First, I thought about the fact that we are told this from 1 Peter 5 “…that enemy of yours, the devil, roams around like a lion roaring [in fierce hunger], seeking someone to seize upon and devour” (1 Peter 5:8b AMP). Did you catch it? He is “like a lion” he isn’t a lion but pretends to be one. The definition of the word “like” is “having the same or similar qualities.” He is prowling, which is, “to move through a place or area especially while searching for something often in a quiet or secret way. Before a lion attacks its prey, it quietly sneaks in, gets very close and then at the proper time, attacks. In a similar way, Satan is often quiet and secretive. He moves in and gets close, quite comfortable in fact, and then goes in for the kill. He is watching you, looking for your insecurities and weaknesses and he will use them against you when the time is right. The difference between a lion and Satan is this: a hungry lion is a hungry lion, while Satan just pretends to be one.
Next I thought about this verse, “And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light”(2 Corinthians 11:14 NIV). He masquerades as an angel of light. Masquerades: a way of appearing or behaving that is not true or real. Anyone who behaves in a manner that is not true to who they really are is a fake; they are only pretenders. When Paul wrote 2 Corinthians 11, he was warning the church about False Apostles.” We are warned to, “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves”(Matthew 7:15 NKJV). We are also told “false prophets and false christs will arise and show signs and wonders to deceive many”(Mark 13:22). Peter wrote about false prophets and false teachers in 2 Peter 2 and John advised that we should “not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world” (1 John 4:1). The Psalmist wrote “Through Your precepts I get understanding; therefore I hate every false way” (119:104). Don’t be swayed by a false teacher; ask God for wisdom and discernment in recognizing someone Satan has sent to appear real, yet is not. Have you been a victim of someone who masquerades?
Then I saw this, “Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made” (Genesis 3:1 NIV). Crafty is defined this way: clever in usually a deceptive or dishonest way Satan is crafty, or cunning, deceitful, deceptive, a fraud, sneaky, and very clever at attaining his goals by deceptive means. This is how he tricked the woman into taking the fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. He said to the woman, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?” (3:1) God hadn’t said they couldn’t eat from every tree of the garden, just one. Exaggerating the truth by placing focus on the one thing God had said no to. This reminded me of my struggle with Diverticulosis; when I was told I couldn’t eat nuts or seeds, suddenly everything I wanted had nuts or seeds. You know what makes that funny to me? I never cared much for nuts— until I was told I couldn’t have them. Suddenly my taste buds were crushed. Tell me I can’t touch something and that’s all I think about. Adam and Eve were fine in the Garden until Satan pointed out the ONE thing God said “no” to. Satan uses manipulation and plays mind games to plant his seeds of doubt in us about what God has said and why He said it. He twists God’s Word. God said, “Don’t eat from the fruit or you will die...physically and spiritually. Satan said, “You won’t die…this is what will happen...you will be like God” (Genesis 3:5), which has been Satan’s desire all along. He was cast down to the earth after he determined in his “heart to ascend into heaven, and exalt himself above God…to be like the Most High” (Is. 14:13-14 NIV). Is it possible that in his craftiness, as he prowls and masquerades in falsehood, he plans to watch as we too, are kicked out of our gardens, losing our inheritance, as we try to rise to a throne that was never ours to sit on? We might want to reconsider when we try to humanize God, take away His authority and usurp His power. When we ask God for something, within His Will, He is more than happy to give it to us, at the right time; but woe to anyone who chooses to take what He hasn’t given. Adam and Eve were kicked out of the Garden because they took what God had placed off limits.
How do we protect ourselves from Satan? We are warned to “be well balanced (temperate, sober of mind), be vigilant and cautious at all times” (1 Peter 5:8a AMP) because of his prowling lion-like ways. How are we at maintaining a well-balanced lifestyle? Are we vigilant and cautious at all times? I know I certainly fail in that area. Just last week I was teetering out of balance. How do we recognize his falsehoods? By allowing the Holy Spirit to lead us into all truth (John 14:17). “The mind of a person with understanding gets knowledge; the wise person listens to learn more” (Proverbs 18:15 NCV). How do we protect ourselves from usurping God's power? By remembering that He is “no mere human! He doesn’t tell lies or change His mind. God always keeps His promises (Numbers 23:19 CEV).
How do we stop him? We put on God’s armor; the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness and shoes of peace. We hold up our shield of faith, put on the helmet of salvation and pick up our swords; the Word of God (Ephesians 6:13-17). We speak the One name under heaven by which all men must be saved, Jesus, and we “pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere” (Ephesians 6:18 NLT).