The Schemes of the Devil

Ephesians 6:10-12 ESV

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.”

What are some schemes of the devil we are up against today? Well, if we are following Jesus Christ with our lives, and if our lives are wholly committed to him and to his service, and so we are walking in righteousness and in holiness, and not in sin, but in obedience to our Lord, we are going to have other humans, even many who profess faith in Jesus Christ, who are going to oppose us strongly. Especially if they are concerned that their own sins are in danger of being exposed, they may even attack us in advance.

So, what some of them will do is that they will make up stories about us, and they will spread rumors about us, and they will work at turning other people against us so that others will not listen to us, and so they will automatically reject us. For these liars and deceivers are very good at what they do, i.e. they are very persuasive and convincing in their deceptions and in their trickery and in their manipulations of people’s minds and hearts. So they know just what to say to have people believing their lies.

Even the ones they are sinning against, and that they are spreading rumors about, they will try to trick them into believing their lies. They will try to convince them that they are on their side, or that they have their best interest at heart, all the while they are stabbing them in the back in private and while they are betraying their trust. And this happens more often than most people would like to believe. And (some) government heads do this to their people, and so do pastors, and so do spouses to their spouses, etc.

For Satan (the devil) is behind it all, and his goal is to destroy us, both in hopes of destroying our faith and in destroying our reputations so that others will not listen to us, and so they may even come against us fiercely in opposition against us, as though we have done wrong, when we did not do wrong. Now this is not claiming absolute perfection, but this is speaking of false accusations being brought against the servants of the Lord in order to take them out of circulation so that they will stop spreading the truth of the gospel. This is one of the devil’s evil schemes against us.

Ephesians 6:13-17 ESV

“Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”

So, what can we do in such situations as this? If we are aware of the lies being spoken against us, we can speak the truth in contradiction to the lies, and perhaps we will be believed, but we may not. For these liars and manipulators can be very convincing, and depending upon the other people’s leanings, they may prefer to go in the direction of the lies rather than to consider the idea that they may be believing lies and not the truth. And so they may attack us, in return, and then only add insult to our injury.

And you might recall that the Apostle Paul seemed to face similar circumstances often, when his own character was being called into question, and where he was then forced into having to defend himself, in defense of the truth of the gospel, too. For if the people believed the lies being spoken against him, they might also reject the truth of the gospel. And sometimes the persecutions we face are all about the gospel that we are sharing with others and the devil’s schemes to get others to reject the truth.

So, what can we do? Again, we can give a defense of ourselves and of the gospel that we are sharing. But we can’t change other people’s hearts. So then we just have to leave the results in the hands of God and trust him to move in their hearts to change them. And then we must forgive our persecutors, not giving them permission to continue in their sins, but letting go of any notions to get even with them or to counterattack them. And then we must love them, and pray for them, and do good to them, and continue to speak to them what is beneficial for them, as they will permit.

And we must remain steadfast in our walks of faith in Jesus Christ, in the power of God, despite how others treat us, and despite whatever God allows in our lives which is painful for us to bear. We must not give up on God because of what other humans do to us. And we must continue walking in holiness and in righteousness. And we must continue in spreading the truth and in exposing the lies. And our strength to endure comes from the Lord as we continue in obedience to his commands and as we rely on his strength.

Ephesians 6:18-20 ESV

“Praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.”

Prayer is essential! Now prayer isn’t just something that we do for a set time each day where we list off to God all our prayer requests. Prayer is open communication between us and the Lord to where he can speak to us anytime of day or night, regardless of whatever else is going on in our lives at that moment, and to where we can speak with him anytime of day or night, as long as we are awake, even if we are driving a vehicle or doing household chores or working a job or caring for children, etc.

And we have this open communication with the Lord when we have genuine relationships with Jesus Christ where we are walking (in conduct, in practice) in holiness and in righteousness, in walks of obedient faith to our Lord’s commands under the New Covenant. And then throughout the day he can put people’s names on our hearts or in our minds so that we can be reminded to pray for them. And we do need to pray for those who are sharing the truth of the gospel, because many of them are being opposed, and they are facing persecution, rejection, and loneliness, too.

For Our Nation

An Original Work / September 11, 2012

Bombs are bursting. Night is falling.
Jesus Christ is gently calling
You to follow Him in all ways.
Trust Him with your life today.
Make Him your Lord and your Savior.
Turn from your sin. Follow Jesus.
He will forgive you of your sin;
Cleanse your heart, made new within.

Men betraying: Our trust fraying.
On our knees to God we’re praying,
Seeking God to give us answers
That are only found in Him.
God is sovereign over all things.
Nothing from His mind escaping.
He has all things under His command,
And will work all for good.

Jesus Christ is gently calling
You to follow Him in all ways.

Men deceiving: We’re believing
In our Lord, and interceding
For our nation and its people
To obey their God today.
He is our hope for our future.
For our wounds He offers suture.
He is all we need for this life.
Trust Him with your life today.

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