He has a lot of names, Lucifer, Satan, The Thief, The Accuser, The Devil, The Dragon, The Serpent, but he only has one M.O. He’s actually not very creative at all. He uses the same four tactics to deceive us EVERY SINGLE TIME.
NOTE: If you aren’t familiar with the story of The Fall (The first sin), take a moment to read Genesis 2 and 3.
TACTIC #1: He Always Questions God
Genesis 3:1 “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’?”
This was a ridiculous statement. Satan knew full well that God had told Adam and Eve they were free to eat from ALL the trees EXCEPT the one in the center—the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
His goal with this first tactic is simply to bump us off center and get us to question God, “Is God really… ?” “Did God really mean…” This opens the door for our own rationalizations to creep in. “Oh I’m sure God will understand…” “I’m sure this one little thing won’t hurt anybody…” etc.
TACTIC #2: He Always Twists The Truth
Genesis 3:4-5 “You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. 5 “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
Every good lie is wrapped in a kernel of truth. Satan was right—Adam and Eve would see things they hadn’t been aware of before and their physical hearts would not stop beating the moment they ate the fruit. But he conveniently left some facts out, like: Human beings weren’t created to play god or to be the arbiters of what it right and wrong. We were created to love and trust God and enjoy His goodness. He also forgot the mention that they would experience spiritual death (separation from God) and—as a result of their sin—they would now grow old, experience sickness and eventually death.
Satan always keeps the focus on the RIGHT NOW, “Don’t think about the negative consequences you’ll have to pay down the road, it’s all about immediate gratification!”
TACTIC #3: He Always Appeals To The Flesh
Genesis 3:6 When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.
If the devil can nudge our attention away from honoring Christ and get our thinking and our senses (our eyes, ears, etc.) fixed on things that appeal to our flesh (our self-centered, “It’s all about what I want”) nature… he’s got a foothold. He’ll promise us pleasure, escape from troubles and fleshly satisfaction galore.
TACTIC #4: He Always Rips Us Off
Genesis 3:7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves. 8 Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD.
The MOMENT they bit into that forbidden fruit—they realize they’d been ripped off—but it was too late. Their eyes were opened alright—they instantly became aware of their own “nakedness.” This is a powerful Old Testament way of saying they experienced SHAME and GUILT for the first time. Their minds were flooded with all kinds of overwhelming thoughts that they’d never experienced, like, “Oh no, I feel so unworthy... How can I cover and hide my shame? Oh, I know—I’ll sew these fig-leaves together and hide behind them.”
Every time we buy into Satan’s lies he ALWAYS rips us off. Any pleasure we do experience is ALWAYS fleeting and the negative consequences (that we never saw coming) linger on and on.
So the next time you sense the tempter tugging on your heart, think about these four tactics and I PROMISE YOU they’ll help you see his alluring siren song for what it really is—a pack of lies that will leave you broken and feeling ripped off.