How Satan camouflages his deceptions
Deception is subtle and can even comprise 95% truth. When we are not alert, Satan will cunningly slip in a little lie in the midst of truth and cause us to stray from our loving Father in heaven. The Bible warns us to be alert. How does Satan camouflage his spiritual deceptions and lies?
We all live in a media-saturated world and unfortunately, often absorb more worldly lies than God’s truths about who we are. Satan does not want us to know the power and authority that Jesus has given us through His victory on the cross. As such, he will do anything he can to separate us from our true identity in Christ.
Colossians 2:15 ESV He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him.
Today, the only way Satan can only gain an upper hand over believers is when we remain blind to his schemes. Without a doubt, Satan loves to pervert the truth and use subliminal suggestions and manipulation. The enemy continues to tempt mankind by slipping half-truths, doubt, lusts and pride into our own consciousness on a constant basis. This is how he has been able to blind our minds for centuries.
2 Corinthians 4:4 ESV In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
One just has to look at the influences that bombard us every day and see why it can be hard to tell Satan’s deceptions, distractions, temptations and accusations from the truth that is found in the Bible.
Here are some examples.
1. Misrepresentation of God in the media
In documentaries that claim to examine man’s origins and even in “Bible-related” movies such as Noah, Exodus: Gods and Kings, or Da Vinci Code, there is a gross misrepresentation of God and His true character. Popular culture continues to promote contempt for God.
2. Misrepresentation of the devil in the media
In vampire, ghost, dragon, demon or paranormal movies, the enemy is always depicted as fearsome and extremely powerful, and hard to defeat. This is a lie and is an image that Satan continues to actively promote today. The influence of such imagery has created unfounded fear in people who do not know their authority to immediately destroy the enemy’s work when they confront Satan in Jesus’ name.
1 John 3:8 ESV … The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil.
3. The seductions in entertainment
One just needs to take a moment to study the subliminal messages in our music, movies and videos today to notice all the self-worship, eroticism, fleshy gratifications, stereotyping of people, anger and hatred, glorification of revenge as justice, mocking of faith etc. that are being shamelessly promoted. If we unwittingly absorb such messages long enough, our souls will be seduced into believing them.
1 John 2:16 ESV For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions—is not from the Father but is from the world.
4. Popular language
The Bible warns us not to use profanities or use God’s name in vain. However, have you noticed the blatant use of foul language and phrases such as “oh my god” or “Jesus Christ” as throw-away lines in many movies? These curses and phrases are said with such pizzazz that it almost sounds cool.
Exodus 20:7 ESV “You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain.
5. Misrepresentation of love
We live in a fallen world. It is really hard to find anyone whose family line is exempt from broken families, shattered relationships, unforgiveness and grudges, adultery, betrayal etc. God’s perfect love is seldom modelled to us through our own earthly experiences. Initially, we all find it hard to see God as our loving and perfect Father.
Zephaniah 3:17 ESV The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.
6. Divination and spiritualism disguised as harmless
New age practices, fortune telling and sorcery are widely accepted as the norm these days. People check their horoscopes, consult fortune-tellers, play with tarot cards or Ouija boards, recite chants, buy good luck charms, believe in zodiac signs, consult feng shui masters, practice Hindu worship poses through yoga, talk to their dead relatives or dolls or toys as their good friends etc. Many people bring back items from their holidays that have been used in demon worship, mystical beliefs or witchcraft as souvenirs, without realising their origins or spiritual significance. All these have been disguised as harmless and fun, good for health or comforting. None of these leads us to God. On the contrary, they only lead to demonic spirits.
Isaiah 44:24-25 NLT This is what the LORD says–your Redeemer and Creator: “I am the LORD, who made all things. I alone stretched out the heavens. Who was with me when I made the earth? I expose the false prophets as liars and make fools of fortune-tellers. I cause the wise to give bad advice, thus proving them to be fools.
7. Earthly philosophies and beliefs
The world is filled with catchy lines such as “work hard, play hard”, “strive harder and you will get what you deserve”, “I will survive on my own” or “words will not hurt me”. Many of these are in direct opposition to what the Bible says.
Colossians 2:8 ESV See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.
8. Ancestral and cultural norms
Often, we are expected to adopt the practices of our families or cultures, including the worship of ancestors, bowing down before tombstones, the dedication of babies to temple gods, filial piety at all cost, Confucianism etc. Sometimes our cultures can enforce deeply ingrained values on us, such as shame or the fear of “losing face”, prejudices towards other races, the pursuit of money or the worship of one’s earthly credentials etc. What we may see as a norm could actually keep us from having a fulfilling relationship with God.
James 3:15 ESV This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic.
It would appear that the world has a lot of mental toxins that we need to be cleansed from. That is why the Bible says we need to escape the spiritual corruption of the world (2 Peter:4). As Christians, we must not be ignorant of such toxins and take care of what we fill our minds with, particularly lies fuelled by Satan, who Jesus describes as the “father of lies”.
John 8:44 ESV … When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.
2 Peter 3:17-18 You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, take care that you are not carried away with the error of lawless people and lose your own stability.
Let us stay alert to what worldly messages we let slip into our minds and not be outwitted by Satan. May our hearts and minds be pure before God so we will enjoy every spiritual blessing that our Father in heaven has planned for us. Satan cannot steal from us when we don’t give him the opportunity to!
Ephesians 4:27 ESV And give no opportunity to the devil.
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