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- The Master Deceiver –

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Ephesians 6:11, “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil”

As I pondered how I would start today’s devotional my thoughts were directed to the book of Joshua. He had just won two astounding victories, destroying both Jericho and Ai through the power of the Lord. The Gibeonites knew they would be next, so in fear they resorted to trickery to save their lives. They put on old clothes, took moldy bread with them, and made their way to the camp of Israel. Joshua and the elders were completely taken in by the deception. Without consulting the Lord, they entered into a covenant with the enemies of Israel who God had told them to destroy. I see several spiritual lessons in this account that can be applied to those who have confessed Christ as Savior. My brethren, if we put human reasoning before divine guidance, walking by sight rather than by faith, we are sure to err! As believers in Christ, we should dread the “moldy bread” of satan’s deceptive strategies much more than the “lion’s roar” of his frontal attacks. Even though we have met the more obvious assaults of the enemy with victories like those of Jericho and Ai, overconfidence can lead us into a trap set by the master deceiver. If we are governed by the authority of the precious Word of God and put our total dependence in the power of the Spirit, we will not be easily caught in satan’s web of deceit. As God’s children we must remember to “put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil” (Ephesians 6:11), and above all watch out for the moldy bread!

Concluding thoughts:

I read an article in the National Geographic Magazine some time ago regarding the polar bear. As the article related the arctic polar bear feeds almost entirely on seals. To enjoy such a meal, the bear sometimes resorts to a cunning bit of trickery. If the hole in the ice through which the seal gets his food isn’t too far from the edge of open water, the polar bear will take a deep breath, slip underwater, and swim to the seal’s fishing hole. He will then imitate a fish by scratching lightly on the underside of the ice. When the seal hears this sound, he dives in for a quick supper, only to find himself suddenly caught in the huge, hungry embrace of his predator. My friend the devil entices us in a similar way. He baits us with some seemingly harmless pleasure and disguises the ugliness of sin with something that looks or sounds appealing. Then, when we’ve succumbed to the temptation (similar to Joshua) he catches us in his well concealed trap. As believers in Christ, we have no excuse for being taken in by the deception of the enemy. We can stay protected from satan’s attacks if we “put on the whole armor of God” (Ephesians 6:11). Additionally, verses 14-18 tell us we must put on the belt of “truth,” “the breastplate of righteousness,” the shoes of “the gospel of peace,” “the shield of faith,” “the helmet of salvation,” and “the sword of the Spirit,” along with “all prayer.” Thus, with God’s armor we can stand and stay protected!

The devil is subtle, deceptive, and sly,
He cleverly tricks us to swallow his lie;
But his cunning methods we’re sure to discern,
By making God’s warnings our daily concern.

The believer in Christ who wields the Word of the Spirit yields no ground to satan.

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