3 Ways Satan Destroys Us

Over 2,500 years ago, a Chinese General wrote a book that would become one of the most popular military texts in all of human history. The book has 13 chapters and contains helpful guides and strategies for defeating your enemies even before the war has begun. The principles and guidelines written in this book were used not just by various Chinese generals, but also by other war leaders in various countries.

The book I’m talking about is the book The Art of War which was written by Sun Tzu. There are a lot of military principles that are worth noting from the book, but one of the most popular quotes from the book is this, “Know Your Enemy.”

According to Sun Tsu, you can win a hundred battles if you know who your enemy is, what their abilities are, and how they operate.

Now, I strongly believe that in our battle against Satan, one of the most effective ways for us to defeat him is to know the strategies he uses to destroy us. Today, as we observe the Days of Unleavened Bread, we are reminded of the importance of avoiding sin and living a righteous life.

The Wiles of the Devil

To do that, we must “know our enemy.” In Ephesians 6, we read about putting on the whole armor of God and the Apostle gave us the reason why. Let’s read Ephesians 6:10-11:

10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. Ephesians 6:10-11

So, why do we need to put on the whole armor of God? So that we can stand against the wiles of the devil. To know our enemy, we must know what his wiles are.

The Greek word translated as wiles here is methodeia. According to Thayer’s Dictionary, it means cunning arts, deceit, craft, trickery. In short, wiles refers to the methods, schemes, strategies, and tricks that Satan uses to destroy us.

Now, there are different wiles of the devil. He has a lot of tricks. After all, he is cunning and smart. He knows how to destroy us; if we are unaware of his tricks, we could succumb to his trap.

That’s why in this message, brethren, I want to share with you three dangerous wiles of Satan that we should know, and to this, I would like to focus on how Satan tempted Yahshua in Matthew 4.

No. 1: Satan tempts you where you are weak

Let’s read Matthew 4:1-3 for our first point:

1 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2 And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterward He was hungry. 3 Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.” Matthew 4:1-3

Satan is clever and he will start tempting you where you are weak. We can see in this verse that Satan chose the time when Yahshua was extremely hungry. Satan didn’t tempt Yahshua for other pleasures, because he knew that won’t work.

In the same manner, Satan will use your weakness and turn it into his greatest weapon. That’s why, if you are weak with money, then he will tempt you not to give tithes. If you have a weakness with sexual temptation, he will tempt you with pornography. If you have a weakness in keeping the Sabbath, he will tempt you to compromise and attend school, do work, or simply play video games.

Now, for us to overcome Satan’s strategy, we must first identify and acknowledge where we are weak. Denying our weaknesses will not solve anything. Once we know and acknowledge our weakness, we can now take the necessary steps of overcoming it. We can pray to God, study His word regarding this specific problem, and get help from our pastor, church leaders, and other spiritual brother or sister who can provide us with sound advice.

Let’s continue reading Matthew 4 to see what are the other evil devices that Satan uses against us. We read in verses 5 to 6:

5 Then the devil took Him up into the holy city, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, 6 and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down. Matthew 4:4-6

No. 2: Satan challenges your God-given identity

Did you notice a line that Satan constantly used to tempt Yahshua? If you are the Son of God. In this chapter, Satan repeated this line twice.

This leads us to the second strategy of Satan: Satan challenges your God-given identity.

Satan wants to sow doubts in our hearts and challenge who we really are. When we are baptized and have received God’s Holy Spirit, we have become begotten children of God. However, Satan would like you to doubt that.

Thus, whenever we go through trials, he will whisper to you, “If you are truly a child of God, this will not happen to you.” If God truly loves you as His child, He will not let you have this disease.” “If you’re a child of God, you should not have any money problems.” “Why is my workmate who is not in the church getting the promotion?” “Why are our neighbors getting a new car while I don’t?”

Now, the problem is that when we entertain this thought, we will start to doubt God. We will start to lose faith and hope. We will start to lose sight of God’s Kingdom.

That’s why, we must have full assurance and confidence in who we are as God’s child. We must be secure in our thinking that no matter what happens in life, God is with us and He will not forsake us. God didn’t promise that we will never go through difficulties in life. Philippians 1:6 tells us:

6 being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.

So, let’s not listen to Satan’s lies, but instead, let’s focus on the truth that God will see us through and will help us reach His Kingdom.

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No. 3: Satan offers an alternative option

Let’s continue reading Matthew 4 and jump to verse 8-9:

8 Again, the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. 9 And he said to Him, “All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me.”

When we read through this passage, it seems like Satan’s temptation is weak here. Obviously, no one of us wants to fall down and worship Satan, right? However, we need to understand that Satan is actually using another dirty tactic here, which is my point no. 3: Satan offers an attractive alternative option.

You see, Satan is promising the world and its glory to Yahshua but along with it, Satan’s telling Yahshua that He doesn’t need to suffer anymore. He doesn’t need to die for our sins. He doesn’t need to go through the most gruesome and painful death ever known to man.

All He had to do is kneel down and worship Satan. Yahshua can already save the world right there and then. He could spare himself and the world of all the pain that they have to go through. Of course, Satan is Satan and this is just a trick that he tried to tempt Christ with.

Satan uses the same strategy as us. He would try to persuade us to disobey God by offering us an attractive option. For example, Satan will tell an unmarried couple, why do you have to wait until marriage? You both love each other and you know that you will not separate. You can already live together. That’s easier than having to wait.

Satan may also tell you, you can work on the Sabbath. After all, you will give tithes and that will help the church. Or Satan will tell you, you don’t have to go to Sabbath services. There’s Facebook Live. You can just stay home. You don’t have to travel from your house. It’s so hot outside. After all, you’re not breaking the Sabbath. You’re still keeping it in your house.

As you can see, Satan will give you all types of sinful options that are easier, more convenient, more pleasurable, and even more attractive as long as you disobey God.

Yet, look at the response of Yahshua in verse 10:

10 Then Jesus said to him, “Away with you, Satan! For it is written, You shall worship the LORD your God, and Him only you shall serve.’ ” Matthew 4:10

Yahshua knew that the moment he obeyed Satan, He is making Satan his god. The same is true with us. The moment we choose Satan’s offer to sin, we are making Satan our god instead of the One True Living God, Yahweh the Most High.

In every temptation brethren, you are given two options. Are you going to follow God or Satan? There’s no middle ground. It is either you choose to obey God or the devil and it is my sincerest hope brethren that we are going to choose to obey our Heavenly Father.

Brethren, these are the three wiles of the devil I want to discuss today. These are:

No. 1: Satan tempts you where you are weak

No. 2: Satan challenges your God-given identity

No. 3: Satan offers an alternative option

Now, there are more strategies of Satan and it is up to us to identify them through Bible Study, prayer, meditation, and fasting. I do hope this message opened your mind to the fact that we are in a constant spiritual battle. The question now is, “Are we winning or losing?” So, let me end this message by reading once again Ephesians 6:10-11:

10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

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