Are you aware that there are a dozen things you need to be aware of this month? Some of them are Ultraviolet, Arson, MCS, Canadian Immunization, Hurricanes, and Digestive Diseases. Every month has its share of "Awareness" campaigns, good causes that need our attention. There are so many life-changing events and concerns that even an Awareness Awareness Month couldn't keep track of them. Members of these groups want us to know about the dangers so we can avoid them.
There is one danger lurking out there most people may not be aware of; in fact, the leader of this group prefers that you not recognize the symptoms of his work so he and his forces can be more effective. We need to "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour" (1 Peter 5:8).
One of Satan's favorite tools is to hide behind our unbelief. He prefers that we are not aware of, or even deny, his existence and that of his demon cohorts. Like the Invisible Man or The Shadow, he can be more effective if no one knows he's there.
Satan has an even better trick than invisibility and anonymity. Paul warned the church against infiltration: "For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness" (2 Corinthians 11:1315). The devil can appear as a spiritual authority, indistinguishable at first from a genuine believer. Once he's accepted as legitimate and gains the trust of the unsuspecting, he can work his evil, perverting the Word of God to his advantage, as he tried with Adam and Eve and even Jesus (Genesis 3; Matthew 4).
Sometimes, Satan works in spectacular ways. Speaking of the antichrist, Paul warned, "The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders" (2 Thessalonians 2:9). Jesus shocked the disciples with these words: "For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect" (Matthew 24:24).
Other times, the devil works subtly, taking advantage of the open doors of wrong actions and attitudes, such as unforgiveness, anger, and marital strife.
"For if indeed I have forgiven anything, I have forgiven that one for your sakes in the presence of Christ, lest Satan should take advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices" (2 Corinthians 2:10, 11).
"'In your anger do not sin': Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold" (Ephesians 4:26, 27).
"Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement for a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control" (1 Corinthians 7:5).
How can we identify the enemy? "To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, it is because there is no light in them" (Isaiah 8:20). When Scripture is disregarded, distorted, denied or disobeyed, the prince of darkness is at work. Be aware!
Our defense against the tactics of the evil one is familiarity with, and faith in, the bible. Faith protects us against his deceitful darts, and we can parry his tempting thrusts by quoting and obeying Scripture (Ephesians 6).
Let this month and every month be Satan Awareness Month!
Alan Allegra is a freelance Christian writer in Pennsylvania. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. More articles at Lifestyles Over 50: http://www.lifestylesover50.com/ and the Morning Call: www.mcall.com. Available for writing. LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/alanallegra/
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