Everyone knows that the purpose of the devil is to steal, kill and destroy. But there are subtle ways we may be under attack without even understanding it to be an attack. When someone is stealing from us we may be able to see it very clearly. But there are things that happened before the thief is able to take the blessing. Before anything is dead or dies, there may be some indications and we may be able to save it before it dies. When someone is behaving destructively. We may be able to prevent the enemy from destroying our blessing. There is usually some activity we are subtly invited to participate in before the loss occurs. Most times the devil needs our participation in order to achieve his mischief. After meditating and praying against attacks from the enemy, God has revealed some quite obvious attacks from the enemy that have a huge impact but because they are undetectable in the grand scheme and hustle and bustle of life.
First, let’s understand what subtle means.
Subtle: adjective (describing word)
1. (Especially of a or distinction) so delicate and or as to be difficult to or describe.
2. (of mixture or effect) delicately complex and understated.
3. Making use of clever and indirect methods to achieve something.
The first way the devil execute subtle attacks is to provoke you.
Provoke- stimulate or give rise to (a reaction or emotion, typically a strong or unwelcome one) in someone.
In Matthew 4:1-3, Jesus was in the wilderness for 40 days and 40 nights the devil came to tempt Him. He asked him probing questions while He was vulnerable. (How strong and aware would you be after 40 days of nothing to eat or drink?) The purpose of the questions were not to make friends or learn anything but to get Jesus to destroy Himself and bring God Himself under subjection by provoking Jesus to destroy HIMSELF!
Think of all the times you have done something you know was wrong or regretted and later realized that if your response had been different, certain things would not be an issue. Maybe you would have a clean driving record if you had not been tempted to race someone who provoked you at the stop light. Maybe you wouldn’t be on probation if you had taken the high road and not choked a girl at work. Understanding how the devil provokes us is a huge key to avoiding guilt and the opposite of blessings, curses. You have the authority in Jesus Christ to tell demons and devils to flee and they must.
“Then Jesus said to him, Begone, Satan! For it has been written, You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him alone shall you serve.” Matthew 4:10 AMPC
Only when you respond to provocation, will the devil now be able to subtly or straight up accuse you.
Accuse- charge (someone) with an offense or crime.
After you respond and put your foot in the net to be trapped, now you can be accused. In John 8:3-6, scribes and Pharisees attempted to bait Jesus with a situation where they could accuse Him of a crime. This is the story of the woman who had committed adultery who they had planned to stone. What many people don’t know about this story is that she had been sexually involved with ALL who accused her! Some were upset because she had not been having sex with them EQUALLY so they wanted to punish her! The scribes and Pharisees were assuming that Jesus was like them and had participated in the same activities with this particular woman. Of course, Jesus wasn’t going to be trapped by this situation. They wanted to make people see Jesus as less than He was and if not that then at least the same as them. The way Jesus was able to exonerate the woman and set her free was to ask the men another question that many have misinterpreted. He said, “Let him who have not participated in this particular sin with this particular woman, cast the first stone.” (In those days, women didn’t have freedom over their bodies so a man could rape and woman then blame, accuse and punish her for being a victim of circumstances.)
No one could punish her without also admitting he should also be punished because they had ALL had sex with her! How dare they accuse her and exonerate themselves?! When the enemy points the finger at us and accuses us of sin that we have not committed, we must remember how Jesus saved the woman from her accusers. We must walk with integrity and trust God to deliver and redeem us.
“But as for me, I will walk in my integrity; redeem me and be merciful and gracious to me.” Psalm 26:11 AMPC
The accusation is also created to make a person defensive. When a person is defensive, they are emotionally vulnerable. Anger or sadness may distract from the facts and cause you to ACTUALLY sin. Imagine becoming indignant and angry and losing your temper about something you are totally innocent of. The devil is pulling you in and causing you to give up your rights to blessings God want to give and make a decision to destroy your own destiny.
When an accusation is stated, a curse is usually close behind. The third way the devil subtly attacks is through perceived or outright cursing you.
Curse- a solemn utterance intended to invoke a supernatural power to inflict harm or punishment on someone or something.
A situation can present itself to be accusatory and make you feel the need to look forward to punishment for the perceived sin or even punish yourself. In Acts 16:25-28 Paul and Silas were wrongfully jailed and God sent an earthquake to shake the jail and open the doors. The prison guard who had fell asleep, woke up and saw the doors open. He immediately drew his sword against himself, preparing to commit suicide because he would have been accused of allowing inmates to run free. He was prepared to punish and immediately activate the curse of death on himself because of what he would be accused of. Paul and Silas stayed and begged the man to spare his own life. He did but the devil was almost successful at killing this man!
The devil needs you as an accomplice in his mischief to later accuse you. The devil’s purpose is always to drive distance between you and God. That is why the devil keeps a record of sin. The devil has to hold something over your head to be able to point the finger and accuse you. Even by putting you in precarious situations, the devil will work with just making you look guilty. Then later he will convince you that you might as well do wrong because you’ve been accused of the deed anyway. After you have been accused, the devil will declare a curse over your life. After making you look like a cheater, you will hear demons tell you to get ready for a divorce. When you’re in trouble at work, you may hear that you should start looking for another job. The devil brings confusion and chaos. The devil always convinces the person something is a good idea at first to point the finger at you when it’s time for punishment and consequences later. That’s why it’s important to resist the devil or tell him to flee.
“So be subject to God. Resist the devil [stand firm against him], and he will flee from you.” James 4:7 AMPC
Jesus has come to redeem us. We are saved through his death. We may come to God through his obedience of Jesus. Jesus is the way, the truth and the life. Jesus helps us understand how to be forgiven so we may know how so we may be granted forgiveness when we ask God for it. We are blessed through these efforts and brought closer to the Creator by helping us adhere to the instructions from God. When we followed the instructions for God we can easily identify when the devil is speaking or attempting to get us to do something.
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