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Know your enemy's schemes Part 1

Are You Hypnotized By Satan's Distractions?

To think that the enemy is not a clever strategist is one of the greatest lies we could ever allow ourselves to believe. My heart is so saddened painfully whenever I hear a well-meaning brother or sister in the Lord stand up and declare to a body of believers “we don’t need to worry about what the devil is doing because…..” The Lord has spent a lifetime teaching me the enemy’s schemes. In 2nd Corinthians 2:11 (KJV) Paul warned the Corinthian Church “Lest Satan should get an advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices.”

The enemy works both a short game, a sort of small arms fire, even as he maintains a long-range plan to undermine the belief system of any individual, church body, group, or denomination. We know that he both knows the Word of God and also recognizes its power. He also not only knows the power of prayer but also fears its development in any believer.

As we take a look at some of his strategies, let's use a generalization to help us remember what his ultimate goal is: It’s to cut off communication with our Heavenly Father through sort of a multifaceted scattershot. If he can cut off communication to our creator, then he can weaken us. It’s in our weakened state that he can do the most damage.

Remember every branch that bears not good fruit is hewn down and cast into the fire. If he can just make us either non-fruit-bearing, or cause us to produce rotten fruit, then he knows our works are in vain. If all that we do are things done for Him and not with Him, they are simply religious works of the flesh. It would be music the devil's ears if, would be on that last day of our lives on this earth, Jesus were to say to us  “Depart from me I never knew you.” Matthew 7:23b (KJV)

Mark 3:27 (KJV) states “No man can enter into a strong man's house, and spoil his goods, except he will first bind the strong man; then he will spoil his house.” Now consider this paraphrase of that scripture in a way the Lord revealed to me in prayer. ‘How can Satan enter into a strong Christians house, and spoil his fruit, unless he first puts that strong Christian into bondage; then he will be able to spoil his house.” Please remember Satan’s strategy is to first weaken the Christian and then he can spoil his fruit.

In the small arms fire attacks, which hit us every day, the enemy simply tries to wear us down and eventually, take us out! Daniel, speaking of the Devil in 7:25a (KJV) “And he shall speak great words against the most High, and wear out the saints of the most High.” If he can just keep you busy with seemingly good things so that you are too tired to pray, or too sleepy to read the word of God as he pushes you near the cliffs of temptation, it will be an easy task for him to push you over the cliff. Beware of the good being the enemy of the best.

How many times have you scheduled a prayer time only to have something come up which interferes with that time? How many times has the enemy sent an attack on your life to stop a Bible study time or even a scheduled outreach? He is a master of distraction, and he works best undercover when no one realizes it’s actually him at work! If the interference seems to be a big negative, most of us will realize it’s the Devil. However, if it comes by way of a good thing, like one of your adult children wanting to take you out to dinner, or even perhaps your neighbor wanting to have you come over for a visit you are blindsided We often do not discern that the enemy using something good to sidetrack us.

The best way to avoid these distractions is to institute strict personal discipline of making time for God. You may say “Brother Nolan, if I make my time with God a discipline then won’t it become something that’s rigid, something cold and religious?” No! Ask yourself this question,” Don’t I have to make time for every other relationship in my life including my children, my spouse, my work, my church etc., writing them into my schedule?” You must agree that the answer is yes! If so then you must also make time for God! Billy Graham once stated, “If I do not crawl out bed and drop to my knees immediately, the enemy gets an advantage over my day.

Far too many of today’s professing believers only pray when they feel like praying and only read the Word of God when they feel like reading the Word of God. By habitually setting your clock, preferably early in the morning you will put your Heavenly Father in His rightful place as the first person you spend time with every day. By keeping that tight of a relationship with Him in praise and worship, and in prayer and thanksgiving, and letting Him speak to your heart through His Word every day you will be spiritually charged. Your discernment will be sharp and the enemy’s small arms fire will not be as effective as it has been in the past of wearing you out as effectively as it has in the past. Your fruit will be seeds sown in good soil, led by the Spirit of God and not of dead works. Then one day you will hear these words, “Well done thou good and faithful servant!” Matthew 25:21(KJV)

Always remember Satan’s overall goal even above his motives to cut off communication between you and God, is to work hard at seeing to it, that you spend eternity with him in Hell! He doesn’t give up just because you got saved!

Rev Nolan J Harkness is the President and CEO of Nolan Harkness Evangelistic Ministries Inc. since 1985. He spent most of his adult life working in youth ministry. He also felt the calling of Evangelist/Revivalist and traveled as the door was open holding evangelistic meetings in churches throughout the Northeast. His website is

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