(This post is the final one on the theme “Your Christian School is a Battlefield”)
Learn to recognize the attacks of the enemy: Ephesians 6:11-13 says we will get specific attacks from the devil that we must recognize, and be able to stand against them. Some attacks will be direct, and some indirect. Some will come from within, and some from without. Then, in verses 14-20 Paul tells us how to stand against those attacks by using the WHOLE armor of God.
How Satan attacks the Christian or Christian school is something we all should know or learn. We must be able to recognize Satan’s tactics and schemes so we can combat his attacks. He is crafty, sneaky, and he is not fair. However, he does use basically the same typical strategies today as he did in the Bible, and he works on or through our weaknesses, so knowing how he worked then will give us an upper hand in defense today. These can pertain to the Christian school, as well as for the personal Christian life:
- In Genesis 3, Satan came in a form that did not scare Eve away. Satan or his cronies do not come with a sign around them saying “BEWARE”. He is the master deceiver, and will entice our senses to gain our attention. He is wise and subtle, so stay alert.
- Also in Genesis 3, Satan used this tactic on Eve, and it has worked on people ever since: He caused her to doubt what God said. This comes in many ways today such as “Did God really say…”, or “Surely a loving God would not…”, or “God didn’t mean that literally…”. “Surely God wouldn’t judge you for that…”, or “Most Christian parents don’t think that is wrong.” To stand up against these, know your school policies well, and stick to them. Know the Word of God well, teach it to children, and memorize it to keep it in the heart, and stick to it. Satan loves to cause doubt in us as to God’s provision, God’s goodness, God’s plan, God’s timing, God’s promises, and God’s word. A little bit of doubt is like a small seed fallen in a small crack in a sidewalk, that eventually can grow to a plat that breaks up the concrete and ruins the sidewalk.
- Satan adds a little bit of lie to a lot of truth. The most believable lies are those that have a lot of truth mixed in. Satan twisted what God said to Adam and Eve just enough to get Eve to stray away. Satan loves to use scripture, but he either changes it just a bit to entice the gullible and unknowing, or he uses scripture out of context to say what it does not say. In doing so, he promotes his agenda and cause us to doubt or to sin. One small drop of food coloring in a tall glass of clear pure water will color the whole glass of water.
- Satan played on Eve’s emotions and got her to sin. Be aware of that tactic, playing on our emotions is an easy attack that works more often than any other. Our minds are to control our emotions, not the other way around. Stand firm on what you know. Don’t fall for what you feel.
- You can be like God. This is a classic New Age religion tactic that Satan started with Eve. He told Eve “You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it (the tree God prohibited Adam and Eve from eating) your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God” Playing on the pride that is in people to get them to believe they can be better than they are, is a worldly tactic. We are wretched depraved sinners, and the only way we can become anything better, is through faith and trust in Jesus. Satan knows our weakness is our pride. He knows that very well because pride is what he had that caused him to fall. So be aware of anything that seems to play on your pride, because it probably is a tactic of Satan.
- Sin is not that bad. When God talked with Cain in Genesis 4 He said to him, “Sin is crouching at your door. It desires to have you, but you must master it.” Before we can master sin and the attacks of Satan, we must know how it compels to control us. We must know that sin separates us from God, and condemns us to hell. We must develop an intense hatred for sin, and teach that to children.
- He knows our weaknesses. I believe that we all have a propensity to sin in one certain area, and Satan knows that area in us, and gets us to stumble in that area whenever possible. For some, that is lying, for some it is worry, for others it is selfishness, or lust, or complaining, but we all have at least one of those. We are to teach students abouot that in us, and that people should identify that weakness and guard against Satan’s attacks there. Pray that God gracefully gives strength in that area, and the ability to recognize an attack there before it causes us to stumble.
- He plays on our pride. This was mentioned previously, but needs its own bullet point. “You deserve a break today” is a famous slogan of McDonald’s Restaurants, and it always would make me laugh. That slogan is the same as one of the devil’s tactics: playing on our selfishness. Satan knows pride very well; it is what got him in trouble initially. Teach your students about the fall of Satan (Lucifer) form Ezekiel 28:11-19, and then from Isaiah 14:12-15. Look for the instances of pride, count the statements like “I will…” You will see how I think pride is the root of all sin. Pride started with Lucifer there, and continues to this day as the main cause of stumbling and sin. Materialism, covetousness, and our wishes or desires are part of this tactic. Not being content with what God has given us is also part of this. Philippians 4:11 is a good passage that teaches us to be content with what God has given us, because of we are not, we claim we know better than God does, or are not happy with God’s blessings.
- Watch your thoughts. All sin starts with our imagination. We are to control our imagination, and not allow our sinful nature to control our thinking. I am not sure if Satan is able to place bad thoughts or desires in our mind, but I do know our sinful nature will if we let it. Teach that to students, so they can be watchful of what they are thinking of, and to have the self discipline to stop that kind of thinking. James 1:14-15 is a good passage about this, as well as several Proverbs.
- STUDY the Bible. Satan wants to keep you away from God’s Word. If he cannot do that, he will cause you to not get all from the Bible that God has there for you. He will have you “skim” a particular Bible passage instead of studying or meditating on it. He will do that by convincing you there is not enough time to study the topic or passage. He will also cause you to become distracted and not focus on God’s Word. Another tactic of Satan’s is to have you take a passage or Scripture reference out of context, which causes the meaning to be distorted, shallow, or completely wrong. You may recall that many of the Psalms end with the word “Selah”, which means “pause and think about that”. Take that approach to all scripture passages. Pause and ponder what you have just read, and think about what God might be saying to you.
- H.A.L.T! Use this acronym when teaching the tactics of Satan and when he will use them. Satan will attack and has a good chance of winning when we are Hungry, Angry, Lonely, or Tired.
There are other tactics Satan uses to attack us, or cause us to sin, but these above are proven ones he has used for centuries. If you teach these to Christian school staff, or to students, please also remember to convey that that Jesus overcame Satan’s temptations by using scripture. He also overcame Satan when He rose from the grave. Therefore we can overcome Satan through the use of scripture, and strength from Jesus. So, a sound Christian school teaches how Satan attacks, and that using scripture and strength in Jesus, we can resist the devil and he will flee. Paul taught in Ephesians 6 that we are in a battle, and he gave us tools (and a wonderful metaphor to remember them) to battle the enemy. I encourage you to study that passage on the whole armor of God, and if you are a teacher, teach it to your students. We Christians should put on the whole armor of God to fight the battles, and remember to put on the armor before the battle, not during one.
So a sound Christian school teaches the use of the Whole Armor of God to stand against the attacks of the enemy.
Copyright 2012 Kevin Brownlee