A friend of mine said to me recently, “I hate the devil. I mean I hate him! Don’t you? And I don’t know for the life of me how you could possibly have any trouble with him when he’s over at my house nearly all the time.”
The devil is no fool. How often we underestimate his cunning and crafty nature. The Scriptures warn of his “wiles” “Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil”. (Ephesians 6:11) and tell us of his “devices” (2 Corinthians 2:11). “Wiles” have to do with the devil’s abilities—abilities to concoct methods, plans, and strategies for deceiving us. He’s good at it. Real good. “Devices” are the tools he uses to make his plans work, to cause us to move toward evil. He’s good at that, too. Real good.
Peter tells us in 1 Peter 5:8, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary, the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.”
This passage should lend a sense of urgency to our situation. It should tell us that we’re at war and constantly vigilant as to the devil’s whereabouts.
“Be sober.” This means tobe serious about his possible invasion. He is!
“Be vigilant.” This means watch out!! He lurks in the shadows, moves in the dark, looking all the while for a chance to strike. Look out!
“Your adversary.” He is the enemy. We best not associate with him. When we associate with the enemy, we are apt to become like him. Best be careful about that. It’s hard to recognize him when we look so much like him ourselves. Be careful.
“Walketh about.” He is not passive. He doesn’t work a forty-hour week, nor does he take any time off. He’s always on the job, working to do us harm. Where is he right now?
“As a roaring lion.” A lion stalks his prey for days until such a time as he finds it in a vulnerable position. Then, he lets out a gargantuan roar, thus freezing the prey in its tracks. It’s easy from there on. There’s a place where you can no longer turn back, folks. Be careful how close you allow him to get to you.
Are there some things we can do to combat the devil? You better know it. God has provided an apt description of the enemy. He knows his plans, has intercepted his codes, and deduced his projects. He’ll help us, if we’ll just pay close attention to what He says. II Timothy 2:15 says, “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” We need to read the Bible, study the word, and search the Scriptures. They will inform us of his wiles, that is, how he works. We can know but only if we want to. Do you want to?
Adapted: Southside church of Christ, Pasadena, Texas