10 Day Devotional Challenge – Day 4

For the next several days, I will be hosting a 10 Day Devotional Challenge. You can read the posts here and comment below to discuss what you’ve read. You may also join the discussion in my Equipped Facebook Group. If you don’t already have a copy of my book, Equipped, you can purchase it at mybook.to/Equipped or ask for it at your local bookstore. For a discount on quantity orders (10 copies or more), please contact me at RuthLSnyder at me dot com.

Schemes of the Devil

“Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith…”

—I Peter 5:8-9a

“Go home and rest. You are definitely pregnant. Quite possibly, this bleeding will stop and everything will be okay.”

Kendall and I had been married for five years. We were ready to be parents. The doctor at a fertility clinic had told us we would never be able to have our own biological children, but less than six months later, I was pregnant. I thought God was giving us a miracle. However, the pregnancy ended in miscarriage. I was devastated.

My desire to live vanished. Kendall didn’t want me to tell anyone outside our immediate family. I felt abandoned, worthless. For weeks, when no one was watching, I sobbed.  For a while, I believed Satan’s lies, but then Scripture reminded me of God’s unfailing love. The grief subsided to a dull ache, and I moved on. About a year later, through adoption, God filled our empty arms with our eldest child.

Are you acquainted with The Screwtape Letters, written by C.S. Lewis in 1941? Each chapter of the book is a letter written by a demon named Screwtape to his nephew, Wormwood, a novice demon, instructing him on ways to lead a certain man away from God. Obviously, the book is a satirical novel, but it gives the reader a lot to think about concerning how the devil and his demons function.

Satan is the Archenemy of God. He was created as one of God’s chief angels, along with Gabriel and Michael. In Ezekiel 28, we read that Lucifer was beautiful and wise. However, we also find out that Lucifer was not content with his position—he wanted to be number one, above God. When Lucifer rebelled against God, he and his followers (other angels) were thrown out of heaven. Today, the fallen Lucifer is known as Satan (the devil), and his followers are demons.

When we are focused on meeting our own needs, making more money to buy what we want, or making our plans without consulting God, we actually miss out. We need to surrender our will to God and follow his leading instead.

Satan is a Deceiver. Although the devil is often portrayed as an easily identifiable evil character with a long tail, the Bible gives us a very different picture. In 2 Corinthians 11:14, we are warned that he masquerades as an angel of light. This is how he deceives so many people.

Have you noticed how easy it is to speak half-truths? We share part of the information, but, by doing that, mislead people.  Or, we fail to correct facts when people are talking to us, thus implying that we agree with them. Satan is the Father of Lies. We need to ask God to show us our deceitful ways and put them away, refusing to have any part in them.

Satan Perverts what God Created. Sexual relations are beautiful―created by God for husbands and wives to enjoy in the context of marriage, but Satan has perverted sex through distortions like adultery and pornography. Satan has also corrupted the spiritual gift of prophecy, a gift of the Holy Spirit, tricking people into believing fortune tellers, psychics, and false prophets.

Satan is a Destroyer. John 8:44 tells us that Satan has always been a murderer. Jesus said he came to give us abundant life (John 10:10);

Satan continues to attack families, churches, and marriages, trying to destroy them.

Satan is an Accuser. Although God has supreme sovereignty, he has permitted Satan to be the ruler of this world until the end times. Revelation 12:10 tells us that although Satan now accuses believers “day and night” before God’s throne, it is he who will be thrown down and placed in the lake of fire.

Satan knows that Jesus Christ defeated him on the cross, when Jesus paid the death penalty for humankind’s sin. However, Satan still freely roams the earth, trying to deceive as many people as possible before his time is up. He knows the war is lost, but he is trying to win as many skirmishes as possible before he has to acknowledge his defeat.

Think About It

What are some ways Satan tricks people? How has he deceived you? What are some ways you can arm yourself against Satan’s attacks? Is there anything you need to do differently today? Journal your thoughts, or respond in another way that is meaningful to you.

Prayer

Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank you that you know my strengths and my weaknesses. Thank you, also, that you know about the devil and his schemes. Help me to be aware and to defend others and myself against his attacks. Keep me strong in my faith. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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