The devil’s work has been alive and well for a long time. We don’t have to look far to see it. But I want you to think about this. How does he attack you? The devil’s tactics are pretty lame. His playbook has not changed much at all through the years. The circumstances are different, but the core of the enemy’s MO is very much the same.
Matthew 4 records the devil’s encounter with Christ. I laugh when I think that the devil actually thought he was going to take down Jesus. He has failed repeatedly and continues to do so. This biblical record reveals these 3 basic tactics of the devil:
The devil attacks through isolation. He waited until Jesus was alone in the wilderness. I am an introvert. Although I love to be alone and often work better alone, I know that I must be around people to some degree. I have discovered that constant isolation has a vicious cycle. Isolation leads to loneliness. Loneliness leads to boredom. Boredom will often lead us to fill our time with things that we shouldn’t be doing. Beware of isolation because the devil is often lurking right around the corner.
The devil attacks us when we are weak. Matthew 4:2 says that Jesus had been fasting 40 days and 40 nights without food. He had a physical body and all that came with it. Hunger is one of those things. The devil waited until this sensitive most to attack.
The devil also casts doubt on God’s Word. Three times, the devil twists Scripture to lead Jesus into caving into temptation. He said, “If you are the Son of God…” Jesus came back each time with, “It is written”, then quoting Scripture in context. The devil went away.
These three tactics were used by the devil in the Garden of Eden. He got Eve alone, played on her desire for food, and cast doubt on God’s word. The devil is not as clever as we think. We just need to be aware of and counter his attacks.
Rather than isolate, we need to gather with godly people. Hebrews 10:25 says we should not forsake assembling with other believers. In fact, we should do this often, encouraging one another, because the end is approaching. Godly community is a threat to the devil. That’s why he tries to cause disunity.
To counter weakness, we must take good care of ourselves. We need proper rest, diet, and exercise. A weak and poorly fueled body prevents us from being on our A game.
When the devil casts doubt on God’s word in our lives, we need to know Scripture to throw back at him. The Bible is called the sword of the Spirit, so we should be using it all the time. When the devil says you are a loser, remind him you are more than a conqueror. When he says you are condemned, remind him there is no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus. When he says God does not love you, pop back with the truth that nothing can separate you from God’s love. All of these are found in Romans 8.
You and I have no excuse to be the devil’s toy. We have all the equipment we need to be victorious in the Christian life. The reality is we need to be disciplined and use it. Now that you are reminded, get up and make the devil run.