by Neil Anderson
2 Corinthians 11:14, 15
Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. Therefore it is not surprising if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness
Another common misconception of the spiritual world is that demonic influence is only evident in extreme or violent behavior and gross sin . Most Christians suffering from demonic activity lead relatively normal lives while experiencing serious personal and interpersonal problems for which no cause or solution has been found. Since they relegate satanic involvement only to mass murderers or violent sex criminals, these ordinary problem-plagued individuals wonder what’s wrong with them and why they can’t just “do better.”
Satan’s first and foremost strategy is deception. It is not the few raving demoniacs who are causing the church to be ineffective, but Satan’s subtle deception and intrusion into the lives of “normal” believers. One Christian psychotherapist who attended my conference on spiritual conflicts and counseling said, “I discovered that two-thirds of my clients were having problems because they were being deceived by Satan–and so was I!”
A final misconception that must be dispelled is that freedom from spiritual bondage is the result of a power encounter with demonic forces . Freedom from spiritual conflicts and bondage is not a power encounter; it’s a truth encounter. Satan is a deceiver, and he will work undercover at all costs. But the truth of God’s Word exposes him and his lie. His demons are like cockroaches that scurry for the shadows when the light comes on. Satan’s power is in the lie, and when his lie is exposed by the truth, his plans are foiled.
When God first disciplined the early church in Acts 5, He did so in a dramatic way. Peter confronted Ananias and Sapphira: “Why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit?” (verse 3). God wanted the church to know that Satan the deceiver can ruin us if he can get us to believe and live a lie. If I could infiltrate a church, a committee, or a person undetected, and deceive them into believing a lie, I could control their lives! That’s exactly what Satan is doing, and his lie is the focus of the battle.
Prayer: Lord, enable me to stay alert to the enemy’s wiles and arm myself with Your truth.