In Ephesians 6:11, the apostle Paul instructs the Saints of God to do the following: “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil” (NKJV).
Interestingly enough, the New International Version says, “Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.”.
As New Testament believers, we know that satan (our enemy) desires to destroy our lives and keep us from the great purposes God has for us (I Peter 5:8). In doing so, the enemy is extremely cunning and strategic in how he attempts to wreck our lives!
Today, I would like to share with you some of the “spiritual life traps” I have seen the enemy use over the course of my Christian life… things he uses in order to plot against God’s people.
7 Spiritual Life Traps
1. Pride – I Peter 5:5 says, “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” For God to resist the proud, He is not only displeased with them, but is also actively working against them. Pride is the root to all sin, and we must humbly submit ourselves to the Lordship of Jesus and ask Him to eradicate any residue of pride in our lives.
2. Offense – This is a root of spiritual cancer that will keep us from the blessings God has for us. Paul admonished the church of Philippi to “…approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ” (Philippians 1:10). We must choose everyday to walk in forgiveness of those who have wronged us and continue to bless those who curse us.
3. Greed/Lust – This is a by-product of pride. When greed influences a man or woman of God, it causes them to have wrong motives about why they desire the blessing of God in their lives. The Bible instructs us to walk free of greed and lust so that we keep our thoughts and actions pure before the Lord.
4. Lack of Discipline – Many in the body lose focus on why they do what they do. The enemy would desire to push you away from God’s purposes for your life! Don’t get caught up in just doing for God; enjoy being with God. Remember that your identity is rooted in God’s love for you, not your accomplishments! Develop a passion for being a lover of God. Keep your eyes on the prize (being Jesus), who for the joy set before Him endured the cross and rescued mankind from death (Hebrews 12:2). Stay focused on what’s important!
5. Division – Once he has driven you away from those God placed you with, the devil always seeks to separate you from the strength of your unity into a place of weakness. Stay planted with those whom God has called you to serve with!
6. Fear – The spirit of fear will cause the gift of God to lay dormant in our lives. That’s why Paul commands Timothy to stir up the gift of God within him. Immediately after Paul gives this instruction, he reminds Timothy, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” (2 Tim. 1:6-7). Timothy was a young pastor, and he was allowing himself to be intimidated by those who were older than he. The gift of God was lying dormant in his life! As believers, we must serve the Lord and fear Him only! You will serve whom you fear.
7. False Doctrine – The apostle Paul prophesies in 1 Timothy 4:1, “Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons.” Truth is very important to the Lord. In Ephesians, we see the armor of God, and the “belt of truth” is listed as part of this armor. The Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God, hangs on the belt of truth. The great apostle was illustrating that truth holds things together, just like a belt holds your clothes in place! Continue to hold the truth of God’s word above all that you do.
If you are going to win over your enemy. you need to know your enemy.