“The Wiles of the Devil” series (post #1)
Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. (Ephesians 6:11, N.K.J.V.)
The Greek word translated as “wiles” in this verse is methodia. Obviously, we can see the word “method” in there, and so we can say that Satan’s “wiles” are his methodology. They are the means by which he seduces people, tricks them, and gets them to do his bidding. Other translations translate methodia as: “schemes,” “tactics,” “the strategies and tricks,” or “the strategies and deceits.”
This post begins a series in which we will walk through the pages of the Bible and look at the various “wiles” that Satan has used in history to trip up various Bible characters. Each post will focus upon a different story and a different wile. Our goal is to learn from the ways he has gotten others in the past so that we can be on guard against him getting us in the future. As one writer has put it:
While God never wants you to become too focused on thinking about Satan and his role in the world, God does want you to be generally aware of how he operates. The worst position to take is “what I don’t know can’t hurt me.” When it comes to spiritual issues, the very opposite is true.
It is with this in mind that we launch into this series. If what we don’t know about Satan can hurt us, then we need to learn all we can about him. And the best textbook for a class on Satan is the Bible, both the Old Testament and the New Testament. Studying the Bible will help us get to know our enemy and keep us from experiencing the problem a certain British outpost experienced at the beginning of World War I.
As the story goes, when war broke out, the War Ministry of London dispatched a coded message to all of its outposts. The message read:
War declared. Arrest all enemy aliens in your district.
Unfortunately for the Brits, one of their outposts happened to be located in a very remote, virtually inaccessible part of Africa. Because of their isolation the troops there didn’t get much news and were always behind the times a bit on world events. So when they received the message they promptly sent back the following reply:
Have arrested ten Germans, six Belgians, four Frenchmen, two Italians, three Australians, and an American. Please advise immediately who we are at war with.
Make no mistake, you and I are at war with Satan. Even if you don’t think of yourself as being at war with him, you are. Even if you don’t believe in his existence, he’s still real and he’s still at war with you. That’s why I hope you will get on board with me for this series. Not only will you find the stories interesting, you’ll will find them informative. And most of all, they’ll give you the heads up you need to be able to successfully stand against the wiles of the devil. So tune in next time and we’ll get started.