The most popular post ever published on my blog is 20 Ways Satan May Seek to Destroy You. There we survey the Scriptures and demonstrate the reality of our spiritual enemy and his crafty work. Today, I add a dozen more.
In my continued reading of A Puritan Theology, I found the chapter “The Puritans on Demons” sobering. “The Puritans viewed human history as one continual conflict with evil spiritual powers.” This is one reason I have so long appreciated the writings of the Puritans, men who were not afraid to expose the devices of the evil one. Therefore, we find much help from them for the spiritual warfare that belongs to those who truly belong to Christ.
Spiritual warfare calls us to be watchful because Satan’s chief means of destroying people is through deception (Gen 3:1-5, 13; John 8:44; 2 Cor 11:3; 1 Tim 2:14; Rev 12:9). Spurstowe wrote, “We ought rather to be all the more watchful since we have such a serpent to deal with that can hide his deadly poison with a beautiful and shining skin.”
12 Devices of Satan and His Demons
William Spurstowe cataloged many of Satan’s devices. Here are some of those devices as well as remedies for them from Spurstowe and other Puritan writers.
Device 1: “Satan leads men from lesser sins to greater.
People usually think of lesser sins as nothing more serious than a cold. But Spurstowe warned, ‘Small sins are as the priming of a post or pillar, that prepare it to better receive those other colors that are to be laid upon it.’ Small sins leach away our fear of God and hatred of sin.” Remedy: “‘Take heed of giving place to the devil’ (Eph 4:27). If you let the serpent’s head into your house, his whole body will quickly follow.”
Device 2: “The devil persistently urges men to a particular sin.
He inserts evil thoughts in the mind (John 13:2)…He persistently presses until men succumb, as Delilah did with Samson (Judg 16:16).” Remedy: Reject the promises of sin….For those who prefer peace with sin rather than war against the devil, Ruthrerford wrote, ‘The devil’s war is better than the devil’s peace.’”
Device 3: “Satan makes a strategic retreat for a time to draw us out of our position of strength…
he permits us a momentary victory to ‘swell the heart with pride.” Remedy: “Christians in this world should not live like rich men in a king’s court but like soldiers in the camps of war.”