Right from the Garden of Eden, the modus operandi of the devil remains the same. He looks at human frailty and desire and uses them to attract to himself people whom he subtly manipulates to do his biddings. He cleverly enticed Eve with lies and deception to eat the forbidden fruit. That was how the purpose for our first parents got perverted and twisted. Man lost the dominion and power that was originally given to him by the Lord.
God in His infinite mercy decided to restore the dignity of man that was lost in the Garden of Eden by sending His only begotten son to come and redeem mankind. The devil in his ambition to stop God's agenda for the salvation of humanity cleverly went after Jesus with irresistible offers in order to repeat what he has done to Adam thousands of years before.
Jesus resisted him, rejected all his offers, and defeated him. In his frustration, he departed from Jesus and the Spirit of God came and ministered to Him. The devil in his rage ignorantly plotted the death of Jesus without knowing that he was fast-tracking the salvation of humanity (1 Corinthians 2:8). Jesus never failed, and fulfilled His ministry and died to save mankind from sin.
One attribute of the devil that I earnestly envy is his sagacious determination to achieve whatever assignment he is committed to accomplish. What he started in the garden of Eden is what he is still pursuing today. Are we aware of his manipulative tendencies and deceptions, or are we being complacent?
The greatest mistake that any Christian can make is to be ignorant of the devices of the devil. If he had deceived Eve, spoke through Peter (Mathew 16:23) and had the temerity to take Jesus to the pinnacle of the mountain to show Him all the kingdoms of this world and their splendors (Mathew 4:5-8), why are we now unaware of his activities in our midst?
For lack of knowledge of the schemes of the devil, God's people are destroyed. He offers attractive things to lure Christians into sin. He brings ego-boosting opportunities and projects the splendors of this world to cause us to compromise. His old schemes are still working effectively today. All these years, he has not changed his weapon. He used the same weapon on Eve, he used it on Jesus and he is presently using it on Christians.
Truth is, many Christians today are unprepared to stand against the devil because they are too earthly-minded. During the temptation, Jesus rejected bread even when He was hungry. He trusted in God’s Word even when His physical needs were dire. We also should learn not to live by bread alone and depend on the Word of God for survival. Christians should not behave like those men in John 6 who were looking for Jesus to receive only earthly bread.
When the devil comes after us with the temptations, we must be strong and resist him. We must prefer hunger to dining at the devil's table. Many of God's people are now used to pursuing the splendors of the kingdoms of this world at the expense of the Kingdom of God.
The plan of the devil is to ensure that we do not finish strong. He manipulates pastors to teach Christians how to concentrate all their energy on seeking the pleasures of this earthly kingdom. This is an aberration, and I do not think that it is right for Christians to struggle for what Christ rejected.
While Christ is getting ready to come and rapture His bride and establish His kingdom on earth, the devil is busy with his ministry of manipulation and deception to bring many Christians out of God's purpose and away from His presence. We can’t afford to be complacent. The days are evil, and the devil is moving like an angel of light in search of Christians to deceive.
Let us stand firm and be encouraged with the words of our Lord Jesus Christ to the church in Sardis: "He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels" (Revelation 3:5).
Be encouraged, Christians. And at all times, resist the temptations of the world, the flesh, and the devil.