Dear Loved One,
There has been something weighing on my heart that I want to share with you. Because I want to make sure you fully see and understand it, please permit me to lay a little foundation first.
If I were to ask, “Do you believe the advertising agencies and marketing departments of our society are developing calculated strategies and plans to gain your attention and direct it toward their products?” I think you’d say, “Of course.”
Companies seem to always be looking for new, innovative ways to gain the attention of potential buyers. They certainly don’t depend on last week’s advertising plan. They develop a new one with a fresh approach.
And if I were to ask, “Do you think in the conference rooms of Hollywood and New York people are designing new means of entertainment to capture society’s interest, so their productions will be profitable in the marketplace?” Most people would say “Yes” to that, as well.
Most of us are probably aware that we are surrounded by many constant and persuasive voices.
Now, I would like to ask you to think about something that many people have probably never thought about . . . the plans being developed in the conference rooms of hell.
These dark plans are being calculated and custom-made to try and defeat you and me. Satan does not have a single, generic plan or one-size-fits-all approach for all of mankind.
There are plans inspired in hell and designed by demons specifically targeting each one of us. The purpose of these plans is to discourage, demean, and bring us to a place of weariness, doubt, and frustration.
I am writing to you, dear friend, to raise a signal flag.
It’s a signal flag alerting you to danger. The adversary is—right now—devising an approach that is strategically targeted at you and involves specific, deliberate plans to personally defeat you. In one way or another, all believers are a target of the enemy’s program, but his calculations, plans, and devices are fashioned uniquely for each of us.
Take this moment to look with me at the Word of God, so you can understand the devices and weaponry the Devil employs, and the wiles (or strategies) and methods he utilizes. I want you to be informed, so you can know how to respond to his attacks and be delivered from every device devised for your defeat.
2 Corinthians 2:11 says, “Lest Satan should take advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices.”
To “take advantage” of someone means to defraud them for the purpose of personal gain. One of the ways the enemy takes advantage of us is with false claims he levels against us. We must remember the enemy is a liar and not expect him to tell the truth . . . unless it’s the setup for a lie.
The Adversary speaks lies to us to reach beyond us. In 2 Corinthians 2:11 the word translated “advantage” means to over-reach. Practically, this means when Satan has us from one side, he reaches over to the other side and attacks there.
The Bible mentions three words when it talks about Satan’s efforts to take advantage of us.
Those words are devices, wiles, and weapons. I would like to share with you what these words mean, and how they fit into the Adversary’s program to defeat and destroy us.
To talk about the first word, devices, let’s look at one of the most familiar passages in the Bible about spiritual warfare, 2 Corinthians 10:4-5, which says,
“For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.”
Arguments . . . high things . . . and thoughts. Verse 4 tells us these three things are fashioned together to form the strongholds of the enemy, and they need to be confronted for what they are.
The word “thought” in this verse is the same word in the original language that is translated as “devices” in 2 Corinthians 2:11. This word means thoughts that have a malignant purpose and an evil design.
It is important that we know these are not just passing thoughts, in the sense that people sometimes say, “You know, I was thinking about you the other day.” When Satan says he is thinking about us, it means he is watching and plotting. He is observing what we respond to, and how he can take advantage of us. Then he designs plans that do just that.
When we speak of the devices of the devil, we must understand they are evil thoughts that must be confronted and cut down. The devices of the enemy are specific things with malignant designs.
Then, there is the word “wiles.” In Ephesians 6:11, Scripture says, “Put on the armor of God that you might be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.”
In this verse, the apostle Paul is telling believers to be on the look-out for things that are craftily lying in wait to deceive them. Inherent in the idea of “lying in wait” is the idea of an ambush. Plans that are “lying in wait” for us are plans that are ambushes.
When Scripture references the wiles of the devil, it’s talking about plans designed to draw believers out of their places of security and strength in Jesus and attack them at a place of vulnerability.
Finally, there is the word “weapon.” When I read Isaiah 54:17, “No weapon that is formed against you shall prosper,” I always think of a sword or a spear, or another similar instrument of ancient warfare. But, the word translated as “weapon” in Isaiah 54 is a very general word that basically means anything that is fashioned.
This word could be used for a literal weapon of war, but it was also commonly used to reference a dish, a cup, or anything that was “put together” or fashioned with some sort of design in mind.
Now I don’t point out the meaning of this word to diminish the idea that—like a weapon—it is intended for your defeat, but to underscore the fact that the Adversary doesn’t always use daggers.
He can move in stealth just as easily as being obvious. In fact, it’s often more likely the Adversary will make his approach with a plate full of circumstance, or a cup full of a situation than with some other overt weapon.
How many times have you had something set before you that, at first sight, appeared to be just a circumstance you have to accept? We buy into his program by accepting the situation or circumstance and not recognizing it is a weapon tailor-made to defeat us.
Pastor Jack, you may be asking, what do we do when we face the devices, wiles or weapons of the enemy?
First, as simple as this sounds, ask yourself some practical questions about your health and well-being. Are you eating right and getting enough rest? Those two things must be addressed before you start getting into spiritual matters. If you are not taking care of your physical body, you will have spiritual and emotional difficulty.
Second, we must come to a place of what I’m going to call, “basic prayer.” By that I mean, you need to start marshaling each thought and bringing it before the Lord. The Adversary has designed a thought, a weapon, a wile, or a method to wear you down.
Our only real defense, when we sense any of those things beginning to come upon us, is to take each of those things as they come and recite them before the Lord.
As you bring those things before the Lord and you speak them out loud, in the light of His presence, He will show you the lie that is wrapped up in whatever tiny shred of truth the enemy may have used as packaging. And the lie is enormous in each case. The Lord exposes these lies, because he does not allow the enemy’s weapons formed against us to prosper. (Isaiah 54:17)
The devices of the devil are tangibly real, but they are in the spirit realm. Accordingly, we must confront them in the spiritual realm.
The way we confront these things is (1) to not be ignorant of them and recognize that the enemy is plotting and planning things to defeat and destroy us, (2) to recognize the Lord’s power to defeat these things as we humbly bring them before Him, and then (3) in the Name of Jesus, to call out and cast down those things that have become strongholds of the enemy in your life.
I would like to ask you to hold your hands in front of you and lift them in open praise to the Lord and say, “Loving Father, I receive the release and claim the victory over every device, wile, or weapon the enemy would like to bring against me.”
You can deny the adversary success by calling his plans for your defeat into the light of our glorious Savior whose every plan is for your victory.
Claiming His victory,
P.S. The Lord wants us to become agents of His light and hope and drive out the darkness in our own lives and in the world around us. That is why we want to make the helpful resources found below available to you.
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