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What should you do when Satan roars at you? Follow the advice found in 1 Peter 5:7: "Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you."

Put the situation in God's hands by believing and confessing His Word. Then put your faith and trust in His ability to deliver you. Don't fall for the lie that you can't stand against the wiles of the devil. You can! And your spiritual armor is your key to doing so. Now let's continue looking at the individual pieces of armor and the various deceptions from which they protect you.

The Deception That the Bible Is Not Literally True
In the same survey I mentioned earlier, fewer than 38 percent of Americans affirmed a belief in the accuracy of the Bible. That sad statistic brings us to the first piece of armor described in Ephesians 6:14: "Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth."

The following statement might seem overtly obvious, but it needs to be stated plainly: Knowing the truth keeps you from being deceived. Pretty profound, huh?

This is 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 about something, it guards you from deception in that area and the fear and destruction that deception brings. It is not enough, however, to just generally believe that the Bible is true. You must know the Word of truth.

As I heard one preacher say, "Truth itself doesn't set you free; the truth you know sets you free."

It is only as you read and study God's Word that you come to know what it says. And knowing what it says provides a standard by which you can measure all concepts, attitudes and ideas - immediately recognizing Satan's lies before they ever have a chance to take root in your heart. This is why the psalmist said: "Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee" (Ps. 119:11).

That, of course, is precisely why Satan tries to deceive you into believing the Bible isn't literally true. But 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."

You simply cannot detect and avoid deception if you reject the only source of absolute truth available to mankind.

Think about this for a minute. If whatever you believe about a particular issue doesn't come from the Bible, then the only other possible source for that concept is the human mind. Do you really want to base your life and - more importantly - your eternal destiny on the opinion of some fallen man or woman?

No, me neither. That is why Satan's undermining your confidence in God's Word is one of his most insidious deceptions.

The Deception That You Are Not Worthy
Satan wants you to think that you deserve sickness, poverty, or oppression because of your past. You see, he is fully aware of the truth of 1 John 3:21:"Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God."

Do you see it? The devil's goal in this kind of attack is to rob you of your confidence before God. He knows that if he can make you feel condemned and guilty, you will not as readily resist his advances into your life, because you won't be standing on God's Word in faith. If he is successful in keeping you mindful of past mistakes, you will become like the wretched man described in the first chapter of James: "But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does" (James 1:6-8).

With a righteousness consciousness, you know that your past doesn't even exist in the eyes of God. God sees you through the sacrifice and blood of Jesus only, and He has given you His righteousness, not because of what you have done, but because of what Jesus did for you.

As you can see, one of the most important keys to walking in the fullness of God's promises and blessings is avoiding the "I am not worthy" deception. That's why it's important to know that your primary defense against this attack is the breastplate of righteousness.

When Satan tries to lie to you about your right-standing with God, just remind him of the power of the blood, and continue to hold on to the righteousness Jesus died to give you.

The Deception That You Are Too Busy To Work for God
If the devil can get you to fill your life with your own pursuits, he will have succeeded in getting your eyes off meeting other people's needs. You will focus solely on taking care of your agenda.

But if you fall into this deception, you won't consistently pursue God's plan for your life, you will be little or no threat to Satan's kingdom and you will never even come close to experiencing God's highest and best.

Now, here is an important biblical truth that will change your life if you will embrace it: God always dispenses His power in accordance with His purposes. And His highest purpose is to save the lost and dying among us.

The regrets that come at the end of life invariably center on the neglect of eternal things. Having your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace helps to keep you from falling for a deception that would rob you of the power of God and the joy that comes from fulfilling your highest destiny.

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

Satan also knows that without faith it is impossible to please God and that a double-minded man will receive nothing from the Lord (Heb. 11:6; James 1:7,8). So he will do all he can to get you to waver every time you take a stand on God's Word.

It is important to understand that in this present age, Satan is still operating as the ruler of this fallen world. As such, he has some rights and ability to manipulate people and circumstances. You can be sure that he will do so in such a way as to contradict what you are believing. He will try to make it look as if God's Word isn't true or your faith isn't working. The goal is to get you to waver in your beliefs.

Satan desperately hopes that you will let down your shield of faith. He knows that God designed it to protect you from his fiery darts of doubt and wavering unbelief - the things that keep you from experiencing the full manifestation of God's promises. Keep that shield held high, and stand firm in 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. To become convinced otherwise is a tragic deception.

The Deception That It Doesn't Matter What You Think
Another deception the devil uses is against the mind. That's why Ephesians 6:17 refers to putting on your helmet of salvation. Metaphorically speaking, a helmet covers the mind. Obviously, your mind is Satan's primary target in his efforts to deceive you. That is why it is vital that you protect your mind by "casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ" (2 Cor. 10:5).

Why are thoughts so important? Because your imagination will eventually produce corresponding behavior. Like it or not, your capacity to imagine your life being a certain way supernaturally affects the direction it ultimately takes. Thoughts have consequences.

If you want your life to be the way God says it should be, then you need to think as 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 that you won't pay much attention to the thoughts you entertain in your mind. He will tell you that your thoughts are harmless. He will whisper that they don't really matter because nobody can tell what you are thinking anyway.

Don't let Satan deceive you concerning the importance of your thoughts. For example, letting thoughts of anger, hatred, resentment, or unforgiveness stay in your mind will hinder and ultimately destroy your ability to walk in love. Without love, your faith won't work (Gal. 5:6). And without faith it is impossible to please God or walk in His blessings (Heb. 11:1-6).

The Deception That It Doesn't Matter What You Say
The philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre once said, "Words are loaded pistols."4 He was right, and that brings us to the next area in which deception is so deadly: your words.

The final piece of armor mentioned in Ephesians 6 is the piece God's given us to defend ourselves from this particular deception. Notice that it differs from all the others in that it is actually an offensive weapon: "And take...the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God" (Eph. 6:17).

Just as Satan wants you to be casual about your thoughts, so he also wants you to be about your words. Actually, the two are connected; wrong thoughts invariably lead to wrong words, and as the Bible says in Proverbs 18:21, Death and life are in the power of the tongue.

I urge you to examine your vocabulary. Listen to your words and guard your mouth. You can't afford to allow your own tongue to speak curses and death into your life. Right words are absolutely critical to attaining God's plan for your life. Never be deceived into thinking you can be casual about them, but don't let Satan tell you that you don't need to speak positive, faith-filled words about yourself either. You do!

The Deception That You Can't "Pray Always"
Praying always. Seems like a pretty tall order, doesn't it? Impossible even? That is precisely what the enemy hopes you will think.

The devil will tell you, "You can't pray all day. You have business to do, a house to clean and children to care for." But prayer simply means a continual awareness of the presence of God in our everyday lives. It is what Brother Lawrence has called "practicing the presence of God."

"Praying always" does not mean spending all day on your knees. It is simply maintaining your communion with the Greater One who lives in you. Don't let Satan use a false concept of God's expectations to keep you from spending time with your heavenly Father and staying connected with your only source of life.

For now, simply plant this truth firmly in your heart: Satan cannot defeat you in any area of your life unless he can first deceive you. And one of the primary defenses God has given us against deception is the whole armor of God.

Source: Doorways to Deception by Mac Hammond.
Excerpt permission granted by Harrison House Publishers

Author Biography

Mac Hammond
Web site: Mac Hammond
Mac Hammond is the senior pastor of Living Word, a large and growing church in Brooklyn Park (a suburb of Minneapolis), Minnesota. He is the host of the Winner’s Minute, which is seen locally in the Minneapolis area on KMSP Channel 9 at 6:44 a.m. and 11:11 a.m. He is also the host of the Winner's Way broadcast and author of several internationally distributed books. Mac is broadly acclaimed for his ability to apply the principles of the Bible to practical situations and the challenges of daily living.

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