WHAT ARE THE WILES &
TACTICS OF THESE EVIL FORCES?
Since we are in battle with these evil forces, special armor is required for us. Our armor needs to make us able to withstand the attack of these enemies.
"...THAT YE MAY BE ABLE TO WITHSTAND IN THE EVIL DAY..."
What are we to do?
In verse 11, it tells us to "PUT ON" this armor.
This verb is "enduo", which means "to be clothed." It is in the passive voice, which means we just let God give us the armor. Our part is to just receive it, God has made an offer of it. We don't earn, or work to get it.
In verse 13, we are told to "TAKE UNTO YOU".
This also indicates that we need only to receive it, hold to it, not refuse it, keep it. The armor must simply be accepted.
The armor is complete. When we have the armor of God, we need nothing more. We are told it is the "WHOLE ARMOR" (Ephesians 6:11, 13). The word in the Greek is -"panoplian". It comes from two words - "pas" = "all", and "hoplon" = "weapon." Among the Greeks, the word "panoplia" referred to the complete equipment that was used by a heavily armed infantry.
So, when we accept the armor of God, we are completely armed for the battle that we fight.
"PUT ON (enduo) THE WHOLE ARMOR (panoplia) OF GOD THAT YE MAY BE ABLE TO STAND AGAINST (stanai) THE WILES (methodias) OF THE DEVIL."
Our goal is to be able to "STAND" against the devil. This word means "to stand firm, unshaken, established, and steadfast." We must not be shaken, unsteady, and defeated by our enemy, the devil.
The devil has his "WILES". This word means "craft, deceit, a cunning device, tricks, and schemes." Many are ignorant of the devil's wiles. Many are defeated because they are not armed properly, and have no idea what tricks the devil is trying.
In II Corinthians 2:11, we are told that we are "NOT IGNORANT OF HIS DEVICES..." This is a different word than "methodias" that was used for "WILES". We don't always know all the devil's "WILES", but we do know his "DEVICES." This word is "noema", which means "thoughts, purposes, and designs." We do know the devil's purpose toward us. He wants to destroy us, get us to backslide, turn us against God, create disharmony between the saints. We know that, but we don't know the particular details of his plan to achieve his purpose.
Some Christians even forget the "DEVICES" of the devil. Some think that the devil has forgotten them. They seem to think that if they don't bother him, he won't bother them. When one gets into the battle, it doesn't take long to learn that the devil has purposed to destroy us. When Christians get to that realization, they need to then start to learn the "WILES" of the enemy.
SOME OF THE WILES OF THE DEVIL
II Timothy 1:7
"...FOR GOD HATH NOT GIVEN US A SPIRIT OF FEAR, BUT OF POWER, AND OF LOVE, AND OF A SOUND MIND."
Some magnify the devil's power, and talk defeat, discouragement, and doubt. One of the devils main tricks is to get us afraid to fight him, to give up. Peter told us that we are to "RESIST" the enemy. So we can "resist".
"YOUR ADVERSARY THE DEVIL, AS A ROARING LION, WALKETH ABOUT, SEEKING WHOM HE MAY DEVOUR, WHOM RESIST STEADFAST IN THE FAITH."
2. FALSE DOCTRINES AND FALSE MIRACLES
We are commanded to prove, and to test all things to see if it is God or the devil at work. (I Corinthians 2:12-16, Philippians 1:9-10, I Thessalonians 5:21-22, I John 4:1-6) The last days are to have many false prophets, and lying signs and wonders. don't follow every miracle worker. Test and try them and their doctrines by the Word of God.
3. OVERCONFIDENCE, APATHY
Some think the devil has given up on them. The devil hasn't given up. He never gave up on our perfect Savior, let alone us. He's too stupid to give up. He will someday even invade heaven, after the rapture to try once again to destroy us (Revelation 12). He is just too stupid to give up.
"LET HIM THAT THINKETH HE STANDETH, TAKE HEED LEST HE FALL."
If a Christian is tricked by the devil into thinking that they have reached a place of sanctification, or strength, that they can easily defeat the devil now, and that nothing he can do can trick them anymore... beware! The devil often tries to get Christians to become overconfident.
4. DESTRUCTION OF A BELIEVER'S TESTIMONY
The devil will use many tricks to try to destroy all the influence that a Christian has built. A co-worker, or family member can be disillusioned by a failure, or momentary lapse of a Christian's proper example. Sometimes the devil brings a Christian to a seemingly unique position, and tempts them to think that a momentary lapse is innocent enough. The devil knows that there are many eyes watching. Many families have been shipwrecked by the idea that a testimony can be put down, and picked up at will.
Everyone seems to think that they are the only Christian that has ever been tempted to commit suicide. The very topic heading probably shocked some. The devil likes to get us into seemingly hopeless situations and then quietly suggest suicide as the solution. No ! You are not the only one who has had such a thought. Probably all Christians have had the ideas of suicide put into their mind by our enemy. We need to recognize its source, and rebuke the devil and his suggestion.
The devil tries to get us into a lukewarm state and keep us there. None of us stay on the mountain top always. There are valleys, and low places. We dread them. Yet, sometimes when we are not in the valley, or in a great battle, we become satisfied with a plain of lukewarmness. Some Christians have lived on that plain for years. If the devil can get them to believe that its better to be lukewarm constantly, than to have the ups and downs of battling the devil. Lukewarmness will bring us to a place of making our Lord sick of us. We must beware of such a state.
7. FEELING THEY ARE MISSING THINGS
Many are tricked into the thought that they miss so much if they serve God. The devil started using that trick with Adam and Eve. He is still using it, and is too often successful with it. In reality, when we serve God, we miss shame, guilt, sin, hell and loss of the presence of God.
8. MAKING SIN SEEM NON-SINFUL
If the devil can get us to rename sin to names that seem innocent, he can get us to dabble with them. He has tried for millennia to rename sin... "adultery" becomes "an affair" or "making love"... "homosexuality" becomes "gay"... "murder" becomes "choice"... "judgmentalism" becomes "defending the faith"... The list could go on and on.
9. PRIORITY SWITCHING
If the devil can't get us to give up God and church... he tries to get us to bring in other priorities to replace God as number one. Camping, bowling leagues, golf tournaments, sporting events, family reunions, the second job, can all seem innocent at first. Soon the devil has gotten many to put those as priorities above God. Work, pleasures, and other responsibilities that we engage... need to be closely watched. They may not be wrong in themselves, but if they replace God as first in our lives, they are sins.
10. KEEPING UP WITH THE TIMES
The devil would like to get Christians to lower their Biblical standards to something closer to the world's. His excuse it usually "to keep with the times." Major denominations lately have been debating the idea of accepting homosexuality as acceptable, allowing on to freely choose to murder the unborn, etc. The Bible and God have not changed. Sin is still sin. The days do not change God's mind on what is sin. What was damning in Jesus' day, is still damning today.
11. MANY OTHER TRICKS:
The Bible describes these tricks of the devil as "FIERY DARTS" (Ephesians 6:16). This is the Greek word "belos", which referred to "combustible arrowheads" that armies used. These arrowheads burst into flames as they hit the target. The pain to a person that is hit, could be excruciating. If it missed the target, the fire could destroy property of the target. The "WILES" of the devil are dangerous. We need to beware of his tricks.
Many let the devil take his shots at them, and never fight back. No wonder some drift away, or stagger into church defeated. We must learn to be victorious Christians. Quit allowing the devil to fill your mind with his "FIERY DARTS". Remember the four levels of evil spirits that we fight. There is no reason to sit back and relax, we are in a real battle. The Lord doesn't want "foxhole" Christians. He doesn't want us on the "home front" yet. Get back on the battlefield in full armor. Don't let the devil win by "default."
"NEITHER GIVE PLACE TO THE DEVIL."
"IF GOD BE FOR US, WHO CAN BE AGAINST US?"
"NAY, IN ALL THESE THINGS, WE ARE MORE THAN CONQUERORS THROUGH HIM WHO LOVED US."