Sitting in my inbox was an email from the Loft with a subject line that read: “Kathy, Still Looking for a Top to Love?” The Loft’s website is intuitive. Some call it “artificial intuition,” but in reality the website is able to observe my actual behavior and my interests on their site. They store that information and then “intuitively” know how to dangle those products in front of my eyes. Their hope in sending me the email is for me to respond like so: “Yes, Loft that IS the top I LOVE.” Click. Click. Click. And top arrives in three to four business days.
While the Loft can observe my habits on their site and draw accurate conclusions about my interests, Satan also observes my behavior. In fact he has spent a lifetime observing human nature. He understands our vulnerabilities then crafts appealing temptations. My former husband Rick Ferguson used to sum up Satan’s ultimate goal as this: “he wants to keep lost men lost.”
Ultimately, this is the motive behind all of his schemes. He hates the gospel because it brings glory to God and brings freedom to mankind. He will use addictions, pornography, racism, gossip, insecurity, pride, violence, debt, selfishness and every other tool possible to deter the saving of souls.
Consider this list of Satan’s favorite schemes:
- Deception: (It’s number one for a reason.) It’s Satan’s most successful tool. It has devastating results.
- Doubt: Makes us question God’s word, His love and His goodness. (See: Eve)
- Discouragement: Keeping us disheartened or in paralyzing despair.
- Diversion: Makes the wrong things seem attractive and harmless. You may want them more than the right things.
- Defeat: By using shame, guilt or self-doubt, you feel like a failure, so you don’t even try.
Do we come under greater attack of Satan because of our ministry lives? I cannot clearly answer that. Yet these two observations cannot be overlooked. First, we live, work and interact in the gospel “industry.” An industry despised by Satan. Second, the Apostle Paul is not shy to refer to the interference of Satan. We must sit up and take notice that Paul demonstrated heightened awareness for the schemes of Satan in his ministry. His words to the church at Thessalonica as he sent Timothy to them, “I sent to know your faith lest by some means the temper had tempted you and your labor might be in vain” (1 Thessalonians 3:5). His words about the work of Satan in his ministry: “We want to come to you …but Satan hindered us” (1 Thessalonians 2:18). And then this clear commentary: “Lest Satan should take advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices” (2 Corinthians 2:11). Do not be naïve, sisters:
- When you are feeling isolated/lonely, Satan is lurking.
- When pornography is available, a diversion is being created.
- When criticism blossoms into bitterness in your heart, Satan fans the flames.
- When past sin keeps being replayed on the wall of your heart, Satan is running the projector.
- When you are too tired, too weary or too depleted, he knows you’re vulnerable.
- When the church growth “formulas” don’t work, Satan will sow doubt in your soul.
- When you are facing one wall in bed and your husband the other, Satan takes note.
Satan (and the Loft) would like to take advantage of us. Do NOT be ignorant of his schemes.
“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8).
Published April 13, 2017