The ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. (Revelation 12:9)
You can count on it, during times of transition, God will be working in your life to grow you and strengthen you. We have seen how God uses faithful believers to encourage us.
Now let’s look at how the enemy looks for ways to weaken you and lead you astray. His ultimate goal is to destroy. Paul specifically identifies Satan as the enemy to overcome in Romans 16:20. But Satan often attacks us through individuals – his agents.
Paul identifies these agents as follows in verses 17-18. They cause divisions. They also put obstacles in your way. These obstacles are false teachings that are “contrary to the teaching you have learned.” What they teach is like a highly infectious disease, so stay away from them. They have an agenda that serves their own appetites. They might sound like they are serving Christ, but they’re not. They use smooth talk and flattery to deceive. So don’t be naïve. Guard your mind.
Here is a check list which identifies the enemy.
1. Is what is being pushed divisive?
2. Is what is being taught consistent with the Gospel?
3. Is what is being taught freeing or does it present obstacles to your faith?
4. Is self interest evident in the way something is presented?
5. Do you sense smooth talk or flattery?
If you answer yes to any of these questions you have reason to be cautious and back off from supporting or even participating in what they do. Satan is committed to deception so be on your guard. He wants to cause you to be discouraged, and ultimately to destroy you, so be on the alert to detect his and his agent’s agenda and tactics.
If “Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light,” it should not be a surprise “if his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness.” (2 Corinthians 11:14-15) So be on your guard.