How well do you know the enemy of your soul? The Bible says we are not to be ignorant of Satan’s devices. He has a bag of tricks that he has found to be extremely effective in tripping God’s people up. If we are aware of how he operates we can avoid being caught off guard when he comes against us with these wiles.
I think the attack we are usually waiting for is the direct one. Where he comes charging at us like a roaring lion, teeth bared, blood on his mind. It happens. But we need to remember that he also loves to show up as a slithering serpent. I think this is a far more effective tactic. Because while a direct attack causes us to brace ourselves for impact, when he comes incognito as “an angel of light” we are lulled into complacency and then set up for a sucker-punch.
We see this in action in the Old Testament book of Joshua. Moses had died. Joshua was leading God’s people into the Promised Land. Army after army came against them in battle and each time in the end God’s people came out victorious. But then they were bested by the men from Gibeon. This defeat didn’t take place on the battlefield. There was no actual battle. The Gibeonites won by taking off their weapons, taking a trip to The Salvation Army and digging through the trash behind their local bakery.
It sounds more like an episode of LOST than a story from the Bible, but that’s exactly what these original “others” did. Even though they actually lived 25 miles away they made themselves look like they had traveled hundreds of miles. They made a great show of telling Joshua that they had set out with piping hot bread and brand new clothes, but now their provisions were rotten and their clothes were all old and used. They knew that God’s people were not allowed to make a treaty with a nearby enemy, but they were allowed to do so with a people that lived far away. It worked.
Despite the fact that God had instructed them to take out all the inhabitants of the land of Canaan,Joshua signed the peace treaty promising not to fight with the Gibeonites. You can imagine how surprised and angry Joshua was when he discovered they had deceived him. But there was no going back, he had to honor the truce–he had given his word. As a result they forfeited a portion of what God had promised to them.
You need to understand that in the spiritual battle that you are in today your enemy might try to use this strategy. There could be a Trojan horse that is being readied even as you read this. It might already be inside your gates. Not everyone who seems to have your best interest in mind actually does. There are wolves that wear sheep’s clothing, snakes that will try to make you doubt God’s word. Very friendly people who will do their best to separate you from all the promises that God wants you to walk in. Be careful! Don’t let your guard down. Gird up the loins of your mind and stay alert. According to Joshua 9:14 The reason they fell for this trap was, because, “the Israelites examined their food, but they did not consult the LORD.” We must walk by faith and not by sight.