I don't know about you, but I'm really tired of this "roller coaster" Christianity. You know what I mean, up one day and down the next...one step forward and two steps back - all based on your circumstances and how you FEEL. Thank goodness God is the same yesterday, today and forever, cause His people are all over the place...and unfortunately, I speak from experience.
We are called to be content in all our circumstances (Phil. 4:11), never be anxious about anything, pray about everything (Phil. 4:6), and trust God is working in all things for the good of those who love Him (Rom. 8:28).
How do we do that? How can we live in this world, full of evil, bad news at every turn, and not get depressed? How do we face life's challenges without being anxious?
The answers, as usual, are found in His Word. God prepared in advance, all that we needed to know to combat the devil. He knows his tactics, and they haven't changed in all these years. Perhaps we've just become too busy, and let our guard down.
Here is our wake up call: 1 Peter 5:8 "Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour."
From the moment the devil first appeared on the scene in Genesis, he began his all out attack on God's creation. The tools he used were not complicated, just disquised. If we learn to recognize them ahead of time, we will not be deceived. Remember how Jesus too was tempted by the devil, but He withstood using the power of God's Word. This was done as an example of how we also are to stand up against his assault.
In the Garden of Eden, when the serpent spoke to Eve, he questioned what God had said in order to bring confusion (Gen. 3:1), which then led to insecurity. The serpent, probably seeing Eve was waivering, accused God of lying, while he twisted the truth to make God look bad. By believing the lie, Eve began to feel inferior (even though God is greater, His love kept her from feeling small) but as she looked at it through the eyes of deception, she saw God differently and felt inferior. Inferiority leads to feelings of depression, and ultimately opens the door to fear.
We know the story of Adam & Eve's fall, how they hid from the Lord once they knew they'd sinned. They were both afraid and ashamed. Shame is a direct result of sin and brings condemnation. The devil uses shame & condemnation to keep the sinner in that place of defeat. It was also interesting to see that when the Lord questioned Adam, he began to blame Eve. Eve pointed the finger at the serpent. So we see that sin brings division, which is another by product that the devil uses greatly against God's people.
So to sum it up, this is a list of the devils tools:All of these attacks are in the soul area, which is made up of our intellect, will and emotions. When we "feel" a certain way, it affects our thinking pattern, and ultimately causes us to make decisions (exercise our will) based on this thought process. This is what comes natural to us, but is in fact what the Bible calls "walking according to the flesh". We are called to walk according to the Spirit. (Read Romans 8:1-14)
He's a liar/deceiver and accuser
If you believe his lies & accusations, here are some of the by-products. One plays on another & it grows and grows.
Which brings me back to my comment about the "roller coaster". We know the Bible says we will have difficulties in this life. We will all face challenges, and go through trials. That is a part of life this side of Heaven. Just be aware that when we are facing tough circumstances, that's when we're most vulnerable. We must be alert to not allow the devil to use the above tools to attack our minds and emotions.
He no longer comes as a serpent we see with our eyes. In fact, he often comes in our thoughts disquised in the first person. We actually think that it's our OWN thoughts, instead of recognizing where they truly come from.
It looks like this "I'm not as talented as that person", "I don't read the Bible enough", "I don't have any friends", "I'm always going to struggle with this problem", "You're never going to succeed". "Good things always happen to other people"...on & on it goesIn these moments, you have to practice 2 Cor. 10:5 "...take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ."
Let me end by saying that just as the enemy has weapons against us, God has given us armor to protect us. Put on, everyday, the whole Armor of God found in Eph. 6:10-18. I especially love the "helmet of salvation" because it protects your head (which represents your mind) combined with "Sword of the Spirit" (which is the Word of God).
Then we can truly say:
"No weapon that is formed against (Me) will prosper; And every tongue that accuses (ME) in judgment (I) will condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, And their vindication is from Me," declares the LORD." Isaiah 54:17