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Say these words aloud. If Satan can't deceive me, he can't defeat me.

You've just uttered one of the most profoundly simple yet powerful truths in all of God's universe. But it is also one that few Christians seem to understand.

The fact is, the only weapon Satan has at his disposal since Jesus stripped him of all authority—is deception. Satan can't make you sick, plunder your finances, destroy your marriage, steal your kids or ruin your life without first deceiving you.

How do we know that? For one thing, God said in Deuteronomy 30:19,
I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life….
Here, God is plainly telling all of us that the choice between life and death, and blessing and cursing belongs to us. Think about it. If our God who loves us will not override our right to choose and impose blessings on us even though it would be for our own good, then He certainly won't allow Satan to impose his will on us either.

The devil can't put death and cursing on you unless you permit it by choosing death and cursing by your own free will.

Of course, who in their right mind would ever choose death and destruction? Only a person who is deceived.

Father of Lies
Think about it for a moment. Satan is not called the Father of Destruction. He's called the Father of Lies. If Satan had the power to destroy you, he would have already done it.

But he can't.

As it says in Proverbs 18:21, The power of life and death are in the tongue. Specifically, yours! Hebrews 2:14b says:

So Mac, you may wonder, what does it mean to be deceived?

Very simply, to deceive someone is to convince him of the truth or validity of something that is untrue or invalid. No one intentionally chooses death and cursing in his life. So, the only way Satan can defeat you is to convince you that something that is untrue and invalid is true and valid.

In other words, Satan cannot put evil on you unless you choose it and you won't choose it unless he can convince you that it's not evil. Or even that it's good!

God says your experience of life will be determined on the basis of the choices that you make. Knowing this, Satan will labor to deceive you so you'll make the wrong choices. And any choice that is contrary to God's Word is a wrong choice.

Make no mistake about it. Satan is a liar and he is very good at it. But the Bible says we are not to be ignorant of his devices. The Word shows us how Satan comes to deceive so we can foresee evil and hide.

Common Deceptions
The one good thing you can say about Satan is that he doesn't have any new tricks up his sleeve. Everything that we need to learn concerning how to stand against his deceit is already written down for us in the Word of God. In fact, the most common ways people are deceived are listed for us in Ephesians 6:11-18.

Let's look at verse 11. It says: Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles [trickery or deceit] of the devil.

Clearly, the armor of God is not given to you for standing against circumstances. Rather, it is to enable you to stand against the root of all of Satan's attacks deception. Each piece of armor indicates an area of your life in which Satan is going to make an effort to deceive you. First, notice that you are to put this armor on. God won't put it on for you. You have to put it on and, I might add, keep it on for it to work for you.

Here are some of the most common and deadly deceptions that open the door to the devil in your life.

Deception: The Devil is Not Real
A quick reading of Ephesians 6:12 reveals Satan's first deception:

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood….

You see, your problem is not your spouse, your boss, your family, or anybody or any natural thing. Your battle is not fought in this natural world. Satan's first attempt at deception will be to try to convince you that he's not a real personal entity.

Satan doesn't want you to realize that the evil in your life is sponsored by him. But you must understand that Satan is a very real enemy who is very interested in your destruction and you need to respect (but not fear) his ability to deceive you and lead you down the road to cursing and death.

Deception: You Can't Beat Satan
Once you have acknowledged that Satan really exists and that he is your adversary and it is he you are wrestling with, he will try to push his deception into the other ditch and try to make you believe that you can't beat him. He will try to convince you that he does have great power to bring death and destruction into your life.

First Peter 5:8 says, Be sober [sound minded], be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.

Satan will roar at you through sickness and disease. He will roar at you with financial difficulty. He will roar at you through marriage and family trouble.

Why does Satan come to you as a roaring lion? The same reason a natural lion roars at its prey. He wants to paralyze you with fear.

You see, fear will either produce paralysis or panic. One stops you cold in your tracks and keeps you from resisting him. The other will cause you to quickly make foolish choices. Either way, if you respond or act on that fear, the devil may devour you.

Deception: The Bible is Not Literally True
As we move down to verse 14 of Ephesians 6, we encounter the first piece of armor that we are commanded to wear:

Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth.

Now this might seem painfully obvious, but it's vital to remember that your number one safeguard against deception is simply knowing the truth!

That's why, in John 8:31-32, Jesus said, …If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

When you know the truth, you are free from deception, you are free from fear, and you are free from destruction. That's why we need to be reading and studying our Bibles diligently. When you know what the Word says, you can immediately recognize Satan's lies.

And of course this is where Satan will next try to deceive you. He'll suggest that the Bible isn't literally true. Sure, it might contain some good principles to live by, but it's not the actual Word of God.

Yet 2 Timothy 3:16-17 plainly says,
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.
Deception: You Are Not Worthy
The next piece of armor that God has provided for us is also found in verse 14. There Paul writes, …having on the breastplate of righteousness.

Once you have a firm hold on the truth of God's Word, Satan will try to convince you that you are not worthy to receive what the Bible says is yours. He'll remind you of everything you've ever done wrong and every bad word you've ever spoken as he tries to deceive you into accepting some form of curse or destruction that he wants to put on you.

Satan wants you to think that you deserve sickness or poverty because of what you've done in the past. He knows that if he can make you feel condemned and guilty, you'll not resist his advances into your life. But praise the Lord, your past doesn't even exist in the eyes of God.

God sees you only through the shed blood of Jesus and He has given you His righteousness, not because of what you've done but because of what Jesus did for you. When Satan tries to lie to you about your righteousness or right standing with God, just remind him of the power of the blood and continue to hold onto the righteousness Jesus died to give you.

Deception: You're Too Busy To Work For God
Moving down to verse 15 we read: And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace.

God's plan for you in this life involves using all the resources He has entrusted to you in promoting the gospel of peace. You put on this piece of armor when you make it your determined purpose to let God use you to bring His power into someone's life through the Gospel.

Satan will attack you in this area of your life by trying to give you other priorities other than spreading God's Word. Instead of using your finances to support someone's ministry, instead of using your time to share your faith out on the streets, or simply letting your neighbors know who you live for, Satan will labor to focus your attention on advancing your own plan for your life.

Deception: It Doesn't Matter What You Believe
This passage of scripture places special emphasis on your next piece of armor when it says: Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked (Eph. 6:16).

Your enemy is well aware of this biblical truth, As he thinketh in his heart, so is he (Prov. 23:7). Satan knows that what you believe directly affects the decisions you make. So, if he can get you to believe something other than God's Word, he can cause you to inadvertently choose death and cursing instead of life and blessing.

Satan also knows without faith it is impossible to please God and a double minded man will receive nothing from the Lord.

The shield of faith is specially designed by God to protect you from circumstances in the world that resist you when you are believing His Word. Keep that shield held high and stand behind your faith and nothing in this world will be able to affect what you believe and thus stop you from receiving God's promises. If you don't quit believing, you win.

Deception: It Doesn't Matter What You Think
Verse 17 of this passage makes reference to the helmet of salvation. As you know, a helmet covers the mind. From this verse we learn that your mind is going to be involved in Satan's efforts to deceive you. That's why it is vital you protect your mind from every vain imagination that exalts itself against God's Word (2 Cor. 10:5).

Why are your thoughts so important? Because your imagination will eventually produce corresponding behavior. If you want your life to be the way God says it should be, then you need to think like God thinks and imagine your life the way God sees it.

Satan, of course, wants you to be casual about your thought life. He hopes you'll not pay much attention to what thoughts you entertain in your mind. He'll tell you your imagination doesn't really matter because nobody can tell what you're thinking anyway.

Don't let Satan deceive you concerning the importance of your thoughts.

Deception: It Doesn't Matter What You Speak
The final piece of armor mentioned in Ephesians 6, is actually an offensive weapon: …The sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

Just as the devil hopes you'll be casual about your thoughts, he will also try to convince you to be casual about your words. Actually, the two are linked because wrong thoughts will invariably lead to wrong words.

According to Hebrews 11, the words you speak today frame the world you will step into tomorrow because your words are the containers of your faith.

Mark 11:23 says you will have whatsoever you say. Satan knows this principle will work for you or against you depending on what kind of words are coming out of your mouth.

Listen to your words and guard your mouth. You can't afford to allow your own tongue to speak cursing and death into your life.

Summary
There they are. The most common forms of deception used by the enemy of your soul. Any of these lies sound familiar? If Satan can't deceive you in these areas, then you've closed these doorways to cursing and death.

Plant this truth firmly in your heart. Staying free from deception is your key to victorious living. If the devil can't deceive you, he can't defeat you.

Mac Hammond Ministries
All rights reserved. Used by permission.

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