Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices, 2CO 2:11.
The apostle Paul herein teaches a very important principle! COL 2:8 warns us, "Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men..." So where do we learn to know Satan's devises? God's Word teaches Satan's crafty beguiling trickery, and we are responsible to search Scripture, so "...we are not ignorant of his devices."
God's Word teaches the basic principles of detecting the devils methods of deceit and attack, and how we may combat him. We must never forget that the devil in GENESIS 3, is still the same devil today. He never changes, though he is now armed with centuries of practice. If he was able to lay his ambush before man in perfection, how much more now in man's maimed condition!
If Adam and Eve could not withstand Satan in their perfection, think how we need to "be strong in the Lord [Jesus Christ], and in the power of his might," who is our armour, to withstand Satan now, EPH 6:10-18.
Our study of Satan's designs must be two-fold: first how he draws us into sin, and secondly how he troubles us for the sin he has drawn us into.
First, how does he draw us into sin? How did he draw Eve there? He picked a suitable object with which to pose his temptation--the tree. As soon as Satan was able to engage Eve into a dialogue about his object of temptation, her eyes were fixed upon that tree with evil desires. Then she saw, "That the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise," GEN 3:6.
Before a man is drawn into sin, he must behold the object: and then when his heart embraces it, he becomes Satan's victim of that sin. Jesus said in MAT 5:28, "Whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart." Satan's first device is to place mental objects before the minds eyes, and then focus his conversation, i.e., the thoughts and lusts of our hearts, around that object.
Oh, beloved, how often our hearts can be engaged in the holiest devotions while our souls are soaring aloft in the presence of our lovely Lord, enjoying a little heaven on earth when Satan raises his ugly head. In just such a time Satan will place some mental object before our minds eyes to derail our heavenly communion. Oh, how we wonder why such an object should interrupt such a blessed communion with our Lord; the devil has designed a scheme! That is one of his devises.
How must we come against such crafty devises? The great question is if you want to entertain him. Entertaining those thoughts is entering into a dialogue with the devil. JAM 4:7-8 says, "Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you."
When Scripture speaks about our conversation, it means that which traffics our minds as well as that which proceeds from our mouth. JAM 3:13-18 says, "Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom. But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, [i.e., by letting it traffic your mind], glory not, and lie not against the truth. This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish."
Whenever Satan strikes up such a conversation in our hearts through, "...bitter envying and strife;" the only escape is to stop entertaining this dialogue with the devil and turn our eyes unto our blessed Redeemer. "Forgive...it in the person of Christ; Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices." We must take our eyes off the object of Satan's devises and turn them unto the faith of Jesus Christ. As He hung upon the cross He said, "Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do, LUK 23:34." Amen.
Thy purchased people, gracious Lamb,