So, let us consider some of the “crafty acts” that Satan has used in his all-out assault on mankind and see what we can do to have our defenses ready.—Eph. 6:11, Kingdom Interlinear Translation.
METHODS OF ATTACK
6. What is Satan’s frontal attack, and how can Christians meet it?
6 In his warfare Satan often uses the frontal attack. This method is characterized by threats, imprisonments, bannings, and acts of violence, the flames of which are often fanned by nationalism. Some have lost jobs, homes, family members and even their lives because of taking an uncompromising stand while under such assault. By such scare tactics our enemy hopes to overwhelm us and frighten us into capitulating. He knows that it is natural for humans to do something to relieve themselves of suffering and anxiety. If you have a headache, you try to do something to allay the pain. Satan figures that, if he can cause you enough suffering, you will compromise to gain relief, thus breaking your relationship with Jehovah God. In modern times, on all continents of the earth, Jehovah’s Christian witnesses have had to endure these things. The threat of such things being applied keeps most people in line with what is ‘normal,’ but true Christians, who are not afraid to ‘buck the tide,’ have remained faithful.
7. How does Satan use fear?
7 Another ‘crafty act’ that affects especially those newly associated with the Christian congregation is Satan’s playing on fear of what neighbors, friends and relatives may think. Close family members may turn away, and even our marriage mate may oppose us. Should this overtake us as a sudden surprise attack? No! Did not Jesus warn: “Do not think I came to put peace upon the earth; I came to put, not peace, but a sword. For I came to cause division, with a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a young wife against her mother-in-law. Indeed, a man’s enemies will be persons of his own household.” (Matt. 10:34-36) As you try to conform to Bible principles you may find that such ones will bring pressure to bear against you. By this method Satan hopes that your normal desire to be accepted will cause you to give in. Have you been the target of such an attack?
8. How can our desire for security be used against us?
8 Another area in which Satan tries to undermine us is in regard to our human desire for security. Christ Jesus counseled his hearers: “Stop being anxious,” and, “So never be anxious and say, ‘What are we to eat?’ or, ‘What are we to drink?’ or, ‘What are we to put on?’” Later the apostle Paul said: “Do not be anxious over anything.” (Matt. 6:25, 31; Phil. 4:6) In other words, if we do our part, Jehovah God will take care to see that we have the necessities of life. However, Satan does not want us to rely on the Creator. Rather, with the aim of crowding out spiritual interests he wants us to feel that we have to use extraordinary personal initiative to protect ourselves against inflation as well as shortages of fuel, food and other items. Even people who have their personal necessities for the immediate future well cared for find themselves anxious about what is going to happen months and years into the future. Some feel they have to stockpile beyond what is normal to protect themselves against contrived or prophesied shortages. How few people follow the plain advice in God’s Word: “So, having sustenance and covering, we shall be content with these things”! Many people have allowed this subtle attack of Satan to crowd out the spiritual solution to life’s problems. So in these matters, how are you doing?—1 Tim. 6:8; Rev. 6:5, 6.
9. Give an example of how Satan may use innocent desires as a means of attack.
9 Another natural desire we all have is the need for entertainment and relaxation. But subtle Satan can turn an innocent desire for a little change of pace into an all-out assault that can be just as devastating to our spirituality as anxiety, fear of man, and nationalism. Our interest in sports, music and other forms of entertainment can capture our attention to such an extent that the spending of time and money this way interferes with keeping up our spiritual obligations. How would you compare the time, interest and money you use for leisure-time pursuits to that spent in taking care of spiritual matters? Your answer is to some extent an indication of Satan’s success in his attack on you.
10. What is one of Satan’s most nefarious methods of attack? Explain.
10 Perhaps the Devil’s most nefarious method of attack is in connection with the perfectly normal desire for marriage and the intimacies associated with it. For example, an engaged couple may begin to reason, ‘Well, we are going to be married tomorrow, and we do love each other. After all, marriage itself is just a piece of paper and a few words. What really counts is the way we feel about each other. So what would be wrong with beginning now to enjoy some of the intimate privileges afforded married persons?’ In the Garden of Eden there was nothing wrong with the forbidden fruit in itself, but Jehovah God said that it should not be eaten, and that made the eating of it wrong. The same is true with the relationship between a man and a woman. What would be all right tomorrow may be wrong today. Satan’s subtle approach is to make us think that Jehovah is withholding something beneficial and pleasurable from us without just cause. He has fostered the idea that man has a “right” to decide for himself what is good and what is bad. Promiscuous sex is a by-product of such thinking and a snare against which we must guard. Christians must demonstrate unquestionable loyalty to the laws of God if they are to remain firm in the face of Satan’s attack.
11. What can we do to prepare for Satan’s attack?
11 Basic to preparing ourselves for Satan’s attack is that we recognize that our defense is not a physical one but is primarily a spiritual one. This is made clear for us in Ephesians 6:11-13: “Put on the complete suit of armor from God that you may be able to stand firm against the machinations of the Devil;
So in defending ourselves it makes no difference whether we are young or old, muscular or frail, in good health or infirm. As David did with Goliath, we can come up against an enemy who to all outward appearances has the advantage, yet we can still come off the victor. It is going to come, not due to our own expertness, but, rather, by keeping ourselves in a condition of spiritual readiness. Indeed, this is our only means of defense.