Posts Tagged ‘deception’

It is a well known fact that sports teams will review old game tapes to study high points during play, recognize mistakes made, pinpoint needed areas of improvement and hone in on the strategies of their opponents.  It is no different if you want to be victorious in spiritual warfare.  One of the sharpest strategies you can deploy against our greatest enemy, Satan, is to know his moves and plan of attack ahead of time. In our favor is that the tactics of the devil hasn’t changed much since he was first transformed from one of God’s highest and most beloved angels to the evil nuisance we know him to be today.  The bible gives clear insight as to how the devil operates against God and His creation.  It’s like being in the American army and having the battle plans for the Taliban at your fingertips. If you study it enough, you are already ahead of the game simply because the same way the devil attacked those biblical characters thousands of  years ago is the same way he continues to assault mankind even now.  And although the bible may have been physically written by men, it was unmistakably composed under the divine inspiration and guidance of God himself.    Not only does our Supreme General exercise complete power over the Enemy and delegates boundaries as to what he can and cannot do, because God is omniscient(all-knowing) He knows the devil’s moves before he makes one step.  What more of an advantage can we have than that? To side with God we can only win. To rebel against Him is eventual loss and certain destruction.

People think of spiritual warfare only as some form of black magic like Voodoo or Santeria.  Some spooky hocus pocus or crazy manifestation of demonic possession with foaming at the mouth or someone’s head spinning backward like in The Exorcist.  Although those things would certainly constitute some aspects of spiritual warfare, in actuality spiritual warfare spans an entire spectrum of activities and can range from something as simple as your wallet being stolen to something as complex as voodoo rituals. Anything that the Enemy uses to torment, oppress or harass you could be considered spiritual warfare.   Anything that opposes God’s will for your life is spiritual warfare.  Anything the Enemy uses to keep you from living in the fullness and blessings God has for you is all out war.

So how does the devil fire against us?   It usually comes through 3 main weapons: you, others around you, situations/circumstances.  His 3 main means of ammunition?:  Doubt, deception and division.  As I write this I hear the Lord saying add to that distraction and delay. Remember that the devil is not ever-present and all powerful like God. He must enlist quite a bit of help to assist him. “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 6:12, NKJV).  These principalities, powers and hosts of wickedness are the scores of demons or fallen angels who have pledged allegiance with the devil against God, His creation and His kingdom.  So one Devil.  Many variations of principalities and hosts of wickedness.  Legions of demons and fallen angels. It’s these demons who go around and create havoc on behalf of Satan.


It Starts With You

One unique weapon that the devil loves to use against you is….you.  You in and of yourself.  In hurting you, not only does he destroy you, he can in turn use you to destroy others. The first place of attack? You guessed it–the mind. It makes sense that this would be the most detrimental place to target.  After all the mind is what separates man from animals, nature and inanimate objects.  As I read somewhere, it is the gift that God gave us that makes us more like His image compared to other created things. It can also be easily influenced. If we are not careful, the Enemy can easily feed us his thoughts and deceive us into thinking it is our own or worse, God’s thoughts.   I love the way Reverend Eugene Harris put it as paraphrased:  “the enemy doesn’t really come at you like an outside person.   He talks to you as if it were you.” In attacking you the devil may use all 5 forms of ammunition (deception, doubt, division, distraction and delay) and it generally begins with a deceptive and distorted view of yourself and eventually everyone around you. Thoughts of self-hatred and low self worth plague the mind: “I am hideous; I can’t do anything right; I’m not good enough.” With scales over your eyes you can’t see that you are beautiful, loved and treasured by God with unique gifts and talents waiting to be proclaimed to the world. In that wounded state with no self confidence and low self-esteem you may easily develop a distorted view of others around you.   You are now a potential weapon in Satan’s hands.

Before long you may find it hard to distinguish between the voices of evil versus God’s righteous still small voice. “She doesn’t like me. I should have what they have. They deserve to die.” What is irrational becomes rational, what is wrong becomes right; abnormal becomes normal in a demon-influenced mind. Demons of anxiety, anger, rage and fear to name a few become major players in this scenario. With all of those thoughts impacting your mind, you most certainly are distracted and detoured from the path you should be walking, which all inevitably ends up in delay. Delay of blessing, delay of purpose, delay in living the life God has planned for you.  It is here also that the devil loves to plant seeds of doubt that blossom into full blown crops of distrust and denial of God and His power.  “God is never going to heal me or save my troubled child; God can’t do anything for me; God is cruel.” These are just a few of the thought patterns and examples of how the Enemy uses doubt to keep people from knowing our Maker. This is why it is so important to feed your mind with the things of God and to have a firm foundation in Him.  To not do so is to open your mind to full demonic attack.

When the Enemy Is Outside

The devil doesn’t just stop at making you your own enemy.  He also loves to use others to come against you as well.   In this arena no party is off limits.   Mother, sibling, friend or stranger–anybody knowingly or unknowingly  can be the offender! Doesn’t mean you have to go around being paranoid, disowning family members or be suspicious of every person you come across. Recognize the enemy is very crafty. This is where deception works the best.  These are the instances where the devil sends those counterfeits or false friends up in your space deceptively presenting themselves as allies, when they are really on assignment to sabotage you;  where your boss zeros in on you to make your life a living hell with intentions of derailing you; where  God may have called you for an unexpected purpose in ministry and your family tries to dissuade you. Distractions and delay come heavy in this category.  The one who the devil nicely packaged as your “soul mate” or ” the love of your life”on the outside, brings a  load of misery and heartache later on.    It is also here that people driven by demons of jealousy, envy, greed and hatred would go to such lengths as rape, robbery, murder or even involvement in black magic to harm others. Whether by attacking you directly or through outside people,  it is easy to see where the Enemy uses these tactics to isolate and cause division. He is well aware that alone or separate, we can be weak and vulnerable to a quick downfall.  Yet in the strength of unity and agreement, we have the best chance of overcoming the powers of darkness and being victorious.

Situations and Circumstances

Lastly the enemy loves to attack through situations or circumstances. These attacks vary in degree and can also be quite subtle.  I remember a good friend of mine sharing that in her attempt to call and minister to a woman who needed help in a women’s center, her phone was mysteriously blocked.  She literally could not get a call through to that person.  When she astutely realized what was going on, she had someone else call from another phone and they were able to get through.  Imagine how that woman would have missed out on her blessing had my friend not discerned what was happening. The attacks can be that subtle. As subtle as losing your keys just steps from your front door,  to something more obvious like a  car accident 5 minutes from home. Another way Satan loves to torment and frustrate us?  Sickness and infirmity.  Cancer, diabetes, HIV and all other forms of disease loom around us, traveling in our genetics, all the while becoming more and more prevalent.  On an even broader scale the enemy attacks and oppresses by  influencing societal shifts and norms as seen in such realities as racial or gender inequality, poverty, violence and glorification of sexual perversion and immorality.  Nature? Yep the enemy can work through that too. The bible says in the book of Job after God gave the devil permission to attack everything Job had with the exception of taking his life that “suddenly a great wind came from across the wilderness and struck the four corners of the house, and it fell on the young people … (Job 1:19, NKJV), basically killing Job’s children.  By this passage, the belief is that the devil, with God’s allowance can influence nature.  Hence it is clear that the devil comes by different modes or avenues of attack all with the motive to ultimately kill, steal and destroy.

My intention in writing this post is not to scare you or be the bearer of all doom and gloom.  I cannot claim to be an expert or have all the answers for such a complex subject as spiritual warfare.  But as I am learning on my own journey, I do hope this writing has at least  given you a greater awareness of the presence of spiritual warfare, the importance of being informed and better insight on how it affects us every day of our lives.  Realize that so much of what influences this world as we know it is truly spiritual.  Be knowledgable and vigilant of the schemes of the enemy, ask the Lord to help you avoid the  pitfalls of deception and seek Him for help in handling each situation with love and wisdom.  It may mean cutting or moving people out of your life, learning to practice more patience with family members, praying more, fasting, studying the Word or just drawing closer to God overall.  Believe and trust God for His protection and covering against all evil.  Know that God by his Holy Spirt when asked will always give you guidance and wisdom.  Rest in the fact that He is in full control.

Up next by God’s grace—looking at the awesome weapons we have to fight the good fight.  The devil may have his warfare tactics, but with Jehovah Saboath (the Lord of the living armies) yet  still I , you , we rise……

With peace and blessings may you continue to rise always,

Stillirise323

Imagine you get change for a $20 bill from the toll booth.  One of the bills doesn’t seem right—it feels off, it looks skewed and when you look closely at it in the light, low and behold it is not a legitimate $5 bill.  You my friend have been given counterfeit currency.  And just as easily as counterfeit money slips into your hand, the devil loves to slip counterfeit people into your life.  Phony, fake—they try to imitate but fall short of duplicating the real thing.  A few posts ago I talked briefly about spiritual warfare.  Remember the devil has no good in him so he is never going to come honest, plain and straight-foward.  Out of the 3 main roads he uses, DECEPTION, DOUBT AND DIVISION, deception is probably his most common tactic. And he usually comes through 3 main vehicles:  you,  outsiders (i.e. friends, family, coworkers, etc.) and  situations/scenarios.  Counterfeits undoubtedly fall under the category of deception.   I recall  some time last year while  walking to a bus stop that the Lord really went into a long discourse with  me about counterfeits.  It was also around the time, to my excitement, that I really began to hear the Lord for myself.  There is always a purpose or meaning when God speaks.  He doesn’t speak in a vacuum or speak idly like we do sometimes.  And sure enough His wisdom  proved to be quite relevant to a situation that was present back then.  Moving forward, I hadn’t really thought about it again until a couple of weeks or so ago when He  kept putting in my spirit the word counterfeit…counterfeit…counterfeit  over and over again.

Consequently, He brought that discourse from last year right back to my memory and sure enough I am seeing plainly that some folks’ intentions and  hearts are not fully right towards me. In other words, they showed their true colors.  If you are patient, the devil will always show himself.   You just have to ask God to open your eyes, be keen and pay attention. And in true form, God reiterated His point and confirmed what He was saying by repeatedly speaking through His ministers at a church conference all this past weekend about fraudulent people.   It just amazes me how if you ask God He really will bring every darkness to light.  Let me share with you what I have learned from last year and even as I prepared to write this blog….

Counterfeit, when you really think about it, is a concept that has been around since the beginning of time.  Didn’t Satan delude himself into thinking He could rebel against God and rule, reign and be worshipped like God?  Didn’t Lucifer appear to Adam and Eve back in the garden of Eden deceivingly as well-meaning and friendly, with only the intent to bring a curse on them by tricking them into sinning against God?  So you see,  if Satan is brazen enough to rebel against God directly, be clear that he is definitely at work using tactics  and decoys to deceive you; especially if you are living for God.  I say this for myself as I do for you:   Be vigilant!  Be on your guard!

Whether it applies to money, clothes, bags, or people,  there are certain  threads that are common to all counterfeits. Counterfeits operate on 2 main principles:  fraudulence and imitation.  They present themselves as the real thing,  but they are not the real. They want to imitate or portray the genuine article, but essentially they are not and can never be “the real” if they exist in that counterfeit state.  They pretend to be your friend, but they mean you no good.  Want to be you and live your life, but aren’t built to travel your path or carry what you are carrying.  See your glory and want to take it, but don’t know the hardwork, sacrifice and the story of how you got there.  Have you ever come across people like that?

Furthermore, counterfeits ultimately operate for their own personal advancement.   According to Wikepidia, counterfeit products are often produced with the intent to take advantage of the superior value of the imitated product (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Counterfeit).  Not only that, they tend to have fake logos and brands.  So yes those knockoff bags they sell on the streets of Manhattan take advantage of the good name of Gucci to make a profit.  Those imitation sneakers made in China, make a killing off of the notoriety of Nike–so they use the Nike logo to boost their sales. You child of God, try to live your life worshiping God in spirit and in truth, bearing the mark of the Holy Spirit and carrying the favor of God.  Yet some  counterfeit wants to attach to you to see how they can benefit from your favor and blessings.  Whether it is to boost their own ego,  temper their feelings of insecurities,  promote themselves or just simply tear the “genuine thing” down, counterfeits always have some underlying motivation for their own selfish agenda.

Counterfeits essentially can’t add much value because they have no value. Now in regard to money that is a blanket statement.  In regards to people, I dare not  judge anyone as invaluable. God loves us all and  has  created us for a purpose no matter how “seemingly” insignificant it  may  seem. He may not  love what we do or when we sin against Him,  but we are all precious in His sight.  But when one assumes the posture of a counterfeit, you can’t add much value because you are not being who you are and who God created you to be.  You cannot add value as a particular thing if you are truly not that thing.  Actually it is  to the contrary.  Just as counterfeit money or products devalue genuine currency and the economy overall, counterfeit people only devalue those who are real or legitimate. They usually end up hurting others and being a hindrance in the end.

Counterfeit consumer products have a reputation for being lower quality (sometimes not working at all) and may even include toxic elements (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Counterfeit).  You see where this is going right?  A  knockoff Prada imitation (you might as well call it Nada) can never measure up to a true Prada couture.   Counterfeits not only  take short cuts and use low grade inferior material to imitate the high quality of the real product, they  will even go to such lengths as to use toxic materials to create a closer  imitation of the real thing.  If I had to guess, I am almost  sure that the closer the counterfeit comes to duplicating  the real thing, the more toxic the material used to get it that way.    The more fake and counterfeit the person, the more  they are filled with such toxic entities as jealousy, dishonesty, envy, pride, ego, fear, hurt and insecurity  just to name a few.   Things that are toxic to them and eventually spills over to negatively affect you.  But this is the difference.  Through the test of time and the wear and tear of regular use, the counterfeit almost always will become dismantled long before the genuine article.  They cannot withstand the pressures and elements of life.  Only those things or people made with the best and highest quality material, things like love, patience, peace, truth, Godlike characteristics will endure and look flawless while doing it.

Lastly, with careful inspection and when held up to the light, every counterfeit will be exposed.  In the light you start to see the flaws, imperfections and the truth of what the counterfeit really is–a fake.  Images aren’t as sharp, the ink may look dull, certain symbols are missing or misaligned when you compare counterfeit bills to real bills.  So what ultimately exposes counterfeits?  How can you recognize one when you see it? Keen spiritual vision and a little bit of light.  Ephesians 5:13 says, “But their evil intentions will be exposed when the light shines on them (New Living Translation).  Just let the light of God in you and the truth of the Holy Spirit expose every fraudulent, deceptive counterfeit person in you life.

Well what now?  You may wonder what do you do when you discover a counterfeit in your life?  Although it may be tempting to tell them off, that of course is not the way.  Simply pray for them, love them with the love of Christ and keep it moving. I say simply, but believe me it is not so simple.  It really takes the grace of God to do it.  These people are often broken and hurt in some area of their lives and need deliverance and healing like we all have needed and continue to need at some point.  Yet it doesn’t mean you have to walk intimately with them.  Some people need to be loved from a distance.   There is a popular saying that people come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime.  Some people are meant to be in your life only short-term or not at all.  Shift people to the positions where they rightfully belong.  Don’t allow counterfeits to  have the privilege to occupy a space in your life they don’t deserve.

If we are really honest with ourselves, we have all had times where we have acted as the counterfeit.   I will be honest and say I have.  But I choose now as best as I can to walk as the true and genuine article–to be a real disciple and follower of Jesus Christ and not some fake imitation.  So which are you? Are you real or just another counterfeit?  Legitimate people, genuine people, real  people rise…..and yet still I rise

With peace and blessings may you continue to rise always,

Stillirise323