5 SECRET Ways the Enemy is Deceiving You
We might think spiritual attack will invoke obvious forms of warfare like fear and temptation, and while many times it can, the enemy is crafty and has schemes to harm us that we may not always recognize. So, in today's video, learn 5 secret ways the enemy is deceiving you without you even knowing it. Enjoy!
Before we get started, we must understand something important about the enemy: he is not equal to God. He is a created being just like you and I, and although he presents a real threat, when we are on God’s side, we never have to worry about who will win this war. In Christ, we have authority and power to overcome, and if you don’t believe that, I’m afraid the enemy has already infiltrated you with disbelief that will not serve you in battle. Think about it. If you were not a threat, why would the enemy be attacking you so hard? He wouldn’t. I always think it’s a shame when the enemy believes more in our power in Christ than we do.
So in today’s video, we will learn:
- ⚔️ Why we must not be afraid of spiritual warfare.
- 🤺 3 subtle ways the enemy may be gaining territory in your life without you even knowing it.
- 🛡️ How to stay ready against the enemy so we’re not caught off guard.
As Christians, it’s not enough to know we’re in a spiritual war. We need to be ready to fight back. This is why I have an entire Bible study series called “Stand Firm” that walks you through how to put on and fight with each piece of spiritual armor described in Ephesians 6. You can check it out in the Beloved Women app. All believers have access to these weapons. Still, we need to know when to use them and one of the greatest schemes of the enemy is to attack us without us even knowing it, so we don’t even think to pull out our weapons to use them.
So, let’s discuss a few ways the enemy is tricking you out of fighting with confidence without you even recognizing it.
1. Fighting the Wrong Enemy
I realized this was happening to me early on in my marriage when I had a huge argument with my husband. I know it was a trick of the enemy because my husband wasn’t even there for the argument. It was all in my head! I just knew what he would say and had a comeback and defense for everything. To overcome this battle, I’d first have to realize my husband was not my enemy. The Lord opened my eyes to the wisdom found in Ephesians 6:12, that reveals one of the most tricky ways the enemy deceives us out of victory. It reads:
“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. (Ephesians 6:12 ESV)
The enemy will convince you to fight the wrong enemy. Sure, you know you’re in a fight, but if you’re not clear who your true enemy is, you’ll aim your weapons at the wrong target and leave yourself vulnerable to attack.
You may feel attacked by someone in your life when it’s really the enemy behind the scenes attacking your soul. If your reaction is to attack the other person, you’ve done more damage than good, and the source of your attack, the enemy, is still free and unharmed, ready to attack again in the near future. We must be clear-headed and sober-minded to recognize who the real enemy is. Now I get it: people have the choice to harm us, and it is true the enemy will use others to attack you, but the source of the attack is the enemy nonetheless. When we remember that, we can avoid fruitless fights with other people and victoriously fight in the spirit to make real progress because spiritual battles are only won with spiritual weapons.
2. Overwork to Overwhelm
I saw a statistic the other day that shared women are twice as likely than men to be diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, so I asked an audience of Christian women at an event the other day why might this be the case. Many of their answers included not being able to say “no,” always having something that needs to get done, no self-care, taking care of others, and overlooking ourselves, and the list goes on. But if I were to sum up most of the answers, it would be a deeply rooted pressure to work and perform. In and of itself, work is not a bad thing. But the enemy has so cleverly twisted our relationship and understanding of work that he has secretly tricked us into overworking, something God never called us to do.
So now we live in a time where overwork is so glorified, and rest is considered lazy, when in actuality, rest as the Bible tells us, is a gift from God. (Matthew 11:28-30) The enemy has taken full advantage of this to pressure us to work without rest. He’s convinced many to believe they can control their lives and get everything they want with unnecessary and overwhelming amounts of work, but all it’s getting us is sick and weak, which was the enemy’s plan all along. He wants to work you so hard that you’re always tired and don’t have the strength to fight back. How should we respond? We fight back with rest.
The truth is while the enemy wants you to think rest makes you weak, holds you back, and leaves you behind, rest actually gives us the strength we need to fight with power. Rest not only reenergizes us; it also shows a faith in what God can do when we’re not moving and trying to control. It makes room for God to fight for us. This is why the enemy is attacking your rest because rest is warfare, and if he can make you believe that rest makes you weak, then you will be. God, on the other hand, calls us to rest. Not only is it one of the 10 commandments, but God Himself rested from creation to show us its importance. The purpose of rest is not to hold you back, but to create space to propel you forward. Rest gives us strength and helps us grow closer to God, all while the enemy is trying to separate us from God.
3. Divide and Conquer
One way the enemy will try to cause this division is to convince you that God is mad at you. I see this one alot. I’ve experienced this myself alot. It’s hard to fight with confidence if you don’t believe God is fighting for you and you’re not going to think God is fighting for you if you think He’s mad at you. It’s just a feeling the enemy uses to create distance between you and God. Now yes, God will convict us with the purpose of getting us back on track so we can be in right relationship with Him (note the purpose is to pull us closer to Him, not push us away) but the enemy accuses and condemns us with the purpose of creating space between God and ourselves because He knows that we can never be defeated with God. When we think about enemy attempts of trying to defeat us, we often think about temptation.
4. Flip the Script
Temptation is when the enemy deceives us into thinking that something bad is good. We see this with Eve in the garden with the fruit that she was commanded not to eat and even Jesus in the wilderness when the enemy shows Jesus all the kingdoms of the earth and says he will give it to Jesus if Jesus would bow down to him. It’s never a good deal, but temptation always tricks us into thinking that what’s bad for us is good for us, when it’s not. We’re used to this type of deception. But the deception we don’t often talk about that is very subtle, and if we’re not careful, we may miss it. It is the opposite of temptation, where the enemy convinces us that something that is good is actually bad. Maybe you dream of starting a business, but the enemy plants doubt in your heart, and you start to think you’re doing too much. Maybe the enemy convinces you not to tithe because of the belief that all churches are greedy and crooked. Maybe he gets you to believe that the guy you’re dating can’t be trusted when God really sent him.
When we think of discernment, we think of recognizing when something is bad or harmful, but it also includes recognizing when something is good and sent from God. Let’s not be deceived. As daughters of God, we are in a war we didn’t ask for, but we’re in it nonetheless. We must be awake, aware, and alert and we don’t have to fight alone.
One good thing that the enemy has convinced us is bad is asking for help and cultivating community. We say I don’t want to be a bother, I don’t want the drama, or I can just do it myself. What we don’t realize is that the enemy is subtly attacking you without you even knowing it by isolating you. The enemy is feeding you reasons not to trust others or see the best in others, therefore causing you to put up a wall and block others out. While you think you’re protecting yourself, you’re really opening yourself up for attack.
I graduated college from NC State University, and our mascot is the Wolfpack. Not one wolf but the whole pack because we pride ourselves in the motto: the strength of the wolf is the pack.
We’re better and stronger together, but the enemy wants us to think otherwise. When we’re alone, we make for an easier target. You don’t have to let any and everyone in your life, but like Jesus, you need an inner circle. A few people you can trust to pray for you and help you. I’ve never had a big entourage, but in each season I’ve lived, God would send one trusted friend to do life with and have my back and I would do the same for them. They know who they are. I can call or text at 3 am if necessary, and they pray for me when I can’t pray for myself, and walk with me through some of the most difficult seasons of my life. Their companionship was a Godsend and invaluable. It served as strength against spiritual attack when I was weak as they covered me. If you don’t have that, pray for it and seek that type of community out. God will provide for your needs. 1 Peter 5:8-9 says:
“Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith. Remember that your family of believers all over the world is going through the same kind of suffering you are.” (1 Peter 5:8-9 NLT
While the enemy has a scheme to devour you, God has a plan to prosper you and His plan will prevail. Do not be intimidated and know that you are not alone. You have an entire army of sisters fighting the good fight along with you. But more than that, God is fighting for you.
I understand the struggle to release control to allow God to fight your battles, so I encourage you to watch this video to learn 5 practical ways to let God fight for you.
For more encouragement, download my free Bible Study called “Worry-Free” to learn the 3 lies feeding your worry and the truth to set you free at belovedwomen.org. Thanks for watching and until next time, be beautiful, be blessed, and beloved.