What Are Satan’s Specialities?

No doubt Satan wants to distort our perception of him, but that is not his only scheme. Because “he is a liar and the father of lies” ( John 8:44b), he lies about … pretty much everything—God, mankind, creation, good, evil, the saints, the angelic forces, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, you name it. I suppose we could say, Satan’s number one specialty is to distort the truth.

John 8:44 also says he “does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him.”

Truth, of course, is synonymous with God and His word, so we can know that ideas contradictory to Scripture most likely have their source in Satan. The amazing thing is, he’s proved he’ll even distort the Bible.

After tempting Jesus for forty days in the wilderness, he came at Him with three more attacks, each questioning Christ’s deity. In the first instance Jesus answered Satan with Scripture. The devil must have thought he could catch Jesus using His own strategy, so he quoted a couple verses from the Old Testament when he told Jesus to throw Himself down from the pinnacle of the temple.

As an aside, the technique to distort the meaning of God’s Word didn’t dissuade Jesus from continuing to use Scripture to thwart the temptations, demonstrating what Paul later said in Ephesians—the Sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God is our weapon when we battle spiritual forces.

Because Satan distorts Scripture, it should be no surprise to learn that he also takes the word from the heart of those who hear it. Jesus explained this when he unpacked the parable of the sower for His disciples:

the devil comes and takes away the word from their heart, so that they will not believe and be saved.
– Luke 8:12

Another of Satan’s specialties is to use our anger against us. Paul warned us to let go of anger so that we wouldn’t give Satan something to work with:

BE ANGRY, AND yet DO NOT SIN; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not give the devil an opportunity.
– Eph 4:26-27

When Paul wrote to Timothy, he explained more fully. Holding on to anger leads to all kinds of problems Satan can use to snare us or those with whom we disagree:

The Lord’s bond-servant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged, with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will.
– 2 Tim 2:24-26 (emphasis mine)

How different this approach is from the snarky, mocking criticism I see so often from a number of bloggers who claim purity in their theology.

How is it we miss the fact that Satan must gloat over things like anger toward God, condemnation of a brother or sister in Christ, our ignorance or lack of use or distortion of Scripture?

If we really believe we are in a war against the enemy of our souls, we need to make sure we’re not shooting our own with friendly fire or neglecting or misusing the weapons at our disposal.

Published in: on June 14, 2010 at 10:30 am  Comments (4)  
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