This is PART TWO of my blog note on “Satan’s Devices of Which Not to Be Ignorant”. I had the first six devices in that note, and here are FIVE more. Please refer to that note for the intro which is at this link: http://wp.me/p21nNI-9T. No need for me to retype it here!)
F O R G E T F U L N E S S
One of Satan’s devices that he uses most effectively against believers is “forgetfulness”. There are two things that Satan tries to get believers to forget. #1 – The battle is already won because you are on the winning team, God’s team. And #2 – He wants you to forget the many battles that God has already won on your behalf in many times past. If he can get you to forget those two things, he can cause you to either BE defeated or to FEEL defeated. And sometimes perceived defeat is almost as bad as actual defeat. For example, imagine that you are 20 years old when your doctor tells you that because of your current state of health, it’s only a matter of time before you die. And then you live to age 90 all the while thinking every day of those 70 years that you have just days left to live. Even though the doctor was not telling the truth, the fact that you lived 70 miserable years made you live a defeated life – even though it was a long-lived, DEFEATED life. Satan can have you thinking that you are doomed, damned, and defeated every day of your life when all the while you are winning and blessed from the very beginning!
You need to know that in this life – if you are a believer – you are a winner. You are a winner NOT because you are a great fighter, but because you are on the winning team! God’s team cannot lose! So if you are on a winning team, you will win because the team you are on is destined to win. And Satan’s team is destined to lose. That’s common sense. The game was fixed before the world began. God set it up so that He wins and Satan loses. And whoever is with God will win, and whoever is with Satan loses. One of Satan’s tactics is to get you to FORGET that. And when you forget that immutable fact, you begin to walk by SIGHT and not by FAITH. So when it looks like Satan is beating your butt, you forget that you’ve already won and then you concede that you’ve lost. And also, Satan wants you to FORGET that the same God who helped you through similar, previous battles will be the same VICTORIOUS God to help you through future battles. God can’t help but to be victorious. He was victorious in your struggles then, and He will still be victorious in your battles later. If He did it before, He can do it again. Please remember to never forget that Satan’s job is to have you to get amnesia about your predestined victory! The battle is already won. While Satan is over here trying to have you worried and stressed about trying to figure it all out, God has already worked it all out.
“F O O T-I N-T H E-D O O R” T E C H N I Q U E
Another effective strategy that Satan enacts in the believer’s life is what is known in social psychology as the foot-in-the-door technique. For example, because Satan knows that he can’t directly, flat out ask a Holy Ghost-filled believer to do heroin or murder which will ruin his life, he may try to do this technique in order to increase the chances of you doing a “bigger” sin. For example, door-to-door salesmen may come to your door and ask you to accept a free offer for six months of a free weekly magazine subscription. If they come to your door and say, “Hey, ma’am. Please cancel your subscription of your favorite weekly magazine and buy a lifetime subscription of our similar magazine today instead,” of course, you would say something to the effect of, “No, thanks. I like my current subscription just fine.” But if they’re giving you FREE magazines for half a year, why not? But I hope you wouldn’t be foolish enough to think that the salesman is only knocking at your door to give you free magazines. Of course not! He’s ultimately after getting you to commit the rest of your life to BUYING his company’s magazine after those free six months run out. But he’s wise enough to know that it will take the foot-in-the-door technique to even have a fighting chance.
Satan is wiser than your average door-to-door solicitor. He knows that he will not likely have you willingly and knowingly commit to living a lifetime of sin for him and for the destruction of your flesh and soul. So he will apply this foot-in-the-door technique. He will offer you some bait for free while he slowly pushes open the door later for more costly offers later on. The free stuff he offers you puts a crack in the door, and then later, because you’re already so well-acquainted with his mess, he knows that the next time he knocks, you’ll open the door a little wider. If you let the free magazines in your house for half a year, why wouldn’t you pay a low price for the same magazine you accepted already? Satan knows that Christians are too wise to pay for anything he’s offering, so he’ll make it a more easily acceptable gift TEMPORARILY. But you better know that he will come back later to get his due. Don’t even open the door! Treat him like you’d treat your local Jehovah Witness or Mormon when they knock on your door early one Saturday morning! Act like nobody’s home!
“M A J O R I N G I N T H E M I N O R S”
Sadly, this one brings down many a believer. You can know Satan is at work when you find yourself “majoring in the minors” (which by default will have you “minoring in the majors”). Do you ever find you or many in your church home or denomination doing this? An example would be this: Does your pastor spend inordinate amounts of time telling his congregation what clothing and accessories and hairstyles to wear? Does he rant and rave every Sunday about men wearing cornrows and dredlocks? About women wearing pants or shorts? About men wearing earrings? About women wearing their hair short? Well that is a perfect example of one who is majoring in minors. Minors in this instance are little, almost insignificant details that have no bearing on one’s salvation. Well, even though these minors don’t bother God much, Satan will have many Christians fixated on minutiae details. I understand why some pastors may TOUCH on this topic. The bible does say in the new testament section that it is shameful for men to have long hair. The bible does say that women should not cut their hair because their hair is their glory and their covering. The bible does say that a woman should not wear that which pertains to a man. (HOWEVER, THAT LAST ONE WAS WRITTEN IN THE OLD TESTAMENT written for Jews under the MOSAIC LAW. This is not for the new testament believer, which is not to say that Christians should cross dress like transvestites!)
But I believe you get my point. God is not in heaven pulling his hair out because a Christian male has dredlocks. And to those of the Church of Christ denomination, Jesus is not dejected and losing His mind because a church used musical instruments in praise and worship on Sunday. And to those of the apostolic persuasion, angels are not mourning because a girl got her split ends clipped. So stop losing your mind over minors! And it doesn’t end there, guys. Satan’s mind is on bigger things because if Satan can cause you to major in a minor, he has likely effectively caused you to minor in a major. What I mean is that if you are spending 99% of your evangelism telling a woman that she needs to wear skirts and dresses to church, then that only leaves AT THE MOST 1% of the time for you to witness to her of God’s love and mercy, of Jesus’ sacrifice on the Cross, and of the work of the Holy Ghost in their unregenerated soul. THOSE are the majors. Most of your speech in soulwinning and disciple-making should be about LOVE, GRACE, MERCY, FORGIVENESS, TRANSFORMATION, REGENERATION, etc. But you don’t have time for the MAJORS when you’re still spending 90% of your time on Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, and Blogger accounts fixating on how Christians should be Calvinists, or on how Christians should renounce all secular music, or on how Christians should be paying their pastor a tenth of their paychecks. Satan is laughing while you are stuck in the minors. Don’t let him win in this regard!
“T H E S M A L L E R P I C T U R E”
This here’s a good one that gets a lot of Christians upset with God! How many of you have lost the faith or gotten angry with God because of a bad diagnosis from your doctor, the loss of a loved one, or serious, long-term financial woes? Well, you can know that Satan has unleashed a tactic on you that I will refer to as “The Smaller Picture”. This is the opposite of the common phrase, “The Bigger Picture”. When something catastrophic happens to us, most people IMMEDIATELY take on the smaller picture. We think of only ourselves. We get into a pity party – which is totally understandable. We get disappointed, sad, and wonder why God has allowed such tragedy to hit us or our family. Especially if we know that we’ve been doing all we know to do to please the Lord in our lifestyles. We would understand getting a liver failure diagnosis if we were hard drinking every night at clubs. We would graciously accept lung cancer if we smoked tobacco, weed, crack, and meth on a regular basis. We would cope with losing a husband to another woman if we cheated on him every night. But what to do when you’ve been living holy when disaster strikes?
We have to keep sight of the bigger picture when disaster strikes. We have to remember that God lets nothing occur without purpose. I’ve heard of SO many examples of how God has lead people to change laws or begin support groups or sponsor scholarships after a tragedy has hit them or their family. And these people are your average good citizens who suffer in these ways. And instead of wallowing in their pain as they are expected to do, they turn their suffering into a support group and they turn their misery into ministries. This is because they saw the bigger picture. When they lose a daughter to that daughter’s abusive boyfriend, they find a way to change legislation that enforces stricter laws against domestic violence. When they have a son who is shot to death in the streets, they create a neighborhood watch group to meet weekly to protect the streets. When they lose a mother to cancer, they begin to save money for a yearly scholarship for a child who has lost a parent to cancer. Susan B. Komen did not die in vain, her sister Nancy G. Brinker promised her that she would do everything in her might to end breast cancer forever. Komen’s family has raised so much money for breast cancer research and awareness because of their family tragedy.
Now some people will internalize their pain and just feel sorry for themselves until they die. They will refuse to convert their pain into productivity to help save and extend the lives of others. Don’t let Satan do this to you. Don’t let Satan let you trade in the bigger picture for the smaller picture. The bigger picture makes sense of your pain. The smaller picture makes God look cruel. The bigger picture makes you help hundreds or thousands of others who will go through your current situation. The smaller picture makes you suffer in vain. You pain is not without purpose. God trusted YOU and your family with that tragedy. Don’t let Satan make you undependable to God. God really is relying on you to minister to others who have gone through, are going through, and who will go through your pain.
“E X T R E M I S M”/”R A D I C A L I S M” D E C I S I O N-M A K I N G
I’m using these two words differently than the political definition you might be used to. When I say extremism or radicalism, I am referring to someone going too far in the opposite direction because of one painful fact that they have difficulty coping with. For example, if a man marries a man because two women he dated broke his heart. Or if a man refuses to ever work another job because he had a bad experience with a boss/coworker/client. Just because of one, three, or even ten bad experiences, some people will go to the EXTREME and make very dumb decision. This is a strategy that Satan uses on believers and unbelievers alike. I know of two unbelievers who were raised in the church but who – because of this satanic strategy and others – have left the faith. Satan had them going to the EXTREME about things. For example, if they know of ONE pastor who was exposed for raping a child, they would make that one offense apply across the board to all other Christian pastors. They would see a news report on the one pastor and would conclude that EVERY Christian pastor must be secretly molesting children. They might have personally known a pastor who misappropriated church funds to buy a Bentley for his own personal greed, and then they would concur that EVERY SINGLE PASTOR in the world is using the tithes and offerings to buy personal objects. And because of ONE PASTOR, they are willing to go to hell.
Satan will have you living a life to the extreme. He’ll let you have one bad experience and will then whisper in your ear some mess that will have you running off the deep end. If you experience a church hurt, don’t get DRASTIC with your decision-making because of it. For some people who’ve been hurt by a Christian pastor, instead of them logically saying, “Man, that pastor was a bad man. He raped someone./He embezzled church funds. I’m glad all pastors aren’t like that. I will try to find a pastor who lives a life of integrity,” they say, “See, that’s why I don’t go to church. ALL them pastors want is to use their members for sex./ALL them pastors do is spend the members money on their greedy lusts. I’ll never set foot in another church again,” It is basically insane to assume that every pastor rapes women or steals money just because one, ten, or even a hundred pastors raped someone or embezzled money. That is how you can know Satan is at the root of it. God nor logic would ever say that because ONE human did something, every human of a similar occupation will do it. Just because ONE Caucasian police officer is racist against blacks and does racial profiling does not mean that EVERY Caucasian cop is racist. Even if you can name 100 racist White cops does not mean that every single White cop that has existed, that does exist, or that will exist will be a racist cop that racial profiles against blacks. If you believe that, Satan is at work in your mind and it is only a matter of time before he brings you down. Don’t allow him to set up shop in your mind with this foolishness. ONE does not translate into ALL. One hundred of a thousand does not translate into ALL. Let’s be rational and shut the devil up. Just because you know of ONE church/pastor that did wrong does not mean that ALL churches/pastors do wrong.
These are just FIVE of MANY of Satan’s devices mind you. Satan has SO many tricks up his sleeve for us! He’s no one-trick pony! He gets creative with his devices. Again, please read the first note for the first six devices that I believe God has been gracious enough to expose to me. And Lord willing, there will be at least two more notes on this topic in the near future. Be blessed, and do not forget these devices!