In the Bible, the book of Ephesians states that we should be aware of the “wiles” of the devil. The exact wording states, “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places”. The word “wiles” is another word for strategies or tactics. So, what are the tactics the devil uses to derail us and create havoc in our lives? In another scripture, the Apostle Paul states, “We are not ignorant of his devices.” There are many tactics seen and exposed in the Bible and each tactic has the potential to derail our destiny.
I have compiled a list that is not complete or exhaustive but, nonetheless, each one on this list can have a tremendous negative effect on our destiny. We encounter each of these things on a daily basis and if we are unaware of the behind-the-scenes activity, it has the potential to create division and disharmony, separate friends and create enemies where none should have existed. The list follows below:
Accusation: Satan is known as the “accuser” of the brethren and what he often does is accuses us of things. If we allow him to place the accusations in our mind, he gets us to self-destruct. Even if the accusations are true, God has indicated that we should not be bound by the past and his grace covers our weaknesses, and he forgives us so we should forgive ourselves.
Assumption: This is a strategy to create confusion and cause people to act on incomplete or inaccurate information. It is so important to get correct information and do research to prevent assumptions from destroying relationships. I recall a lady who assumed that another lady was not speaking to her, and based upon that assumption she then told other parties about how she was being treated. When it was all said and done, she found out it was not what it appeared to be – but what she had done, based upon assumption, destroyed the character of the person she made the assumption about. Things are not always what they appear, so it is vitally important to ensure that we not make assumptions and do research before we draw conclusions, especially when it involves the reputation or character of another person.
Question: If we search the scripture, one of the strategies the devil is known to use is the area of second guessing. The Bible tells us that he even said to Jesus – “if you are the Son of God”, knowing full well that Jesus knew who he was. Strategically placed questions can create doubt and cause us to second guess things we know to be the truth and create an environment where we lose focus and open ourselves up to hesitancy when we should be resolute.
Deception: Deception means to deliberately cause someone to believe something that is not true especially for personal gain. You can be deceived by the devil, or you can get to the point where you deceive yourself into believing you are something that you absolutely are not. In the Book of James, it talks about someone who believes they are living right, but they have deceived themselves to the point where they have become self-deluded. Whether you are deceived by the strategies of the devil or you deceive yourself, deception is something that we must be aware of and prepare for. There are people in the world we refer to as being deceitful people, meaning they get you to believe something they know is not true for the purpose of gaining an advantage.
These are just a few of the strategies employed against us every day that we must be aware of – and the more aware we are, the more we can avoid the consequences of these “wiles” or strategies that are commonly used to derail us.
• Pastor Dave Burrows is senior pastor at Bahamas Faith Ministries International. Feel free to email comments, whether you agree or disagree, to email@example.com. I appreciate your input and dialogue. We become better when we discuss, examine and exchange.