It’s no joke that Satan is our enemy and that his mission is to steal, kill and destroy. Sometimes he uses blatant means to accomplish his goal. Other times he’s more subtle.
Paul pegged it when, on one occasion, he looked a sorcerer in the eye and said, “You son of the devil, full of every sort of deceit and fraud, and enemy of all that is good! Will you never stop perverting the true ways of the Lord?” (Acts 13:9,10)
Satan is a master of deceit and fraud. He loves to take what God deems good and then pervert it for his purposes. This is especially true for sex. God designed it as an intimate gift to be shared between husband and wife. But Satan – the enemy of all that’s good – has perverted it. He’s twisted it into sexual abuse, addictions, adultery, and more. He deceives men and women into believing that lust is actually love, and that they have a right to fulfill their sexual needs whenever they wish and with anyone they desire.
What happens? Chances are good that they’ll pick up a physical disease. But they’ll also experience emotional and spiritual sickness – guilt, shame, fear, a hardened conscience, and distance from the God who loves them and wants the best for them. Presto! Satan has achieved his goal.
Satan’s also a master of deceit in the financial department. While God deems work a good thing and has promised to provide for our needs, Satan feeds lies about financial insecurity. Men and women believe those lies and work harder to save more (or to pay off the credit debt that they’ve incurred after believing the lies about needing more stuff). Before long, their work consumes them. They have neither time nor energy for their families or for God. They neglect prayer, Bible reading, reflective time and fellowshipping with other believers. And they sure can’t afford to tithe! Voila. Mission accomplished.
How can we detect this master of deceit and fraud? By being filled with the Holy Spirit. Acts 12:9 says that Paul was filled with the Holy Spirit when he looked that sorcerer in the eye and exposed him for what he was. The deeper our walk with God, the more sensitive we’ll become to evil and the less likely we’ll be deceived by the enemy. Makes sense, doesn’t it?
In what other areas of life does the enemy pervert the true ways of the Lord?