It’s common knowledge that Satan is God’s enemy.
If you are a follower of God, then you are automatically Satan’s enemy, and you can be sure he’s fighting to separate you from God.
But God is one step ahead of the devil, He warns about the enemy:
“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.” 1 Peter 5:8
The devil has developed tactics that he uses to separate us from God and defeat us. It would be wise to understand his tactics so we can recognise them avoid being taken down by them.
I call them the Devil’s D’s.
The devil doesn’t mind how he gets us separated from God, as long as we are. He’ll do whatever he can to distract us from walking with God, communing with Him, and submitting to Him.
He’ll use whatever means necessary to keep us from praying and reading the Bible because he knows without these we become weak.
We go from our phones to our computers to our tablets. We check our emails multiple times a day, sleep with our phones under our pillows, and feel lost without them.
We are so preoccupied with technology that we often miss the first sign of Satan’s trip-wire.
We often dwell on what so-and-so said or did. We talk about it, pray about it, and allow it to grow in our minds. We become so preoccupied with what that person said or did, that we lose sight of God.
Satan knows that if he can get us so focused on our own mistakes, we’ll forget about God’s forgiveness and power to overcome. While it’s good to do introspection, it’s not good to dwell there and get sucked into hopelessness and despair because of our failings.
This one’s tricky because we have to work, right? It’s a good thing! But work often takes so much time that we have no time or mind-space for God.
Sometimes we just allow work to consume us because it makes us feel good.
We dabble in these, looking for new, exciting ideas and forget that walking with God is the. most. important. thing.
Who doesn’t love a good movie, book, music, or concert? But these things can keep us so occupied, we forget about the more sober realities of life.
When the enemy can’t destroy you, he will try to distract you. Learn to recognise his distractions and determine not to be fooled by them. Make a plan to help you stay focused on what’s most important – walking with God.
The devil uses trials and difficulties, little things that vex and annoy, to get us down. If we focus on the state of the world, society, the corruption of man, war, famine, misery, our own trials and difficulties, or our own failures, we will be become discouraged.
And discouragement is paralysing.
The root of discouragement comes from having our focus in the wrong place. We can’t change our circumstances. We can’t change the world. We can’t change other people. But we can change what we focus on.
Stop looking at all the discouraging things and focus instead on things that bring hope and courage – God’s love for us, all the blessings He has bestowed on us in the past and right now, His promises for the future.
“Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? Hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise Him who is the health of my countenance, and my God.” Psalm 42:11
The Bible tells us to hope in God and we will not be discouraged.
We should encourage ourselves in the Lord as David did (1 Samuel 30:6).
“The joy of the Lord is your strength.” Nehemiah 8:10 When we have no joy of our own, God offers us His joy.
Where does doubt come from? Straight from Satan! The very first question in the Bible came from him and it was designed to sow seeds of doubt in the minds of Adam and Eve (See Genesis 3:1-4).
Satan loves to get us to doubt God. When we go through trials and hardships we ask, “Where is God? Why is He allowing this? Why isn’t He doing anything to stop this?” We are tempted to believe that He doesn’t care about us and has abandoned us.
Satan knows that when we doubt God’s love and care for us we begin to question His working in our lives. The more we question, the more rebellious feelings will rise in our hearts – exactly what Satan wants!
Our faith must rest on evidence, not demonstration.
We have evidence of God’s love for us – Calvary. He proved Himself there. Why should He prove it again when He already did more than anyone could ever do to prove they love us?
We may struggle to take the step of accepting what Jesus did for us or believing that His word is true, but we must face our doubts honestly and give them to God. Then we must saturate our minds with the truth of God’s word.
Instead of questioning and finding fault with God regarding things we don’t understand, we must focus on what we do know and understand of God. All our questions will be answered in time.
We must choose to trust God even though it appears He is not helping us or on our side. As we do this our trust will grow and our doubts diminish.
Depression is a common emotional state for many people. It was not uncommon in Bible times either. Elijah experienced it (he asked God to take his life – 1 Kings 19:4), Jonah experienced it (he also asked God to take away his life – Jonah 4:3), and Job wished he had died at birth Job 3:11.
Proverbs 12:25 speaks of depression when it says, “Heaviness in the heart of man maketh it stoop (to depress): but a good word maketh it glad.”
Depression is real, and we all experience it at times. But it is not God’s intention that we stay there.
God must have a plan for overcoming depression. The bottom line is this:
“For with thee is the fountain of life: in thy light shall we see light” Psalm 36:9.
God is light.
When we are surrounded by darkness it makes no difference to God because darkness and light are both the same to Him. (Psalm 139:12)
As we focus on God our minds will receive light and hope.
RELATED: How to overcome depression
The devil will use any or all of these tactics to separate us from God. It is a good thing to be aware of them and counteract his attacks.
How does the devil trip you up? How do you counter his attacks?