Peter wrote, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour” (I Peter 5:8). As long as we are in this earthly body we will have Satan as our adversary. His manner is subtle, “But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ” (II Corinthians 11:3). Not only is he subtle, he is full of tricks: “Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil” (Ephesians 6:11). We also read in Ephesians 6:16 that he is constantly throwing fiery darts our way trying to get us to stumble. But how does the Devil work? What does he do? Note the following:
The Devil tries to keep every soul out of the church. The Devil does not want anyone to be saved, and he knows that people are saved who have been added to the church through obedience. So what does he do? He does anything he can do to get people not to believe the truth of God’s Word. If it takes tempting people with a man-made religion, or another gospel he will do it because he knows that if a person hears the gospel preached they will be told what it takes to be saved. The Devil will try to show that being a part of the body of Christ is not essential to salvation. He will ridicule and misrepresent the church. Yes friends, he will do everything in his power to keep every responsible soul out of the church.
The Devil tries to get you back into the world. If he cannot keep you from obeying the gospel, then he will do everything he can to get you back into the world. He does this by making the world and the things of the world appealing. He does everything he can to weaken your faith. He causes you to become discouraged. He will get your companions to corrupt you. He will rise up false teachers from among the church to entice you. He will do whatever it takes to destroy your faith and get you back into the world.
But if he cannot keep you out of the church, and if he cannot get you back into the world, the Devil then will try to make you useless to the church. He does this by encouraging you not to study the Word so that you will not grow in the knowledge of the Lord. He tries to confuse your priorities so that you will not put the kingdom of God and His righteousness first in our life. He uses any devious trick that he can to render you useless and worthless in service to the Lord. The Devil knows the working Christian is pleasing to the Lord and because of their effort, others will be converted to the Lord and the church will grow and he does not want this to happen.