The Scriptures give us insight to the Satan’s stratagems. God has placed Satan under the eternal judgement referred to as the “pits” to live in moral darkness. (Jude 1:6, NIV) Therefore, Satan can navigate any area of darkness even the areas that exist in a Christian. As with Job, Christians can be oppressed by demons occupying un-regenerated mindsets especially when those thoughts are defending self-deception or false doctrines. With his crafty abilities, the enemy is able to form demonic strongholds in our minds through our ideologies and thought patterns so that we may forsake true devotion to God. (II Corinthians 11:3, NIV) A demonic stronghold is any type of thinking that exalts itself above the knowledge of God.
We are warned that the thief [Satan] comes to steal, kill, and destroy. (John 10:10, NIV) We need to be alert because he is on the prowl seeking for someone to devour. (I Peter 5:8, NIV) Satan feeds upon our earthly, carnal nature. In other words, our enemy dines on what we withhold from God. Satan camouflages himself as an angel of light and his servants masquerade themselves as servants of righteousness. (II Corinthians 11:14-15, NIV) In the Book of Job, we learn that Satan was unable to penetrate the “hedge of protection” that surrounded Job and all that was connected to him. Satan needed God to remove the hedge of protection to gain access. Satan does not have the ability to kill Job (or us) for God prohibited it.
Satan used crime, murder, and natural disasters as fiery darts to perform his demonic assault on Job. Why would God allow this to transpire if Job was such an upright blameless man? Job honored God and had a true relationship with God. Satan believed that Job only worshipped God because of his wealth and protection. God used Job to silence Satan. The impact of the demonic assaults oppressed Job bringing him to the crossroad of his faith. This was a test of Job’s faith. Will we still worship God during times of great suffering? Whether it is the death of love ones, loss of financial stability, or experiencing a decline in our health will you still refer to God as unbiased God? Job being oppressed by his hardships would expose what was truly in his heart.
Satan’s schemes consist of the “Five D’s” which include doubt, discouragement, diversion, defeat, and delay. Doubt is used to make us question God’s word and His goodness. Discouragement which makes us focus on our problems rather than God. Diversion which causes the wrong things to be more attractive than right ones. Defeat makes us feel like a failure so we will not try. Delay makes us procrastinate so we will not accomplish what needs to be done.
Our goal is to proactively and reactively disarm our enemy. Satan fears virtue. Humility is an important virtue that leads to overcoming the devil. We need to submit our un-regenerated areas to God and take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. (2 Corinthians 10:5, NIV) For example, capture the thought, “I will never get out of debt.” Repent and ask God to forgive our disbelief. We need to continually focus on the renewing of our minds through studying the Scriptures and remember that we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. (Romans 12:2; Philippians 3:13, NIV) When we are fearful, we must remember that God has not given us the spirit of fear but of love, power, and a sound mind. (2 Timothy 1:7) When we put on the garment of praise it removes the spirit of despair and confuses the enemy. (Isiah 61:3, NIV) Can God trust us to remain faithful? Is God seeking us?