To review, we have been looking at Ephesians 6 to understand how we are to prepare for and engage in spiritual warfare. Specifically, recently we have been delving into 6:11 and 12, “Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. (KJV)
We have identified four standard tools Satan uses to attack mankind in order to turn hearts away from God, whether those hearts belong to God or don’t. Our purpose is to know Satan’s schemes and avoid being enticed into falling into the sin he foists on us.
Those four standard tools are temptation, manipulation, oppression, and possession. We’ve already looked at how Satan uses the first tool—his faithful go-to, because it is so effective against men and women, boys and girls. We dug into why it is so effective—we fall for it way too easily.
We have begun the study of manipulation and have identified the assets Satan brings to bear against us, those being subterfuge, misinformation, and misdirection. Last week, we broke down subterfuge: accentuating one front while going behind the scenes to attack us on another front. This week, we begin misinformation as the topic.
Jesus calls Satan the father of lies and for good reason. He is wily enough to realize that many people will simply believe any lie he throws out and so he throws lies regarding God, truth, faith, science, and a plethora of other topics out like candy at a hometown parade. Those predisposed to believe anything that is anti-God and anti-religion will swallow the lies without even flinching. For others who are a little more perceptive, he will sugarcoat the lies so that the bitterness that results from the lie won’t be perceived until the lie has already been ingested. These types of misinformation are consumed by a large portion of the population regardless of the era studied.
For those who have a keener sense of right and wrong, Satan will be far more subtle in how he spins the truth. More subtle misinformation is the tactic he uses to target people who have a desire for right but can be swayed by his mixture of truth and error. To put this into perspective, let’s look at an example from life. An airplane leaving London for a flight to New York whose compass is merely one degree off will find itself far from it’s intended destination. Application: Just a small degree of inaccuracy can, in time, lead us far from where God intends for us to be. Misinformation comes up in the Bible from Genesis through Revelation. Satan even tried it with Jesus when he misquoted scripture and omitted portions of scripture during his ”temptation” in the wilderness. Taking scripture out of context is a favorite device of the devil. Perhaps he forgot that Jesus is the author of the Bible. Perhaps he was checking to see just how much of Himself Jesus had given up in order to become human. Whatever he was doing, he failed miserably.
I am told that Treasury agents do not look at fraudulent bills to be able to identify them. Rather, they study the real thing and become so familiar with them that they can’t be fooled by the fakes, no matter how good they are. Sadly, the reason Satan is effective with this form of manipulation on Christians is because we spend so little time with the Word of God that we are too easily duped by false iterations of the scripture. Entire denominations have been created due to taking scripture out of context to proof-text their take on a doctrine rather than looking at the Bible as a whole in determining the truth.
To this end, for those who have the Holy Spirit actively guarding their minds, he will strive to use culture, science, pseudo history, etc. to temper the truth of scripture. Jesus addressed this in Matthew 5 when he said, “You have heard it said…” about multiple issues that Satan had mixed truth with error, making the scripture about actions only and not attitudes and actions combined. How often have Christians been temporarily duped into believing a lie because of Satan’s exceptional ability to get us to look to another source of authority rather than trusting God’s ability to communicate His truth through His word.
Misinformation, therefore, is used effectively on lost folks because they don’t know any better. It works on children of God because we refuse to take His means of communication seriously. We don’t “Study to show yourself approved…” because it’s too easy to have someone else tell us what it says, assuming they are correct—not a good idea. That is why those at Berea were commended for searching the word to ensure they were receiving truth.
Where are you in this matter?
In Him, Jerry