“Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.” (2Cor.2:11)
In this text of scripture, the Apostle Paul was saying that “unforgiveness” is one way that Satan could take advantage of us. (see previous verses 1 through 10). However, as we all know, this is certainly not the only way in which he works. Our main emphasis here should be that we “are not ignorant of his devices”. The word “ignorant” here meaning that we are “not knowing through lack of information”. And in some cases, it could be that we don’t want to know for many different reasons.
But according to this verse, there is a good reason to know. Because if we are ignorant of Satan’s devices (purposes), then he could well get an advantage of us. Yes, even us believers. Who wants to be taken advantage of by Satan? None of us. Thus we need to be informed, aware of his purposes and how he works.
There seems to be a thread that circulates through the many churches today. That being, that all we need to do is just draw close to Jesus. Don’t worry about the enemy. Don’t give him the time of day. Don’t look into how he might work. The only problem with this thinking or teaching is that Satan is the god of this world, and we being in this world but not of it, should be wise to a certain extent of his wiles or ways in which he works. Why? Because those who have yet to be born again, are under Satan’s influence. He has them blinded.
“In whom the god of this world has blinded the minds of them which believe not,” (2Cor.4:4a)
“To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God,” (Acts.26:18a,b)
One good reason to understand Satan’s purposes, is so that those who are lost and under his control, that we come in contact with, we might have a better understanding how he is working in their lives, and through the Holy Spirit, be able to minister to them.
The Apostle Peter knew a little how Satan worked, right? He said that we must be “sober” and “vigilant”. Why? “because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walks about seeking whom he may devour.” (1Pet.5:8). The word “sober” here means, “be discreet and watch”. Where have we heard that word “watch” before? “watch and pray…..”
The word “vigilant” here means, “keep awake”. Keeping awake keeps us not ignorant.
We are not to be learning of Satan’s devices so that we can give him credit for all he is doing today. No. We are to be wise so that he would not have an advantage on us. Oh he has never had an advantage on me, you say? Well, if that’s the case, then you have just put yourself in a class above the Apostle Paul.
“Therefore we wanted to come to you, even I Paul, time and time again; but Satan hindered us.” (1Th.2:18). He said “time and time again”. Sounds like it might have happened more than once, you think?
Another main reason to be wise of Satan’s devices, is so that when we are tempted of him, we will be quick through our understanding of him, to resist the temptation. This is where the being “sober” and “vigilant” comes in handy. Also, always “watching and praying” so that we “will not enter into temptation”. If any one knew about this, Jesus did. Thus, he gave us this admonition.
“Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” (Mt.26:41)
It is a no brainer that Satan works through our flesh. They are in kahoots for sure. Being in the Spirit is the key to overcoming the works or the temptations of the flesh. (see Rom.8)
Another good reason to “not be ignorant of Satan’s devices” is so that “our minds would not be corrupted from the simplicity that is found in Christ”. The Apostle Paul in his letter to the church at Corinth, said…..
“But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.” (2Cor.11:3). In these verse, he speaks of the reality of Satan and how he can deceive believers. In the context of this verse is the fact that Satan can come through false teachers and false doctrine. Just one of the many ways he works. Thus the need to be aware of how he works.
We must always be reminded that we must be pro-active. There is no automatic’s in this life. Like I have said many times, if we think that all we have to do is sit back and enjoy the ride, then we have been deceived already and Satan is very content.
In our pro-activeness against the devil, there is a very important thing that we must do daily. And that being….. “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.” (Eph.6:11). If there was no need, or no battle to fight against the devil in this life, than why are we instructed to “put on the armor?”
The reality is that we are in spiritual warfare. Now of course, if we bury our heads in the sand, and say that the battle has already been won, and that there is nothing we need do except just abide, then we are not in reality and we are not out in the world which is the battlefield.
Now to bring it home and to close this post, lets look at this the next verse in this passage. It is the reality of the world in which we live in. Remember, this passage was not written to non-believers, but believers. “Finally, my brethren,…..
“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities (chief in rank or order), against powers (delegated influence, authority, jurisdiction), against the rulers ( a world ruler, an epithet of Satan) of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” (Eph.6:12)
Now, for all those who have been taught that this is only about spiritual warfare in the “heavenly realm”, I remind you that the word “places” here means, “in all places, everywhere, all”. So, it is not only in the heavenly realm, but right here where we are living on earth.
In closing, be open and prayerful about becoming more aware of Satan’s devices (purposes) so that he would not have an advantage on you and so that you can know how to battle in this world (the battlefield) for God and his kingdom. God bless you!