- Distraction - This summer I was trying to mentor one of the kids we had just brought into Christ. As we were driving through a Miami Suburb, he started basically freaking out. "Why aren't people following Jesus? Don't they care about what happens when they die?" I thought about it for a minute, then I told him to look around. What were people doing? They were mowing their yards, driving around, shopping, having a good time. They were distracted. "As long as they're looking down, they'll never look up. It's our job to help them look up," I explained soberly. I think Satan uses many good things to draw us away from God: jobs, buying things, hobbies, even our families and ourselves. I think that's why Jesus said in Luke 14 we have to be willing to give up everything to be His disciples. "Jesus first and no close seconds," is how Jerry Tallman explains it. But even as Christians we get distracted by this world all the time. Whenever I fell away from God, I think I probably sinned less than when I was a Christian. However, I spent all my time watching movies, hanging out with friends, and relaxing. As long as I was focused on this world, I could not focus on God. This is how Satan gets us.
- Propaganda - Wikipedia explains propaganda like this: "Propaganda often presents facts selectively (thus lying by omission) to encourage a particular synthesis, or gives loaded messages in order to produce an emotional rather than rational response to the information presented." And this is exactly how Satan works. His lies always sound good, and he does that on purpose. I can think of countless conversations I've had with non-Christians totally buying into Satan's lies and thinking, "How on Earth can you believe something so illogical and ridiculous?" They've been mesmerized, that's why. Satan does a masterful job of using half-truths and flash to get us to buy into his garbage. It doesn't even matter what it is, as long as it's not God's he wants us to believe it. Even as Christians Satan doesn't want our faith to match how we live. He uses tons of lies to get us to do his will, lies like: "Just this once is alright," "I can't help it," "Everyone else is doing it, so it can't be that big a deal," or "At least I'm not as bad as those other people."
It is my prayer that God will help us recognize Satan's schemes for what they are: schemes. We should be careful how we live, and not let Satan creep in through the back door unnoticed.
"lest Satan should take advantage of us, for we are not ignorant of his devices" 2 Cor. 2:11