Sermons

Summary: Satan is the master of deception and is planning your demise. A word study on the word "wiles" and how that impacts our lives.

IT DOESN’T MATTER IF ONE IS PLAYING CARDS WITH FRIENDS, ENJOYING A PICK-UP GAME OF BASKETBALL AT THE GYM, OR EVEN LENDING SOMETHING OF VALUE TO A FRIEND, NOBODY LIKES IT WHEN SOMEONE IS CAUGHT CHEATING, TRYING TO MANIPULATE THE RULES, BREAKS OR FAILS TO RETURN WHAT WAS BORROWED.

WE HATE CHEATING. WE DON’T LIKE TO GET DUPED, FOOLED, TRICKED, AND TAKEN ADVANTAGE OF BY ANYONE. IT SEEMS TO BE ESPECIALLY PAINFUL IF IT INVOLVED TRUSTED FRIENDS OR FAMILY.

WHAT IS MORE DISAPPOINTING IS WHEN IT IS LATER FOUND THAT THOSE WHO TRICKED AND CHEATED US HAD PLANNED IT OUT ALL ALONG. PREMEDITATED, INTENTIONAL WELL EXECUTED PLANS.

RATHER EVIL? IT SHOULD! ACTIONS SUCH AS THESE ARE NONE OTHER FROM THE SPIRITUAL REALM OF THE DEVIL. AS IT HAS BEEN SAID, “EVIL RARELY LOOKS EVIL UNTIL IT ACCOMPLISHES ITS GOAL; IT GAINS ENTRANCE BY APPEARING ATTRACTIVE, DESIRABLE, AND PERFECTLY LEGITIMATE. IT IS A BAITED AND CAMOUFLAGED TRAP.” 2 CORINTHIANS 11:14, AFFIRMS, “…FOR SATAN HIMSELF MASQUERADES AS AN ANGEL OF LIGHT.”

THE DEVIL WILL NEVER HAVE YOUR BEST INTEREST IN MIND. IN FACT, THE ONLY THING ON HIS MIND IS YOUR DESTRUCTION. WE ARE WARNED IN 1 PETER 5:8, “BE ALERT AND OF SOBER MIND. YOUR ENEMY THE DEVIL PROWLS AROUND LIKE A ROARING LION LOOKING FOR SOMEONE TO DEVOUR.”

LIKE A LION, THE DEVIL IS ALWAYS STALKING FOR PREY. HE IS A BLOODTHIRSTY, VIOLENT, RAVENOUS ENEMY WHO QUIETLY WAITS AND WATCHES FOR A CHANCE TO SUDDENLY POUNCE AND VICIOUSLY ATTACK WHEN A HUMAN SOUL LEAST SUSPECTS IT.

YOUR RUIN IS HIS PRIZE. ORCHESTRATING YOUR COMPLETE ANNIHILATION IS HIS PLEASURE. HE PLAYS DIRTY. HE PLAYS MEAN. HE CHEATS. HE FOLLOWS NO RULES AND IS THE MASTER OF DECEPTION AND CHIEF ANTAGONIST. HE SHOWS NO MERCY.

HE LOVES MORE THAN ANYTHING TO “SHOOT THE WOUNDED” AND TO RUB AS MUCH SALT INTO THE WOUNDS HE INFLICTED. HE REALLY WANTS TO MAKE IT HURT AND HURT BAD. HIS GREATEST HOPE IS TO ATTACK WHEN WE ARE THE MOST VULNERABLE.

HE USES MANY TACTICS: TEMPTATION, FEAR, LONELINESS, WORRY, AND DOUBT. HE ESPECIALLY LOVES IT WHEN WE BECOME WEARY, DISTRACTED, AND DISTANCED FROM GOD, THE CHURCH AND OTHER BELIEVERS.

IF THIS WASN’T BAD ENOUGH, THERE IS THE STRATEGY IN WHICH HE GOES ABOUT ALL THESE ATTACKS. PAUL REFERS TO THIS IN VERSE 11 AS THE “WILES OF THE DEVIL.”

WHAT MAKES THIS INTRIGUING IS THAT THIS COMPOUND WORD IS ONLY USED HERE AND NOWHERE ELSE IN THE NEW TESTAMENT. PAUL DID THIS SO THERE WOULD BE NO MISTAKING OR MISINTERPRETING THE POINT HE WAS TRYING TO MAKE.

THE WORD “WILES” CONTAINS THE WORDS “METHOD” AND A WORD MEANING “DECEIT” “TRICKERY” OR “CRAFTY.” PAUL TELLS US THAT WHEN IT COMES TO THE STRATEGY OF THE DEVIL, HE IS NOT HAPHAZARD OR BLINDLY TAKING SHOTS AT YOU OR THE CHURCH HOPING TO “HIT SOMETHING.” NOT QUITE!

THE DEVIL HAS A DETAILED PLAN TO DESTROY YOU. HE HAS DEVELOPED AN INTRICATE METHOD OF BOMBARDING YOUR MIND WITH FEAR, ANXIETY, BAD IDEAS, NEGATIVE EMOTIONS, THOUGHTS, AND OTHER DESTRUCTIVE ACTS OF DECEPTION TO PUT YOUR LIFE INTO A “TAIL SPIN” OF CONFUSION, UNCERTAINTY, AND DEFEAT.

THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT “WILES” ARE….WILES ARE TRICKS OR MANIPULATIONS DESIGNED TO DECEIVE SOMEONE. WORDS SUCH AS: COMPROMISE. JUSTIFY. NEGOTIATE. EXCUSES. LYING. PLAYING AROUND WITH YOUR HEART AND MIND TO INSTILL DOUBT AND UNCERTAINTY THAT WILL ULTIMATELY LEAD YOU TO A SERIES OF DECISIONS THAT RESULT IN YOUR DOWNFALL AND DEMISE.

AFTER ALL, THAT IS HOW SIN ENTERED INTO THIS WORLD IN THE FIRST PLACE. GENESIS 3:1, ARE THE FIRST RECORDED WORDS OF THE DEVIL, THROUGH THE SERPENT, WHEN HE CHALLENGED EVE BY ASKING: “DID GOD REALLY SAY YOU MUST NOT EAT THE FRUIT FROM ANY OF THE TREES IN THE GARDEN?”

THE “WILES OF THE DEVIL”IN THIS CASE IS THE DECEPTION OF TWISTING GOD’S WORDS. GOD DID NOT SAY THEY COULD NOT EAT FROM ANY OF THE TREES. THE TRICKERY IS NOT ONLY TWISTING GOD’S WORDS, BUT CHANGING THE CONTEXT AND MEANING.

GOD GAVE ADAM THE INSTRUCTIONS (BEFORE EVE WAS CREATED) IN GENESIS 2:16-17, “ BUT THE LORD GOD WARNED [ADAM], “YOU MAY FREELY EAT THE FRUIT OF EVERY TREE IN THE GARDEN— EXCEPT THE TREE OF THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOOD AND EVIL. IF YOU EAT ITS FRUIT, YOU ARE SURE TO DIE.”

THE DEVIL IS CUNNING AND A MASTER OF MANIPULATING GOD’S WORDS. THIS IS THE SAME TACTIC USED ON JESUS WHILE BEING TEMPTED IN THE DESERT FOR 40 DAYS. MATTHEW 4:5-6, “THEN THE DEVIL TOOK HIM TO THE HOLY CITY, JERUSALEM, TO THE HIGHEST POINT OF THE TEMPLE, AND SAID, “IF YOU ARE THE SON OF GOD, JUMP OFF! FOR THE SCRIPTURES SAY,‘HE WILL ORDER HIS ANGELS TO PROTECT YOU. AND THEY WILL HOLD YOU UP WITH THEIR HANDS SO YOU WON’T EVEN HURT YOUR FOOT ON A STONE.’”

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