Lest Satan should take advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices 2 Corinthians 2:11
A crucial thing to note
First of all the devil is a liar:
You are of your father the devil (referring to the Pharisees), and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it, John 8:44.
That is the truth of the matter. We are to walk in truth. No matter what happens it is what we stand for. God is what we stand for! That is the main thing to understand. All he can do is tell lies which is why we should not be proud of (or satisfied and content with) telling lies!
Tell the truth
The idea is to be more like Jesus:
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me, John 14:6.
He is the way to the Father, the truth and life to all of us. Therefore we should be able to live in truth:
Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” John 8:32
He says that “if you abide in My word,” now those words are also found in John 15:7 meaning that it is the only way we can live in truth, through abiding (remaining) in His word. When we do that it is easier to worship Him:
God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” John 4:24.
The Enemy’s three stage attack
In John 10:10 we read:
The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.
What constitutes abundant life? The NLT puts it this way:
The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.
We His sheep who know His voice (Psalm 23:1-2) are to have a rich and satisfying life. How is that taken away from us?
1) It is stolen from us. An example of this is the encouragement of speaking death. Proverbs 18:21 says:
The tongue can bring death or life;
those who love to talk will reap the consequences
When we don’t speak life to each other, we allow the Enemy to do his dirty work and “work off” of what we started, which is speaking words that discourage each other.
2) It is killed. This is in part due to anger. It is the main sin that leads to murder:
“You have heard that our ancestors were told, ‘You must not murder. If you commit murder, you are subject to judgment.’ But I say, if you are even angry with someone you are subject to judgment! If you call someone an idiot, you are in danger of being brought before the court. And if you curse someone, you are in danger of the fires of hell.
“So if you are presenting a sacrifice at the altar in the Temple and you suddenly remember that someone has something against you, leave your sacrifice there at the altar. Go and be reconciled to that person. Then come and offer your sacrifice to God. Matt 5:21-24.
As a solution we are told:
And “don’t sin by letting anger control you.” Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry Ephesians 6:24. Our rich and satisfying life cannot be killed because of being angry.
James tells us in 1:19:
So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath.
3) It is destroyed. This is done through disagreement which leads to unresolved matters. That then breeds unforgiveness because there is offense. Neither wanted to listen but both wanted to be heard. Matt 18:15-17 explains it this way:
“Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother. But if he will not hear, take with you one or two more, that ‘by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established,’ (quoted from Deut 19:15). And if he refuses to hear them, tell it to the church. But if he refuses even to hear the church, let him be to you like a heathen and a tax collector.
1 John 4:19-20 says:
If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen?
Instead of fighting and complaining, we should try to make peace and find a middle ground. A compromise that both parties are willing to make. That way Matt 18:19-20 can be put into effect:
“Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.”
So many times people think that the devil instigates the problems we have. More often than not that is not true. We tend to forget that we cause some of these problems ourselves. Who starts the fights? Who spoke the offensive the thing? All the devil does is amplify the problem we would have created ourselves! If we decide to make peace with each other, then there is nothing he can do! In this regard, we should not be deceived, as well as ignorant, of our choices and decisions. The three stage attack exists to further our own downfall. We should be aware of our every move and be concerned for the welfare of our neighbour and brothers and sisters, being the good sheep that follow the voice of the Shepherd (John 10:2-5)