The Strategy of the Devil

Satan starts with the mind.

When Satan wanted to lead the first man and woman into sin, he started by attacking the mind. Scripture says, “I am afraid, lest as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds should be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ” (2 Corinthians 11:3 NIV).

Satan hits here first because he knows that the mind is the place where we reason, contemplate, and fantasize. That is why the Bible urges us to bring “every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5). If the devil can just get us to think about carrying out a particular sin, that will help him to accomplish his purposes. You can never truly say, “The devil made me do it.” The tempter needs cooperation from the tempted.

Satan’s allies

Satan works with two close allies: the world and the flesh.

The term the world refers to the way the world operates now, which is hostile to God. The world system encourages living for personal gratification and putting our own will above all else. “We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one” (1 John 5:19).

The term the flesh refers to the sinful nature that lives to be gratified; unrestrained sensual appetites. “For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father, but is of the world” (1 John 2:16).

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