Dealing with the devil (1)
Nothing thrills the devil more than the current skepticism with which he’s viewed. The more we doubt or downplay his existence, the more he’s free to hurt and hamper us. Jesus never doubted the reality of the devil. The Bible says, ‘Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil’ (Matthew 4:1 NKJV).
But Jesus was victorious. And He proved that God uses Satan’s schemes to strengthen us. Times of testing are actually times of spiritual training. ‘Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way’ (James 1:2-4 MSG).
God loves you too much to leave you undeveloped and immature. ‘God is educating you; that’s why you must never drop out. He’s treating you as dear children. This trouble you’re in isn’t punishment; it’s training, the normal experience of children. Only irresponsible parents leave children to fend for themselves’ (Hebrews 12:5-10 MSG).
Paul says, ‘We are not ignorant of [Satan’s] schemes.’
When General Patton counterattacked Field Marshal Rommel in World War ll, Patton is reported to have shouted in the thick of battle, ‘I read your book, Rommel! I read your book!’ Patton had studied Rommel’s Infantry Attacks. He knew the German leader’s strategies and planned his moves accordingly. And when you become acquainted with Satan’s moves you can stop him cold in his tracks.
‘We are not ignorant of [Satan’s] schemes.’ 2 Corinthians 2:11 NASB