10-11). Listen: although there are positive words in the Word of God, not all positive words are the Word of God. That’s why you must yield consistently to the Spirit of God to search out God’s present hour Words to you.
5. It is also his scheme to get you engaged in Church activities like sweeping dirt off the floor or doing some other seemingly important things when prayer is ongoing. He steals your attention from the Word, causing you to fail to savour every moment in the presence of God.
Recently, the Holy Spirit said to me that the very first point of receiving the Word of God is in the place of prayer, even before the minister comes up to speak. When you pray in the Spirit, He gives you certain instructions that are needful so that when the message comes, it properly takes root in you to your profiting.
In Hebrews 4:2, a certain group of persons heard the Word, but it didn’t profit them because they didn’t mix it with faith. Jude 1:20 says, “…building up yourselves on your most holy faith, PRAYING in the Holy Ghost…”
It is in the place of prayers that your faith is stirred up to mix with the Words you receive as it comes. And because the devil knows this, he never ceases to steal your focus when you should be praying.
Satan tries to stop you from receiving the Word (Hosea 4:6). If he fails here, he progresses to the next phase where he makes you see that the message isn’t for you but someone else. There are people who would like nothing better than to identify others in a message and never see themselves in it—that’s a trick from the devil.
When you defeat him at that phase, He then tries to stop you from taking the points seriously. You agree with the Word, but do nothing with what you’ve heard (James 1:22; Joshua 1:8 AMPC). He also wants to make you forget it or make you feel comfortable with it at that point that you fail to see an upgrade.
Watch these closely if you must make progress with your life. Don’t agree to Satan’s suggestion. You have power over him.
You used to live in sin, just like the rest of the world, obeying the devil—the commander of the powers in the unseen world. He is the spirit at work in the hearts of those who refuse to obey God.
Ephesians 2:2 NLT
If you yield yourself to the Holy Spirit, like Jesus, you’d know when the devil comes to speak. Fellowship with Him and you’ll know His ways and be able to trap the devil when he comes.
Be careful not to take a suggestion from the devil and pass it off as the Holy Spirit’s. Guide your mind and thoughts to stay within the righteousness of God and you will certainly enjoy a great life.
Pastor Preston Idoro.