by Richard Lee

“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;” (Eph 6:10-18, KJV)

“And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ: That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;” (Eph. 4:11-14, KJV).

Foremost, let us try to understand the word “wiles.” W. E. Vines defines, “WILES, (METHODIA, or –EIA  denotes craft, deceit (meta, after, hodos, a way), a cunning device, a wile, and is translated “wile {of error}”in Eph. 4:14. R. V.  [A.V. paraphrases it, “they lie in wait (to deceive)”], lit., ‘(with a view to) the craft (singular) of deceit;’ 6:11, “the wiles (plural) (of the Devil,)” (W. E. Vines, WILES).

It is interesting to note that in order to stand up against the “wiles of the devil”, one has to take up the whole armour of God. This includes the following: breastplate of righteousness; shield of faith; helmet of salvation; sword of the Spirit; truth, gospel of peace and prayers. Why? Because here on earth, we are fighting a spiritual warfare. It is evident from the scriptures that we are wrestling “against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”

However, our offensive weapons are not miracles, signs, wonders but the “sword of the Spirit” which is the Word of God (Eph. 6:17). God has also provided us with many good defensive weapons as listed above. Why do we need so many defensive weapons? Well, because the devil is very crafty and his methodology to win anyone over to his side is by deception (Eph 4:14; Rev. 12:9). Unfortunately, many a times Christians fall into the devil’s trick and trap because we do not know when and how to skillfully use the Word of God for the sword has been in the scabbard for too long or we have not been using it (Heb. 5:14).

The bible highlighted to us that the devil is “a roaring lion, walking about, seeking whom he may devour:” (1Pet. 5:8). If you have watched National Geographic shows on how the wild beasts of the field huntfor their prey, you will understand this verse very well. The wild beasts will be walking around seeking for food. They will come across some “lunch or dinner” (animals like zebra, deer, etc). Then they will keep a watchful eye to locate the weakest and most unaware of the lot. The rest of the story, I do not need to elaborate.

I see not much difference in the way the devil  seek out Christians, especially the weak ones who are unaware that the devil has spotted them for the kill. Some may ask,” Is the devil actively seeking?”


Think of the number people who died in Iraq. Is Saddam Hussein dead or alive? What about Osama bin Laden? Yet, we hear and know of the evil deeds going on around the world because of his influence. Also, Hitler is dead and had been gone for years but his ideologies  are being carried out by the Ku Klux Klan.

Likewise, the devil, though chained in the “bottomless pit” is “like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour.” He does not dwell in Christians, he does not force Christians to commit adultery, steal, rob, envy, and the list go on. But the devil plants the seeds of the wickedness of sin in the minds of Christians and non-Christians alike.

He deceived Adam and Eve into eating the fruit of knowledge of good and evil he successfully tricked King David  into having an unlawful relationship with Bathsheba, he caused the death of Uriah the Hittite, he used his deceptive tool to cause the wise King Solomon to act foolishly, tapping on his weakness for women and made him a playboy. However, the devil failed in trying to lure Christ into the sin of the eyes, the sin of the flesh and the pride of life. WHY? Because Christ used a powerful tool – the Word of God. He fasted and often He prayed for Himself, His disciples and His enemies. He prayed for Peter (Lk. 22:31-32).

How do you view a sinful situation? How do you handle false teachings? How do you overcome temptations and weakness? Do you have any experience that you had gone through before? Did you use the right methods? Did you manage to overcome the challenges in your life, overcome your difficulties and weaknesses? Please spare a few minutes to reflect. Consider how Christ, the apostles and the early disciples faced such difficult situations and overcame them!

To overcome the devil, we need to learn how to RESIST. This is a very strong word.  1 Pet. 5:9 says, “Whom resist steadfast in the faith…..” The bible teaches us to “Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:7). How comforting to know that our Lord cares and gives us the assurances and hope that we can overcome through Christ who loves us (Rom 8:37).

The idea to resist is to go against the grain or against the tide. Just like Joseph resisting temptation, like the prophet Nathan preventing Adonijah from being King, and like Mordecai going against Haman thus saving the Jews from being wiped out in Persia and many other bible examples.