The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. (John 10:10)
There is nothing subtle about this verse. Jesus exposes the Truth about Satan. The Enemy comes ONLY to steal and kill and destroy us. There it is in plain English. So what do we do? How do we defend ourselves against the Enemy? The first thing we need to do is learn how to recognize our Enemy. We need to take a look at Scripture and find the strategies that Satan uses, so we can fight against them. Let’s take a look at what God’s Word has to say about our Enemy.
1. He is a Serpent. He comes to steal!
Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden?’ “ (Genesis 3:1)
Satan disguises himself as a serpent in our lives. He slithers in and out of our thoughts with lies that contradict God’s Word. He is sneaky and often strikes when we least expect it. He uses phrases like “what if” and “If only”. Here are some examples from Stormie Omartian’s book “The Power of a Praying Woman”.
Do “what if” thoughts ever plague your mind, such as “What if I jumped off the balcony?” or “What if I ran my car into that wall?” Have you ever had “if only” thoughts? Such as, “If only I hadn’t done that.” “If only I had been there.” “If only I would have said something.” Do you ever have self-punishing thoughts? “No one cares about me.” “I’m such a failure.” “I’m not good.” “Nothing I do turns out right.” If you’ve had thoughts like these, please know that this is not God giving you revelation for your life. It is the enemy trying to gain control of your mind.
Anytime a thought comes to mind that clearly contradicts God’s Word, you can be sure it’s a lie from the Enemy. God doesn’t use “If only” and “what if” statements. Please take time to capture every thought and make it obedient to Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5-6).
2. He is a wolf. He comes to kill!
“The hired hand is not the shepherd who owns the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it.” ~John 10:12
Satan is in the business of “dividing and conquering”. He wants to divide us as Christians over silly matters. He wants to keep us arguing, so that we don’t recognize when our brother or sister in the Lord needs encouragement. He keeps us talking about others, comparing ourselves to others, and wishing for what others have. When was the last time, you stopped yourself in mid-sentence when you were about to gossip. When was the last time, you got on your knees to pray for someone instead of talk about them. When was the last time, you decided to be thankful for what you have instead of wish for what someone else has.
Satan will come to point out all that you don’t have and he will point out the weaknesses in others around you. Will you recognize the wolf at your door? Will you stand strong in God’s Word? Will your knees get worn more than your tongue? Let’s start to recognize the Enemy’s tactic to kill the relationships we have. May we love instead of judge. May we encourage instead of harp on others. May we show kindness to those who are hurting.
3. He is a lion. He comes to destroy!
“Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” ~1 Peter 5:8
We must be self-controlled and alert. Satan never gives up. He never gets tired! He’s always looking for a way to destroy us. He is looking for that crack in your armor, that moment when you’re weak, that day that you didn’t have time in the Word, and he will take advantage of all of it. Therefore, learn how to stand strong in God’s Word. Do not let the Devil have a foothold in your life (Ephesians 4:27).
“Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” (James 4:7)
Read more of the Battle Plan John 10
To fight the enemy better you can also read Satan’s Playbook.
Dear Father God, Please help me to recognize Satan in whatever form he chooses to attack me. May I be wise enough to see the serpent that slithers in and out of my life. May I stand against the “Divide and Conqer” motto of my Enemy. May I see the lion from a mile away and learn how to destroy him before he can destroy me. Lord, please help me to be aware of my Enemy’s tactics and to stand strong in the power of Your Word.
Ps. I originally wrote this in 2015 but it came to mind recently when I was fighting through some new attacks from the enemy. I hope it blesses and encourages you to keep on fighting! It’s worth it! God’s got your back and He’s not going anywhere!
Aware of the Devil’s Schemes,