Are You a Victim of the Enemy’s Deception?

An email from the address of a friend said she was stranded overseas. Someone had stolen her passport and wallet. She urgently needed to borrow some money. However, the tone of the email didn’t sound like my friend. Suspecting deception, I didn’t send money.

A week later, my friend emailed to say her account had been hacked. “Don’t send money. I’m not overseas,” she said.

The source of a message affects its interpretation. Knowing its validity determines our response and whether or not we become victims.

Fraud is a bigger issue than having our money scammed. People’s souls and quality of life are at stake. Below are some considerations to protect you from being duped.

Satan Has One Aim

Jesus said, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly” (John 10:10 NASB). Could there be any greater difference in intent than between Jesus and Satan?

Do you know the difference between your Shepherd’s voice and your enemy’s? It may be trickier than you think, for the Scriptures say, “Satan disguises himself as an angel of light” (2 Cor. 11:14 NASB).

When you wonder if it’s okay to take the enemy’s bait, remember his agenda. When you consider ignoring God’s revealed will, remember His good purpose.

Satan Uses Scripture Against Us

I’ve counseled women who were beaten down by someone wielding Scriptures out of context. One woman described how her alcoholic, unbelieving husband used “Wives submit to your husbands” to manipulate her. He didn’t contribute to the household financially or in any other productive way but demanded her obedience. I looked her in the eyes and asked why she let an unbeliever interpret God’s Word for her.

My question stunned her. The truth broke the spell he had over her.

Attaching a verse to his domination didn’t make this husband’s requests godly.

We must not forget that Satan used Scripture when he tempted Jesus in the wilderness. (See Matthew 4:6.) Cults manipulate their followers with rules that include biblical texts.

The Bible says, “The sum of Your word is truth” (Ps. 119:160 NASB). Any verse can be spun by the enemy and used against us if we aren’t discerning.

This principle was brought home to me when a family member and I disagreed on the next step to take in handling a sticky situation. His idea held the hope of a big reward but also carried great risk. I didn’t believe the situation warranted the gamble. And it was my call. My “no” brought argument not only from him but also in my mind.

Joshua 1:9 hammered in my head. “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go” (NASB).

This Scripture had encouraged me in the past. But this time it taunted me: “If you were strong and courageous you would go for it and take the risk.”

God’s word corrects but never condemns His children (Rom. 8:1; 2 Tim. 3:16). Satan, not Jesus, is the accuser. As soon as I recognized the accusing tone of these thoughts I was able to let them go. Peace filled me as I stood on my original “no.”

What tone of voice do you hear when you read the Scriptures? Does it sound harsh and condemning? That is not how Jesus addresses His flock. He describes Himself as “gentle and humble in heart” (Matt. 11:28-30).

Satan Uses People We Love

Satan even uses well-meaning people—people we love—to deliver his darts. A conversation between Jesus and Peter demonstrates this. At one moment Peter spoke words inspired by God. The next, he delivered Satan’s temptation to stop Jesus from fulfilling His calling.

Here’s the account of when Jesus asked His disciples who they said He was.

Simon Peter answered, ‘You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God!’

Jesus replied, ‘Simon, son of Jonah, you are blessed! No human revealed this to you, but my Father in heaven revealed it to you’” (Matt. 16:16-17 GW).

Just a few verses later the same Peter tried to stop Jesus from heading to the cross. Jesus recognized the source of Peter’s words and rebuked him.

But Jesus turned and said to Peter, ‘Get out of my way, Satan! You are tempting me to sin. You aren’t thinking the way God thinks but the way humans think’” (Matt. 16:23 GW).

Did Peter realize he was tempting Jesus to sin? I think Peter believed love motivated his attempt to stop Jesus from suffering on the cross. But Jesus knew it came from Satan.

Notice the last line again, “You aren’t thinking the way God thinks but the way humans think.”

When Christ is not at the center of our thoughts, we can’t trust them. The enemy (via the world, flesh, and demonic world) uses our thoughts to manipulate and control us.

If Peter could express God-inspired thoughts one moment and satanic thoughts the next, then we too must beware. We also are vulnerable. We must learn to recognize the source of the messages we give and receive. We need to think the way God thinks.

You Can Thwart Satan’s Schemes

Airports beef up security after a terrorist threat or attack. The security check was so meticulous when we had a connecting flight through London Heathrow’s airport in May of 2017 (after the Manchester bombing) I feared we’d miss our connecting flight.

While checking the objects brought onto a plane slows down travelers, it also protects them. It’s better to lose some time than to lose many lives. No one wants another tragedy like the one we experienced September 11, 2001.

Our eternal souls warrant the same protection. Paul said, “to take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ” (2 Cor. 10:5 NIV). When a thought or Scripture causes fear or fretting, we must look at the greater context. As we remember God’s character and ask Him to reveal the truth and expose any lie that has slipped in, we will escape our enemy.

To think like God thinks takes practice. We must vigilantly check every thought and capture the ones that argue against His character. By doing this we’ll come to know His voice so well that we’ll recognize and dismiss every false thought, even those that come with a biblical address, just like we discern a scam attached to a friend’s email.

My sheep hear My voice…and they follow Me” (Jn. 10:27 NASB).

Question: Which of the above considerations resonated with you? What would you add?

Do you know the difference between your Shepherd’s voice and your enemy’s? It may be trickier than you think. Scripture says, “Satan disguises himself as an angel of light” (2 Cor. 11:14 NASB). Click To Tweet

Blessings,

Resources:

Click here to get a free resource on how to identify and defuse the enemy’s DARTS.

Give Yourself a Break offers many insights for guarding your mind.

You may enjoy the following posts too.

How to Win at Spiritual Warfare

https://debbiewwilson.com/stop-negative-self-talk/

Win the Battle in Your Mind

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23 Comments

23 Comments

  1. Pam Ecrement

    What a timely message, Debbie! There is such a cacophony of voices seeking our attention from within and without. I cannot recall a time when it has been so relentless. As the ever-darkening world seeks to cast a shadow on everything we believe and love, there has never been a more urgent time to be grounded in God’s Word. Hebrews 12:1-2 echoes in my mind daily. Surely, we are in the final hour before the Lord’s return as we see the once strong wavering and churches falling prey to the seduction of other voices than the Shepherd’s. Well done, my friend!

    • Debbie Wilson

      Thank you, Pam. I agree with you. Come Lord Jesus, come!

  2. Ann Musico

    What you said to that woman, “why she let an unbeliever interpret God’s Word for her” really hit home with me. Knowing the source is really important. This was a very “meaty” post Debbie. Thank you!

    • Debbie Wilson

      Ann, we really must be alert as the Bible says. The devil prowls around looking for someone to devour. Thank you, my friend.

  3. ~ linda @ Being Woven

    Oh, so vulnerable are we! I do not want these things to happen yet the walls come down more than I desire and I fall…or can fall! I recently found myself in a situation that I later found to be filled with lies. I am unraveling the mistakes I made and am piecing things back together followed by the strength of the Lord around that. I want to be prepared for future attacks. It is not easy, but it is so worth it. Thank you for a fine reminder.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Thankfully, God uses our stumbles to teach us lessons to protect us in the future. So many of the ones I remember most have come from those times. Being aware and prepared shows wisdom!

  4. Lauren Sparks

    Such a good reminder to us all that just because something “sounds good” doesn’t mean it is. Visiting you from the tea and word tues link up. laurensparks.net

    • Debbie Wilson

      Absolutely. Thanks for visiting, Lauren!

  5. Rebecca Jones

    That poor lady, I am so tired of seeing people abused by that enemy, I have found that when being targeted with the bait, it is never a good idea to argue the Word especially when they don’t know it. Or just a little out of context. Some Christians really only know about Him and not Him personally.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Me too, Rebecca. May we be ones who help them know the Good Shepherd’s heart.

  6. Sherry Stahl

    Debbie, I stopped by via Holley Gerth’s linkup. I think we have a lot in common. My blog devotions are called Soul H2O. We’re both on the refreshing theme. I loved your post.
    “Airports beef up security after a terrorist threat or attack… Our eternal souls warrant the same protection.”
    Such a great analolgy and such great advice.
    Praying God blesses your blog and extends the reach of your ministry.
    ~Sherry Stahl
    xoxo

    • Debbie Wilson

      Thank you, Sherry. Yes, it does sound like we’re on the same theme! So cool how God does that.

  7. Theresa Boedeker

    So good. Especially that Satan uses the bible and that he uses an accusatory tone. I love your question to the lady about why she was letting an unbeliever interpret the bible. Wow. Great question. And one to ask ourselves when we feel the voice is not God’s.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Thank you, Theresa. Yes, we must question those thoughts that don’t line up with our Father’s heart!

  8. Jeannie Waters

    You included so much Scripture to remind us of the prowling lion’s tactics and your lead was perfect. It helps me to write verses to counteract his voice and keep them in my purse and on my mirror.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Jeannie, that is a wonderful idea. Thanks for reading and sharing.

  9. Katherine Pasour

    Debbie, The devil is always looking for a foothold and will use any means to weaken our defenses. You’ve presented so many useful examples of how Satan weasels past our armor. We’ve got to remember to put on the FULL armor and we can only do that with our Shepherd’s guidance. Thank you for sharing this meaningful message.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Katherine, you’re right. I’m thankful we stand from a place of victory that He has already won,

  10. Jeanne Doyon

    We are studying the Armor of God (Priscilla Shirer) in our women’s study…and this post dovetails perfectly. Thanks for the reminder to be on guard and stand firm against the devil’s deceptions.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Jeanne, I’ve heard that is a wonderful study. Thanks for sharing.

  11. Sherry Carter

    I too was stunned, Katherine, when you asked the question, “why did she let an unbeliever interpret God’s Word for her.” I had to ask myself if I’d done that. I’m sure I have, and I need to continually submit other’s words to God so He can reveal the real truth to me.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Sherry, isn’t is amazing how we can see things in others and miss them in ourselves. Thanks for reading.

  12. Sarah Kwinika

    Wow! Very insightful and awakening right up. This has just repositioned me and reminded me who I am. Thank you Debbie

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