What do we know about the enemy and his tactics?
Satan is known by many different names in the Bible. Here is a list, although not completely comprehensive.
Today's society has reduced Satan to little more than a comical caricature of his true nature. The ridiculous figure with horns, tail, and a pitchfork merely draws our attention away from the reality of Satan and the threat he poses. Of course, sometimes he is also described as monstrous, demonic, and ugly. While this may be a more accurate description of his true nature, his appearance can be strikingly different.
"And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel
Too many people today base their judgements on outward appearance, automatically assuming that something beautiful is good, and something ugly is bad. By this verse we are warned to be on our guard, and that we must always look beyond the initial appearance of something or someone, in order to discern the truth of them; whether or not they are truly for God or against Him.
As a sentient being, Satan is going to have certain traits to his personality. Some of the most prominent are:
Satan is very intelligent and a master of deception. He is not confined to simply one plan of attack. He will do whatever he feels is necessary to destroy our faith, right up to the point where he is restrained by God from going any further. Consider the story of Job. Job was a man who was "perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil." In other words, a prime target for Satan. Satan asked God for permission to test Job and his faith. Before it was over, Satan had killed all of Job's livestock, most of his servants, and all of his children. He brought fire from heaven to destroy his sheep and servants, and allowed the messenger to place the blame on God. (Job 1:16) When that didn't work, he afflicted Job with boils from "the sole of his foot unto his crown." God allowed Satan to do whatever he liked as long as he didn't kill Job. (Job 2:6)
The point of the story is that Satan is not limited to just placing thoughts, doubts, and desires in our minds and hearts, but in certain instances can actually attack in much more direct and dangerous manners, and he is always looking for targets and victims.
"And the LORD said unto Satan, 'Whence comest thou?' Then Satan answered the LORD and said, 'From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.'" Job 1:7
"Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour." 1Peter 5:8
Some of the methods Satan uses against us are:
So we can see that Satan has a virtual artillery of weapons he can use against us. Because of this, we must always be on our guard, especially if we are in one of two main groups: new believers; or effective believers. I believe these are the two groups most at risk for spiritual attack. This will be discussed on another page.
An important thing to remember:
One thing all Christians need to keep in mind if they suspect they may be the target of spiritual attack is that Satan can be defeated. In fact, the victory has already been won!
With this in mind, the next thing we need to be aware of is that in the spiritual realm there are different kinds of spiritual warfare going on, both in our lives and in the world around us. The next section will discuss these levels of conflict.
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