– “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” – Ephesians 6:10-11

The following is an excerpt taken from the upcoming book, “The Mighty Man of Valor: God’s Definition of Masculinity”:

“The Greek word that Paul uses for “wiles of the devil” (in Ephesians 6:11) is a word that literally means “trickery and deception”. The enemy’s only real power lies in his ability to deceive. If the devil can’t get you to believe a lie, he will have no power in your life. Wrong believing is the source of all bondage, grief, and defeat. For this reason, the Bible teaches us that our weapon is the truth of God’s Word that strikes down the lies that promote wrong believing (2 Corinthians 10:4-5). The fight that we’re called to is one of resisting the lies of the enemy.

The armor of God is not some fanciful, Christian-ese imagery to boost your self-confidence. It’s a real, practical, strategic, and powerful solution to the attacks of the enemy. The armor of the God is a comprehensive explanation of how a believer arms himself with the truth for a victorious fight against the deception of the enemy. Deception is the power of the enemy, and the truth is the weapon that neutralizes that power. The truth is the kryptonite of all demonic oppression and power. There is not a person on the planet who won’t experience the fullness of freedom and joy in Christ if he/she has come to know the whole truth of God’s Word. Conversely, any ongoing experience of or bondage to pain, suffering, sin, or poverty is the fruition of a twisted belief system. Out of the heart flows the issues of life (Proverbs 4:23); out of your internal imagination flows your external experience of life. The devil is in the business of deception, because all he needs to do is make you believe something that’s contrary to God’s Word, and he will succeed in whatever attack he fashioned against you. This, however, is also somewhat relieving. Why? Because you’re real battle is actually against yourself. You are your worst enemy—your most formidable foe. To be more specific, a carnal and worldly mindset—is your worst enemy. A carnal mind—a is the weakness of every believer, and the only advantage of the devil, if by chance, he can get you to believe lies. If your thinking is consistent with God’s thinking, the devil will have no power in your life. This doesn’t mean he won’t still attack you at times; it just means that he won’t have the power to win…unless, of course, he can get you to abandon your trust in God’s Word through the entrance of fear or doubt in that attack.

As I hope I have made clear, the real challenge lies in transforming the way we think. From the fall of man in the garden of Eden until now, deception has been the crucial weapon of the enemy—Satan can only rely on his ability to trick people. In fact, the Bible explicitly names the devil as the one “who deceives the whole world” (Revelation 12:9).

This crafty deception continues to plague the earth today. The volume of demonic philosophy that the world has been spewing out has increased exponentially in the past century, due entirely to an international departure from biblical theology and morality. This is for us, all the more important that we be well-equipped with the truth and readily prepared at all times to stand against the wiles of the devil—the trickery of worldly thought.

First off, according to Paul’s statement, “We do no wrestle against flesh and blood.” In other words, our fight is never against people. We’re not standing against the aggression of man…we’re standing against the demonic ideologies that deceive the world. I doesn’t matter how someone may have treated you in the past; it doesn’t matter how ungodly a person may behave, or how rude they are to you. All—and I mean all—arrogance, disrespect, selfishness, inconsideration, cruelty, and resentment exists in people (both Christian and non-Christian) for one reason: They don’t know God (1 Thessalonians 4:5). Period. There is never an excuse to allow someone else’s sin against you to produce sin within you. You don’t have the right to be angry or offended at the insolence of people, because they act from a place of blindness, pain, and ignorance of God (Ephesians 2:12,3:17-18, 2 Corinthians 4:4-6). We all have the ability to show mercy, compassion, and love to everyone, despite how ungodly they may be, for Christ Himself revealed the source of heartfelt compassion in His dying words on the cross of Calvary, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.” Jesus was never hurt by the evil conduct of people, for He knew they were simply lost sheep without a shepherd—blind and hurting men in need of a Savior (Matthew 9:36). Jesus always directed His anger toward the demonic deception that produced such evil in men. Just like you would never be angry at a blind man for accidentally bumping into you, we should never be bitter towards people for their sinfulness. They simply live the only way they know how—Godlessness is their nature, so that’s how they will live. The deception behind the wickedness of men is our real enemy. If you’re going to be angry, be angry at the devil…he’s the one behind it all. In response, fill your mind with the truth of God’s Word, and love all people unconditionally and relentlessly. God’s love is like that. The Lord gave His only Son, for the sake of love for His people, to die for our redemption when we deserved the exact opposite. We lived in rebellion, and He still chose to love us relentlessly. His love endures forever, and it’s not contingent upon our behavior. If you want to see people in your life who have hurt you change, start treating them like Jesus treated you, and they will. Love covers a multitude of sins (1 Peter 4:8)…love transforms people like you won’t believe. Start believing and living the truth of the Bible, and you will see the devil’s lies crushed, both in your life and in other people’s lives.”