The Bible tells us several specific things about the nature of our enemy.


Satan doesn’t look like a terrible monster or dark cloud and tempt you or make you angry. In fact, he does what he can to disguise himself and make himself invisible so he won’t be blamed or fought as the enemy. He’ll manipulate circumstances and situations against you. He will use people against you—people who will abuse you, misuse you, and confuse you!


We are arrayed against a vast host of evil. We are in a battle against “principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Eph. 6:12).


Jesus described the devil in these ways: “He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it” (John 8:44).

Jesus also said, “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy” (John 10:10).


The apostle Paul wrote to the Corinthians: “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” (2 Cor. 11:3). Note three key words in this one verse:

  1. Deceived. The devil attempts to deceive us by convincing us that right is wrong and wrong is right. To be deceived is to believe a lie. The devil has absolutely no capacity to tell the full truth about anything.
  2. Craftiness. This word refers to shrewdness in manipulation—clever tricks, schemes, and strategies. The devil doesn’t come at us head-on. He finds a back door, a missing link, or a point of weakness. He preys upon what we believe has been dealt with. He specializes in those things about which we are in denial. The devil does his utmost to conceal his identity and disguise himself as he deals with us.
  3. Corrupted. This word has been translated in some versions as “seduced.” The word in the original Greek means to be led astray subtly, but nonetheless brought off course from a pure devotion to Christ Jesus. The person who is corrupted or seduced by a temptation follows the passions and desires of his own self rather than the will and commands of God.

The devil strikes very shrewdly at our weaknesses. He comes at us at the point where we still want what is contrary to God’s commands. He acts in a way that is subtle and seductive to draw us step by step away from God and toward the fulfillment of human fleshly desires and needs.

Charles F. Stanley, When the Enemy Strikes: The Keys to Winning Your Spiritual Battles (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2004), 1–2.

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