A while ago, I stumbled upon an article called “Computer Intrusions” at the FBI Federal Bureau of Investigation website. As I read it, I realized that if the FBI is investing so many resources and personnel on computer intrusions, this must certainly be a serious national threat. In fact, it declares that “today, these computer intrusion cases—counterterrorism, counterintelligence, and criminal—are the paramount priorities of our cyber program because of their potential relationship to national security.”
Can I ask you a few questions? Do you believe that Satan has an intrusion program for your personal life, your home, and your church? Are Satan’s current spiritual intrusion cases the paramount priorities of your spiritual defence program? Do you have a defence program? Is this all God’s responsibility, or do we ourselves have a part to play? What would happen if the FBI would abandon all efforts to counteract computer intrusions? What would happen if you would cease to counteract Satan’s spiritual intrusions?
The article goes on to say, “Some [intrusions] take down vital systems, disrupting and sometimes disabling the work of hospitals, banks, and 9-1-1 services around the country.” You see, computer intrusions are not neutral. And, likewise, spiritual intrusions have a definite nefarious purpose, whether we are aware of them or not.
One of the enemy’s goals is that we be unaware of his intrusions. How does he do this? For example, he will try to convince us that since “we shouldn’t be seeing the devil in every corner”, therefore we should not concern ourselves with the possibility that the devil may be at some corners. Or, he will try to make us think that since “most of a book is good,” there is no need to worry about possible small intrusions interspersed throughout the book. Or, since “the author, or teacher is so sincere,” there is no need to worry about the content of his teaching. In any case, sincerity will ensure he does not communicate any error. Right?
First and foremost, we must believe God’s Word when it says that false apostles and deceitful workers transform “themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light” (2 Corinthians 11:13-14). Are you convinced that your false teacher, whether a preacher, an author, or even a friend, comes to you not as a monster but as a sincere mentor? Believe that a false book will be disguised by mostly sound doctrine, and things that will touch your innermost being. Be aware that once you are emotionally attached to a person, a book, or an organization, it will be very difficult to admit error.
So how do we detect spiritual intrusions? Always have in mind that Satan will target you with dressed up falsehood, and packaged error, gift-wrapped with ribbon, a greeting card, and all! Remember never to allow yourself to be emotionally attached to any man or woman you admire. Be aware that Satan knows what touches your heart, and what strikes you as honest and sincere. Remember that one of the characteristics of false teachers is hypocrisy, or play-acting. They are in essence professional actors who know how to feign faithfulness and sincerity. Don’t let them fool you.
What are other tactics and methods used by the enemy?
The enemy uses confusion. When we are not sure whether a person is a friend or a foe, we are confused as to how to respond. Take Satan’s first question to Eve in the Garden of Eden. “Yeah, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?” Most often, people get stuck on the first four words, “Yeah, hath God said...?” And proceed to explain what an awful deceiver Satan is, and how he is always trying to make us doubt God’s Word with the question, “Hath God said, hath God said, hath God said?”
Look again, and you will find that the most deceiving part of Satan’s question was not the first part, but the second. Satan first comes to Eve as one who is ignorant of God’s commandments. He knew well that God gave Adam and Eve every tree of the Garden, except one! Remember, “the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field”. Of course Satan tries to make us doubt God’s Word. But the most deceiving method for the faithful believer is not doubt, but confusion.
Related to confusion is the method of twisting and corrupting Scripture. The apostle Peter said that already in his day, the unlearned and unstable were twisting Scripture “unto their own destruction” (2 Peter 3:16). Beware of intrusions that make error look like truth. They are not very obvious, but can look like exciting new insights into Scripture, and at times can take the form of a new term, or a modified definition of an old term.
Sometimes Satan has already corrupted and twisted truth in the past, and now it may look like an “obvious” corruption of truth. Beware of this too. Study the Word. Find out from the Bible whether something is true or not. Do not follow man.
Much more could be said on this subject, but my burden for you is whether you are aware of Satan’s intrusions in your life. Do you live as though you are beyond deception? Do you live as if there’s a water-tight shield around you, and therefore you have only to enjoy the Christian life, drink from the good fellowship of believers, and be merry? The Bible says we are to put on the shield of faith, and the sword of the Lord. We need to be sober and vigilant, for the devil walks around like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.
The nations of the world invest millions of dollars on their defence system. They are vigilant, and are constantly studying how to protect themselves from enemy intrusions.
How about you?